A Marketer’s DIY Approach to Content Creation
How to own the design and content creation process with Adobe Creative Cloud.
When you’re a marketer at a smaller business, or perhaps in charge of communications in a less-funded enterprise department, part of the fun of your job is that no two days are the same. You wear many broad-reaching hats to keep everything moving forward. And that means you need to be able to create virtually any type of experience — including some of the creative.
A common challenge is the increased demand for content and the speed at which you need to deliver it. “There is this pressure to produce more content because not only do marketers have to produce content for various digital formats, but marketing is becoming a lot more personalized, a lot more targeted,” says Ileana Funez, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Creative Cloud. A good example? “It used to be that the company would have one social media channel. Now they have to create various social media channels for each of their product lines.”
While some companies have dedicated design departments, in many cases you’re just expected to dive in — whether or not you have the creative background to get the job done.
Getting started starts with the right tools
Adobe Creative Cloud solutions can help you meet organizational and consumer demands in the short term, while you evolve your content development skills for the long term. With software designed to streamline and simplify the content creation process — and help that can be easily accessed — it’s easier than ever to create engaging assets without extensive formal training.
The first step? Using the right tools. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has more than 20 mobile and desktop apps you can use to develop your marketing strategies. What’s more, with a wide community of users and comprehensive resources available to get you up to speed, Adobe makes it easy for beginning content creators to dive into the world of design.
Start here: Adobe Photoshop
It’s simple: always start with Adobe Photoshop. It’s relatively easy to learn, and helps with a variety of different projects. As Ileana says, “You can do almost everything with Photoshop.” With simple tools to edit and retouch photos for your company website, emails, and other creative content, once you’re “in” with this software, the possibilities are endless. Adobe Stock also provides Photoshop templates, so you don’t have to start more involved projects from scratch.
Adobe Spark Post
Photoshop subscribers also get access to Spark Post, which is the top option for quickly crafting social media posts. The platform makes it easy to create the content and automatically sizes it to fit the requirements for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Adobe Spark Video
If you’re being pushed to create video or multimedia content, Spark Video — which also comes with Photoshop — is a good next step. As a storytelling video app, Spark Video is ideal for producing content including slideshows, presentations, and advertisements.
Adobe Premiere Rush
This new product is currently in beta and is also ideal for video-driven content, especially if you don’t have a video production background. Premiere Pro, an advanced video production app, is often too unwieldy for beginners, but Premiere Rush offers the video creation power of Premiere Pro in a simplified format.
If you want to lightly edit or retouch images, use Lightroom. It’s a quick way to enhance image features that don’t require much manipulation.
While Photoshop is the best option for image-heavy content, InDesign is ideal for laying out text-heavy documents — think newsletters and brochures, for starters.
If you’re short on time or budget for a custom photo shoot but still need professional images for your next piece of content, then Adobe Stock offers seemingly endless visual photos and graphics, plus template options to get started quickly — and integrates well with Creative Cloud.
Hitting the creative ground running
Armed with your creative arsenal, the next step is simple: roll up your sleeves and get started. With Adobe Creative Cloud you can access tutorials and instructional how-tos, ensuring you have the resources needed to learn how to work with these apps.
From there, focus on a high value — but fun — first project. Social media is a great platform for test-driving content and creative development skills. “I think anything with social media is a good place to start because social media content doesn’t have to be perfect,” Ileana says. “Actually the more authentic it is, the more it resonates with the intended audience.”
Beyond that, creating social content doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time, she says. What’s more, because marketing campaigns likely require frequent social posts, you’ll have lots of opportunities to hone your skills in a relatively short period of time.
Email campaigns and newsletters are another great place to experiment with initial content creation. As a marketing lead, chances are you already tackle organizational messaging — why not layer on the creative piece too? Start with your existing email software and templates, then enhance them with images enhanced with Photoshop to sync with your company’s branding.
Your future in content development
From there, don’t be afraid to dive into more involved design work — flyers and newsletters in Adobe InDesign, for example. Laying out a document often requires more training and support so, if need be, take things as far as you can, then consider tapping a design pro to take it over the finish line. Alternatively, consider hiring a designer earlier on to create a base template, or grab one from Adobe Stock. From there, it’s easy to update your template as needed to match your brand identity and color scheme.
More and more, marketers are being tasked with taking a project from start to finish on a limited budget, so sometimes the answer is DIY. Developing your design skills will help enhance your ability to be successful in your current role and also position you for future opportunities. Maybe you’ll never be known for your design work, and that’s probably not the goal. But you’ll definitely shine as someone who can be counted on to get the job done.
Use Adobe Creative Cloud for teams and to master content and creative development fast.