Online shopping is taking the world by storm. E-commerce sales are estimated to reach 19.2% of all U.S. retail spending by 2024. The COVID-19 pandemic has led so many people to turn to the safety and convenience of online shopping, which has only accelerated this dramatic shift in spending behavior. Although this is exciting news for e-commerce brands everywhere, there is a catch. How will these brands continue to fuel their marketing when they are now faced with increasing content demands?
Consumers Want Creative Variety
We recently conducted a survey to find out what exactly customers think of the content they’re seeing from brands. We found that 66% of U.S. shoppers find ads and social media messaging from brands to be repetitive and 67% want to see a greater variety in brand storytelling. This means that brands must find new ways to engage with their consumers through personalized messaging across a variety of channels. Different stories must be produced for different audiences, or else they simply will not hold shoppers’ attention. For example, long-term buyers do not want to see the same creative as new customers. It won’t resonate. Not only do consumers want variety, but they also want to see different emotions from brands. A recent study found that some of the most successful brands tap into emotionally-compelling content that varies by channel. Additionally, when brands start activating in local markets, they need to create ads that feature culturally-relevant imagery and language. This drastically increases the volume of content that brands need to produce to reach every unique audience.
Manual Production Falls Flat
While marketers face these enormous content demands, creative teams are struggling to keep up. Overwhelmed and over-capacity, they spend so much time on repetitive tasks, like resizing and reformatting, that they no longer have the bandwidth to come up with the big, creative ideas. When creatives are forced to work like machines and spend all of their time cranking out numerous assets, the quality of the work declines. Creativity is lost.
The Content Gap is another challenge that accompanies manual production. This is the delta between the exponentially rising content needs marketers face and the flat or declining production resources and budgets they currently have. When brands can’t keep up, they jeopardize growth as well as maintaining existing customers.
Scale Content at Speed
One of the most efficient and agile ways for e-commerce brands to produce large volumes of creative assets is with cloud-based automation. Not only does it support real-time communication amongst all stakeholders, but it allows teams to make master templates connected to feeds which house all of your design and copy variations. The software runs all of the variants for you while maintaining creative excellence, which makes the potential for creative variety limitless. This means that creatives can spend less time versioning, and more time on creative ideation.
Marketers can easily use the software to update live campaigns. With Creative Automation, teams can produce high volumes of content to test on different audiences and figure out what best drives performance. Teams can then use these insights to quickly pivot and improve campaigns within minutes.
Save Time and Money
E-commerce brands need to drive performance at scale without sacrificing quality. Often we think the solution will require either more time dedicated to content creation or more money spent on tools or hiring. Instead, companies that invest in automation can save on both. A global retail brand, for one, saved $70,000 per campaign by automating its creative assets in-house rather than outsourcing production. Creative Automation users have also found that they can create triple the creative volume while cutting the campaign production cycle in half.
With Creative Automation, you can maximize your resources and time without sacrificing creative quality. To learn more about Creative Automation, check out this video or contact us today. We also have a new podcast, Brand-Side, where we interview marketing and creative leaders from brands like Public Goods, YETI, Pandora, and more. Listen here!