How To Forecast Creative Needs for Ecommerce
As your ecommerce business grows, so too will your need for creative content and talent. “Creative” content includes the efforts of your marketers, influencers, and any other creative who contributes to your organization’s success.
But knowing that you’ll need creative talent in the future isn’t enough. You also need to know how to forecast creative needs of your ecommerce business. If you can predict what talent or resources you’ll require, you can plan and budget more accurately and see greater profit margins.
Look at Competing Brands & Design for the Customer Journey you Want
First, you can look at what competing brands are doing in terms of their creative talent and marketing. For example, if a competing brand has recently hired several new influencers and looks to be doubling down on user-generated content (UGC), they may be predicting a need for community-driven marketing on social. Sometimes it can be challenging to visualize a stellar creative mix without seeing what others are doing – but gleaning inspiration from like minded brands can be helpful when forecasting.
Follow Key Trends of Ecommerce Conferences
You don’t necessarily have to attend a live event to learn from it; pay attention to media outlets, social posts from thought leaders, and the conference schedule to get a sense of the most important takeaways. For example, two of the largest emerging trends at Shoptalk 2022 were authenticity in creative content, through user-generated content (UGC) and micro-influencers, and social commerce. Knowing these trends can help you more accurately forecast what topics and platforms to focus future campaigns and content around.
The conference came and went, but the need for both elements continues to skyrocket in the ecommerce world; apparel brand HYLETE consistently creates opportunities for commerce via social content like this customer post from a Pixlee TurnTo-powered gallery of UGC.
Invest in Community-Driven Marketing
Community isn’t just a buzzword in marketing. The brands that utilize social listening, foster engagement on social media, and create opportunities on-site and via email for feedback from their customers will have a clear advantage in identifying trends in the market. UGC, influencer marketing, and a solid Ratings & Reviews solution can all positively impact your ability to forecast your brand’s creative needs.
By creating space for customers to share their original content with your brand, you’re essentially building a ready-to-use library of cost-effective community content, making forecasting less necessary altogether. The more community content you garner, the more you’ll have to choose from for future campaigns.
NAVY Hair Care uses Pixlee TurnTo Checkout Comments™ to understand why customers purchased specific products. These comments indicate the rising popularity and efficiency of influencer promos — even naming specific influencers who drove them to purchase.
Brands that engage in any or all of these community-driven marketing strategies are also more likely to identify potential brand advocates within their existing fanbase. This paves the way for brand ambassadorships and more insight into what customers will be expecting from your ecommerce business in the future.
Track Ecommerce Metrics From Past Creative
Next, you can and should look at the past results from your creative talent, such as marketers, copywriters, and more. Take a hard look at the data and revenue you’ve received since implementing their content, like:
- Conversion rate
- Engagement rate with ads
- Customer retention rate
- Shopping cart abandonment rate, etc.
By looking at the results of your past creative content published, you can more accurately predict how many creatives you’ll need in your workforce in the future. This, in turn, can tell you whether you should:
- Keep your current creative talent
- Hire new creative employees or influencers
- Turn to community content (see more below)
Pixlee TurnTo’s platform allows brands to map specific revenue amounts to pieces of content as well as individual creators. This type of insight helps you decide whether or not you should take relationships with different content creators to the next level.
Consider Business Growth
Don’t forget to consider your broader business growth trajectory. By looking at your overall numbers like cash flow, you’ll be able to determine whether your past creative marketing efforts, like new ads or social media campaigns, had a net positive effect on your company’s growth.
Past and current business growth also tells you if even more creative content and marketing will help you scale your business and earn better customer reviews online. For example, if you plan to launch a secondary website or platform, you may need another creative on your team to handle the increased marketing that should accompany such a development.
Enabling your in-house staff to be strategic content curators who oversee a community of dedicated content creators will significantly impact time-saving when forecasting creative. When using a UGC management platform like Pixlee TurnTo, the busy work of collecting and publishing content consistently is removed. This gives your team more creative flexibility to focus on choosing the best content from your library for specific campaigns and on forming lasting relationships with valuable influencers who can help you forecast creative.
You can even take this a step further by empowering your staff to participate in the content creation process if they feel comfortable. Employee-generated content gives your audience a behind-the-scenes look at the real people behind your brand and provides you with authentic content to use in brand campaigns.
How Community Content Solves Creative Resource Needs
Regardless of your forecasted creative needs, you can always turn to community content to shore up any gaps or bolster your current resources. Community content for marketing includes:
When you need more creative marketing or talent, look no further than your community. Community content will become an even more valuable and lucrative resource as your brand grows. Maintain your community, treat it properly, and it will serve your creative marketing needs for years to come.
Forecasting your creative needs for e-commerce advertising and customer satisfaction can go a long way toward maximizing your current resources and helping you anticipate market shifts. Try to practice each of these forecasting strategies in tandem - your predictions will be more accurate than if you only rely on one method and exclude others. Good luck!