In the vast realm of online content, there exists a significant challenge: the content gap. Consumers can now have on-demand, personalized, and interactive experiences. Users now have more agency thanks to the proliferation of consumer-facing apps and services like Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, and countless others. They can now choose from a wide variety of possibilities at any time. The brands that succeed will be the ones that provide the best possible customer service.
Brands have trouble producing creative content quickly. Forrester Consulting found that 70% of marketers spend too much time on content creation. Another Bynder survey found that 45% of marketers find the traditional process of creating individual assets unsustainable and problematic.
They believe that a series of related assets with minor variations from the original is often necessary. Many respondents agree that creative automation technologies can assist with localizing content, streamlining the creative process, and making rapid adjustments. To address the content gap, brands must adopt technology that automates the production, management, and distribution of creatives at scale. It is not just about creating content quickly, but also managing it for reuse and repurposing to meet demand.
What is the content gap?
A content gap develops when a company's content is misaligned with what its target audience wants. Brands must close this gap if they want to keep their customers happy and boost their overall success.
There are three main categories of content gaps: speed, relevance, and distribution. The speed gap occurs when the brand's content production rate does not meet the demands of content distribution. The relevance gap arises when the content created does not match the preferences or needs of consumers. The distribution gap occurs when the channels used for content distribution do not align with where customers are actively searching.
Challenges to creative production today
Today's advertising reality includes increased customer expectations and a plethora of high-quality content that can't be handled by a single team. This places a heavy strain on conventional methods of creativity and rips holes in content development.
1. Limited time
Today's fast-paced business environment puts marketers under pressure to deliver creative content on time. Brands must produce content quickly to keep up with consumer demands and market trends. This time crunch can limit ideation, experimentation, and refinement, hindering creativity. Content quality and originality also suffer due to tight deadlines.
2. Resource and budget constraints
Creative production requires talent, budget, and advanced technology and tools. Budgets can limit hiring experienced professionals or purchasing high-quality production equipment. Graphic design, copywriting, and video production talent shortages can also slow creative production. Insufficient or outdated technology and tools can reduce productivity and innovation.
3. Challenges with creative scaling
Creative scaling becomes difficult as brands try to reach more people. Maintaining consistency, quality, and efficiency across many creative assets is difficult. Creating content at scale requires streamlined workflows, automated processes, and good project management to avoid bottlenecks and inconsistencies.
4. Localization challenges
Local languages, cultures, and preferences must be incorporated into content for brands targeting multiple markets. Localization is difficult and time-consuming. Translating, culturally adapting, and customizing content requires research, local knowledge, and specialized tools or services. Brands may miss market opportunities and fail to connect with their target audiences without effective localization.
5. Creative block
Creative professionals sometimes struggle to come up with new ideas. Stress, burnout, inspiration, and project constraints can cause this. Brainstorming, seeking inspiration, taking breaks, and creating a supportive and collaborative creative environment that encourages experimentation and risk-taking can help overcome creative blocks.
6. Keeping up with trends
Consumer tastes, technology, and market trends change quickly in the digital world. Learning, market research, and industry trends keep you current. To ensure their creative production is on trend and resonates with their audience, marketers must spend time and money understanding their target audience, tracking competitors, and embracing new platforms and formats.
7. Content fragmentation
Technology, consumer preferences, and market trends change quickly in the digital world. Continuous learning, market research, and industry trends are needed to stay current. Marketers must spend time and money understanding their target audience, tracking competitors, and adopting new platforms and formats to ensure their creative production is on trend and resonates with their audience.
How brands are using creative automation tools to address requirements
Not all brands operate as well-oiled machines. Often brands have discrepancies in the efficiency of the different areas of content development and distribution. Marketers are finding it difficult to produce content despite having a fast and efficient technology-enabled pipeline (including programmatic, email, social, web, and more) ready to distribute it. The main reason why there is such a content gap is that the rate of creative output does not meet the speed of content distribution.
This is where creative automation comes in.
1. Automation for the creation and not just distribution
Despite the widespread adoption of downstream automation technologies in organizations, the upstream creative process remains manual and linear. The State of Branding Report revealed that 47% of executives planned for more creative collaboration with external agencies and freelancers in 2020, while 39% intended to increase their internal headcount.
However, simply adding more people won't be enough to reduce the gap. The creative process is still full of boring repetition and room for error. Although the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the difficulties of remote teams, the frustrations of ineffective systems and workflows have long plagued the creative community. With creative automation, brands can improve the productivity of their existing teams by speeding up workflows in the creative stage too.
2. Reduce bottlenecks with improved workflows.
When it comes to generating creative content, most brands often rely on sequential workflows. Sequential workflows in creative production can create bottlenecks due to their linear nature, where each task relies on the completion of the previous one. By automating repetitive tasks, such as file conversions, content formatting, or approvals, creative automation reduces the time and effort required to complete these activities. It allows team members to work simultaneously on different aspects of the campaign, eliminating the need to wait for sequential completion. This parallelization improves productivity and accelerates the overall campaign timeline.
3. Improve communication and consistency.
As organizations grow over time, their departments, roles, and systems may lack clear definitions, leading to evolving processes and incompatibilities. This can result in multiple access points, various sharing methods, and diverse approaches to managing and approving content assets. Unfortunately, this combination often leads to brand inconsistency.
Creative automation ensures a standardized procedure is followed when creating and performing brand assets management by automating tasks such as asset tagging, version control, online proofing, and approval workflows. It lessens the need for human interference, cuts down on mistakes, and boosts productivity.
By streamlining teamwork and improving lines of communication, creative automation makes it easier for everyone involved in the process to be on the same page. Inconsistencies in the brand's presentation can be avoided using real-time project status updates, automated notifications, and centralized feedback management.
4. Encourage creativity through automation.
The conventional view of the creative process as an inherently human, time-consuming, talent-based endeavor needs to be altered. Some marketers may be hesitant to fully embrace creativity tools that are AI-assisted. The ability to "automate creativity" is a key concept for marketers to grasp. This necessitates being able to tell the difference between the truly creative parts of content creation and the more administrative parts of digital asset management.
Design scalability, content malleability, and robotic assembly all come together in creative automation. Many companies already have in place legacy systems and workflows, making it more complicated for them to switch to a creative automation strategy. However, businesses can efficiently close the content gap and produce the desired results more quickly by adopting the technologies and processes associated with creative automation. The integration of workflow automation enhances efficiency, ensuring a seamless and accelerated content creation process for optimal outcomes.
Frequently, organizations encounter inefficiencies and expenses in their creative processes. These issues can arise from challenges such as the time spent searching for assets, unintentional duplication of assets, or the use of images with expired rights. Companies that can consolidate their assets into a centralized source of truth are more likely to achieve a higher return on investment (ROI) for their creative endeavors. Creative automation helps achieve cost-effectiveness in bridging the content gap by streamlining workflows, improving brand asset management efficiency, enabling scalable content production, optimizing resource allocation, and reducing errors and revisions.
Brands now need to provide a high volume of content and therefore, the industry is pushing for faster and more unified production for creative operations. In such cases, creative automation software helps both the brands and their consumers. To know how you can close the content gap, try Artwork Flow for free today! You can also book a quick demo with our experts for a customized walkthrough of the platform.