By Laura Maker

Content Builder is Marketing Cloud’s new cross-channel content app. It’s been in beta for over a year, and it will be fully released this July. If you are using Marketing Cloud today, you will definitely want to check out Content Builder. If you’re just getting started in Marketing Cloud, I recommend using it from the start. It offers more functionality, a slick interface, and a simpler workflow for creating and sending messages.

Where does Content Builder fit in?

Early this year, Marketing Cloud reorganized its continuously expanding slew of marketing tools, making it easier to find what your organization needs. The tools have been placed into two categories: Studios, which are channel-specific, and Builders, which work across channels.

Content Builder is a content creation platform that works across channels. That means you can use the same images, content blocks, and editing interface if you are composing an email, an SMS message, or a web page.

Content, Content, Everywhere!

You probably have numerous images, text blocks, and other flotsam and jetsam that are parts of your marketing program. When you want to create an email, how do you sift through all of it to find what you need? In the past, the best way to organize your content was through folders. But folders are so 2010! These days we expect to search and have the perfect result returned! Content Builder delivers the results you are expecting.

Don’t fret – you can still use folders to organize everything. But there are new options, too. Now you can filter your content – by content type, owner, or tag, and you can also search across different types of content to find files.

Content Builder also improves sharing. In the past, you could only share folders – so you had to create a separate file structure in order to share content with other business units. Now, sharing is controlled at the level of the content itself. You can keep your content in whatever folder structure you like because sharing is now managed separately.

What’s In the Toolbox?

Content Builder takes a big leap forward in the ease of creating and sending emails. There’s a three-step wizard that takes you through defining the properties of your email, adding content, and previewing and testing. Then, you’re ready to send. This guided approach is more intuitive, and means less hopping around between different menus.

In the Add Content step, you can drag and drop content into your email message. The search box follows you as you create the email, allowing you to easily find images and content blocks on the fly.

The editor also adds some great features, like letting you automatically resize content to fit the block in your template. No more bouncing back and forth between your email editor and an image editing program. You can also drag multiple pieces of content into a single block in your template and the block will automatically divide in two. This is so much easier than going back and reformatting your template!

Speaking of templates, these have gotten an upgrade, too. You can now lock content blocks in a template. Let’s say you always want a certain image, logo, or piece of text to be part of your email message. Lock that content into the template so that users can create their own emails with consistent branding. Consistency in branding is key and this makes a marketer’s job so much easier.

Anybody Have a Button?

Everyone loves buttons. It’s the best way to call your constituents to action. Now, buttons are a content type! They can be created in the editor, while you’re putting your email together. They aren’t just any buttons either. They are bulletproof. The buttons are created with code, not as an image, which makes them more resistant to spam filters.

Ready? Set? Send.

The experts tell us that customization is a key to getting your subscribers to read that email. It all starts in the email subject line. Content Builder allows you to build subject lines that are personalized and dynamic. You can send a different subject to a subscriber who is a major donor, versus someone who’s not. Very powerful. And speaking of subject lines, now you can add an emoji to them.

 

When you’re done creating your email, you’ll be happy to note that the preview is built right into the wizard. The preview step allows you to choose any subscriber, and get an instant view of what their email will look like. This is great for testing dynamic content. You can also send multiple test emails to one address, allowing you to test out each version of your email in an actual send.

When it’s time to finally select your audiences for that message, you can now drag and drop audiences and exclusion audiences into your send canvas.

Content Builder is an excellent upgrade to Marketing Cloud. It brings more power, more flexibility, and a much more pleasurable experience to creating great content for your constituents. Check it out and enjoy!

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Laura Maker

Laura Maker