Are you thinking of introducing creative automation into your design workflow? Are you still wondering about the benefits of creative automation and the best methods to adopt it?
Creative automation makes it possible to eliminate many of the tedious tasks involved in the design process and content creation. With creative automation, you can quickly output different variations of a project, crop, resize, and change the layout of image ads, and more.
But, of course, there is far more to it than that, and you’ll learn all about it below.
- What is creative automation
- The benefits of using creative automation
- How does creative automation work, and more?
It’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it.
What is creative automation?
Well, despite what its name might suggest, there's nothing creative about creative automation.
Creative automation is an innovative and revolutionary process that combines artificial intelligence (AI) with tools and software to autonomously generate, create, and optimize content.
It does not replace creative thinking. It simply uses sophisticated algorithms that usually require human intervention. This can include the creation of visuals, text, video, music, and even product design.
These tools can test different combinations to determine which versions perform best and are best suited to different target audiences, all automated and fast.
These systems can generate relevant and informative content on a massive scale, saving time and resources for companies and creative teams.
It's no miracle, either!
Creative automation does not eliminate the human role in the creative process but complements it. Humans are often involved in defining parameters, objectives, and guidelines for automation systems.
Creators can refine and enhance machine-generated content, adding a human touch, unique creativity, and subjective judgment.
For example, it's possible to automate the modification of text in an image. However, you can't automate changing the location of a text element on a visual.
Everything starts from a template that the graphic designer has to imagine and build. Each element (text, image, video, etc.) is positioned at a precise point and does not move. Unless the template is modified.
In other words, with creative automation, you put technology at the service of your creative processes. But some creative choices remain your responsibility.
Now that you know that, you'll probably want to understand why there's so much hype around creative automation.
Which brings us to our next point...
What are the benefits of creative automation?
If you’re in marketing, creative automation has a lot to offer.
Let's have a look at why most brands and creative agencies use this practice. And, of course, why you should too.
#1 Creative automation speeds up creative production
Creative automation sends visual content production into another galaxy. You will save precious time to create content.
All you have to do is manage the creation of a template and then create an infinite number of different versions of that template in real-time.
Isn't that great? It's a great way of compressing the time spent on the production process. I mean, time spent working in a mechanical way without imagining anything new.
#2 Easily build thousands of creatives
The faster you create your creatives, the greater the volume of images you'll be able to create. Actually, this is a logical equation.
Once you’ve built your template, you won’t have to spend more time designing to create different versions.
You can multiply your visual creations easily and quickly. From 10 to 1,000 creations, it's just a click away.
#3 Marketing and creative teams have a collaborative workflow
Good. The two teams continue to collaborate. But they work asynchronously.
Once the creative team has created the template, the marketing team is free to produce the visuals it requires.
They can generate, modify, or duplicate versions from the template without having to call on members of the creative team. And it's fantastic!
- Creative teams are freed from time-consuming tasks and can concentrate on creative ones.
- Marketing teams no longer have to wait for creative teams to be available to move forward with their campaigns.
- Creative agencies and brands eliminate the unnecessary expense of going back and forth between each team.
#4 Access ready-to-use templates and resources
I'm sure you or your team have already created a great visual. The problem is that you need to maintain brand consistency. And that's not the case with your visual. He doesn’t respect your brand’s colorimetry and font, and therefore, it impacts your brand’s identity.
Does this situation sound familiar?
Well, with creative automation, it won't happen again. That's the advantage of working with templates.
By the way, most creative automation tools offer both static and dynamic template resources.
#5. Creative automation reduces errors
It's nothing new: humans make mistakes and always will. Software, on the other hand, acts according to predefined rules and scenarios.
Based on this principle, the fewer human interventions in a production process, the lower the error rate. This is exactly what happens with creative automation.
If colorimetric errors, spelling mistakes, or even filter errors are part of your daily routine, creative automation will erase them.
I'll be honest: automation doesn't prevent mistakes. You can still program your automation scenarios incorrectly. But you'll reduce human error considerably.
#6. Creative Automation helps increase audience engagement
According to a study conducted by Hubspot, marketers who use automation in their digital marketing strategy are 46% more likely to reach their engagement goals.
Why is this?
Weel, there are three reasons:
- The ease of A/B testing visuals. There's no better way to identify high-performing content.
- The ability to multiply visual formats for distribution across multiple social networks.
- Ease of launching personalized campaigns. I haven't mentioned it yet, but creative automation makes it easy to create personalized content.
How does creative automation work?
Creative automation follows precise rules for carrying out tasks with little or no human interaction.
Let me explain it with a simple example.
Let's say I decide to automate the production of a hundred Facebook ads like this one:
However, I'd like to distribute them in different geographical areas with different languages. So, I'm going to have to translate it into several languages. Let's say French, Italian, Spanish and German.
Right, then. As you can imagine, I'm not going to do all this by hand.
I'm going to automate the translation of all these languages and, therefore, the production of the translated visuals.
There are a few steps involved.
First, I need to create my template.
(Note: for the purpose of this example, I’m going to use Abyssale - our creative automation tool for agencies and in-house marketers.)
Next, I created a spreadsheet to collect all the translations of the different test sentences I would have imagined.
This is it! This is where automation comes into its own.
Thanks to Make - a no-code platform to automate workflows - I'll be able to automate the translation of each sentence in each of the languages shown on this table.
Important: the automation follows a rule which is to translate each of the sentences into 4 different languages and place them in the corresponding cell.
From now on, a second automated scenario with Make will enable me to automate the creation of ads for each of the 15 cells in the spreadsheet.
And here's what one of them looks like:
The same process would apply to other projects:
- Banner ads highlighting different products in an e-commerce store.
- Different sizes of creation for social networks.
- Creating various thumbnail images for vidéos on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram with the same information included.
In every case, the idea is to automate the production of visuals, not their creation.
Creative automation does not replace the creative skills of graphic artists and designers. Not yet, anyway.
We'll surely have to wait many more years for creative automation from scratch, without any human intervention, to design every pixel of a visual. Image-generating AIs do exist (e.g. DALL-e, Midjourney, etc.), but they don't create, they respond to instructions given by humans with visual concepts that already exist.
How do I get started with creative automation?
Creative automation is a tool-dependent process. So, to get off to a good start, you need to choose a creative automation tool whose features match your needs.
It's important not to confuse creative automation tools with visual creation tools such as those in the Adobe suite, for example.
The latter has very advanced features for creating new visuals. But when it comes to multiplying versions of the same visual or working in teams on the same project, certain limits are quickly reached.
This is where creative automation tools like Abyssale come into their own. They are designed to take care of all the tedious tasks that waste the time of most graphic designers or creative teams.
On Abyssale, for example, the tools developed enable :
- graphic designers, to save 90% of their time: no need to readjust sizes, change titles or colors of visuals one by one. The algorithms take care of that.
- marketers to be autonomous in the creation of visuals: No need to wait for a designer to become available and take charge of creating new visuals. Just fill in a simple form to generate them yourself.
- teams to launch more campaigns, faster: No more back-and-forth between marketing and creative teams. Creative automation creates a production chain without the need for backtracking.
You'll be able to launch HTML5 ad campaigns, AB test them and optimize them more easily.
For your different networks, you can create content adapted to all formats in just a few clicks.
And much more...
RECOMMENDED READING: 5 Best Creative Automation Tools on the Market Today
Best practices for getting started with creative automation
Before you get started with creative automation, let me share a few best practices with you. There are a few rules to follow...
1/ Make sure creative automation is right for your project
What's the point of programming the automation of creative scenarios if you don't need to multiply the versions of a visual? Whether you need to create different visual formats, colors or languages...
Let me give you a very important tip. Before embarking on the creative automation of a project, always ask yourself this question: **What's going to take the longest: multiplying the visual into X versions, or programming the automation to optimize this multiplication?
Assume that the higher the value of X, the more likely it is that creative automation will make sense for you.
2/ Draw up a detailed brief
A brief ensures that all team members are following the same guidelines. It helps define whether or not creative automation is relevant to a project. It answers questions such as:
- What is the target audience?
- What channels will be used?
- What will be the content of the message?
This is essential in determining whether or not creative automation is worthwhile.
So don't neglect your pre-project brief! Add as many details as possible.
3/ Take all the time you need to create templates
Creative automation allows designers and graphic artists to save a lot of time by freeing them from tedious tasks.
This time can then be allocated to developing their creativity and imagining new visuals.
The best way to take full advantage of creative automation is to invest time in creating high-quality visuals. It takes time, testing and repetition, but it's worth it.
Ladies and gentlemen designers, don't hesitate to spend a little more time on template development and create different versions.
4/ Bonus: Automate reporting too
The launch of a marketing campaign signals the start of real operations! You'll get results in terms of engagement, clicks, views and so on. That's when the real marketing work begins.
You need to analyze, draw conclusions, optimize your visuals and so on.
But, then again, some tasks are tedious and can be left in the hands of algorithms. Collecting performance data is one of them.
You have to go hunting for information. Moving from one platform to another without necessarily having an overview.
By automating your reporting and consolidating all your campaign performance data in a single document, you'll save precious time. You'll be able to make more informed decisions thanks to a global view of the situation.
There's not much left to say about creative automation. Everything you need to know about it is in this article.
So, happy automating and happy creating!