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Digital Marketing Templates: The Pros and Cons by a Digital Creative Agency

Full disclosure. We offer clients creative templates as an option for our marketing services. That is, we’ll give any client who wishes a template for social media postings on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, a blog template for their website, and other templates for such communication formats as newsletters, email blasts, and more. We’ll design the format, suggest color choices, visuals, and a copy style, and even offer mini-tutorials on effectively using these templates. All for a highly affordable one-time fee.

Sound like a good deal? Well, that all depends.

It is an excellent opportunity if you understand that templates are just guides. You’ll still have to research, create, and proofread all the copy and visuals for every posting, blog, email, etc. that you do.

On the other hand, if you’re able to produce copy content that’s as interesting and compelling as that of a professional writer, have the visual eye and artistic talent (not to mention 25 years of training and experience) of an award-winning graphic designer, plus the knowledge of a professionally-trained web technician to analyze and suggest keywords, word placement, and visual formats to increase SEO – you should do just fine. Of course, all of this does take a certain amount of time. And effort. And continuing education. (Did we mention that Google changes its algorithm every day?)

In truth, templates are like recipes. How well they taste depends on the cook.

Let’s face it: not everyone writes well. And graphic design isn’t just about picking out colors and a nice typeface. It also involves knowing how large or small the type should be and how it should break on the page to maximize understanding and aid readability. Whether a visual has a negative connotation that will put off the very audience you most want to attract. Then there’s the challenge of showing just the right mix of men and women of different races, ages, and interests. If stock visuals are used (usually because of cost considerations), you have to ensure they’re not too similar to those your competition or vendors are using.

What else? How fresh are the images? Will they make your communications look old and tired? (Retro may be attractive, but last year’s images say you’re a step behind.)

Why does all this matter? 

brand quality template blog

Because all of these choices determine the quality of your brand.

Every communication format you use – brochures, blogs, social media postings, and copy content – will either add to or detract from your brand image. Notice we haven’t talked about copy yet? As hard as it is to select compelling, fresh, and appropriate visuals – creating great copy content is even more challenging. When you hear the phrase, “copy content is king,” it doesn’t mean blogs that read like sales sheets and social media postings that are mini-ads. It’s just the opposite.

Blogs are personal articles about things of particular interest to your target market.

Creating them requires research. Reviewing and reading articles and other people’s blogs (including your competitor’s). Studying recent surveys of the market. Interviewing current and potential clients. All of this aims to discover what your target audience cares about most. Once you know that, you can begin defining what they’re most likely to search for on Google so they find you. What are the problems they seek to solve, and how can your products and/or services help them? Finally, it means creating stories (yes, STORIES!) about people and situations that demonstrate your value in meeting these challenges.

Can you do it yourself? Sure. But do you want to?

Writing and designing take time and effort—time you could be spending on what you do best—building your business. Yes, in the short term, using templates may save you money. The question is, will using them expand your client base and increase your profits? If the copy you write and visual elements you produce can’t compete with those your competition pays professionals to do, how much do you think you’ll gain? And how much more will you lose?

You may have noticed that our slogan at Crux is “Bravery required.”

We mean it. Creativity – real creativity is not for the faint of heart. It takes time, talent, training, and the courage to change to fail because the kind of creativity that makes a brand memorable has to involve an element of risk.

templates aflac duckWant an example? Aflac’s marketing agency suggested that a duck represent the company.

Can’t you imagine Aflac’s board members’ first reaction to that concept? Yet because Kaplan Thaler Group, (Aflac’s first ad agency), dared to do something different, a company that no one knew or cared much about became part of everyone’s consciousness. Would you have thought of having a duck quack for an insurance company? If not, think of all the business Aflac would have lost. A business that a competitor probably would have gained by coming up with a creative approach of their own.

Remember, no matter how good the template, ultimately its success will depend on you.

We can make suggestions, give examples, and help guide you. Yet, we still can’t give you all the spontaneous intuition we’ve gained through 60 years of accumulated experience and education. As much as we want to help you, our creative gifts can only be fully utilized when we do the work ourselves. How we look at it, marketing a company professionally is worth the investment. We know the board members of Aflac would agree. We hope that you will, too.

Whatever you decide, we’re here to help. If you have any questions, please call us at 414-289-7180 or visit our contact page.
Michele Allen

With over 30 years of design and marketing experience, I founded Crux in 2005, a 360° Creative and Marketing Agency, catering to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and non-profits. Specializing in experiential spaces, museums, brand development, and digital marketing, I excel in crafting memorable experiences while emphasizing the significance of authentic brand communication. I offer expertise in Brand Development, Trade Show Exhibits, Museums, Corporate Spaces, Interactives & VR/AR, and Digital Marketing, committed to tailored support and guidance.