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While there are an infinite number of differences between various businesses and industries, they all have this in common: They’re looking for ways to be more efficient with their time and resources and ultimately improve their profit margins.
One of the obvious ways to do this is by automating various tasks and practices. Whether it’s through a factory assembly line or a farmer’s field, the challenge to increase output and reduce time, effort and cost is there. What may not be so obvious to a lot of businesses is how to find these efficiencies in content production. Content isn’t typically a core part of most business models, but the cost and time involved in producing it can be a drain on resources and have a significant impact on the bottom line.
So why should automation not be applied to content production in the same way it’s applied to the core parts of a business? The answer is that it should be. In this blog, we will be talking about how automation can be applied in your day-to-day marketing activities such as content production, email, digital, social, print, events and repeatable document requests.
It’s ever evolving and is the bane of many a marketer’s life: email. Customizing and scaling your email communications with an automation tool alone can be tricky. Not anymore. Content automation allows you to design and automate personalized email content with ease and enables you to build and serve personalized email content through integration with your marketing automation platform.
With content automation, you can build email campaigns quickly using responsive electronic direct mail (eDM) templates built specifically for your brand. Coded HTML eDM templates can then be exported and integrated with your existing mail provider to ensure seamless delivery of email campaigns. You’ve already invested in intelligent systems like a marketing automation platform to nurture your sales cycle. Brandfolder Content Automation talks to marketing automation platforms to ensure you can personalize, build and deliver content with ease. Your data sets can automate personalized content creation without the need for spreadsheets or manual import.
Customers expect more from every experience with your brand, and you can drive better results by personalizing your email content. Created using Brandfolder Content Automation, your emails can pull from your existing data sets, and the platform then automates the creation and personalization of the content to ensure email marketing best practices.
However, the cost associated with creating custom emails for every piece of communication under your brand can add up very quickly. With Content Automation, you can create a robust email template once and allow anyone in the business to pick and choose only the sections they require, add their expert content and—voila!—push their polished, on-brand email off to their chosen database.
Digital content production is a huge undertaking for most organizations and an area where customers using Brandfolder Content Automation are realizing huge efficiencies both in time and dollars. Our four key promises of on-brand, at scale, at maximum speed, and team empowerment are delivered beautifully to customers using Content Automation in the digital space. Browse through our digital template solutions below.
1. Digital Screen Templates
Digital screen templates are becoming more and more prevalent and are used in a variety of ways, for example wayfinding and student communications for universities, out-of-home retail and advertising offers or in-store signage to mention a few. With Content Automation, anyone in the business can use themed designs, edit them and export them to update screens within minutes. All without a designer and with peace of mind that no off-brand imagery, colors or fonts can be used.
2. Thumbnail Templates
Every digital initiative requires a thumbnail to a file and size specification. Thankfully, Content Automation makes it possible for everyone in your organization to crop, resize and select the right content for every application. Better still, exporting in the right shape and file type has never been quicker or easier.
3. Digital Image Templates
Whether you're using staff headshots, sending photos to a third party to accompany an article or just publishing a piece of content that requires visuals, you can house all your digital image templates with Content Automation. Does your brand include image treatments, overlays or mask shapes for imagery? No problem, we can automate every rule for every application.
4. Landing Page Templates
The cost associated with creating landing pages for every competition, campaign and subject under your brand can add up very quickly both in time and money. Content Automation allows you to create a robust landing page template once and use the editor to allow anyone in the business to pick and choose only the sections they require, add their expert content and publish their changes live in minutes without having to see a line of code.
With the constantly changing world of social media, it can be difficult to keep up with the changing image dimensions. Updating social images to the latest requirements can be time-consuming and can create a never-ending workflow loop with your designers. With Brandfolder Content Automation you can brief your designer once, create your templates on the platform and then very easily manage sizes, change content and change images yourself. You can even switch headlines and imagery on multiple size templates at once. It will change your life! Content Automation will make you and your organization more efficient, and—importantly in the fast-moving world of social media—much quicker to get to market.
Create flexible Instagram templates that allow your network to roll out localized campaign creative at speed without compromising your brand. Scalable branded templates can contain professional themes, seasonal or campaign-related messaging, and guaranteed on-brand imagery. Every member of your organization can be a brand influencer and look like a graphic designer.
Brandfolder Content Automation houses all Facebook ad sizes for feed, stories and cover placement. As Facebook's spec catalog grows and evolves, so does your organization's range of templates and opportunities for promotion. Empower your organization to share at scale like never before, using on-brand design and Content Automation.
Pushing any campaign through Google Display Network Ad Sizes can be the most complex and time-consuming part of any rollout. Remove that complexity by using Content Automation Display network templates. Know where the logo should be positioned, what brand colors can be used and how CTA buttons should be styled. Imagine a world where the campaign copy is simply typed and all ads sizes populate with the creative as you type. Imagine no more. With Content Automation it's possible now, and those ads can live in Google Ads Manager within minutes.
We know that Snapchat by its very nature represents a fleeting moment in time—and that moment should have an impact. With Snapchat templates, any moment can create a lasting brand impression. Theme, color and messaging options are all created by your brand designer and housed in Brandfolder. Ensure that your brand is relevant, consistent and agile and empower your stakeholders to use all the tools in their brand toolbox for greater reach.
With Content Automation, create a professional, branded business suite for LinkedIn for both your business page and every consultant on the front lines representing your brand. Create a standardized kit featuring a LinkedIn cover photo and LinkedIn profile picture size that can be personalized to each rep and uploaded to their profiles in a matter of minutes.
Create flexible YouTube Advertising templates that allow your network to roll out localized campaign creative at speed without compromising your brand. Content Automation houses all YouTube ad sizes for intro and outro still frames, and as YouTube’s ad size catalog grows and evolves, so does your organization’s range of templates and opportunities for promotion.
A lot has changed in the way we do business, and videoconferencing is now a standard part of everyday life. Make sure you represent your organization well on every call by creating branded Zoom backgrounds with theme, color and message options. Your sales network can self-serve five minutes before the next pitch and have a professional, branded Zoom background installed in a flash, ready to create a lasting impact in every meeting even if they can’t shake hands.
Let’s not forget Twitter! Create flexible Twitter templates that support your brilliantly crafted character-limited copy and allow your network to roll out localized campaign creative at speed without compromising your brand. Every member of your organization, from marketing to the front line, can respond in real time to topics and be a brand ambassador.
Whoever said print is dead doesn’t work in a corporate environment. While it’s true that digital has replaced print in a lot of places and we’re getting better at being environmentally conscious with print material, print is still going to be with us for a while. For those of us who do still need print in our lives, I have some good news. You guessed it, Content Automation can help. Facilitate print production at scale and empower your whole organization to produce on-brand, reusable print design and ad templates with Content Automation. Here are a few classics that your team will thank you for automating:
First up, the humble but hardworking flyer. To ensure the last-minute, time-sensitive flyer job doesn't cost a ton in production, use Content Automation to handle a range of flyer sizes. Page structures, heading hierarchy and image placeholders all live as part of the template, allowing anyone within the organization to produce a print-ready, on-brand flyer without needing to engage a designer.
Refreshing signage, informational and promotional posters has never been easier. Poster templates can scale across a range of sizes, whether you need the typical standard sizes or something customized. With Brandfolder’s Content Automation multi-edit functionality, edit multiple poster sizes at once, update messaging and approved imagery and have the walls refreshed in no time!
How often are you stuck in a queue waiting for a designer to change one or two small details on a brochure that you use over and over again? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to easily make that change and output for print yourself? With Content Automation you can have access to a range of brochure sizes as templates. As with flyer templates and page structures, heading hierarchy and image placeholders all live as part of the brochure template, allowing anyone within the organization to produce a print-ready, on-brand brochure, no design skills necessary.
Empower departments within your organization to be proactive with their communication, all without stretching the budget. Content Automation newsletter templates provide flexibility within the confines of your brand guidelines so that anyone can create a professional newsletter and iterate over and over without the need for additional design costs.
Scaling national campaign creative across a range of disparate outdoor signage networks with an ever-growing list of specifications can be exhausting. With Content Automation, take high-quality creative from your designer and use billboard templates in various and flexible sizes to repurpose artwork for installation on billboards around the world in minutes.
So many things qualify as a document, right? What you might not realize is that some of those documents that you have responsibility for—and may not be considered traditionally as content—can be automated and taken off your plate. Content automation facilitates document production on-brand and at scale. The following are the top contenders for “I didn’t know you could automate that” status.
Retail point of sale (POS) price tags can be wonky and time-consuming to create. Label artwork can be turned into a price tag template to allow anyone in the organization to self-service and bulk produce price tags to either print in-office or professionally. Upload a price list spreadsheet to easily populate bulk labels. Content Automation can also create category themes for identifying unique labels within a set. Want to make self-servicing even easier? Include the code for the matching sheets.
Whether you have certificates floating around your business from 10 years (and two logo updates) ago or you deal with personnel anniversaries every week, automating those certificate templates is the solution. Create digital and print-ready versions of your branded certificates for every purpose, populate fields in the approved structure using approved fonts, and distribute via email or have documents professionally printed. Everyone in your organization has access to a central, up-to-date template, and any changes are instantly live for the entire network.
If you have outdated order forms or you always have trouble finding the right one, automating your Order Form Templates will save you plenty of headaches. Create digital and print-ready versions of your branded order form template, populate fields in the approved structure using approved fonts, and distribute via email or export to the file type you need. Everyone in your organization has access to a central, up-to-date template and any changes are instantly live for the entire network.
In an increasingly digital age, shipping is something every retail organization is now dealing with. With content automation, your professional, branded shipping tag becomes a template that can be generated by anyone in the organization. Populate, personalize and add barcodes via a spreadsheet and then bulk export and print all tags with the click of a button. What could be easier?
Can you remember the last time you sent someone a personal letter? How about the business letter that Jeffrey in sales sent that wasn’t on-brand because he couldn’t find the right template? Letterheads work hard in business. From contracts to legal to invoicing, everyone at some point will need to produce a professional letter on branded letterhead. With Content Automation’s letter templates for business, you can ensure that every letter sent from your organization is on-brand. No more outdated, cropped letterheads dropped into Word or Google Docs—the letter composition happens in-platform and can be exported in any format. If the letterhead creative is updated, it is automatically reflected in every live document.
Whether you have invoices floating around your business from years ago or you’re always dealing with people trying to find the latest one, automated invoice templates are the solution. Create digital and print-ready versions of your branded invoice template, populate fields in the approved structure using approved fonts, and distribute via email or export to your chosen platform. Everyone in your organization has access to a central, up-to-date template, and any changes are instantly live for the entire network.
Even in the age of fast-moving technology, every organization still needs them—and the workflow for getting new ones is often rife with bottlenecks. This is exacerbated significantly when organizations are spread wide nationally or even globally. Luckily, Content Automation business card templates exist and allow users to create their own business cards on demand. Office administrators can even create multiple cards via a spreadsheet and export a zip file with all finished art, ready for the printer in minutes.
Whether monthly, quarterly or annually, reporting is time-consuming and tough to keep on-brand. With Content Automation report templates, your data visualization preferences, colors and fonts are hard-coded. Simply give your report a title and some context, add your figures and select your graph preference, and automation will do the rest. Every report, both internal and external, will be professional, on-brand and, best of all, quick and easy to create and distribute.
And the list goes on. Use Content Automation to scale your production of templates for:
We could keep building this list out forever, but the message is clear. If you use the document a lot and you want to make it easy for your teams to self-serve without worrying they’ll break the brand, just automate it.
Here’s something about Content Automation that not everyone knows. Many years ago when it was born, the very first use case was for the production of event collateral. Red Hat, a massive global software company, was the first user of Content Automation. Red Hat ran hundreds of global physical events a year, some small and some massive. All of these events needed branded content, and a lot of the collateral used was the same, with only small changes per event (i.e., the name of the event, the place it was being held, speakers, etc.). Efficient production of event collateral including banners, lanyards and more was made possible by enabling the Red Hat teams to easily produce on-brand collateral for events. Below are just a few of the ways Content Automation supported the Red Hat event machine and can support your next series of events.
Create professional branded name tag templates for events and visitors and everything in between when you’re empowered with Content Automation. You can also devise multiple themes and fields and empower anyone in the organization to produce their own suite of name tags on demand or via spreadsheet import. Want to make it even more foolproof? Add hints to ensure the right template is printed on the right sheet every time.
Elevated event promotion requires a refined suite of banners. Manually producing this collateral is time-consuming, but Content Automation makes it easy to roll out any event theme across multiple sizes using event banner templates. Select a theme, upload event imagery, update content and export a zip file of professional, on-brand banners in minutes.
Create flexible event invitation templates. Add various on-brand styles, sections and sizes to allow your network to create their own branded invitations with the peace of mind that photography, fonts, colors and copy length are restricted to only what's approved by central marketing.
If you: a) work in a large organization b) have any need for content c) all the above, and you’re not running out the door to get Content Automation now, then you must like the pain of manual work. Jokes aside, Content Automation is economical, prevents headaches, and saves time, but it may not be a good fit for every single piece of content produced or for every business. However, if you find yourself constantly waiting on content, getting many requests to provide assets by various stakeholders or having to brief a designer for simple changes, then Content Automation may be the solution for you. To find out more about how Brandfolder Content Automation goes beyond templating, book a demo with one of our dedicated reps today.
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