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March 02, 2021

10 must-have tools for marketers and creatives to boost creativity10 min read

A wide variety in consumer preferences and fierce competition among brands in grabbing consumers’ attention now make it compulsory for companies to produce high-quality ads. Check out the key digital marketing tools you can use to be on top of this process.

Pim van Willige
Pim van Willige

Marketing Specialist at Storyteq

As consumers are bombarded with ads, brands need to seize the opportunity to be more creative in their communications and create compelling content that pulls customers in. 

What’s more, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the global digital transition has accelerated. Therefore, the need for creative ads at scale has become more important than ever.

In order to produce more creatives of higher quality as well as improving the creative workflow, we shortlisted 10 essential tools for marketing and creative teams.

Creative cloud

1. Adobe After Effects

For many creative artists and post-production professionals, Adobe After Effects is the favorite tool to create visually stunning marketing assets for film, TV, video, and web.

The powerful application is used for animation and visual effects, bringing life and motion to graphics. As Adobe states: “There’s nothing you can’t create with After Effects”, whether it’s as simple as animating a text across the screen or as complex as building a 3D-shaped world.

Adobe After Effects – plugins

2. Storyteq

Storyteqs proprietary Adobe After Effects extension allows creative and marketing teams to convert an existing project into a dynamic video template while leveraging the power and functionalities of Adobe After Effects. 

The extension supports all the options that are natively available in the After Effects rich editor – this is the way-to-go for creating more complex video templates.

The Storyteq After Effects extension also allows users to mark dynamic elements and set up dynamic rules without limiting the use of After Effects’ native features – and more importantly, without altering the original project files.

Now, any video can become a dynamic video. Let data be the driver to make your creative work easier and digital marketing strategies thrive.

3. Duik

Duik is one of the best Adobe plugins around. The free tool is used by animators to take rigging – the technique used in skeletal animation for representing a 3D character model using interconnected digital bones – to a whole new level.

Although After Effects itself already has a basic rigging system, the plugin eases the process and can adapt it to 2D animation as well. All you have to do is define the body parts of your character and Duik brings it to life.

4. Newton 3

The Newton 3 plugin brings realistic physics to After Effects, allowing designers to work with realistic joints between solid objects to create complex interactions with each other.

Additionally, the tool gives many ways to control physical laws, as it enables you to alter properties such as density, velocity, friction, and the bounciness of objects. After completing the simulation, you can recreate the animation within After Effects with standard keyframes, so you can adjust the timing to your own preference.

5. Frame.io

Frame.io is a cloud-based collaboration platform that enables creative designers and marketers to stay connected on videos, images, and more. The tool is built to solve high-speed filesharing, working process reviewing and version management.

Using the tool is straightforward. You can leave frame-accurate feedback with timestamped comments or you can clearly illustrate your ideas with simple drawings. The best part? Frame.io offers plugins for creative tools like Adobe AE, Final Cut X, Slack or Vimeo. This makes it much easier to connect creative designers with marketers, keeping complete control and management to the creative production.

Digital Asset Management

6. Brandfolder

Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems allow you to store, share, and organize digital assets – video, audio, images, documents – in one central location. This software gives you complete control and management to access your creative files anywhere, at any time. 

Brandfolder is a highly usable DAM-system that helps marketers and creatives to organize, manage, distribute, and measure their brand assets.

Their AI and machine-learning technologies called Brand Intelligence help you automatically organize your assets. And its smart rules help you set up rules that dictate where your assets should be placed based on tags, titles, and more.

Cloud-based design and prototyping

7. Sketch

A good design is essential and definitely makes the difference between a decent and an excellent product. For years, Sketch has been the number one design tool for UX and UI designers. Because of its simplicity, anyone with little to no training can learn how to use the tool for the design of websites, products, or software.

8. Figma

A great alternative to Sketch is Figma, a cloud-based design tool, which enables designers and teams to work together on any design, wireframe, or prototype. 

The tool’s features are quite similar to Sketch, but the software is better in terms of collaboration. Therefore, it keeps ideas flowing and helps teams create and test from start to finish. 

Project management

9. Notion

There are tons of project management tools on the market. Notion is one that helps you organize your entire marketing or creative department with an all-in-one workspace. It connects notes, projects, and wikis in one tool.

By bringing all work and knowledge together and making it highly customizable, Notion creates focus and transparency, while consolidating tools, saving time, and driving more productivity for teams of all sizes.

CRM platform

10. HubSpot

For many digital marketers, HubSpot is the most well-known marketing automation software out there, offering CRM, a sales hub, and a service as well. 

The widely-used platform is helpful for all marketing efforts from creating landing pages to personalized email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, lead generation, and measuring website analytics.

In short, it connects and streamlines all marketing dots to create an automated workflow.

Conclusion 

Due to the enormous variety of marketing software available, we can imagine it’s difficult to select the right tools for the right need. Instead of figuring out yourself, we have tried to make your life a bit easier already by listing tools we think will streamline the creative processes of both marketing and creative teams. 

Take a headstart by boosting your creative production while staying on-brand. Check out Storyteq’s software-assisted creative automation platform, which includes the Adobe After Effects extension. Save time and out-market your competition by automating the production process.

Pim van Willige

Marketing Specialist at Storyteq

As Storyteq’s marketing specialist, Pim develops, implements, monitors, and optimizes digital marketing campaigns across various marketing channels. After hours, you can find him heading out for a run or racing his bike.

Pim van Willige

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