Creativity is the backbone of successful marketing campaigns; creative quality is responsible for 50% of marketing campaign effectiveness. The rise of the creator economy on social media further underscores the importance of creativity and original content in the consumer journey.
In other words, marketers must constantly develop new and innovative ideas to engage audiences. That’s the only way they can make their brand stand out from the competition.
However, coming up with creative marketing solutions can be a challenge. Finding new ways to inspire creativity in marketing is like pushing a car up a hill — it takes effort to get started. But once it’s in motion, the momentum will take you farther than you could have imagined.
In this article, you’ll learn five ways to spark creativity in marketing. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, these strategies will help you bring fresh perspectives to your marketing efforts.
User-generated content (also UGC or consumer-generated content) is original content created by customers, often related to a specific brand or product. It usually comes in the form of social media posts, but it can also come in the form of articles or reviews.
UGC is a great way to boost social proof. This is a psychological effect that makes us more inclined to do something when others do it. It’s a popular psychology-based marketing tactic used to drive conversions.
But UGC can also be a great source of inspiration for content marketing material.
You can use your customers’ ideas to create your own content. If someone uploads a video where they use your product, for instance, why not add it as an element of a commercial spot (with the content creator’s consent, of course)?
With UGC platforms like Pixlee TurnTo’s, your marketing team can automatically collect and curate content from fans on social media, and publish that content across your marketing channels. When you use UGC as your inspiration to create your own content, you don’t just create quality content. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic than content created by brands. So, if people see your customers are happy with your product, they’re more likely to patronize your brand, too.
In other words, with UGC, you can create profitable content, too.
Break Your Routine and Try New Things
Most people have a routine they stick to because it’s convenient and predictable. A routine helps you plan out the tasks for upcoming weeks or even months, and it can help you form healthy habits.
While having a specific system can help organize day-to-day responsibilities, it’s important to break out of that routine and try new things from time to time. Taking a break from your routine can help stimulate your brain and bring new ideas to the surface. How? Research has shown that our brain uses the downtime to recall personal memories and make other connections that shape our social behavior. These can be crucial to stimulating creativity.
So, you could, for example, host meetings with your team differently. You could cut some meetings out of the schedule to make time for other things. Why not hold workshops to develop transferable skills such as time management? Or maybe run training sessions to help develop practical skills like creating the best digital business card or technical writing.
You can reach out to fellow marketers and ask them how they work in their teams. This can help you come up with topics for both in-person and online avenues to pursue when sparking creativity.
You can try new tools to break away from your routine, too. Have you tried using one of the many emerging AI tools for your marketing campaigns? Why not tinker with that SEO software or those editing tools for content creators once and for all? Come out of your comfort zone. That might just be the creative spark you need to create your next marketing masterpiece.
Get Feedback from People Outside Your Industry
You can develop new and innovative solutions by stepping outside your usual way of thinking. Then, to spark creativity in marketing, look at a problem or a situation from a different angle.
Ask for feedback from other people around you — especially your customers. People form their own views based on their existing knowledge, experiences, values, and assumptions. That’s why two different people are more likely to have different opinions when you ask them about the same thing.
As a marketer, why not use this to your advantage? Let’s say you’re running an email marketing campaign. Ask someone who fits into your target audience and works in a different industry with no marketing background about what they think about your emails. Ask them for suggestions on how to make your copy more conversational and interesting to readers.
The more people and the more diverse the people you talk to, the better. These diverse perspectives may just be what you need to come up with new and innovative solutions for your marketing campaigns.
You should focus on Ratings & Reviews as well as other methods to collect feedback from your audience about your brand. For example, Google Seller ratings allow your community to leave reviews about their experience with your company rather than just about a product they purchased.
Brainstorm with Your Team
Some people might think brainstorming is a thing of the past. After all, nowadays, we have all the data we need at our disposal to make informed decisions. Or do we?
The thing is, regular brainstorming sessions can yield other things you wouldn’t otherwise get from tools that provide hard data. These sessions, for instance, can lead to creative ideas and concepts. Brainstorming sessions, after all, can help get one’s creative juices flowing.
But for you to reap these benefits, you need to do the brainstorming sessions right. Otherwise, it can even result in a loss of productivity and fewer good ideas.
To prevent people from just parroting what other people are saying during your brainstorming session, use a technique called 6-3-5.
Ask six people to write down three ideas each, then make them pass those pieces of paper along to the person on their right. That person should then build on the ideas written on the piece of paper they received. This is done five times until everyone has had the chance to build on ideas.
Afterward, the group can get together to evaluate the ideas generated.
You can use other idea-generating techniques, too, depending on the number and types of ideas you want to produce. You can also incorporate some of these strategies into Zoom calls if you’re working remotely. Here are some of those techniques, and the ways you can implement them:
Gallery: The group is given a problem. Then each group member is given 30 minutes to sketch two or three solutions. These are posted for everyone to see and discuss.
C-sketch: Members of the group create their own design solutions on a piece of paper. One paper is passed along to the other members of the group at any given time. The goal is for the other members of the group to build on the idea written in the paper they get. In C-sketch, you build on only one idea per session. In the 6-3-5 method, you build on more ideas per round.
When done the right way, these sessions won’t just help you come up with great ideas for your marketing campaigns. They can help you enhance the engagement of your team members, too.
Encourage Experimentation and Risk-Taking
You can’t hold on to old ways if you want to develop something new. Innovating ideas are always about taking risks, but that’s how progress is made. If you need a new way of attracting leads or creating a campaign, it will require a fresh, risky idea.
So, if you are a team leader, encourage your team members to speak their minds often. But you need to complement this with a supportive environment where every idea matters. To create this, set an example and restrain from unneeded criticism and judgmental opinions. This way, it will be easier for your coworkers to create new and better ideas without the fear of being judged and misunderstood.
It’s also crucial to define risks and understand how to calculate them. After all, you don’t want your employees to be reckless and jeopardize the company's reputation. Establish a clear definition of what constitutes a "smart risk.” Communicate the potential effects of going overboard.
When you do this, you establish boundaries within which your team members can operate, without stopping them from taking risks.
Creativity is a crucial aspect of marketing. Without creativity, you can’t create memorable campaigns, engage audiences, or stand out from the competition. By embracing these tips, you can create impactful and innovative marketing campaigns that will engage and inspire your target audience. Good luck!
Tomasz Niezgoda is the Head of Marketing & Partner at Surfer, a platform that merges content strategy, creation, and optimization into one smooth process. With almost a decade of experience in the industry, he is responsible for incorporating and executing marketing strategies. Currently, he manages a team of 4 wonderful experts.
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