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Right from the start - how pre-purposing drives content creation

22 February 2021 12:36pm

Amy Dugmore, director of content, ClickThrough Marketing

Facebook carousels. Instagram stories. Promoted pins. The variety of social media platforms and ad products continues to grow. And that’s before we add in the options offered by display. Or the opportunities to produce tailored creative for different audiences. All of which leaves marketers facing an increasingly complex landscape when it comes to ad creative. More significantly, it means that marketers can no longer afford to make social media an afterthought for creative planning.

After all, the needs of social media creative are different to those of traditional media, and evolving faster. Effective social creative is snappy, with the need to get the core message over in just 2-6 seconds. So no slow storytelling build. What’s more, those creatives need to be easily adaptable to a range of different audiences and contexts. The scope to quickly and easily test copy variants, fresh messaging, and images brings with it the need to be able to make those changes quickly and easily. The smartest ad creative comes designed with these testing capabilities in mind. It allows for agile ad creation.

And if any of us were in doubt just how relevant and valuable that can be, it also means that ad creative is geared up to enable shifts in messaging to meet the needs of a pandemic-led landscape where lockdowns and restrictions are constantly changing.

Repurposing is a reasonable solution, and can work well in some scenarios, but does place creatives at the mercy of those big-budget pieces – the luck of the draw if it’s going to work. And who wants to have a creative strategy that’s based on crossing your fingers and hoping for the best?

While pre-purposing isn’t a new concept – it’s been the mainstay of online newsrooms for years – it’s becoming increasingly important in the realm of ad creative. At its heart, pre-purposing is all about planning your ad creative in anticipation that dozens, if not scores, or even hundreds, of variants, will need to be created over time. Mapping the messaging potential from the start becomes crucial here because it arms your creative team with the information they need to include these variants in the scope from the start.

Getting your creative pre-purposing right:

  • Map your messaging potential from the start: consider the audience segments that you are targeting, as well as those you might want to test in the months ahead; consider seasonal variations and any need to adapt messaging for unplanned changes; consider scope to test message variants or other opportunities to gather insights; consider localisation and translations needs if you’re looking to launch in additional markets.
  • Get your digital team involved from the get-go: work with digital-first designers who understand the needs of each platform and the potential of data-led creative insights.
  • Keep creative (surprisingly) simple: it’s easy to overcomplicate social creative – but often, simpler executions work best. From a pre-purposing standpoint, they also make it easier for creatives to be adapted to meet changing needs and new testing opportunities. It also makes the translation of creative from one platform to another a whole lot easier.

This article originally appeared in ClickThrough Marketing’s 2021 Digital Marketers Playbook – available for free download now.


Content Creation
Content Repurposing
Content strategy
Social Media
Social Media Marketing
social media strategy