Visual Content Myth 3: More Content Should Be Generated Once You Run Out
Truth: Content should be generated on an ongoing basis, using data to guide the creative process
Obviously, if you run out of content you should generate more. But, far too many marketers are waiting until the moment they begin to run out of content to generate more. The best method is to generate content purposefully on an ongoing basis, relying on historical data to guide the process. Constantly generating content may seem like a laborious undertaking, but in reality it saves time and resources down the road. The Covid-19 pandemic exemplified the dangers of generating content in periodic batches.
When 2020 began, most marketers generated stockpiles of content that would be used throughout the year. Then, the pandemic hit and social distancing measures were enacted. The world completely changed and the content that marketers had available was, in many cases, unusable. Any piece of content that didn’t reflect the current state of the world was considered tone deaf. This meant all content featuring people in close contact, at large events, at work, and shopping in stores, for example. Tons of time and money went into creating that content, and marketers were left with their hands tied. Had they already adopted a system for generating content continuously, it may have been a different story.
Even in a post-pandemic world, it’s necessary to create new content all the time. Content fatigues at a rapid pace - it’s impossible to have too much of it. The key is to use data to guide the creative process, rather than opinion, instinct, or “gut-feel.” Putting all of your eggs into one basket based on what you think will work is a huge risk to any business. It might perform well, but there’s just as good of a chance that it won’t. Rhetorical question: Wouldn’t you prefer to generate content that you know will perform well? To be a high-performer, you need to constantly test new creative to learn more about your audience. This is impossible without having a firehose of content pumping new creative onto your channels all the time. But how?
As previously mentioned, the first step is to loosen the creative reigns and open your mind to content you haven’t previously considered. Being too restrictive in the content you’re willing to use will seriously limit your testing abilities. Second, rely on user-generated content to increase your content pool. It’s more cost-effective and realistic than generating high volumes of content through in-house photoshoots.
Once you’ve established a system for filling the content pipeline, test the content like crazy on various channels and in front of different audiences. Run simple tests at first and get more granular as you go. Very quickly you’ll start to learn valuable, and sometimes surprising, insights about what performs well.
Once you’ve learned what performs, go right back to the well and generate more of it. This process is built on the scientific method and is referred to as Content Engineering. Put very simply, Content Engineering is using data-driven processes to generate and optimize content. It’s the opposite of using subjective measures like aesthetic and traditional creative judgements to determine what is “good” content. Good content, in today’s complex marketing world, is simply content that performs.
Generate diverse content types and assets
To test large amounts of content, you need to generate large amounts of content. The first step of Content Engineering is creating a diverse collection of visual content to begin testing. User-generated content is a great way to build up your visual library without breaking the bank. On the Cohley platform, brands and agencies will run Creator Campaigns to partner with several content creators at once to produce UGC at scale.
Activate, repurpose, and test content across marketing channels
Having a stockpile of content is great, but don’t let it collect dust in a Dropbox. Put it to work! Activate your content across your digital channels. Social media ads, email campaigns, and ecommerce websites are all viable testing grounds for your content strategy. Within the Cohley platform, you can easily push your newly-generated assets directly to your digital channels via our integrations with TikTok, Facebook Business Manager, Yotpo, Klaviyo and more.
Measure results and identify what types of assets are performing best with your audience
Track the performance of your content to better understand what types of assets are resonating with your audience and working toward your KPIs. As always, it’s important to look at the most relevant data points as they pertain to your goals. You’ll quickly realize that the high-performers are often not what you expected.
Leverage data to inform your creative strategy moving forward
Take what you learned from testing and apply it to your overarching content strategy. Perhaps video testimonials were the highest performing assets on your product pages. Or, maybe photos that feature nature resulted in the highest performance within Facebook Ads. The important part is to double down on what’s working and incorporate data back into the Generate stage.
Over time, this feedback loop gets tighter, predictability increases, and your strategy becomes more refined. Rather than generating assets you, as an individual, think will perform well and hoping for the best, go to battle with content backed by hard data. The guesswork will continue to shrink each time the feedback loop runs its course.
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Written by Parker Dietz
Parker is a staple in our marketing team - Our Marketing Manager brings with him an intimate knowledge of the platform, and is our go-to on technical topics, and user behavior. With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.