Marketing collateral is the term used to describe the different marketing materials used by a business to promote their company. When this term first began to be used, it usually referred to the different printed materials used to promote their service or product.
When so much of your marketing and business is conducted online, marketing collateral refers to both on and offline marketing material used to promote your company. A good marketing strategy combines both marketing types with a stronger focus on online marketing because of marketing trends.
Things To Remember Before You Start Planning Your Marketing Collateral
– All your marketing materials should flow. Whether it is your business cards or a request for more information page on your website, there should be continually logos, design, and style. This is essential for building a brand.
– Always monitor your marketing collateral to ensure that you are getting a return on your investment. You must watch for shifts in marketing so that you always have the right collateral available.
Types of Marketing Collateral You Must Have
It is important that you still carry business cards. This is often the first contact with your company a potential client will have in an offline setting. Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than having to scribble your website name or contact information on a scrap of paper to give to a client. The business card remains the staple of all marketing collateral.
Many people do not take advantage of this simple free tool. Create an email signature that states who you are, your company’s position, and your relevant contact information. You would be amazed to learn how many people save emails they receive to later contact a business. Having this signature in place adds to the professionalism of your emails and business.
Having a company blog is a great way to connect with people in a non-formal way. Use your blog to address common problems or issues that your potential clients may face, or use it to talk about new ways to benefit from old products. Do not be aggressively selling your product or service. Use your blog to connect on a personal level. Sales will follow.
Company and Founder Bios
Dedicate a page of your website to introduce your company’s founders, employees, and a story of your company. It may not seem like something that people will read, but they will. The Internet takes away the personal connection that many people crave when they purchase a service or product. Allowing them to be integrated into your company’s story and who works there helps the visitor to your site get a more personal feel.
White Papers and E-Books
Make sure that your company looks like it is an expert in your field or industry. Have white papers available for download or even e-books to provide your potential clients with valuable help and information. When you prepare these white papers or downloadable books, ensure that your brand is clear on all papers to help your clients remember where this valuable information was first obtained.
If you have a very satisfied customer, ask them if you can publish a case study on your website about your interaction with them. For example, if you have a lawn service and you specialize in drought-resistant landscaping designs, you may want to show pictures of a clients landscape before your work and after your work, highlighting the fact that not only is their landscape now very attractive, but it also uses 75 percent less water to maintain that beauty, which is environmentally friendly and saves your client money on managing their landscape.
Email remains the best way to reach potential customers and get a result from that contact. An email newsletter is a quick way to remind your client that you are around, introduce or reintroduce products or services, and spread a little good news. The most effective email newsletters do not include all sales information. Include an interesting and positive tidbit of information or a favorite recipe. People will stop to read the newsletter because they feel that it was personalized with those simple features.
Online Help Assistant
While many people may believe that having an online chat option is a customer service related issue, it is also a very strong marketing tool if you use it to your advantage. Include in the marketing material that you have online help available at all times. No need to wait for email responses or calling during business hours. If you need information fast, there is live chat available on the site.
As a whole, people like the option of being able to “talk direct” to the website owner or business owner. They like having their questions answered, and their concerns are addressed right away. Providing this service is a great way to get a sale from a person who was unsure about making the final purchase. Live chat addresses your clients’ emotional or personal feelings, and meeting those needs makes your clients feel secure.
There are still some very positive uses for printed brochures or sales flyers. Even without a brick and mortar shop, you can actively promote your business in person. Passing out literature about your business or product at networking events, local outings, or even events or fairs brings back the personal interaction that people desire and will allow these new contacts to find your online when they get home.
In The End
Of course, there are always things that you can add to your marketing collateral, such as customer reviews, how-to videos, tutorials, and social media marketing through photos. Onsite demonstrations may be something that your company could benefit from, and there are still billboard ads available that work for certain industries.
Look at what you offer, make sure that your brand flows across all marketing media, and fine-tune what you offer. This is the best marketing strategy that you can put into place for your company.
About the author:
Creating a movement takes two things: the right people and the right message. Finding the right people takes laser focus and extensive research. Crafting the right message requires in-depth market knowledge and constant tweaking. It’s not about thinking outside the box, it’s about knowing what your box is made of and using it to your advantage.