5 Mindful Practices for Content Zen

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5 mindful practices for content zen

Every morning, I read through a list of fifty positive self-affirmations.

“All that is within me is all I need to succeed right now.” Check.

“Today is a phenomenal day.” Check.

“I am filled with focus.” Check.

But there’s one affirmation that stands out that I think is so timely to the moment we are in now:

“I am not pushed by my problems, but led by my dreams.”

This is THE marketing mantra for this year! We are in what some have called a year of opportunity. And in this year of opportunity, it’s possible for marketers to adopt this mantra:

I am not pushed by my marketing problems, but led by my marketing dreams.

It’s dreamy. It’s aspirational. And it’s possible.

In order to get to this zen-like state, we recommend incorporating these five mindful content practices:

  1. Reduce, re-use, recycle by using digital asset management
  2. Open your marketing mind to (creative) automation
  3. Atomize content for greater flexibility and easier creation
  4. Make the practice of using templates a daily ritual
  5. Move from one-to-one content creation to one-to-many content creation

Mindful content practice #1: Reduce, re-use, and recycle by using DAM

Have you heard of content waste? It’s the digital content that your brand doesn’t use. Think about how much money goes into creating content for your brand. Are you using content to its maximum potential? A brand’s content library is the perfect source for recycling, but many marketers don’t bother.

Just like consumers are becoming more mindful about how much physical stuff they use, the origins of said stuff, and how sustainable the practice of making said stuff is, so too are marketers when it comes to digital creative content. Content creators are also increasingly aware of how much the content they produce is utilized or valued. If a piece gets created, socialized, but rarely used, it’s unlikely for the team to produce more of that type of content in the future. Brands may want content quickly, but no brand wants “fast content.”

This mindful practice is the most difficult one for marketers to wrap their minds around: Create less stuff. To be frank, most people don’t even understand what content they have. This is especially true for organizations that do not use a centralized digital asset management repository. A DAM is a library of your brand’s most valuable content and can be an excellent source of inspiration for the reuse and recycling of content. DAM’s operational value is (at the very least) three-fold:

  • Reuse of content increases
  • Time spent searching for content decreases
  • Brand governance matures

Just like a compost bin can turn your kitchen scraps into gardening gold, DAM can help you turn your old content into something new and useful again. And it smells much, much nicer than the compost.

Mindful content practice #2: Open your marketing mind to (creative) automation

The second mindful content practice that can help you achieve content zen is adding automation to the mix. In marketing, processes are all around us that could benefit from automation. When you hear automation though, you probably think about marketing automation. We mean something different. Creative automation is a new term some marketers may not be familiar with yet. Creative automation is designed to help speed the creative process by adding automation where possible to eliminate time-consuming and repetitive tasks.

An example of creative automation would be making a new email signature banner with software every month, instead of asking your design team to manually make it for you. The brand rules for typography, spacing, colors, and balance between elements are all set by the design team and cannot be changed by marketers. Marketers can log in, change the copy and maybe the visual and potentially the CTA, but that’s it. The result? Content that still looks like your design team made it, but delivered in a fraction of the time. The CTA banner at the end of this blog is actually an example of creative automation. Here’s an alternative blog CTA we made for A/B testing with Digital Brand Templates:

Zen guide


And here's a job announcement we made with Video Brand Studio and published on LinkedIn.


So creative automation capabilities help marketers scale up their creative content production, whereas DAM helps marketers make more of the right stuff and also ensures the right governance is applied to your brand’s content. They’re both helpful, but stronger together.

Mindful content practice #3: Atomize content for greater flexibility and easier creation

When I say “atomize” I mean break the content down into the smallest possible atoms. A call-to-action is an atom. An image is an atom. Think of marketing copy and creative content elements like your wardrobe. You combine atoms or elements how you like to make a new outfit when you’re feeling creative. There’s no reason you can’t also approach your content creation in a similar manner where you are the director of putting your best marketing content outfit together. Imagine if clothing stores only sold full ensembles of outfits instead of separate clothing items and accessories. It might save time to buy in this manner, but it severely limits creativity and expression. Organize and tag content atoms with relevant metadata in your DAM repository, and you’ll be one step closer to content zen.

Mindful content practice #4: Make the practice of using templates a daily ritual

If you understand your content atoms, then it’s time to make the practice of using templates a daily ritual. There are so many different types of templates out there. What do we mean exactly?

Let’s say you want to professionalize how your brand appears on social media. Maybe it’s not consistent, maybe you don’t post enough or frequently enough. Or maybe it doesn’t look and feel enough like your brand. By using templates, you could completely revitalize your brand’s social presence.

See how Schroders leveraged templates as part of their strategy to win Best Use of Social Media from Investment Week.

Mindful content practice #5: Move from one-to-one content creation to one-to-many content creation

In order to move from one-to-one to one-to-many content creation, brands need to understand they don’t need thousands of unique assets. They do need, however, the flexibility to create slight variations and minor tweaks to their content.

How much time across marketing departments worldwide is time wasted on adapting content to fit the channel or local market? Many times, it’s the same creative, the same messaging, but different dimensions, sizes, and filetype outputs that are needed. Those aren’t tasks that require creativity. They are tasks ripe for automation. To start thinking one-to-many, you’ve got to start at the point where assets are being requested. People must think globally and big picture in order for this to work.

Consider this: A one-to-one content creation request could result in up to 32 separate requests for content to your design team. A one-to-many content creation request saves time for your design team, but also for your other colleagues that need content too. Which request do you think your design team would rather hear? It’s a no-brainer. Hearing one request is way better than getting 32 requests for creative. One-to-many thinking is a sustainable way to reduce unnecessary stress on your marketing team. To scale content without sacrificing quality, one-to-many thinking is required.

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