Why You Need Creative Strategy In Your Marketing Plan
How you decide to introduce your brand to the world is one of the most important business decisions you will make. Even after a successful introduction, how you continue to present your brand’s image on an on-going basis is key to its success. Developing a brand’s creative strategy requires an investment of time, energy, and a portion of your marketing budget.
First, a word about creative strategy. Creative strategy is the intentional and strategic approach a company takes in developing and implementing steps that will ensure and support the business’ growth.
Essentially, it is the outline or blueprint of how the end goals will ultimately be met. Your creative strategy provides the guiding principles for copywriters and art directors who are assigned to develop the advertisement. Within the context of that assignment, any ad that is then created should conform to that strategy, even if you switch agencies. A creative strategy contains moving parts. Each of these parts plays an integral role in meeting the goals that are set. The moving parts consist of detailed market research, an imaging plane, and an effective strategic delivery.
What Questions to Ask When Developing Your Creative Strategy
- What is the story of my business?
- What are my primary objectives?
- Who is my target audience?
- What are my customers looking for?
- What calls to action will I utilize?
- What is the offering, what's in it for the consumer?
- What marketing channels will I use?
- What deliverables will I need?
- How much budget can I put towards my creative strategy?
- What are the mandatories that need to be on my creative assets? Do I want the telephone number, email address, or website address? Sadly, this question is often missed.
- What reference materials will I use to create my creative strategy?
- What is the story?
Five Rock-Solid Creative Content Marketing Strategies
- Use Humor: What we know from content marketing research is that the industry is all about psychology. When you make your customers feel happy, they react in a positive way to you and your brand. Be sure to use humor naturally, which means, don't force it.
- Be Responsive: Your customer base wants to hear from you, especially when they have questions. Be accessible either by phone, email or chat.
- Re-Invent the Old: If you feel too traditional to really change, consider that traditional brands reinvent themselves all the time. Often, legacy brands use modern photography to emphasize both the classic feel of an established brand and the modern use of its products. Photo-heavy social sites such as Instagram and Snapchat are two options.
- Be the Expert: Customers can detect inauthentic people so be an innovator in your sphere and talk about what you know. If you do, people will trust, and gravitate, to you.
- Write a Killer Headline: There are a lot of content marketing strategies that fail but rarely if there's a killer headline attached to the content that grabs peoples attention. Just remember that you'll need to follow through on your promise in the headline.
Communication Is Key
When considering creative strategy, be sure to remain focused on effective communication. It can be lost in the midst of all the planning, but it is critical. The overall goal of any brand strategy is to communicate to the public effectively. What you choose to communicate is up to you. This is where you get to be creative. However, making sure the public gets the message you intend can be very tricky. This is where focus groups, even ad hoc focus groups of three or four people in a small operation, come in handy.
Consider your long-term goals when developing your creative strategy. Pay attention to how much room you allow for growth. You do not want to box yourself into a genre or an image that is stifling. This is where market research will aid in the process.
Market Research Has Several Components
Market research is just as important as anything else. Market testing for a specific product, image or message is critical. Failing to plan for, and adapt to, the finicky mood swings of the consumer is a sure-fire way to lose precious dollars and countless hours. Having to go back to the proverbial drawing board, could completely tank your brand’s opportunities by wasting the time needed to position your brand.
Imaging is something you want to spend some time on when developing your strategy. Consider colors, sizes and what may be perceived as offensive.
Also, think about the long-term appeal and anything that may come into play once your brand’s name is attached to that image.
The final piece of the puzzle is how you choose to deliver your work to the public. Implementing your creative strategy plan is the ultimate test. For this leg of the plan to be successful, you need to make sure that you use powerful copy and consistent delivery over a broad range of the market. Staying true to the creative plan and working each aspect of it will get you to your goal.
Failure Leads to Other Options
Don't panic if all fails. You can always begin again because there are different types of creative strategies available. There are emotional, rational, and lifestyle creative strategies among others, which focus on different ways to appeal to the market.
A creative strategy is your brand’s bible. Developing and effectively implementing this crucial aspect of your business is of the utmost importance.