Creative constraints: How to use limits to fuel creativity & content production

Mattison Hofstedt


March 1, 2024

March 14, 2024

Cheerful woman thinking.

Table of contents

How limits help us think big

Constraints in branding: The science of familiarity and the benefits for your audience

Establishing creative constraints for content creation

Why creativity thrives in Storykit 

Staring at a blank canvas can feel paralyzing. You're left wondering, 'Where do I start?' or 'What should I create?' It's a real challenge to kickstart creativity from nothing. However, introducing some guidelines or structure can swiftly bring clarity, especially when there's no time to waste in today's fast-paced landscape.

Dive in to uncover how setting creative constraints not only accelerates your creative process but also enhances the quality and quantity of your content for social media and beyond.

How limits help us think big

Limits can often be the spark that ignites our creative thinking. When we're faced with constraints, such as a short duration for a social media video, or a certain character limit for an article title, it challenges us to distill our ideas into their most impactful form. 

Think of it like “structured creativity”. Having “guard rails or boundaries” can actually simplify and enhance the creative process, pushing us to explore ideas and solutions we might not have considered in a boundary-less environment. 

For instance, if you only have $100 for an event you’ll have to figure out how to use that $100 in the best ways possible. But if you have unlimited money, choosing what to do can be harder because there are too many options.

Constraints in branding: The science of familiarity and the benefits for your audience

Let’s think about branding for example. Many get frustrated with strict brand guidelines, fixating too much on the 'not on brand' limitations.

Yet, setting and embracing these strict guidelines isn't about limiting creativity; it's about directing it efficiently and focusing on the 'on brand' possibilities.

This concept goes beyond just colors, fonts, and language. When you create specific templates or formats for presenting your brand's messaging or different types of content, it not only simplifies your work but also helps your audience recognize and understand your content more quickly.

It’s like when you read a newspaper article. Do you get bored seeing different information laid out in the same format? Of course not. 

Repetition and familiarity breed comfort. 

By maintaining a consistent pattern or format, content creators can form a signature style that becomes recognizable to their audience. This predictability does not dampen creativity; instead, it allows you to be innovative within a set framework, keeping the content fresh yet familiar.

Reminder: Strong branding is essential

Content that is closely aligned with our brand identity garners the most engagement. Therefore, do not shy away from robust branding—instead, welcome and leverage it.

Establishing creative constraints for content creation

So, how does one set effective boundaries to enhance creativity, especially for social media content? Here are a few practical strategies to channel your creativity through constraints. 

Repurpose a single piece of content into many pieces

Challenge yourself to transform one piece of content—be it an article, case study, or ebook—into ten distinct posts. This approach forces you to creatively dissect and repurpose existing content, saving you time and reaching your key messages further. 

When doing this, ask yourself questions, like: 

  • Can you spotlight a compelling quote?
  • Can you highlight one single paragraph? 
  • Can you compile a list of key takeaways? 

This exercise pushes you to maximize the potential of your content and explore different angles.

At Storykit, we use our text-to-video AI to streamline this process. We just input out text, and our AI templates work their magic, transforming it into a variety of video types, each highlighting different aspects of the text. By doing this, we can effortlessly produce a wide range of unique, educational content for social media and get more out of our existing content. 

→ Try creating your own video for free on our homepage now.

Further reading: Steal this hack to turn your articles into videos that get 5x the reach

Take an idea and use one framework to present it

Take a single idea, such as showcasing your product, and find inventive ways to present it in one format. For this example, let’s use a list.

Here are 3 examples of how you can present product information using lists: 

  • 3 reasons customers adore your product

  • 5 ways your product enhances efficiency

  • 4 new features you don’t want to miss

This method encourages creative thinking within a focused framework.

Use specific templates for recurring content

Templates can be a powerful tool for efficiency and creativity. Especially establishing set ones that you can use for recurring content.

At Storykit, we use tailored templates for different types of content. For example, we have a set layout for how we present our written case studies. They follow this framework: 

  • Case overview
  • Company summary
  • Challenge
  • Solution
  • Results

In addition we have video templates for new employee introductions. 

Here's an example of one of them:

Using these templates significantly speeds up the creation of new content, since they provide a ready-made framework detailing both the questions to ask and the presentation approach.

Niklas Franck, the Communications Director at OX2 also uses this method. He says, “One of the ways we work smarter is to set up some formats for recurring activities. For instance, we now have a 30-second video template that we use for our quarterly reports to make them a bit more interesting.” 

Why creativity thrives in Storykit 

In wrapping up, it's clear that a little limitation goes a long way in boosting creativity and output, particularly for social media content. 

The secret? Turning constraints into your creative playground. 

By applying boundaries like smartly repurposing content, sticking to a single presentation framework, or using consistent templates, you can not only streamline your creative process but also ensure your brand's voice shines through consistently.

Storykit is a prime example of how embracing such boundaries can lead to greater creativity and productivity. For example, we've intentionally designed our tool with built-in limits to streamline your creative process, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: your message. 

What we've locked in for you:

  • Branding colors: Your brand's colors are pre-set to automatically integrate into slide elements. This means less time spent deciding and more time creating.
  • Your font: We lock in your brand's font, so it's consistently applied to all projects without a second thought.
  • Rule sets: To foster creativity within clear boundaries, we can limit the number of slides you use. This simplifies content creation for everyone in your organization, ensuring it's always on-brand and pre-approved.
  • Logo placement: Your logo is given a designated spot, ensuring your brand is always prominently displayed and recognized.  

Contrast this with a tool like Canva, where you're presented with over 14,000 video templates. While this freedom allows for endless customization, it can also lead to branding inconsistencies and distractions from your core message. 

Storykit, on the other hand, encourages exploration within defined boundaries. This approach ensures that all content remains engaging, aligned with your brand, and consistently fresh.

So, remember, constraints aren't shackles—they're springboards. By intelligently applying them, we can elevate our content game and keep our audience hooked.

Ready to dive in and see how far your creativity can stretch within the bounds? Storykit could be your gateway to content that not only stands out but also resonates deeply with your audience.

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