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20 Types of Marketing Collateral

Think of it this way: even if you have the best business idea, if you couldn’t use words or pictures, how far would you get? That’s where marketing collateral comes in. It’s the creative stuff – digital or printed – that businesses use to get leads, keep customers, and sell more.

As a marketing pro, understanding this toolkit is crucial. With so many options, picking the right ones can make or break your marketing game. But to do that, you need to understand the basics of Marketing Collateral, and that’s precisely what we’re here to explore.

In this blog post, we’ll break down Marketing Collateral, explaining what it is and how it can help your business. Let’s Begin!

What is Marketing Collateral?

Marketing collateral refers to the various materials, both digital and printed, that companies use to convey and promote their brand, products, or services.

These materials serve different purposes, from sales support to addressing specific goals. Businesses utilize marketing collateral to enhance awareness, attract leads, and foster customer loyalty. Examples include brochures, posters, videos, e-books, newsletters, and graphics.

It goes beyond sales, as organizations deploy marketing collateral for diverse objectives. For instance, it can uplift employee morale or facilitate a corporate rebrand.

Marketing collateral plays a crucial role in conveying a brand’s identity and messaging throughout the customer journey. Different types of collateral suit various stages, such as blog posts and online advertising for brand awareness, case studies and whitepapers for consideration, and how-to guides for decision-making.

Originally rooted in print materials aiding sales, the concept has evolved digitally, maintaining its core purpose of providing information for informed purchase decisions.

In essence, marketing collateral encompasses the creative assets crucial for promoting products, services, or brands.

Types of Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral is a crucial aspect of promoting your business, and it comes in various forms, both traditional and digital. To effectively engage your audience, manage your budget, and achieve your goals, you need to choose the right mix of marketing collateral strategically. Here’s an organized overview of some key types that marketers consistently rely on:

1. Blog Posts

Blog posts are a cornerstone of content marketing, serving as an excellent tool for attracting new prospects and supporting existing clients. When creating blog content, the focus should be on providing valuable information to the audience rather than using it as a mere promotional platform. Key benefits of blog posts include:

  • SEO Boost: Well-optimized blog posts contribute to increased website traffic and improved search engine rankings, enhancing online visibility.
  • CTA Integration: Including a call to action (CTA) within blog posts allows for the conversion of readers into potential leads, driving engagement.
  • Sales Support: Blog posts serve as educational materials, providing insights into industry trends, updates, and best practices. The sales team can easily share this information with leads and clients.
  • Common Uses: Educational content, industry updates, advice, or best practices.

2. Brand Magazines

Brand magazines play a dual role, either sharing information about products and services or engaging the audience through content marketing. Two distinct approaches are prevalent:

  • Promotional Nature: Some organizations use brand magazines for promotional purposes, including product catalogs and specific information about offerings.
  • Content Marketing: Others adopt a less explicit approach, relying on articles and information that resonate with a specific audience. For instance, REI’s “Uncommon Path” magazine caters to outdoor enthusiasts, building a connection over shared interests.

3. Brochures

Brochures are concise pamphlets containing crucial information about a company and its products or services. They come in varying formats, from simple booklets to high-gloss, high-design materials.

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When creating brochures, it’s essential to ensure they are easily scannable, utilizing visuals, short, catchy copy, or bullet points to convey the company’s story. Long-form content has no place in brochures, as they are designed for quick and effective communication.

Key Considerations:

  • Scannability: Brochures should be designed for easy scanning, with visuals and concise text to convey information quickly.
  • Visual Appeal: High-gloss and visually appealing design can enhance the overall impact of the brochure.

4. Direct Mail

Despite its ancient origins, direct mail remains a relevant form of marketing collateral when targeted appropriately. While many receive unsolicited mail, effective direct mail relies on audience targeting.

For instance, sending a coupon for a gift to someone who attended a past conference demonstrates a personalized and thoughtful approach. Direct mail, when well-executed, can cut through the clutter and reach individuals with content they find valuable.

Key Considerations:

  • Audience Targeting: Direct mail’s effectiveness hinges on accurately targeting the right audience with personalized content.
  • Personalization: Tailoring direct mail to individual preferences or past interactions can significantly enhance its impact.

5. Displays

Eye-catching displays, strategically placed in prominent locations, come in diverse shapes, sizes, and formats. Whether it’s roadside billboards, shelf signage, or interactive product kiosks, the choice depends on goals and budget considerations. Key considerations include:

  • Goal Alignment: Determine whether the display is intended to grab attention, engage, entertain, or educate the audience.
  • Budget Constraints: Assess the budget available for creating and placing the display to ensure alignment with the overall marketing strategy.

6. E-books

E-books represent long-form content designed to educate readers and showcase expertise on a specific topic. While educational, e-books tend to be more entertaining and less technical than white papers. As premium content, businesses may request an email address or a fee for access. Key features and uses include:

  • In-Depth Exploration: E-books allow a deep dive into a topic, offering comprehensive coverage and insights for the audience.
  • Educational Entertainment: Balancing education with entertainment, e-books engage readers while delivering valuable information.
  • Lead Generation: Since they are considered premium content, businesses can use e-books as a tool for lead generation by requesting user information for access.

7. Infographics

Infographics are visual representations of information or data, providing a break from dense text and making content easily digestible. They serve multiple purposes, including:

  • Storytelling: Infographics are effective tools for storytelling, simplifying complex subjects, and capturing the audience’s attention.
  • Visual Appeal: Designed to be visually appealing, infographics present information in a creative and engaging manner.
  • Brand Consistency: While creative, it’s crucial to maintain brand recognition even in the most artistic infographics.

8. Logos

Logos are foundational elements of marketing collateral, playing a crucial role in making a brand recognizable at a glance. A well-designed logo evokes a brand’s purpose and personality, serving as a visual representation. Key considerations include:

  • Brand Recognition: Logos contribute significantly to brand recognition and should be carefully designed to align with the brand’s identity.
  • Evolution Over Time: While logos may evolve, changes should be deliberate and meaningful, maintaining continuity and brand equity.

9. Podcasts

Podcasts have gained immense popularity, but their success requires a deep understanding of the audience and the delivery of high-quality content. Unlike a side project, podcasts demand dedicated resources for success. Key aspects include:

  • Audience Understanding: Successful podcasts require a profound understanding of the target audience’s preferences and interests.
  • Resource Commitment: Dedicated resources, including time, effort, and potentially financial investments, are essential for podcast success.
  • Content Quality: Standout podcasts focus on delivering stellar content, ensuring it stands out in the crowded podcast landscape.

10. Reports

Reports serve as excellent marketing collateral when a business possesses proprietary research, data, or findings. They offer a platform to share learnings, establish subject matter authority, and build trust through credible information. Key features include:

  • Legitimacy through Research: Reports provide a foundation for legitimate information backed by research amid the abundance of misinformation.
  • Customer Trust: Offering credible and well-researched insights contributes to building trust among customers.
  • Exemplary Practices: Reports like Acquia’s annual Customer Experience Trend Report showcase industry trends and exemplify best practices in reporting.

11. Reviews

Reviews are potent marketing collateral, serving as a culmination of branding and customer service efforts. Unlike content created by the marketing team, reviews are generated organically by customers. Key aspects include:

  • Reflecting Brand Perception: Reviews offer a real-time reflection of how customers perceive products or services, influencing potential buyers.
  • Third-Party Endorsement: Reviews provide third-party endorsements, adding credibility and authenticity to a brand.
  • Platform Diversity: From B2B review sites like G2 and Capterra to star ratings on individual products, reviews come in various forms, each influencing brand perception.

12. Sell Sheets

Also known as one-pagers, sell sheets are downloadable documents or webpages summarizing the most compelling benefits, features, and aspects of a product or service. Effective sell sheets balance comprehensiveness with visual appeal. Key features include:

  • Comprehensive, Concise Information: Sell sheets offer a detailed yet concise overview, showcasing key selling points without overwhelming the reader.
  • Visual Communication: Imagery plays a crucial role in sell sheets, aiding in the communication of essential information, such as the product’s appearance.

13. Social Media

In today’s marketing landscape, maintaining a social media presence is nearly mandatory for businesses. However, strategic selection of platforms is crucial to maximize impact. Key considerations include:

  • Strategic Platform Selection: Rather than being on every available platform, businesses should strategically choose platforms aligning with their target audience.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Focusing on creating a great experience on selected channels is more beneficial than spreading efforts thinly across multiple platforms.

14. Specialty Items (Swag)

Swag, or “stuff we all get,” remains a popular and tangible form of marketing collateral. Businesses brand items like blankets, bags, pens, and more to establish rapport and increase brand awareness. Key considerations include:

  • Brand Alignment: Swag should align with the organization’s beliefs and values. For instance, an environmental brand should distribute eco-friendly swag.
  • Creativity and Deliberation: Being creative with swag choices while remaining deliberate ensures that the items are both memorable and aligned with the brand.

15. Testimonials and Case Studies

Testimonials and case studies are impactful ways to showcase customer success stories, highlighting the value of a company’s products or services. They serve as authentic endorsements and persuasive tools. Key features include:

  • Highlighting Customer Success: Testimonials and case studies shine a spotlight on how customers have benefited from a company’s offerings.
  • Inspiring Other Customers: These collateral types inspire potential customers by demonstrating real-world applications and positive outcomes.

16. Videos

Videos have become a ubiquitous and highly engaging form of marketing collateral, catering to various purposes and preferences.

As a versatile medium, videos offer a range of formats, from how-to explainers to product overviews and testimonials. Key considerations include:

  • High Return on Investment (ROI): Over half of marketers cite videos as having the highest ROI, making them a valuable asset in a marketing strategy.
  • Diverse Formats: Videos provide versatility, allowing businesses to experiment with different formats to achieve specific goals.
  • Audience Engagement: The visual and auditory nature of videos enhances audience engagement, making them more likely to retain information.

17. Visual Content

Visual content encompasses a broad category of marketing collateral, including images, charts, GIFs, memes, diagrams, and screenshots. Even text-based content can be considered visual if it incorporates visuals. Key features include:

  • Diverse Elements: Visual content spans various elements, adding an extra layer of engagement to textual information.
  • Enhanced Storytelling: Whether standalone assets or integrated into other content, visuals contribute to effective storytelling.
  • Recognition as Marketing Collateral: Acknowledging that most marketing collateral is visual emphasizes the importance of incorporating visuals into content creation.

18. Webinars

Webinars, or online seminars, offer a dynamic way to engage with an audience, providing live or pre-recorded presentations over the Internet. They serve educational purposes, often repurposed into other marketing collateral. Key aspects include:

  • Lead Capture: Webinars capture leads from attendees interested in the topic, contributing to a more qualified audience.
  • Repurposing Content: Content from webinars can be repurposed into other collateral, such as blog posts, extending its value.
  • Brand Awareness: Hosting webinars allows businesses to center marketing efforts around specific topics, enhancing brand awareness.

19. Websites

While not often recognized as traditional marketing collateral, a company’s website is a curated collection of powerful collateral. It serves as a central hub for various types of content, including landing pages and deep-dive pillar pages. Key features include:

  • Centralized Information: Websites consolidate various forms of marketing collateral, presenting a comprehensive overview of a business.
  • Curated Content: Each standalone landing page or pillar page contributes to the overall marketing strategy, offering focused information.
  • Brand Representation: Websites play a crucial role in representing a brand online, emphasizing the need to treat them as strong marketing assets.

20. White Papers

Originating as tools for legislators, white papers have evolved into problem-solving guides with broader industry applications. They present in-depth, authoritative, and persuasive information backed by research. Key considerations include:

  • Problem-Solving Focus: White papers focus on presenting solutions to problems, making them valuable resources in decision-making.
  • Expertise Showcase: By delving into complex topics, white papers showcase a company’s expertise, establishing credibility.
  • Visual Elements: Incorporating visuals into white papers enhances readability and understanding, making complex information more accessible.

Understanding the strengths and applications of each type of marketing collateral empowers businesses to create impactful and strategic content that resonates with their target audience. Remember, the key is to tailor your approach based on your goals, audience, and budget, ensuring a well-rounded and effective marketing strategy.

How To Create Marketing Collateral?

Creating marketing collateral is more than just having something to share—it’s about making a meaningful impact. It requires careful planning, clear goals, and the right team to produce materials that are both effective and professional. Let’s break down the process into manageable steps.

1. Understanding Your Audience: Start by putting your audience first. Consider their pain points, motivations, and preferences. This understanding is crucial to help them make informed decisions or solve problems. Tailor your content to resonate with your audience, ensuring your message connects with them on a personal level.

2. Brand Consistency: Maintaining brand consistency is key, even if your marketing collateral varies in content. Establish and follow brand guidelines to ensure uniformity across logos, colors, and design elements. Utilize tools like a digital asset management (DAM) platform to guarantee that approved, on-brand materials are being used.

3. Data-Informed Decision Making: Creating collateral without knowing its effectiveness is a wasted effort. Utilize tools like Google Analytics and DAM Insights to gather data on what works and what doesn’t. Speak with your customers and analyze metrics to optimize your efforts continually.

4. Setting Clear Goals: Identify your objectives before diving into collateral creation. Whether it’s educating your audience about a new product or generating leads, different collateral types serve various purposes. Tailor your materials to address specific problems your audience may have.

5. Researching Your Audience: Understand your target audience’s media habits to choose the right marketing channels. Tailor your collateral to their preferences, ensuring it aligns with their needs and decision drivers. This research should inform both the messaging and design of your marketing assets.

6. Brand Identity Reinforcement: While collateral allows for creativity, it should always reinforce your brand identity. Consult brand guidelines to maintain consistency in visual elements, messaging, tone, and voice. Ensure that your collateral reflects and enhances your brand image.

7. Connecting Marketing and Sales Efforts: Collateral plays a vital role in lead generation and nurturing potential customers. Collaborate with your sales team to understand their needs and provide them with relevant collateral. Align marketing and sales efforts to guide potential customers through the entire funnel.

8. Embracing Creativity: Creativity is essential as long as it aligns with your brand guidelines. Experiment with both message and form to engage your audience. Consider trends and, if relevant, incorporate them into your collateral. Regularly review and update your collateral library to stay relevant and effective.

9. Remembering the Big Picture: View your print and digital collateral as the core of your marketing presence. Regularly assess your collateral library and strategy, identify communication gaps, and create additional collateral as needed.

Creating consistent, visually appealing marketing collateral requires careful consideration and adherence to key principles.

Final Thoughts

Crafting effective marketing materials takes time, effort, and a bit of financial investment. But when approached thoughtfully, it can truly boost your entire business.

It’s not just about creating the materials; it’s also about sharing them, organizing them, and keeping them in sync with your brand. You want them to be useful for all sorts of events and conferences. So, it’s not just about making them; you’ve got to handle them wisely.

Oh, and don’t forget to check your plan every now and then. Make sure it still matches what your target audience is into.

This guide? It’s your go-to for creating and sharing marketing stuff that brings in the good vibes for your business. Just remember, it’s not just about making the stuff – it’s about handling it smartly for the long run.

Further Reads:

What is a Digital Marketing Strategy? Benefits, Types, and Steps

18 Marketing Materials Examples That Small Businesses Will Love!

What is a Marketing Checklist & Why Marketers Need It?

Pull Vs. Push Marketing: The Key Differences & Examples!

How to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy?

Pull Marketing & Everything You Didn’t Know About it

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