Breaking Your Creative Bottleneck

creative bottleneckAccording to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, more than 70 percent of B2B and B2C companies plan on increasing the amount of content they create in 2017. The result is lots more content to come (including websites, sales pages, blogs, social media, and whatever else you can think of). Sounds like fertile ground for a creative bottleneck!

With the proliferation of content comes a growing need to make your content better than the competition to stand out from the crowd and find a sweet spot for the amount of content, as well. A previous Solamar post on the quantity versus quality of blog posts discussed this very conundrum as it relates to blogs. A DM News post revealed that, “Technology can help with this—automation and analytics tools can identify audience’s behaviors and preferences, helping you deliver highly personalized, relevant content to hundreds of segments simultaneously.”

However, with the enormous opportunity comes enormous pressure to produce content. On top of which, you have to keep your message consistent across your brand.

Meet the “creative bottleneck”

A creative bottleneck is when your ability to identify and reach the right targeted audiences with relevant, top quality content is squeezed by your capacity to produce the amount and quality of content needed.

The results of this condition can be seen all over the Internet. Consider hastily produced infographics and poorly executed videos or blogs that often elicit a collective yawn from the audiences they should be inspiring into action.

Secrets to breaking the bottleneck

While it’s not easy, there are some proven ways to break the creative bottleneck and produce the quantity of content you need without sacrificing the quality of content your audience demands.

  1. Change it up
    Experiment with new types of content. Fresh content variety can expand your reach and attract more, and possibly even better, leads. Your audience may love your podcasts, but that does not mean that’s all you should create. Here a few new rut-breaking alternatives to try:

    • EBooks
    • Courses
    • Contests
    • Tips sheets/Checklists
    • Email series
    • Infographics
    • Original data or research
    • Slide shows
    • Templates for creating things on their own
    • Webinars/events
    • White papers
    • Videos
  2. Involve the creative team early
    Be sure to involve the creative lead (or the whole team!) as early in the process as possible.

    The people who actually create the content will be able to advise on the creative implications of different due dates and resulting decisions…and their perspective now could save you a lot of time and money later.

  3. Get your input and timeline correct from the start
    Don’t forget the importance of providing the right input (creative strategy documents or briefs) from the start. That includes the complete description of the target audience, the benefits of your product or service to the targets, the purpose of the content (action you want people to take), the target due dates, how the content fits into a larger campaign, and the like.

    Thebetter you get at writing creative briefs, the more often you’ll get exactly the content your business needs. Without the right (or incomplete) input the higher the chance for a creative bottleneck, road bumps or rewrites, again wasting valuable time and money. Time and time again, I’ve been on the receiving end of incomplete input and rushed schedules that have resulted in content that’s not quite correct. (One ad agency boss I had lamented the situation where clients never had enough time to give you upfront, but always found time for rewrite after rewrite.)

  4. Streamline the process
    How many people really need to sign off on the content? Trim the approval process down to the minimum number of people. This will eliminate the bottlenecks and reduce the stress of getting stuff done.

When it comes to bottlenecks, also consider that timing may not be the problem, either. The rabbit in Alice in Wonderland ran around in a tizzy, muttering, “I’m late. I’m late for a very important date.” And while many content creators feel the same way, having more time does not usually solve content bottleneck issues.

The best solution is to have the right people on call with the right strategy and the right process. That’s where Solamar can help, with content pros ready to step up and get the job done on time and on budget every time. Just give us a shout!

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