Creative assets for advertising are arguably the single most important element of your advertising campaign. By creative assets, we mean anything visual that you use for advertising your products and marketing your brand.
These can be any one of a number of assets that you have – and if you work for a large organisation or have been running campaigns for some time, then it’s quite possible that you have a huge number spread about in various locations.
We have produced this brief 4-step overview of how to organise and – most importantly – how to keep your visual creative assets relevant.
1. Taking stock of your creative assets
Your visual assets are every piece of visual content that you use (or have used in the past) for your business. These will include:
- Photos (including all product photos)
- Staff headshots
- All other corporate images (such as behind the scenes photos)
- Any videos – including product videos
- Logos and other design assets
- Colour palettes
- All user-generated content – photos and videos. That’s why many companies partner with UGC agencies to leverage this content effectively in their marketing strategies.
- Brand style guide
- Branding images
- Packaging images
- Any other visual media
As you can see – depending on your organisation and the nature of your business, this list could represent quite a long list of assets!
The first step or organising is to bring everything together – and this may take some time.
You may have a creatives department, a marketing division, packaging and product development, and so on. Each of these separate parts of your business needs to be contacted to produce for you every single visual creative asset used or in development.
The idea is to bring them all together and organise them efficiently.
2. Organise a central gallery for your creative assets
This next step will depend largely on the size and structure of your organisation, so this is mostly down to you.
As we said above, you need to bring all your creative assets and organise them.
Create a new separate area on the company network (or online, depending on your computer systems) and begin to create a gallery of your visual assets.
How this looks will depend on what your business is and what your products and/or services are.
You may have a product area, divided into product sections, branding and logo areas and so on – the point is that it needs to be clearly organised in a way that ensures everybody knows where to find what they are looking for.
It needs to be logical, accessible and preferably with a search system in place.
So, for example, you may have a product that has product images, a product video, packaging images, brochure or advertising images and so on. Some of these may be stored in your new structure in different areas of your gallery, but a simple search (ie. for the product name, or for the type of product it is) should be able to produce all relevant creative assets for the searcher. Assets should be named with multiple relevant tags to facilitate easy searching.
Once this organisation has been completed, everyone involved in the business needs to use this gallery alone, and not create separate storage areas for new (or old) visual assets.
The point is to make everything accessible to everyone, so that uniformity of images is encouraged, and this makes it much easier for all to conform to the brand style of your company.
3. Review your asset gallery regularly
Once your organising is complete, then the next step is a review of all your creative assets.
Some may be old and no longer used – you’ll be surprised how many you will find – and these can all be archived (note: not deleted – you never know when they may become useful again in the future).
This will also take some time, but it should also highlight discrepancies to you between style, colour palettes used, size of images for different products, duplications and other issues.
It will also highlight any areas where you should have visual assets but do not.
Resolving these discrepancies and having an organised approach can have a significant impact on the productivity of not just your creative team, but your whole business.
Having one central repository for all your creative assets, properly organised and searchable, means that everyone knows where everything is – or at least knows where to find it.
Imagine a library with no indexing system – that is how many companies currently have their creative assets today.
A gallery review should be a periodic exercise as well – not just a one-off. From time to time, as styles and fashions change, so your asset gallery will need to be updated. Having everything in one place also means that you only need to update one location, and the whole organisation immediately has access to the latest assets. They do not need to be distributed at all, nor checks made to make sure that everyone got the memo and is complying.
As styles change, the gallery will need updating – or ‘refreshing’ – and this is also a task that benefits from being done at one time and not in small pieces.
4. Refreshing your creative assets
If your assets remain unchanged and grow old or out of date, this has a rolling impact on your brand as a whole.
A product using outdated advertising graphics will sell less well; a social media marketing campaign may not produce the expected results due to this.
A photograph used on your website may drive customers away rather than encourage them to shop with you.
Once you have had a creative asset review and it is seen that an update is required (or that you have some holes to fill) then it’s time to get your asset gallery refreshed.
Doing this in a piecemeal fashion is not only time consuming but is also expensive!
It is far more efficient and cost-effective to create a list of all visual assets you require (or will do in the next 6-12 months) and have them created in one go.
Calling in an external company is usually the smart choice; companies that specialise are streamlined and have built-in scaling which often means less cost than you can usually even manage by keeping things in-house. They are also geared up for unmatched quality and speed.
For a great example of how fast, and how little a creative asset refresh can cost, take a quick look at the current Splento gallery offer.
As creative assets are often shared between departments (and this should be easy once you are organised) then a delay in producing new visual content can theoretically hold up several projects at once.
Maintain efficiency within your organisation and focus on dealing with external agencies that operate in the same way.
Whatever the size of your business, there can almost always be benefits to organising your creative assets more efficiently, and we hope that you have found some useful suggestions here.
If you need any help planning a social media campaign, then Splento is happy to help. Feel free to contact us anytime.
For a review of your brand assets, we have a great, experienced team led by our creative director, who can write up a brand asset audit for you. It’s the easiest way to find out exactly where you are ‘on the map’ and comes with recommendations for how to get to where need to be. Find out more about this here.
Finally, if you already know what you need, and you need it fast, then take a look at the Ultimate Brand Asset Gallery, which will give you all the social media material you need for the foreseeable future – and beyond…
– although we do suggest you check out our creative assets introductory offer first.
Contact Splento if you are in need of: