The ultimate guide to marketing collateral - Featured image

Marketing Collateral: What, Why, Types and Tools!

Marketing collateral includes any type of printed or digital resource- information, media or content that helps support the marketing funnel. Let’s see how marketing collateral is used in different stages of the buyer’s journey and how it can skyrocket your company revenue!

No product can be successful without the help of marketers. Marketers make sure that the awesome product your company has created reaches as many people as it can.

Awesome gif related to marketing of products

They help spell out the solution to the problems your customers are facing. In order to do that effectively, they make use of something called marketing collateral. 

In order to successfully sell your product or service, one needs to nurture the prospects through the buyer’s journey. This is done by providing helpful marketing collateral for each stage. Using the wrong marketing collateral at the wrong time means lost sales, 99.9% of the time. 

But, what exactly is marketing collateral? Businesses and marketers rarely discuss this term, yet many engage with marketing collateral without even knowing they do so. 

This is why we decided to explore this topic in-depth and decided to give you a detailed overview of marketing collateral and how they can be used to market your product or service effectively. 

What is Marketing Collateral? 

Marketers help grow your organization by giving it a public face, carefully crafting its brand image, and telling stories that will resonate with the product’s target audience. 

With such heavy responsibilities resting on their shoulders, marketers need access to all the supplies they would need to help them optimize interactions with prospects. These supplies in this case are marketing collateral and it helps them to increase brand awareness and recognition. 

This is where the need for creating top-notch and resourceful marketing collateral arises. 

Marketing collateral is basically anything that helps move a prospect through the marketing funnel. Any material used to promote a product or service- be it print materials like brochures or flyers, digital ebooks or podcasts- all come under the category of marketing collateral. 

Marketing collateral includes any type of printed or digital resource, media or content that helps support the marketing and sales process.

The objective of these materials is to give prospects, the information they need to decide to buy your product or service and help guide them throughout the buyer’s journey. The many types of marketing collateral range from traditional flyers to websites and social media content.

Read more: Best Lead Generation Software to Boost Your Sales

Why Marketing Collaterals are Important?

Did you know that 70% of the buyer’s journey is completed before a buyer even reaches out to sales? Today’s consumers are more informed and more tech-savvy than ever. Before they even reach out to a sales representative, customers do their research on their own, look for product reviews, and compare similar products to get the best deal out there. 

As marketers, our job is to use various marketing collaterals at our disposal to spread the brand message for maximum exposure and awareness. To be wherever our prospects are. We have to help them out in their research and guide them in selecting the best option available. 

One thing to keep in mind is, different marketing collaterals serve different audience segments. If your audience has just begun exploring the solutions to their problems, your focus might be on building awareness. Whereas, if they already know about your brand, but are currently exploring other options, your focus might be to stand out of the crowd by explaining how your products or services are better than others.

People clapping on a product launch

A common theme amongst all marketing collateral is the presence of a call-to-action. The call-to-action may be as simple as a social media share button or something specific like a signup form. Regardless, the goal should be to entice prospects and help them make a decision. 

Read now: Marketing Strategies to Take Your Business to the Next Level

 

What are the Different Types of Marketing Collaterals?

Different types of marketing collateral serve different purposes. Their use depends on how far along your prospects are in the marketing funnel. Some customers might be ready to buy while others can be browsing options.

Therefore, it’s important for your business to be ready with different marketing collateral for different stages of the buyer’s journey. Let us explore some of the best marketing collaterals out there and how you can utilize them to create more brand awareness. 

  • Blog posts
  • eBooks
  • Landing pages
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Newsletters
  • Press Page
  • Corporate brochures
  • Presentations & Sales collateral
  • Explainer Videos
  • Email Signature
  • Infographics

1. Blog Posts

One of the most common types of marketing collateral that businesses use for inbound marketing is blog posts. Over 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content marketing priority.

The goal with blogging is to capitalize on suitable keywords and getting in front of the target audience and provide value. By simply providing answers to customer’s questions, marketers try to build up a repository in the industry.

  • Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI on their efforts.
  • 57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging.
  • B2B marketers who have blogs get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
  • 66% of marketers reported using blogs in their social media content in 2017.
  • Around 60% of marketers will reuse blog content 2-3 times.

Although the main goal of blog posts is to educate readers, marketers often end the blog with a call-to-action, trying to persuade readers to check out their product(s) or similar content as a byproduct.

Read more: Top Blogging Tools for 2020 to Make You a Better Blogger

2. eBooks

eBooks have gained tremendous popularity in the past few years and are amongst the hottest marketing material out there. For marketers, an ebook is an opportunity to provide in-depth and deep insight into an area of expertise, build trust and reliability amongst their target audience, and most importantly, generate new leads.

Marketers offer these ebooks for free in exchange for customer email or other contact information. Consumers find these ebooks to be informative and useful and are willing to make that trade with marketers happily as according to ImpactBND, 80 percent of users said they’d provide their email for a white paper or an ebook. 

This is the reason why a staggering 38% of content marketers consider ebooks as their most critical tactic for content marketing and lead generation.

Ebook as a marketing collateral

Creating an eBook doesn’t need to be time-consuming or complicated. If you are regularly posting on your company blog, you can take 4-5 blog posts on similar topics, compile them together, and convert them into an awesome ebook.

You can use a tool like Bit.ai to bring all your content, images, videos, presentations, interactive graphs and other information in one place and create an interactive ebook. Bit also allows you to attach a lead capture form to every ebook, helping you create lead information easily. 

3. Landing Pages

All your marketing campaigns should have a dedicated landing page. A landing page is a standalone web page that is created for a particular marketing campaign. This is where your audience “lands” after clicking an ad or a link.

Landing pages are created to serve a CTA or call-to-action, which is usually a signup form. Landing pages can be used for different purposes throughout a buyer’s journey. However, they are usually created in the lead generation phase to gather contact information, which can be further used for email marketing.

You don’t need to create just one landing page for gathering leads though. According to Hubspot, 10-15 landing pages can increase your leads by 55%. Having more is better in this case. Also, make sure that your landing pages are mobile-optimized as only 50% of landing pages are optimized for mobile devices.

If you don’t know how to code, you can use tools like UnbounceInstapage, or Leadpages to create an awesome looking landing page in seconds.

4. Case Studies

The use of case studies as a marketing tool is a widely popular strategy and for a good reason. Nearly 90 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

This is a major reason why a whopping 88% of B2B marketers use case studies as a content marketing tactic, second to social media (93%). Marketers understand that positive feedback and testimonies from existing buyers build trust and credibility for the brand and cause other customers to take the leap. 

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 63% of marketers believe that case studies are effective marketing tactics. Having a proof-of-concept and depicting the success previous customers have had with the product or service strengthens your case. In short, it adds trustworthiness to the company, product, and service.

case study as marketing collateral

By showing real-life examples of clients who were able to benefit from your products, you can establish your case in prospect’s minds which eventually results in greater sales. As more than 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, creating such marketing collateral is invaluable for your business. Case studies act as an elaborate form of testimonials. 

Note that case studies are less about listing down your product features and more about the problems faced by the “case” (the customer), the solution they used, and the outcome or result of adopting the solution. It’s more about the facts and less about “selling” your product or service.

5. White Papers

For businesses and marketers, White papers are research-intensive, authoritative, in-depth report aimed to highlight a critical problem and how the business is working towards solving it.

Although it takes more time to create a white paper than say, write a blog post, white papers act as lead magnets and are one of the main tools marketers use to generate leads.

White papers are often utilized by the sales and marketing teams to influence or educate prospects about a particular product, methodology or new technology, in the hopes of producing new leads and eventually, customers.

By providing in-depth research, supported by substantial evidence, examples, and references, marketers provide a ton of value to the prospect via a white paper and in turn, try to gain their trust and credibility.

While a blog can be opinion-based and informal, a white paper, on the other hand, is more research-oriented content aimed at a target audience who are way ahead in the marketing funnel. A great white paper establishes your reputation as an industry leader, making the reader much more likely to purchase from you than anyone else.

6. Newsletters

Email has been an age-old ally of marketers in keeping in touch with their clients and customers. Even though new technology like social media makes email look like a forgotten tool, stats tell a different story altogether. 

  • More than 86% of businesses surveyed indicate that they plan to increase their upcoming email marketing budgets, proving that email marketing is still a critical and strategic component of any company’s marketing mix.
  • Global email users amount to 3.9 billion users in 2019. 
  • In 2017 alone, 269 billion emails were sent and received each day (Statista, 2019). This figure is expected to increase to over 333 billion daily emails in 2022. 
  • Email generates $38 for every $1 spent!
  • 93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content.
  • 87% of marketers use email campaigns to nurture their audiences.

As you can clearly see, businesses continue to invest in email marketing even though social media seems to be all the rage right now. This is because customers love interacting with brands via email. Over 50% of US consumers say they like receiving promotional emails from their favorite brands once a week. In fact, over 80% say they wouldn’t mind receiving such emails once a month either!

Newsletters as marketing collaterals

Email newsletters provide much more intimate interaction between the brand and the customer, away from all the noise of social media. This is a big reason why 88% of B2B marketers use email newsletters for content marketing. 

If you are looking to up your email marketing and newsletter game, we would recommend you to check out elink.io, the best newsletter creator on the planet!

7. Press Page

A press page is a place for your brand to show-off. Press pages act as a central repository for all press mentions, media coverage, social media mentions, and other shoutouts you’ve been getting in the media.

Having a professional press page on your blog or website has many benefits. These include: 

  • If you are mentioned in the press, you must be trustworthy. Don’t let this marketing opportunity go to waste. Press pages are an excellent way to get credibility by showing your audience the various media sources who have mentioned you. 
  • Not only prospects, but press pages also help you gain the trust of brands and advertisers to attract more significant and vital partnerships.
  • Apart from showcasing all the awards and recognition, press pages are a great way to educate target customers as well as the media about what is going on at your business.

By not having a professional press page on their website, many companies lose out on potential brand partnerships and future media coverage and at the same time, give away an opportunity to provide proof of concept to their customers. 

Note: With elink, you can create professional-looking press pages in minutes. Just collect the articles you’ve been mentioned in or shoutouts you have been getting on social media and elink will generate a beautiful press page. 

Read more: How to Get Press For Your Startup | Find Journalists, Pitch Your Startup, Create Press Releases

8. Corporate Brochures

Printed materials such as brochures, pamphlets, guides, and flyers are traditional forms of marketing collateral. Even with the digitization of the majority of the marketing process, traditional pamphlets and brochures are still doing their job spreading the marketing messages!

Corporate brochures as marketing collateral

Brochures are traditionally thought to be physical marketing collateral, you can create digital brochures using tools like Canva and share it on your website, in your email newsletter, or on your social media too. 

9. Presentations & Sales Decks

Presentations and sales decks are traditionally PDFs or PowerPoints. They are used to persuade clients during sales meetings. However, brands are continually finding newer ways to share these presentations online.

While some companies embed these presentations on their website or company blog, others upload their presentations to platforms like SlideShare. Check out this presentation deck from Carlton Hotel and how interactive and engaging presentations can be. 

Sales decks are often used during the first major interaction with a prospect- describing the problems customers face and how your product or service can help them overcome those barriers. These presentations should not entirely revolve around your product or service. Rather, the only focus of these marketing collaterals should be solving the problems of the target audience.

If you want to create your own sales deck and presentations, take a look at this resource for inspiration: The Best Sales Deck Examples To Revamp Your Sales Strategy

10. Explainer Videos

Videos are another great type of marketing collateral. Video consumption is off the charts, thanks to platforms like Facebook Watch, Snapchat Stories, and of course, YouTube. The rise of videos has opened up huge opportunities for businesses and marketers. Check out these amazing video stats:

The customers, too, are appreciating these videos.

It’s safe to say that the majority of the customers would rather watch a product video than read about it. Thus, creating high quality, informational, and engaging videos should be your top priority. 

Explainer youtube videos as marketing collateral

If you are looking to create simple videos yourself without hiring any external help, you can use tools like Biteable or Powtoon. Tools like this make it extremely simple to create your own explainer videos.

Check out our explainer videos for inspiration!

11. Email Signature

You may have not noticed, but your email signature is also a part of your marketing collateral. As marketers, we are sending hundreds of emails a week.

Adding your contact info, call-to-actions, links to the latest blog posts, and other marketing collateral to email signatures is an easy way to promote your brand with every email you send.

When creating awesome email signatures, you can use a tool like Hubspot’s Email Signature Generator.

12. Infographics

Did you know that 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual? 

Studies have shown that people only remember as little as 20% of what they read and just 10% of what they hear. However, people remember 80% of what they see! This is why infographics work so well for marketers.

Infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%, making it a great piece of marketing collateral. Infographics are simple images that represent some data, information, knowledge or a combination of all three in a visual format for better engagement and understanding. 

Visuals are processed 60,000x faster by the brain than text, which is why infographics have had the biggest increase in usage amongst B2B marketers in the last four years – now at 65%. With so much content online, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

Infographics do an outstanding job of getting your brand noticed since they are highly visual, engaging and leave a lasting impression. 

Creating infographics as marketing collaterals

If you don’t have a design team, you can use tools like Canva, Piktochart, or Venngage to create stunning infographics.

Tips for Creating Top-Notch Marketing Collateral

Your customers will interact with your marketing collateral throughout their buying journey. While marketing collateral alone might not close the deal, you still need to optimize and perfect it to the point that it might as well does! Here are a few tips that’ll let you do just that:

1. Collaboration is Important

Great marketing collateral requires the efforts and teamwork of both the marketing and sales departments. While marketers are expert storytellers, salespeople are the ones interacting with prospects day-in and day-out.

In order for the company to create marketing strategy that invokes emotions and creates a long-lasting impression, the alignment of the sales and marketing teams is crucial. 

According to data, a staggering one trillion dollars is lost in sales due to a lack of proper communication and collaboration between sales and marketing teams. In order to effectively acquire new customers and retain existing ones, it is imperative that both sales and marketing operate as a single unit, share insights, combine resources, and create valuable and timeless collateral. 

Read more: 8 Free Easy To Use Online Collaboration Tools

2. Create What You Need 

Here’s a shocker- Up to 90 percent of all marketing content never gets used! Wanting to create great marketing collateral is a good strategy until you decide to not use it.

Make sure you have done intensive market research as well as studied past marketing campaigns to determine what kind of collateral performs the best with your target audience.

Animated man creating a marketing collateral

For example, If your audience mainly comprises of teenagers, you might want to create fun social media content on platforms like Snapchat and should not be wasting time creating 10,000 words white paper! Knowing what to create will help you streamline your workflow and will make sure you actually use the content you are producing. 

3. Involve Your designer

Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.

This is exactly the reason why marketing collateral should be created in collaboration with graphic designers. Your content is what makes people stay and consume your marketing collateral, but it is the design and imagery that catches their attention in the beginning.

Great marketing collateral is a combination of great content, coupled with awesome visual aesthetics that makes it irresistible to prospects.

Read more: 5 Killer Graphic Design Tips That Will Boost Your Customer Engagement

4. Keep Collateral Up-to-Date

Remove antiquated collateral and make sure you are presenting only the latest and greatest information to your audience. Double-check that your content is up-to-speed with regard to company information, logo, color schemes, discount codes, taglines and more.

New marketing collateral is always better gif

Only the latest and greatest content should make the cut. Keeping this content up-to-date is a must for marketers to deliver reliable and timely information to the prospects.

5. Customer is King – Always

While producing marketing collateral, we are so focused on the content and design, that we often forget about the most important aspect of this whole operation – the customer!

To create marketing collateral that stands out and speaks to the customers on an emotional level, you need to truly understand your customer’s pain points. Reverse engineer the needs and wants of your prospect and create marketing collateral in a language they understand and can relate to easily.

Read more: A Complete Guide To Influencer Marketing

Some Awesome Tools for Creating Marketing Collateral

Now that we know what types of marketing collateral you need to create and some much-needed tips on how to collaborate with your team and different departments to create irresistible content, it’s now time to explore some cool tools. These awesome tools will help you create marketing collateral quickly and easily and save you a ton of time, money, and effort!

Note: The tools in this list are not ranked in any order. These are just the ones that stand out as being the best at what they individually do.

1. Bit.ai

Bit.ai - Process Documentation Tools

Creating marketing collateral can be tough, especially if you don’t have a platform for collaboration. Since creating marketing material requires marketers, designers, and salespeople to work together, brainstorm ideas and share resources, doing this work over email or Slack can turn out to be disastrous. This is where Bit comes in.

Bit is a modern-day collaboration tool that empowers sales, design and marketing teams to make marketing and advertising materials while collaborating in a common workplace. It is a tool for creating marketing material and getting work together as a team.

Teams can create, customize collaborate and share ads, blog posts, sales decks, persona documents, and social media content.

Bit also provides amazing content management capabilities as it has a content library where users can save images, files, and digital content so that you can access and reuse them easily. Imagine, all of your work data and files in one place for easy access and storage!

Bit’s real-time collaboration feature makes it easy for your marketing team to get under one virtual roof, give their feedback and suggestions, add comments, and discuss work together like a cohesive group. 

Key Features

  • Embed rich media to boring docs
  • Chat and collaborate effectively with team
  • Templates to get started easily

Read more: Top Content Management Systems to try in 2020

2. Elink.io

elink.io for content curation

Content marketers will love this tool! elink.io is an amazing all-in-one content curation & marketing tool that helps marketers and content creators publish email newsletters, web pages and embed web content by just adding web links!

Turn any web links (articles, videos, etc.) into visual content in seconds. You can convert collections to email newsletters and export to MailChimp, Gmail & all third-party email providers that allow HTML code (including Campaign Monitor, MadMimi, Active Campaign, etc.).

Users can also track content performance and engagement levels on the content you create. elink offers 30+ beautiful prebuilt responsive layouts, so you never have to worry about design and can just focus on your content. This time-saving tool will change the way you create and share marketing collateral. 

Key Features

  • Create multiple marketing collateral easily
  • Awesome templates
  • Quick and simple to use

3. Canva

Canva: A designing tool

Graphic design plays a major role in creating any type of marketing material. It helps in grabbing attention in our fast-paced world and getting people to fully consume our marketing message.

Canva is our go-to tool for creating awesome designs for marketing and one of the easiest design tools on the market. The number of different designs you can make for nearly every social media platform and other marketing vertical is astonishing. You can create graphics for almost all purposes like:

  • Presentations
  • Online ads
  • Infographics
  • Brochures
  • Social media graphics
  • Posters
  • Flyers and much more!

If you are having trouble getting started, Canva also has free video training courses designed to show you how you can create better and interesting designs with Canva. It also offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS, making it one of the best free design tools available today.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive resource guides and tutorials
  • Amazing collection of ready-made templates
  • Drag and drop platform

4. Unsplash

Unsplash: A tool for creating marketing collateral

Speaking of design – photography and videography are all key elements of great design. We as marketers are often looking for the next stock photo to use on our landing pages, in between blog posts, social media graphics, ads and much more. If you want a great resource for stock photos, Unsplash is the go-to place to check out. 

  • Unsplash has over 300,000 high-resolution images
  • The platform has over 50,000 contributors, which ensures that you’ll surely find some great stock photos
  • 10 new photos added every 10 days

Every photo published on Unsplash is licensed under creative commons zero, making it an ideal resource to find awesome free stock images. 

Pexels, IStockPhoto, and Pixabay are some alternatives to Unsplash that are worth checking out. 

Key Features: 

  • Unsplash for brands
  • New photos added every day
  • Great collection

5. Buffer

Buffer: Tool for creating marketing collateral

Distribution is a key aspect of a successful marketing campaign. But, with so many avenues to distribute our content, it gets hectic and messy. Buffer wants to take the load off of your plate by automatically scheduling and posting your awesome marketing material to different social media platforms. 

A popular social media management tool, Buffer allows you to manage multiple social media profiles from a single dashboard and streamline your social media distribution. 

Buffer can be used to schedule posts, track performance, and manage all your social media accounts in one place. The app allows you to post marketing content to all your social media profiles with a single click.

With smart analytics, Buffer determines which content is performing the best and thus enables you to make strategies accordingly. It also has a browser extension that integrates with WordPress, Chrome, and RSS readers and is a handy addition that allows you to save content on the go and schedule it for later.

Key Features

  • Browser Extension to add to queue
  • Content scheduling and tracking 
  • Analytics for content insights

6. Optimizely

Optimizely: Tool for creating marketing collateral

Spending time, resources, and effort on creating different types of marketing collateral is of no use if you don’t accurately measure what works with your audience and what doesn’t.

Optimizely, a tool which claims to be the world’s leading experimentation platform, wants you to measure all your marketing efforts and double down on what’s working.

Optimizely provides vital information regarding engagement and empowers marketers to learn and deploy winning digital experiences. 

Optimizely removes the guesswork by allowing marketers to test headline ideas, new campaigns, discount offers, graphics, images, CTA’s, colors, in-code pricing algorithms and more.

Optimizely puts you in control, letting you control how many people see your experiments and then estimates their responses by segment. With Optimizely’s patented Stats Engine technology, marketers can make data-driven decisions in real-time.

Key Features: 

  • Segment by persona, industry, or other attributes 
  • Experimentation without writing a single line of code
  • Data-driven marketing approach. 

7. Leadpages

Leadpages: Tool for creating marketing collateral

Landing pages play a huge role in transforming prospects into buyers. Therefore, it’s important that marketers learn how to create and optimize high converting landing pages. If you don’t know how to design or don’t have a design team at your disposal, Leadpages is the tool you need.

Leadpages can be used for quickly creating, optimizing and publishing new landing pages. Simply select any of their mobile responsive landing page templates, customize it with their code, use their drag and drop editor, and publish it. 

Leadpages make the process of creating landing pages fun and exciting. The user-interface is simple enough for anyone to create landing pages in minutes. You can also add a CTA button and even launch Instagram and Facebook ads directly from the landing page created using their platform. 

Key Features: 

  • Drag and drop builder
  • Create alert bars, pop-ups, opt-in text, etc
  • Supports A/B split testing

What marketing collateral are you excited to create? 

A decade ago, brochures, flyers, posters, attending trade shows and more were the only ways to get the word out and acquire new customers.

With the advent of social media and other digital technologies, reaching out to customers and creating and distributing marketing collateral has never been easier. However, as the cost to reach out to a customer reduces, so does a customer’s attention span. 

In fact, data suggests that that the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now. With so many brands vying for so little attention, making sure you have the right marketing material at your disposal is crucial. 

As a marketer, your job is to help solve customer problems as quickly and as elegantly as you possibly can. You need to get them aware of your brand, what your product stands for, and how effectively it will help them solve the problem they are struggling with. 

Marketing collateral is a marketers ally in this crucial battle for customer attention. They are not only helpful in acquiring new customers but retaining them as well. Great marketing collateral is never created in silos. It’s the result of the combined effort and knowledge of designers, salespeople, and marketers.

Without their joint effort, no great marketing collateral can be created effectively. Great marketing collateral, in turn, drives revenue and helps creates more meaningful relationships with customers.

What are your thoughts on marketing collateral? Does your company produce great marketing collateral? Share your thoughts with us by tweeting us @elink_io

Further reads:

Ultimate guide to marketing collateral - Pinterest image