The single most important trend in the marketing landscape right now is the push to make everything more analytical and data-driven. Although the rise of technology has raised the need for advanced analytical and technical skills in marketing, creative marketers are always in demand. As a matter of fact, unique creative thinking will become increasingly vital to brands more than ever before.
The increased competition between brands means marketers are going to have to gain new skills that take their creative thinking to the next level in order to cut through the noise. They will have to ensure their creative efforts resonate with their target audience and shape a narrative that is relatable, compelling, accessible, and sellable.
As a creative marketer, you have to make sure this narrative provides the most engaging design and user experience – one that truly adds value to consumers’ lives. That’s why creatives need to evolve their skill sets and the way they approach their work in order to thrive in today’s digital age.
Related Video: The Secret Sauce of Creativity | Stephen Hall
A Creative Talent Agency’s Tips for Incredible Creative Thinking
With the support of data and technology, marketers have the ability to improve the quality of creative output and develop their skill sets. We’ve put together a list of skills every creative talent agency believes will elevate your skill set both analytically and creatively to prepare you for the future of digital marketing.
Optimizing Visuals for Content Management Systems (CMS)
Knowing how to work the ins and outs of advanced CMSs will take your content to the next level. Whether you’re a copywriter or designer, knowing how to optimize visuals in content management systems like WordPress or Drupal is important. Picking the right media for your site involves more than identifying which visuals are “pretty” or “cool”.
When working with a CMS, the images and media used in your content must be properly uploaded for web use and functionality. For instance, you must understand the technical aspects of formatting thumbnails and different images to fit the dimensions of your site for the best quality and fast page speed.
However, you must first have a good understanding of the type of content that resonates with your audience. Being able to connect with your customer through implementing well-designed content will improve the customer experience and drive engagement.
A comprehensive understanding of a basic coding language like HTML can improve the way you use your CMS, can enhance your SEO skills, and allow you to make minor changes and updates over time with ease.
Optimizing Content for a Cross-Channel Social Media Strategy
Strategic social media marketing requires an in-depth understanding of your core audience and their preferences to gauge the type of content that is the most effective. Knowing what works on each social platform for your specific brand will help you best prepare unique content that provides a seamless experience across all channels.
As you have to optimize media for your site, you have to make sure the visuals you use are effective for every social channel. For instance, the image used for your featured image on a blog post may not be effective on Facebook or Twitter, and the header image used on your Twitter account will likely need to be different from the one you have on LinkedIn.
Different social media channels call for different messages targeted at unique audiences. Whether it’s the layout or resolution of images, or the copy of your captions, understanding the technical aspects of the content you share on each platform is necessary.
Developing a Cohesive Visual Identity
What type of message do you want to communicate with your profile picture, header image, images for preview, and copy on all of your digital channels? Do your social media accounts and blog all provide a consistent experience?
Different channels call for different types of visuals but it’s important to craft a unique voice that’s cohesive across all of them. All of your content, including copy and media, should align with your brand’s styling, guidelines, and purpose.
You have to figure out what makes your users tick and take action. For instance, the ways people engage with content on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all completely different. Each platform calls for a different type of message and creative format, and figuring out what that is takes careful execution and measurement.
Hardcore sales pitches don’t work anymore and will drive your audience away. Effective marketing revolves around authenticity and storytelling, and creative is the function that particularly focuses on that.
Creative marketing is more than finding a stock photo to post on Instagram or crafting a slightly funny tweet. It’s about being honest, transparent, and connecting with your audience. This honesty and recognition of your audience’s needs are what makes your brand unique.
The most effective way to share stories is through video. As a creative, you must know how to craft the copy and optimize the video in order to deliver the right message and capture your audience’s attention. Everything from the script to the visuals needs to be a part of an unforgettable experience for the viewer. Live formats such as webinars and live streaming are incredibly effective forms of video content as well.
Understanding the Connection Between Print and Digital Creative
As the lines between traditional and digital creative thinking are becoming increasingly blurred, are you designing creatives that are effective for both?
Data should be used to build and measure both traditional and digital creative strategies. The most effective strategies implement a mix of both, with cohesive visuals and messaging across all mediums.
Using both traditional and digital channels is a great way to reach your audience when they complement each other. However, knowing how to effectively adjust your messaging for each medium is equally important.
Bonus: Tools and Courses to Get Familiar With
We hope the list of skills above will help you level up your creative output in an increasingly digital and analytical world. The immersion of technical and creative skills will become harder to separate in the future as both technical and creative marketers will need both to stand out.
As a creative talent agency, we recommend you keep your current skills sharp and make it a priority to round out your marketing stack. To truly develop your skill set, get hands-on experience with these helpful tools:
- Lightroom CC: a photo editing tool with advanced features and functions for organizing, editing, and sharing photography.
- Adobe Illustrator CC: one of the most powerful toolsets that lets you create logos, icons, drawings, typography, and illustrations for print, web, video, and mobile.
- Camtasia: a video editing tool that allows you to record your screen and makes your videos more compelling.
- Coschedule: a marketing calendar tool that streamlines team collaboration and workflows.
- Google Analytics: an analytics tool to track and measure your website traffic and marketing efforts.
- Ahrefs: an SEO and SEM tool that helps grow search traffic and gauge competitors.
- Buzzsumo: a research and monitoring tool for content discovery and influencer marketing.