creative production automation

How creative production automation can save up to 85% of your time

Table of Contents

TL;DR: Based on our experience so far, creative production automation can save up to 85% of your time. It allows you to automatically produce dozens of videos in different aspect ratios, sizes, languages, and with different texts and visual elements. With the right creative automation tool, you can easily swap dynamic elements like text, images, videos, audio, and colors, and deliver more relevant campaigns faster. 

If you’re a creative professional who produces video ads for social media and other marketing channels, you know the amount of repetitive design work you’re forced to put up with.

Just think about image cropping for different aspect ratios so that your video looks good across all platforms; or adjusting the text size and colors, and creating copy variants for different audiences. The works.

All of the above are huge time suckers. At one point, you might decide to scale up your production. After all, video format is great for building rapport with customers, increasing retention rates, low-touch onboarding, or for providing immediate customer support. That’s when two things will become crystal clear:

  • Doing things manually is just not sustainable
  • Creative production automation is an obvious solution

You’re chasing engagement and conversions in today’s attention economy which means you need to be highly adaptable and thoughtful about your resources. So yeah, creative production automation is a no-brainer. Here’s why. 

Plainly is the ultimate no-code solution that lets you automate creative video production with ease. Book a 15-min demo to see it in action.

Understanding creative production automation

Creative production automation solves the issue of needing to expand your in-house marketing team (or involve external agencies) for creating variations of videos for your campaigns. More precisely, it relieves the pressure of ramping up a high number of videos manually when all you really need is a way to automatically swap different elements of one video version.

Probably the biggest benefit of creative automation tools is that they enable your team to focus on other creative tasks, and engage in meaningful brainstorming, or invest time into perfecting the strategy – something software can’t do for you. 

So how do creative production automation tools work exactly? Let’s take the example of social media ads.

A video ad template you create can have different dynamic elements. Creative automation tool lets you use this pre-created video template and mark which elements you would like to change for different versions of your video.

creative automation for social media ads

By relying on your chosen data source (e.g. database, API, spreadsheet), the software automatically pulls the data and swaps dynamic elements to create numerous variations of your video. This might sound complex, but it really isn’t given the fact the tool does all the heavy lifting for you.

At Plainly, we wanted to ensure our tool is a creative production automation software that makes your life easer. This is why setting it up is a simple 3-step process:

  • Create a template in After Effects or let us know if you need help with getting started
  • Upload your After Effects video template to Plainly and choose which elements you want to change
  • Link Plainly to your data source and let it render videos for you
Did you know? Plainly renders videos in cloud which means rendering is done fast and in a secure environment. Plus, video quality is preserved and you don’t have to worry about storage. It’s all covered in your chosen Plainly pricing plan.

When creative production automation makes sense

When it comes to creative production automation, dynamic video ads are probably the most obvious use case. Here are some of the most common scenarios:

  • If you’re a company that has international presence, you’ll need an easy way to publish and distribute video ads in multiple languages
  • If you’re a performance marketer who wants to do some A/B testing to discover the best converting copy, CTAs, or visual elements, you’ll need a creative automation tool to produce video variations at scale
  • If a campaign manager wants to launch a new campaign for a different persona, they can do so without bothering the designer – simply by swapping dynamic elements 

However, I’d like to point out some other awesome ways you can use creative production automation to deliver more relevant experiences to your audience, increase brand awareness, and build stronger relationships with your customers. It’s not an extensive list, of course, but more of an overview, just to get your creative juices flowing.

social media ad automation

Creative production automation for localizing video content

Localizing video content is not just about translating your copy into a different language. It’s also about taking into account cultural nuances of different locales, figuring out which colors and visuals you should use in your video, and what type of message you need to send so that it resonates the best with your target audience. Creative product automation tools allow you to launch simultaneously in different markets, gain momentum, and stay ahead of your competition by strengthening your international presence.

Creative production automation can redefine cross-team collaboration

I already briefly touched upon this, but I think it deserves additional attention. Creative production automation lets you “set it and forget it”, meaning you create a video template once and then enjoy the ability to create endless variations of it.

So let’s say you have designers and non-designers (e.g. copywriters, content marketers, performance marketers, growth professionals) working side by side in a marketing team. Instead of bothering designers with requests for creating new video variations, non-designers can make changes they want and test their ideas faster. That’s exactly why I believe no-code is the future. God, it just makes so much sense.

automated creative creation

Creative production automation for launching high-quality customer testimonials

Video is the ultimate format for capturing customer testimonials. It’s far more engaging than a static, written testimonial, it hooks people’s attention, and it requires less cognitive strain which is why we’re naturally hardwired to prefer video as opposed to other formats.

Here’s how creative production automation can help you at scaling video customer testimonials:

  • Customer records and submits a testimonial through a simple form (this will be your data source and raw content that the tool will transform into a branded video)
  • Testimonial gets transferred from the form to a video template you created
  • Video testimonial gets created and you can distribute it wherever you want
Build one template, render infinite videos. Sounds good? Read our guide to After Effects automation to see how it’s done.

Creative automation saves up to 85% of your time

Before I dive deeper into explaining how creative production automation saves a bunch of your time, full disclosure: the “up to 85% of time savings” is a ballpark figure we noted so far by talking with our customers and experimenting with creating different workflows ourselves. But to be honest, I’d say this might even be a conservative estimate because you can truly create infinite number of videos.

Here’s a real-life example that proves this to be true. I created a fully customizable workflow using Plainly, Integromat, and Airtable. With just one click, I was able to create 72 video variations – all thanks to the data input I’ve created.

I created both the template, data source, and the workflow in less than 6 hours, which allowed me to automatically create  4 aspect ratios, 3 video lengths, 2 legal texts, and 3 languages. 

I am truly fascinated by the possibilities brought to us by creative production automation and the no-code movement in general. The return on investment in these types of tools is undeniable. 

For example, one well known online competition company (Plainly’s undisclosed client) managed to ramp up 1600 personalized videos in less than 24 hours for the winners. Imagine having to create each of these videos manually? It would take forever.

But the best part is there is really no limit to the number of videos you can create once you have two key ingredients in place: 1) a video template and 2) data source with content for the dynamic elements you want to swap. There you have it: the power of tech.

Try Plainly as your creative production automation software

As you’ve probably realized by now, I’m really passionate about utilizing technology to work smarter, especially for creative professionals like yourself. I think that we’re yet to see the beauty of creative production automation, especially with AI progressing at such a fascinating speed. I’m also proud of where Plainly is at the moment and the product roadmap looks exciting.

The key thing that makes Plainly different from other creative production automation tools lies in its simplicity and the fact that we’re truly working closely with existing users to give them and future customers what they need.

Plainly is a tool that has a lot to offer to creative professionals and no-code lovers, but also to developers. We realized early on that a powerful API and an option to integrate with your favorite tools is a must; completely non-negotiable.

If you’re planning to automate your creative production, I’d be happy to show you how Plainly can help you out. Simply book a 15-minute demo and let me walk you through it. 

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person using a video generator