Marketing is a creative endeavor. No matter what you're promoting, you need to consider your customer's needs and figure out the best way to communicate with them. There's no such thing as a perfect marketing campaign. Even when you're successful you need to constantly revise your message and keep it fresh. This is where creative fatigue often sets in. You find yourself in a rut, unable to think of new and exciting approaches. Let's look at why this happens and what you can do to overcome it.
Signs of Creative Fatigue
How do you know if you're suffering from creative fatigue? Here are some common symptoms.
- Your content and creatives haven't changed recently. If your website, ads, blog posts, and social media pages have barely changed over the last year, you might be in a creative rut. As trends come and go and people's attention spans shorten, it's more important than ever to introduce new ideas, images, taglines, and concepts on a regular basis.
- Declining results. The same ad campaigns that were successful last year may not provide the same ROI now. You may notice that your opt-in page is no longer generating as many leads as it did before. Traffic to your blog posts may be decreasing. There can be many reasons for such disappointing results but very often it indicates a loss of your creative spark. Keep in mind that when you feel tired and bored with your campaigns your audience probably is as well.
- Struggling to maintain your schedule. If you're consistently behind with your content marketing or updating your ads, this is a sign that you need to work on time management. However, boredom and fatigue can be an underlying reason for your difficulty in keeping up.
- You and your team are running on automatic pilot. If you aren't putting much thought or discussion into your marketing, you may be just rolling out content in an assembly-line manner. This approach isn't a good recipe for thrilling your audience and building your brand.
The Costs of Creative Fatigue
When your marketing becomes stale, it has a serious and deadly impact on your business. This isn't something that happens all at once. It's more insidious, causing a gradual decline in enthusiasm (on the part of your audience as well as you and your team), content quality and, ultimately, revenue. Over time, this can result in losing readers, followers, and subscribers. When it comes to old and repetitive advertising campaigns, viewers experience ad fatigue, which makes them skip over your ads. In a competitive marketplace, you need to be at the top of your game to thrive. When your creativity suffers, so does your whole business.
How to Overcome Creative Fatigue
Considering how essential creativity is to the success of your marketing, you can see how fatigue in this area can be devastating. Fortunately, there are ways to recover your creative edge.
Experiment With New Channels and Formats
Working with the same formats day after day can stifle your creativity. Expand your horizons and try something different. If your marketing is mainly based on your website, Google, and Facebook, try some visually-based content on Instagram or Pinterest. Start making videos. Create a podcast. Hold a webinar. Try a new advertising network. When you work on a new platform, you're forced to change your mindset. What you learn can often be applied to your old platforms. For example, if you discover some tricks to enhance images on Instagram you can also apply them to your blog posts and Facebook.
Creative marketing demands awareness of your customers and industry. It's easy to fall behind at the rate everything changes nowadays. It's important to know about the latest technology, products, and other trends in your industry. Stay informed by reading books, following the blogs and social media accounts of leaders in your field. Whenever possible, attend conferences and trade shows in your industry. The more knowledgeable you are about the latest news and trends relevant to your business, the more you'll be able to deliver timely and compelling content.
Engage With Your Customers
Creative marketing is not a monologue but a conversation between you and your customers. If you find yourself doing all the talking, you are overlooking an opportunity to find out what your audience really wants. Analytics give you some idea of what your customers prefer. For example, if you find that people open emails with certain subject lines more than others, you have an idea of what to do in this area. However, to really pump your creativity you should aim for more direct engagement. Data is valuable but actual conversations provide you with more details and nuances.
- Engage in social listening. Paying attention to conversations on social media and across the web gives you insight into what people are saying about your business and your industry. When you find relevant comments you can, when appropriate, insert yourself into the conversation. This gives you a chance to answer questions, correct misconceptions, and simply learn more about what your audience is thinking. It also helps you monitor your online reputation and respond to reviews.
- Conduct polls and surveys. Polling your audience, whether on your website, via social media, or in emails, is a good way to get quick feedback on any issue.
- Broadcast live. Live streaming video platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope (Twitter's live streaming service), and YouTube Live give you a powerful way to connect with your audience in real time.
- Use Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat Stories. The popular Stories feature on these social media sites practically force you to summon your creative juices. This ephemeral content that only stays up for 24 hours has to be timely. It also gives you good visibility on these sites and encourages engagement. You can also place ads on both Instagram and Facebook Stories (the latter was just rolled out this year).
Creativity is an integral part of effective marketing. With technology, social media, and consumer trends constantly changing you can't afford to stay in one place. The first step in overcoming creative fatigue is to recognize that it's a problem. Everyone experiences this at times. The key is to go back to the drawing board and find ways to renew your creative spark.
Need help coming up with creative marketing ideas? BOLD Worldwide is a results-driven ad agency that will help your brand stand out. To find out more about our services, contact us.