Marketing is now shifting away from cold-call strategies. These days, it’s all about content. Businesses now are investing in. They're coming up with marketing collateral design to show to their audience.
This shift makes sense as 70% of customers today have said they prefer to learn about products and services on their own. They respond more favourably to content instead of the hard or cold sell.
This is good news for businesses of all sizes. More people doing their own research online. They're not just automatically going for big-name brands anymore. Even small businesses can get a share of the global market regardless of the industry.
Your own businesses can become competitive. You can do this by creating marketing collateral that will grab your audiences’ attention.
If you're not sure where to start or want to know how to level up your existing marketing strategy, this is for you.
Simply put, marketing collateral is any piece of content you will use to promote your company, products, or services.
In the past, marketing collateral used to specifically refer to printed sales collateral. These were usually brochures salespeople give out as they make their pitch. These days, the types of marketing collateral at a company’s disposal are almost endless. They can range from Blogs and E-mail Newsletters to Flyers and eBooks.
Basically, marketing collateral is anything that communicates who you are. It's any piece of content that shows prospects what you're offering.
As face-to-face sales pitches become less frequent, companies need a different way to approach their target market.
You can combine effective strategies to guide customers down the buyer's journey. You won't even need a dedicated sales team to nudge them every step of the way.
Marketing collateral design with the right messaging, seen by your customers at the right time, can yield conversions.
Here are some of the reasons marketing collaterals are essential for any business:
Using a combination of different marketing collaterals will make them 100x more effective. This is true whether you're building your audience, generating leads, or acquiring customers.
Recently, it seems like every business has moved online. Nearly 90% of today’s companies are adopting digital-first strategies. Marketing materials made and distributed online have their own unique advantages as a result.
You can track online marketing collateral and see exactly how your audience is engaging with them. The effectiveness of online marketing is easily measurable.
This does not mean that offline marketing strategies are now irrelevant, however.
Customers now expect to interact with companies across different channels. This goes for both opportunities online and offline.
Whether or not you have a physical store or office, your marketing efforts will benefit from consistent branding. This means consistency across both online and offline channels.
You want your customers to have a high-quality experience with your company. This goes for whether you’re communicating with them through an email newsletter or a virtual sales pitch.
When your offline marketing collaterals from brochures to business cards are the same high-quality as your website and online marketing content, you show clients a streamlined marketing strategy.
Let’s look at the different types of marketing collateral.
Nearly every type of content you see online can be used as marketing collateral.
There are so many options at your disposal. But the type that will work best for your business will depend on who your target market is and where they are on the customer’s journey.
Different markets require different approaches.
The marketing collateral strategy you will use also depends on what you want to communicate. Do you want to promote new products? Re-engage existing customers? Get new leads? There's a type of marketing collateral that will be more effective than others.
Here’s a rundown of some popular types of marketing collateral, and when best to use them:
Brochures were popular print collaterals because they were small and portable. Even with their size, they contain concise information about a company, product, or service.
These days, brochures are still valuable even in digital form. They can contain more text than infographics and still be designed according to your branding.
These are articles you write and publish on your company website. Blog posts are some of the most versatile marketing collateral today. You can write a blog post for every customer persona you want to target, every problem you want to solve, or topic you want to discuss.
Or, you can educate readers per specific blog post. In addition, you can also have a blog and content marketing strategy in place to help increase brand awareness. Publishing blog posts consistently can grow your readership, which can then convert to customers in the long run.
If you want to show prospects how your product or service works for other clients, you can create case studies. These show the problem the client faced and the solution you offered. What's compelling is that you also show the result and finally, what your customer or client thought about the experience.
These are effective marketing collateral because they show specifics. If prospects see a similar company facing similar problems that you were able to solve, working with you will become a no-brainer!
These are effective especially for industries where you want to establish yourself (or your company) as an expert. This is also invaluable for thought leadership marketing. You can write about industry strategies or your unique business insights, and package them in an eBook.
As marketing tools, they’re great lead magnets. You can offer eBooks up to your audience for free in exchange for their emails. This is especially valuable if you want to create awareness of a problem you’re solving. You can help your readers become problem-aware and seek you as the solution.
You can diversify the content you publish on your website. They don’t all have to be blog posts that directly talk about problems your audience are facing and solutions you can offer. As long as they’re published under the brand, these are branded content.
Alternatively, you can produce content yourself. You can then have other media publications publish these on their platforms so you can tap into their audience. This gives your brand exposure to your target audience that might not yet be aware of your brand.
Already have interested prospects? Do you just need to give them that last nudge that helps them make their decision? Proposals can be compelling collaterals to share with them at this stage.
These marketing materials are often lengthy and dynamic presentations. They give prospects an overview of who you are and what you offer. Initially, these presentations came in the form of PowerPoint and slides, but you can make them more dynamic and take your prospects on a journey.
Aside from acquiring new customers, you can also market to existing and past clients through re-engagement emails. Nearly half of people who received re-engagement emails open them. This increases the chances of them completing transactions they previously abandoned.
You can design emails that will remind recipients of additional offers that complement their purchase. You can also use these emails to remind them of products they left in their online cart.
Newsletters are regular emails you can send your subscribers. These newsletters can be as frequent or seldom as you want. You just have to find that sweet spot between sending too or too seldomly. You don't want people unsubscribing or forgetting about your brand, right?
Newsletters are effective marketing tools because they keep your brand top of mind in inboxes. You can send prospects a newsletter featuring lists of your best content. You can also spotlight clients or team members, share wins, or even feature products and promos the recipient mayl enjoy.
This type of marketing collateral is especially valuable if you have an event to promote. Event Magazines are standalone magazines dedicated to a single event such as a major conference or concert.
Event Magazines show recaps, videos, and photos of the event for people to get a feel of what it’s like to attend a specific event. With the internet, event magazines are in multimedia formats, and can even be interactive.
These are documents that have company or industry-wide data sent to stakeholders. You can also use this as marketing collateral, especially when trying to acquire enterprise clients. They give an overview of your company's performance for a specific timeframe.
They're usually presented as PDF documents that aren't very interesting to read. As they report on your company's progress, you want them to be engaging. These days, you can design them according to your brand or even make them interactive.
Infographics are visual representations of content. These can be graphs, charts, statistics, or just key concepts. They’re often presented in visually appealing designs that grab attention. Good infographics make sure the content is easily understood and is valuable to the reader.
They can be standalone collateral you can share on your social media channels or included in blog posts. You can add your logo on infographics and design them according to your branding standards. You can also add your company name and website link as source for the infographic.
Now that you know the many different types of marketing collateral you can use how do you create them and make them effective?
Below are some best practices you can adopt when planning and creating your own content.
Consider these as your marketing collateral checklist:
Online or offline, people sometimes only have a few seconds before they decide to do business with you or not. If they take anything from your marketing collateral, make sure it’s: who you are, and what you offer.
Keep your marketing materials simple or at least easily digestible to help people make fast decisions. Make your content easily digestible. Don’t use fancy or complicated words or designs as people tend to easily skip over.
After looking at your marketing collateral, what action do you want your readers to take? Make sure your marketing material always includes a call to action, and that these calls to action make sense for the marketing material.
Avoid overwhelming your readers with too many calls to action. Keep them focused on one thing you want them to do after reading. This can range from asking them to follow you on social media to giving you a call to know more about your services.
You're going to want to execute many marketing collateral ideas. But you need to make sure each and every piece matches your company’s high standards. You want to make a favourable impression to your audience.
How do you do this, especially if you want to scale up and make a ton of marketing collateral? You can use tools that streamline the process. The downside is, these tools might have limited customisation options. Their marketing collateral templates may look too similar to everything else on the market.
What do you do if you want to scale up your marketing design production?
Remember, if you’re not yet ready to expand your in-house team, you can hire pre-vetted designers with services like Design Buffs to work with you.
Today’s customers now expect companies to engage with them in different ways before they decide on doing business with the company. They want to get to know your business first before making a decision.
The consistency of your marketing materials can impact your overall company growth. This means branding consistency as well as volume consistency. The more marketing materials you put out, the more opportunities you have for your audience to know you.
Of course, quality is of utmost importance. These materials are your audience’s first experience of your company. Each marketing collateral must be high-quality not just in content, but in how it is made.
Marketing collateral with the right messaging and designs consistent with your branding tells them who you are. It shows everyone what you offer and the level of quality they can expect when working with you.