Creative people are under a lot of pressure. They not only have to come up with new ideas for campaigns, but they also need to get involved in the production process and deliver on time.
As a result, scaling visual content production has become a growing issue, especially when resources remain pretty much the same or may even be cut down.
Creative variety is a must for marketers and advertisers, but how do you scale production to meet demand?
Through creative automation.
1. What Is Creative Automation?
Creative automation is the process that allows you to scale visual content production without sacrificing brand consistency, personalization, and quality.
The goal is to leverage technology to spend less time on the actual production of assets and deliver a large volume of visuals in a short amount of time.
Don’t get fooled by the use of the word “creative” next to “automation.” This doesn’t refer to the automation of the creative process because creativity is a trait that defines humans.
Creative automation focuses on reducing repetitive tasks, manual work and helps marketers scale campaigns in the most efficient way.
It’s the key to helping you and your team remove bottlenecks, allowing more space for creative ideas while the production itself is handled by technology. That way, you can focus on coming up with memorable campaigns that are on-brand and get noticed.
2. What Are The Major Benefits of Creative Automation?
Whenever you’re looking for a solution that your team can benefit from, it’s essential to think about the long-term impact.
And it’s clear that thanks to automation, marketing teams can tap into creative variety and meet their customers wherever they are.
Here are the major benefits that cannot be ignored:
2.1. Ensure faster production
This one’s pretty obvious but it’s important to mention because it allows marketers to shorten the time it takes to bring campaigns to life.
It’s especially important when time is short, demand is high, the resources remain the same, you need to respond to a particular market event or adapt to a new context.
On the other hand, even if you have a single campaign running, you still need to take advantage of creative variety to maximize the chances of attracting your target audience with the right combination of imagery and message.
After all, there’s only so much we can create in a working day. Our capacity is limited, which is why creative automation comes to the rescue.
So instead of spending way too much time creating tens of design iterations manually, you can use an online design platform such as Creatopy to automate the production process and be done in minutes.
2.2. Maintain brand consistency
When you produce a lot of visual content, staying consistent is one of the most critical aspects you should not overlook, especially if you’re running campaigns across different markets or channels.
Thanks to creative automation, your campaigns will have the same branding, while the materials will require minor variations in terms of size, format, text, and language.
Moreover, your team won’t need to go through every asset and change each element manually. Instead, the variations can be created in just a few seconds when using Creatopy’s Feed Ad Builder.
That way, you will save a lot of time and resources so designers can focus on other things and not on repetitive tasks.
2.3. Scale your work
Let’s imagine that your marketing team has five people—social media manager, PPC specialist, email expert, content marketing manager, and graphic designer. Christmas is just around the corner and you know there’s going to be a lot of work for the upcoming campaigns.
So naturally, you start thinking about how you and your team can juggle this period without working extra hours and making sure you’ll finish your campaigns on time.
Most people would rely on hiring a new person to help with all the work, but that wouldn’t be wise because you probably won’t need that person in the long run.
The smart thing to do is adopt automation and use it for those repetitive tasks that take so much of your team’s time. That way, you’ll realize you can scale your work regardless of the size of your team and without requiring more resources, whether it’s hiring new people or increasing your budget.
2.4. Personalize campaigns
When running campaigns, you probably have different buyer personas that you want to target. And to reach them, you require different messaging for each one.
This is important when you’re addressing both men and women, and you want to keep the messaging distinct and relevant.
The same goes when targeting audiences with different interests—you want to keep the message as on-point as possible, which is why personalization is key.
On top of that, personalization can be beneficial when creating localized campaigns. You can easily translate the text and replace it on the ads you’re using while keeping the other elements as they are.
2.5. Reduce errors
Humans make mistakes, and that’s OK. But when your team has to produce hundreds of ad variations in a short amount of time, the chance of making more errors than usual is likely to increase.
To avoid that and make sure that your campaigns will look perfect every time, creative automation is your number one friend. That’s because you won’t have to adjust each creative manually, and you’ll only need to focus on making sure you created your CSV file the right way and the information is accurate.
2.6. Eliminate unnecessary costs
In many cases, creative workflows prove to be not only ineffective but also extremely costly. And those costs can be significantly cut down when choosing a single solution that helps teams not only create ad campaigns with ease but also is the place where they can store, manage, oversee their assets and collaborate with other team members.
That way, everyone will know exactly where to locate templates or other materials needed for campaigns.
For example, in Creatopy, you can use the Brand Kit feature to upload brand assets, such as logo, font, templates, imagery, and color palette. This will allow everyone in your team to have access to them and use them properly.
2.7. Collaborate with team members
Real-time collaboration can be a struggle when teams work remotely but luckily, it can be achieved, including in Creatopy.
The good news about creative automation is that it allows you to send visuals for approvals even to people outside your team.
The issue that occurs when collaboration happens in many different environments is that it can be a roadblock to the production process. So when you think you’re productive, that can actually be an illusion because you’re spending time doing things that can otherwise be automated.
To avoid friction, especially in the approval/feedback process, you can turn to creative automation.
2.8. Do more A/B testing
Having one message, using a single image, and one call to action for an ad will potentially limit your chances of increasing conversions.
That’s why it’s essential to have a few variations of the same ad to see which one performs best. You can also split your audience into different groups for the best results.
Instead of having one message, create at least ten distinct ones. Moreover, you don’t need to stop at the text. You can come up with several calls to action, use various product images or even colors.
Consumers react differently to certain text and imagery combinations, so it’s important to test these things to see which one brings the best results.
3. So How Does Creative Automation Work in Creatopy?
It’s easier than you’d think.
First off, you need a template or a design to start with. You can go ahead and create it in Creatopy from scratch or use a template, or you can upload a design you previously created.
Second, you need to create a CSV file, which is really easy to do. You need to include only two main things:
- A column header row
- The list with each item that includes what the ad variation is all about
Feel free to go through our help article and see an example of how the CSV file can look like.
Note that the file should reflect the ad variations you want to create. This means that you can have fewer columns than the ones presented in our example. Or you can have tens of rows instead of just a handful. We’ve added those just to get an idea of how you can create the file for your needs.
Once you have these two things settled (the design and the CSV), you can get started and generate the ad variations in Creatopy.
Here’s how it works:
- Upload your design in Creatopy/personalize a template from our gallery.
- Go to Feed from the left-hand menu, click Create new Feed, upload the CSV file from your computer, then click Continue.
- Next, you can see the Bindings screen, where you link the information from the CSV to elements in your design.
- Bind the information and use the Row preview to see how your designs look based on the data you just fed.
If everything looks OK, then the only thing that’s left is to download the variations.
There’s also another cool thing you can do with the Feed Ad Builder but you also need to have the Ad Serving add-on enabled. If you activate the sync between feeds and designs, you’ll be able to make changes directly in your data feed, which will reflect in your live ads.
For this to work, you must upload your data feed as a URL rather than a CSV file. Make sure each element of your design is linked to the corresponding data in your feed, choose your desired syncing frequency, and get your live campaign set in no time.
Watch the videos below to see how the Feed Ad Builder work in the Editor and in the Generator.
Remember that automation doesn’t eliminate human and manual intervention in the production process, but it reduces the time spent on repetitive tasks. This allows teams to focus more on the ideation and design stages.
Ultimately, it’s not about doing things better but doing things smarter.
Now I want to know if creative automation is something that you’ve used before or consider.