Empowering Employees - giving non-marketeers the tools of the trade (automation and templated approaches)
When LinkedIn recently asked employers to rank the non-technical skills they valued most, Creativity came top of the list. For your marketing team especially, it’s not difficult to see why this is such a prized asset. Read on to find out about the tools you need to have on board to empower employees to unlock their awesome ideas…
Good ideas alone are not enough... Here’s why you need a toolkit
Creative employees can give even the most jaded campaign a whole new lease of life. They offer up fresh perspectives, while reducing the burden on your core technical staff. Crucially, if you are able to do more in-house without relying on expensive agencies, it can also mean freeing up your budget for more profitable uses.
But creativity is not something that “just happens”. In an ideal world, you want your people to produce marketing assets that can be put to work right away - without substantial re-formatting and editing.
For employees, tasks such as fleshing out an idea for an ad, formatting a brochure page or drawing up a presentation can be extremely tough without the right graphics skills, design experience and other technical know-how.
So if you’re serious about nurturing creativity, you should introduce the type of tools that democratise the creative process: those that enable your people to formulate and realise great ideas - even without formal production and design skills.
Templates can be used for pretty much every form of marketing asset, from Web banners to print posters. Instead of having to create everything from scratch, users simply complete the relevant fields - with no specialist technical abilities required.
Also, no-one - including the most experienced designer - is immune to mistakes. This includes setting a piece of content to go live, only to realise later that a key element has been missed out. With ‘intelligent’ templates, you can ensure that all of these elements are locked down, including prompts for the creator to fill in required fields where necessary. All of this helps to massively reduce the scope for error.
A ‘control hub’ for keeping non-marketers in check
If non-specialists are going to be involved in the content creation process for the first time, it gives rise to a new challenge: how do you ensure consistency - along with brand compliance?
This is why a Brand Portal should be a central part of your toolkit. The Portal is where you keep your brand guidelines (the ‘rulebook’ for employees to follow). Ideally, there should be a walk-through element to it, so you can actively promote and educate your creation guidelines to colleagues in an easy way. It should house all assets (e.g. images and logos) - and it should be made as easy as possible for users to search for these items.
As a manager with super-user permission, your Portal should give you an overview of all marketing production activity - including what’s going on at branch offices.
Specialist tools for individual channels
From email and social through to print publications (to name just a few), it’s likely that your corporate brand has a presence across multiple channels. The trouble is, ‘best practice’ for a Facebook post and a LinkedIn update are often markedly different. As such, always ensure that your templates are tailored for specific channels. Whatever they are creating, your people should be able to access precisely the right template in an instant.
Through the combination of intelligent templates and a Brand Hub, all your people should be kitted out for creative flexibility, while still operating within your defined brand parameters.