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Creative Strategy

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:


The creative strategy is one of the most important elements because it is the most visual element that will dictate the overall feel and look of your brand.

This is the documentation and understanding of your objective in relation to your audience and brand. Ideally, you are trying to develop a strategy that engages with your audience in such a way to deliver on your business objectives in the context of your brand values.

Now it’s time to take your strategy and build creative messages and ideas that you will communicate through digital. A creative strategy is the long-term approach of how you develop visual stimuli for your brand, product, or service. It dictates the theme, look and feel of all of your assets. The creative strategy should again adhere to the overarching strategy. Doing this ensures that all work is following a specific guide, targeting a specific response and cultivating repeat and specific behavior.

Remember, you must consider the budget when developing a creative strategy. It is important not to limit your initial thinking, but at the same time, at some stage, you need to draw the line and be realistic about your possibilities.

Key areas

The key areas to identify in creative strategy are:

  • Ideas: What content will you make, what will it say, how are you different?
  • Activations: What will you do that will encourage the consumer to respond, engage and converse?
  • Visual: What will everything look like, is there a visual theme or guideline?
  • Narrative: Refer back to the content strategy – what is the story we are trying to tell?

Managing expectations is unfortunately part of the job of any digital marketing manager. There is a myth out there that digital marketing is free. Highly creative, highly technical executions require investment. It is important that you temper your team’s ambitions slightly. The next step for your team is to compile a full format list for your content plan. This should be added to your content plan and include not only the creative requirement of each format, but the dimensions and specifications as well.

Creative strategies can become quite complex and with more technicality comes more resource requirement and also time. If digital is quite new to you then it’s recommended you keep things simple at first with a view to building up to more technical pieces.


Remember to identify what formats are possibly not worth the effort if they will require more resources. Don’t forget, if you're investing in a big piece of work, you should be matching that in paid media to deliver it through paid channels. Things do not go viral on their own; rich media display is costly to make, but equally expensive to deliver. It is important to consider drafting a budget for paid media on a particular piece of creative which is commensurate to the cost of developing the creative.

Formats all require different dimensions. Becoming familiar with the formats can be a challenge. The best thing to do is to become familiar with the platforms and the formats they offer as you require them. There are thousands of formats. In display, they are delivered in the sizes of pixels, e.g. MPU 300 x 250 pixels.

When assessing your creative you should consider if it fits your brand values, uses the language of your audience (so it can be understood) and aims to deliver on your overall objectives.

Transferable content

The biggest challenge in the asset development stage is maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your assets. Essentially, how you can ‘sweat’ your assets:

You can begin by creating assets that can easily be converted to suit other social platforms. Develop creative that is platform agnostic and then tailor it to specific platforms. For example:

  • Shoot high-quality video: Shoot video in the largest quality and consider video being effective as a vertical or horizontal video. During production, you should consider readability and video resolution across devices to ensure you can engage your audience on a mobile or desktop.
  • Capture GIFs: GIFs can be captured out of video creative to be used in other campaigns or to complement existing ones.
  • Convert assets: Convert existing creative assets into dynamic assets if appropriate. Examples of this would be on Facebook canvas where advertisers can create a rich mobile experience to target their audience on Facebook and Instagram mobile apps.
  • Use existing assets: Take existing visual assets, like TV ads, and editing them to suit digital formats and channels.
  • Aid SEO: Identify and use anything that you built as more content for your site to aid SEO. These assets include things like infographics which can be distributed on social or email and drive links for SEO off-site link building.
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Please note that the module slides are designed to work in collaboration with the module transcript document. It is recommended that you use both resources simultaneously.

Digital Marketing Resources:

Jessica Preddy

Jessica is a consultant with experience in marketing and an in-depth knowledge of the latest marketing techniques. Her previous roles have included working in a marketing agency and numerous customer-service-facing positions that have given her exposure to a wide range of customers and clients.

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful. While relevant to this module, you will not be assessed on this content.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library


    Digital Marketing Strategy
    Jessica Preddy
    Skills Expert

    This module identifies the core components of an effective digital marketing strategy and explains how to develop an effective budget plan and measure the ROI for digital activities. It covers how to set clear and actionable objectives and measurable KPIs as well as the key research activities to undertake to guide channel selection and messaging. It also explains how to develop a creative strategy based on campaign research to engage an audience and deliver on campaign goals. The module concludes by explaining how to execute a digital marketing strategy supported by a channel plan, a paid media plan, a campaign action plan, and succinct strategy documentation.