The use of marketing collateral is not a new strategy. From the tri-fold brochures at hospitals and country fairs to newsletters, banners, and posters–marketing collateral is everywhere; often without the average customer even realizing what it is.
Your marketing collateral needs to fulfill three criteria to succeed. It should be easily digestible, provide value to your customers, and be visually pleasing. But what kind of collateral will resonate the most with your buyers? Read our guide to find out which marketing collaterals are a good fit for your brand.
Table of contents
What is marketing collateral?
Every blog post, illustration, case study, social media GIF, brochure, and radio interview that supports your marketing campaign and tells your customer about who you are and what you do, is marketing collateral.
In other words: Marketing collateral is any piece of content, both online and offline, that you can use to promote your company’s business.
The primary role of marketing collateral is:
to provide accurate and authentic content that answers customer questions and solves their problems.
to attract customers and gain new leads.
to support and interact with your existing customers, increase brand loyalty, and ultimately gain repeat business.
4 ways to create impactful marketing collaterals
Marketing collateral is an invaluable tool. It can be applied to any audience and any goal. Here are 4 ways you can make it work.
• Know your audience
To create effective marketing collateral, it is absolutely imperative that you know your audience well. Who are you creating it for? What concerns do they have? What are their likes and dislikes? What do they need from you? These are just some of the questions you need to think about.
If your collateral helps your audience, solves a problem, assists in making a decision or even brightens their day a little bit, you know you’ve made an impression. And, the best part, you’ve got yourself a loyal customer base!
• Keep it data-driven
You can create marketing collateral day in and day out, but all your efforts will go to waste if your content does not have an impact. So how do you figure out whether or not your content is resonating with your customers? The answer is simple: data.
This data could be anything from customer feedback to hard numbers obtained using tools like Google Analytics. Using data driven strategies to create a plan of action is the best way to ensure that your content is serving its purpose.
• Stay on brand
Do you need to create different types of marketing collateral? Yes.
Do all of them need to have the same brand consistency? Also yes!
No matter how many different forms of marketing collateral you create for your company, the message and overall feel of each needs to be uniform and aligned with that of the brand.
The uniformity could stem from anything: having the same color scheme across every collateral or using the same font and graphic style for each. Off brand marketing collateral tends to create a bad impression on customers, and negatively affects the reliability of your brand.
• Keep distribution channels in mind
Whether it is paid for, free, or owned, every marketing channel has its own requirements that you need to meet, to effectively promote your business through those channels. For example, you will need to consider each platform’s guidelines with respect to maximum file size, word limit, etc.
Additionally, using the same piece of collateral for every distribution channel is never a good idea. A blog post cannot double as a newsletter, and vice-versa.
It is very important to keep your distribution channels in mind, and customize your content for each channel, for it to perform well and have a lasting impact on your audience.
14 best types of marketing collaterals
Browse through different types of marketing collateral and learn how to leverage them to generate more leads, create brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
1. Blog posts
As a piece of long-form content, blogs are a great way to promote your brand, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and attract visitors to your site. They’re also really useful for owning keywords in organic search, and making sure your web page ranks higher on search engines.
A good blog post is like a beautifully decorated hallway: It’s pleasing to look at, provides information about the owner, and makes visitors want to see more of the place (or in this case, your website.)
Just make sure that your blog posts provide accurate information and help your readers out, instead of only promoting your business or its products.
2. Landing pages
As far as marketing collateral is concerned, very few rival the immediate commercial value of a good landing page.
But what is a landing page?’
A landing page is a standalone page tied to a specific marketing campaign. It is essentially where the audience lands when they click on an ad.
All of your businesses’ marketing campaigns should have a dedicated landing page. While your website also technically works as marketing collateral, it gives a broad view of your entire business. A landing page focuses on one aspect. It provides a targeted message for what you want to emphasize to the customer at a given moment.
Landing pages are usually used to generate leads, and contain calls to actions (e.g filling up a registration form). Check out a few examples here.
3. Case studies
Case studies give you an opportunity to show off your business or products, without being obnoxious about it.
The main objective of a case study is to demonstrate how other companies have achieved success with your product or services. Ideally, you should have multiple case studies so that potential clients can find one about a company similar to theirs, facing the same problems, and read all about how you could help them.
You can take a look at some case studies about the companies we have worked with here.
4. White papers
Originally, white papers were a tool for legislators to explain a particular political solution. Today, they have a broader industry application, but the essence remains the same.
White papers are long-form content that display your authority on a particular topic.
White papers for businesses are usually on topics related to the field the business is in. They are impactful pieces of marketing collateral for prospective clients who might be looking for an in-depth understanding of a particular topic. For example, the original white paper about ethereum published by the founder in 2014.
White papers have the potential to generate a large number of leads, if used correctly and effectively. They are a more “serious” form of marketing content, and do not normally contain lots of images or graphics. They are also much more elaborate than blog posts, and tackle all angles of a topic or issue. A good collection of white papers can help establish you as a thought leader in your field.
The more aesthetic cousin of whitepapers, e-books are an excellent way to deliver value to your clients, build relationships, and establish trust and credibility.
Like white papers, e-books are educational, and talk about a specific topic. However, unlike white papers, they usually have graphics, illustrations, and in general are a tad bit more entertaining and less technical.
E-books are a versatile piece of marketing collateral. You can trade them for prospective clients’ email addresses, thus generating multiple leads for your business (this is known as gating). You can also offer them for free or as part of a subscription plan, distribute them via email, even tweak them to be more like slides with clickable links. The possibilities are endless.
6. Email newsletters
Companies generally use newsletters to keep in touch with their existing clients, and inform them about new launches or product updates.
Newsletters are a great way to show up in your client’s inbox without being pushy, and add value by providing information on a specific topic related to your business. A good method is to distribute them as a subscription service, with weekly or monthly publications.
Newsletters can also be used to promote any other pieces of marketing collateral you might have. Got a new blog, or podcast, or ebook coming out? Tell your clients about it in the next newsletter!
If you’re running out of ideas about what to include in your newsletter, here’s a guide we wrote to help you out.
Your portfolio is essentially you putting your best foot forward. It is a collection of your best work, all in one place, presented on a platter to the client for their consideration.
Showing a portfolio of your work to your clients lends authenticity and credibility to your sales pitch. A carefully curated exhibition of your business, its products and services, along with customer testimonials is a simple way of allowing your efforts to actually speak for themselves. It is proof that you do your job well, and are an expert in your field.
Podcasts have become increasingly popular in recent years. Leveraging that popularity to use it as marketing collateral is an easy way to generate leads and expand your customer base.
Your podcast could have interviews with CEOs, field experts, even celebrities. You could also combine your podcast with another form of marketing collateral, and create something exciting to attract clients (e.g. the 100th subscriber to the monthly newsletter gets a chance to ask the company director questions in next week’s podcast). They’re a great way to connect with a younger audience, and increase brand awareness.
(Pssst…we have a podcast too! Check it out!)
9. Company awards
Company awards are another way to subtly brag about your company without being too pushy about it. Received an award for the best product in your field or best services provided? Show it off!
Using company awards as marketing collateral allows your clients to identify the best things about your company that other people have already vouched for. Additionally, being recognized by authority figures as a leader in the field puts you head and shoulders above your competition.
10. Product catalogs
No matter what type of business you own or run, having a handy catalog that walks your customers through all of your products and services is a must.
Showcasing your businesses’ products or services through a catalog helps increase sales tremendously. It’s much easier for buyers to make a decision about what to purchase when they’re looking at a catalog, as opposed to other forms of marketing collateral, because all the information is neatly laid out for them in one place.
You can have physical catalogs that you hand out to customers, or you could have digital catalogs which get directly delivered to customers’ inboxes.
Video logs or vlogs are basically blogs amped up to the next level. However, they are also digestible in a way that long-form blogs are not.
Vlogs provide an exciting visual element to your marketing strategies. It’s the same compelling information that your customer would find in a blog, presented in a video format to make it more dynamic, colorful and visually appealing.
12. Testimonials and reviews
When was the last time you bought something online without going through the customer reviews?
In today’s world, customer testimonials and reviews are the best way to create trust about your business, and its products and services.
In some ways, a review acts like a condensed case study. A customer may not have the time to read whole case studies, but they can easily go through a few reviews which attest to the good work that your business has done. A prospective customer is always more likely to do business with you if they see that your existing clients are satisfied with your services.
What is a sales calculator?
It is basically an interactive tool that is applied throughout a customer’s journey. It makes calculations based on the data provided by a customer, to generate a customized experience for every individual.
A sales calculator generates enormous value for the lead, because it provides answers to their specific questions. It establishes your business or brand as an expert in the subject. This further motivates the customer to explore more, and become a business client.
To be effectively used as marketing collateral, it is of the utmost importance that the Sales Calculator have appropriate dialogue with the customer, explore their pain points, and present valuable suggestions. For example, a client who is on the fence about hiring your services would be convinced if the calculator showed the potential ROI he could receive. A sales calculator needs to have an easy, light and responsive design, because unnecessary complexity could do more harm than good.
14. Sales playbook
An unconventional but important form of marketing collateral, a sales playbook outlines the role of each person in the sales team, and how the team interacts with each other and with customers throughout the sales journey.
While the playbook originates in the sales department of your company, it may well interact with additional departments to ensure a smooth and comprehensive sales approach for the entire company. Having a playbook also prevents things from dissolving into complete chaos when new sales content or strategies need to be created. It eliminates the haphazard way of moving forward by providing a clear-cut strategy.
The sheer variety of marketing collateral that exists is staggering. The above-mentioned marketing collateral in this guide is just a few of a large number of possible content and opportunities that can be used to promote your business.
The truth is, you can never have too much marketing collateral. Its value is transferable across various departments, mediums, and company objectives.
Therefore, it is extremely important to have an integrated marketing strategy in place to align the creation, review, edit, and approval of every piece of content. Read our guide on integrated marketing to yield the best return on your investment in collateral!
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