In a competitive marketplace, a company’s brand is its most important asset. The brand encompasses the company’s identity, values and promise to its important stakeholders – current and future customers, investors, shareholders, employees, and partners. The brand differentiates and positions the company and builds loyalty and trust in the marketplace and inside the company. Effective brand strategy, with the twin aims of projecting and protecting the brand, depends largely on managing engagement with key audiences.
Content marketing is a critical tool in brand strategy. It involves creating and managing compelling, consistent and effective digital and print content for target audiences, such as blogs, videos, social media, online adverts, infographics, posters, brochures, emails, flyers, proposals and sales collateral. Effective content marketing increases brand awareness and reach, develops customer engagement and relationships, and educates audiences about the company’s services and products. It generates leads and sales and increases marketing ROI.
Effective content marketing depends on meeting audience expectations through the relevance, value and consistency of content. This requires careful management of message, look, tone and delivery. Disappointing audience expectations can lead to brand dilution, customer confusion and reduced awareness and trust, which can have a damaging effect on sales and brand reputation.
The problems of content marketing
A major problem for marketing departments in implementing a content strategy is that they struggle to control brand consistency and quality of content sent out by the company across multiple users and channels.
The constant need for time-critical, localised, marketing and sales material often causes decentralised teams to create this content themselves because there isn’t time to wait for a busy marketing department to produce and approve it. There is a high risk this content will be off-brand and out-of-date, especially if local teams aren’t aware of brand guidelines or have no access to them. The danger of brand dilution and confusion is exacerbated for regulated companies because using non-compliant content risks reputational damage, fines, and penalties.
Busy marketing teams are often under-resourced to accommodate constant requests to create or amend artwork from other areas of the company. In attempting to do so, marketing teams can’t focus on other, more creative, value-adding work, causing them to turn to external agencies, which increases costs and severely impacts the marketing budget.
This is why marketing teams are increasingly turning to Artwork Templates to resolve the huge issue of safeguarding the most precious company asset.
Artwork templates combine the ability to lock down brand designs with intelligent technology to control content. They devolve content decision-making to users while retaining central marketing control. The best Artwork Templates integrate with approval workflows and digital asset management (DAM) systems to provide a complete brand management solution.
Artwork Templates can be created from PDFs or InDesign files to replicate to the brand’s unique design. Intelligent technology makes them highly adaptable to users’ requirements within brand marketing rules by locking down some elements of the template and allowing other areas to be modified. In this way fonts, layouts, logos, imagery, colour palettes, straplines, disclaimers, and key corporate content cannot be changed, while allowing users considerable autonomy to personalise and localise content in designated areas of the template.
Users have considerable latitude in adapting content to specific audiences because Artwork Templates can dynamically size images and format text to fit and work together. Users can upload data to pre-designed charts and graphs to quickly produce personalised branded visuals. Different variants of a single template can be output in digital and print formats to provide even greater flexibility.
Benefits of Artwork Templates
Artwork Templates enable a greater volume of professional content to be consistently and quickly produced without diluting the brand.
Making Artwork Templates available throughout the company enables all users to easily and quickly create on-brand content that effectively engages. Design skills aren’t needed to create professional-looking, brand-perfect, marketing and sales material.
This empowers teams to utilise their unique knowledge of local markets with targeted content, negating the need to ever go off-brand with ‘homemade’ content. It enables time-critical content to reach markets faster and satisfies audience expectations of the brand.
The huge reduction in artwork requests, reworking, proofing cycles and sign-off processes by enabling other teams to make changes to pre-approved artwork, frees up the marketing team to concentrate on more creative and value-adding work. This reduces ongoing artwork costs and spend on external agencies, which frees the marketing budget for other initiatives and projects.
Digital Business cards: a prime example
A Digital Business Card is an excellent example of an Artwork Template. Digital Business Cards are fast replacing the traditional, paper version as customer communications become increasingly digital. They are formatted and styled to the company brand and personalised with an individual’s details, which can include photos, videos, and social media profiles. These can be shared and downloaded onto customers’ devices with integrated QR codes for online meetings and events.
Digital Business Cards can be quickly edited and updated without the waste of scrapping traditional cards or the cost of replacing them. This supports a company’s ESG strategy and environmental reputation and helps the marketing budget.
Digital Asset Management and Approval workflows
Artwork Templates can be further augmented by integrating them with a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution and approval workflows to ensure content is brand and regulatory compliant.
A DAM is an online repository of digital creative assets which designers and users without design skills can access to create audience specific content. This ensures that teams throughout the company use only pre-approved, up-to-date marketing assets to create sales and marketing material. The DAM can be organised to control which assets a user can access. Assets typically include brand images, photography, videos, animation and audio files, PDFs, and ready to use templates such as adverts, emails, landing pages, social media, proposals, presentations and brochures. A DAM has collaboration tools that enable users to work with colleagues and external partners to create content.
The ability of Artwork Templates to lock down pre-approved regulatory content can be supplemented with Approval Workflows to ensure the compliance of the adaptable content within the template. Workflows can be configured to define the review and approval process according to the type of content being created. Multiple reviewers can collaborate in real-time and see each other’s comments to reduce conflicting changes and quicken the approval process. An audit trail and version history are automatically captured for regulatory purposes.
Bringing it all together
Artwork Templates, DAMs and Approval Workflows can work independently of each other but together they provide the ultimate brand management solution. Integrating them on a single platform that provides easy, controlled access to designers and non-designers, wherever and whenever content is required, optimises their combined benefits.
Perivan’s Enable is such a platform. Enable manages the creation, approval and distribution of content from one central platform. If you would like to see how Enable can help with your content management requirements, get in touch.