Templates 101: Best Practices for Building Creative for Integrated Campaigns

BrandMuscle | December 24, 2018

Giving your local business partners access to nationally-branded marketing templates allows you to set-it-and-forget-it, and ensure your partners won’t run rogue with your branding. Sure, there will be creative updates and legal changes here and there, but integrated marketing templates get your national branding and messaging out to the ones who matter most: local customers.

Sounds simple, right? Let’s back up for a second. Creating and managing templates across multiple tactics for the same, integrated marketing campaign can be difficult. And before you can successfully sell your brand with on-message advertising at the local level, those templates need constructed in a way that’s going to both catch customers’ eyes and be easy for your local business partners to update.

We asked our Graphic Operations (GO) Team to identify best practices for creating templates for integrated campaigns for your national brand.

Build It for Integrated

In a world where integrated marketing is the best, if not only, way to reach your consumers, don’t let that get lost at the local level with templates.

GO Team Pro Tips:

  • Create a suite of templates for various tactics that are programmed to work together. At BrandMuscle, we call these Multi-Build Templates.
  • Configure these to allow local business partners to select any combination of available tactics to build within the suite. Make sure you support a mix of print and digital templates, like flyers, postcards, emails and landing pages.
  • Keep pieces of the same campaign materials cohesive. Remember – consistency is key, especially with integrated templates.

Determine Common Elements

Begin with your branding. What elements of your style guidelines need to stay the same across every template for this campaign? Typically, this includes font type, color and style, predetermined images and logos, and required text slogans. These define your static elements. Variable elements like address, phone number, email address, website, business hours, local offers and local social media handles denote your editable fields, giving the multi-build templates a personal touch while also providing valuable information to the consumer.

GO Team Pro Tips:

  • Consider the overall objective and messaging of the campaign to determine static template elements.
  • Predefined images should share the same image aspect ratio and character counts should be consistent in variable regions. Once your messaging lines up with your common elements, your templates will do the work for you.

Keep It Consistent

Consistency is key for look, integrated messaging, feel, and functionality.

GO Team Pro Tips:

  • Campaigns should contain consistent headlines and imagery across your templated tactics, i.e. the main image options in a campaign flyer should be the same used for its corresponding postcard or digital banner ad.
  • Campaigns for your local business partners will be a breeze if the elements are configured in a multi-build template to share common variable regions that auto-update the same content across all selected tactics.

Appeal to Both “Customers”

When designing integrated marketing templates at the national level, you have two customers: the customer and the local business partner.

GO Team Pro Tips:

  • Templates should follow corporate standards and messaging that will attract and convert the customer, while allowing local business partners to feel they have enough control through those variable regions to promote their business.
  • Make sure the templates are easy to edit and use with a clear call to action, keep a clean design, provide value and are targeted to the right audience.

Having branded, easy-to-use multi-build templates for your local business partners is the quickest and easiest way to deploy your national messages at the local level in an integrated way. The right distributed marketing partner offers the technology to support a variety of template types, the reporting to optimize the creative, and on-demand support from real-life marketing experts who’ll work with your local business partners to choose the options that best fit their marketing programs.

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