As marketers, we continue to navigate a rapidly evolving digital landscape. The pace is quickening, the importance of high-quality digital content has never been greater, and we all have some FOMO when it comes to emerging technologies and tools.
From tactical interactive posts to strategic integrated campaigns, the way that we create, manage, and distribute digital content can have a significant impact on our success.
Based on the recent State of Digital Content research report by Canto, here are the latest trends and best practices to help stay ahead of the curve in digital content creation and management.
Where are we now?
The current state of digital content is one of growth and opportunity, but also of complexity and fragmentation.
Businesses of all sizes and types now heavily rely on digital channels to reach their audiences. However, the sheer volume of digital content being produced can create significant challenges for creatives and marketers. Ensuring the quality, consistency, and relevance of content across channels can be difficult, as can measuring the effectiveness of different types of content.
Marketers face several challenges when creating and managing assets. These include the need to create content that’s optimised for multiple channels and platforms, the need to maintain brand consistency across channels, and the need to get the right assets into the right hands. Throw remote working and agency partners into the mix and you have an extra layer of complexity too.
With most online content now consumed on smartphones and tablets, we must ensure content is easily readable and engaging on smaller screens, while also ensuring it loads quickly and is optimised for search engines. Efficiently adapting content to appear across a huge surface area of channels, platforms and devices is critical.
Another challenge is the need to maintain brand consistency across channels. With so many online audience touch points available to us, we must ensure content is aligned with our brand’s values and messaging, regardless of where it’s being distributed. This requires a comprehensive strategy that takes into account factors such as tone of voice, visual branding, and messaging.
Marketers must also control access to the right content assets for the right recipients. For example, a product range or a campaign may not apply to all of your markets, nor be appropriate to all of your agencies, partners or distributors. Giving them access to broader content than they should be using creates inefficiency and risk.
Trends in digital content creation
The latest trends in digital content creation identified in the Canto research include the growing importance of video and interactive content, the rise of user-generated content, and the shift towards personalised and dynamic content. These trends reflect the changing preferences and expectations of consumers and business customers, who are increasingly drawn to content that’s visually engaging, interactive, and tailored to their individual needs.
Creating high-quality digital content is just one piece of the puzzle. We must also have effective systems and processes in place to manage and distribute that content. The State of Digital Content report highlights several best practices in this area, including the use of digital asset management tools, the development of content calendars and workflows, and using a content management and storage tool to inform strategic decisions.
Let’s consider each of these:
1. Digital content management can be a complex process, but digital asset management (DAM) makes it easy to organise, find, and share your brand’s digital content. With a DAM system in place, marketers can easily save, search, and retrieve assets, collaborate with team members, and ensure brand consistency across all channels.
2. By mapping out content creation and distribution schedules in advance, marketers can ensure they are producing a steady stream of high-quality content that aligns with their business goals and resonates with their target audience. This approach can also help avoid last-minute scrambling and ensure enough time to create and optimise content for each channel.
3. Your technology can tell you a lot about how effective your content is, allowing you to derive actionable insights. For example, creating Portals that make specific approved, on-brand content assets available to a specific group of recipients. A Portal in DAM can record who logs in and what they download so that you can understand exactly who is using what type of content and feed this back into your planning.
The State of Digital Content 2023 report presents survey data from hundreds of marketing and content professionals to assess what strategies, workflows and technologies set teams up for success. Learn more about the findings and how you can transform your approach to content creation and distribution by downloading the report here.
Erica Gunn is chief marketing officer at Canto.