What is marketing collateral?
Marketing collateral is a type of media or advertising used along the sales cycle to achieve a certain goal. From industry to industry and business to business, there is a large range of marketing collateral available. And of course, when you consider both digital and print material, the list gets longer.
The key characteristic among all marketing collateral is its focus on communicating the business. Although it’s the approach to communication that creates a distinction among the different collateral. For example, if your business wants to focus heavily on visual appeal, then you’d create an infographic rather than a blog
Of course, the intent of the communication varies as well. Your business could create one marketing piece to promote a new product or service with the purpose to increase conversion or publish a different piece with the purpose to educate your existing customers and establish customer loyalty.
With the numerous types of marketing collateral, there are many options to choose from when marketing a service, product, and brand. Deciding on the correct type of marketing collateral depends on the desired approach and intent of the marketing initiative. Below is a list of 11 popular and high-performing marketing collateral types used in business.
11 Types of Marketing Collateral
1) Blog posts
A blog post is a very popular form of marketing collateral or content marketing used among businesses of all sizes. It gives your company the ability to regularly share content on your website. Blogs vary in topic, length, and purpose, but ultimately they are a powerful tool for marketing your business for a variety of reasons, as explained below.
Benefits of blogs:
- Increase website’s search engine optimization (SEO): By publishing quality and optimized blogs (e.g. keywords), you can increase website traffic and search rankings, which all contribute to higher search results.
- Include a call to action (CTA): Blogs are a great way of focusing on a single topic and including a relevant CTA at the end to convert the reader into a potential lead.
- Help sales team: Blogs are easy content for your sales team to send to leads or clients that provide insight into what you offer without focusing on “sales talk.”
- Educational material: Blogs are often used as an authentic way to educate your audience by providing valuable information to increase their knowledge in your industry.
- Industry updates: You can inform your audience about industry updates or trends that may impact their business
- Advice or best practices: Blogs offer the opportunity to not only educate your audience but to provide information related to your services or products.
An Ebook is a tool used to showcase the company’s expertise in the industry or field by taking an educational direction. An Ebook presents a complicated topic in a manner that the reader can easily understand by using a casual and appealing voice and design.
Benefits of Ebooks:
- Cover in-depth topics: The accepted length of Ebooks allow for you to take a deep dive into a topic with the intent to inform your audience without feeling constrained by length restrictions.
- Downloadable content: Ebooks can be a gated document on your website, meaning those who wish to access the Ebook must provide contact information (name, email) in order to access it.
- Easy to repurpose: With so much content included in an Ebook, including text, graphics, and information, it is easy to break the content into smaller pieces that can be repurposed using other marketing collateral, such as blogs, infographics, sell sheets, and even social posts
- Education material: Similar to blogs, Ebooks can be used to educate your audience, but instead, Ebooks have a much more niche target since they are longer and more in-depth content.
- ‘How-to’ guide: Ebooks are a great resource for creating an instructional guide focusing on explaining to your audience a specific problem, question, or topic. It takes an educational approach, like mentioned above, to teach your audience how to do something that will benefit their business.
- About your business: There is a lot about your business that you would like to share with your audience (brand story, differentiators in the field, case studies, etc), why not put it all into one simple and easy to read Ebook?
3) White papers
White papers are similar to Ebooks since they are longer and in-depth collateral, but white papers are often more technical and focus on complex topics. They are useful during the consideration phase by offering a credible source of the company’s knowledge and position in the field.
Benefits of white papers:
- Factual content: Case studies often take an academic approach relying on evidence and findings to support their work.
- Persuasive content: By using data, case studies are able to offer factual information to support the claim or solve the issue. Rather than relying on theories or experiences to validate the statement, you are able to persuade using evidence.
- Non-intrusive, comprehensive sales pitch: Instead of your audience having to sit down with your sales team and listen to a full pitch about the solutions you offer, a case study provides a thorough introduction to your services without the pressure or commitment.
- Product or service highlight: When releasing a new product or promoting a service, you can use a white paper to thoroughly explain the solutions your product or service offers. It provides a platform to communicate all its key solutions.
- Research report: If you conduct an industry analysis or research, you can summarize and publish the findings using a case study format. This allows your audience to easily view, download, and share with others.
4) Landing pages
A landing page is a standalone page separated from the website’s navigation and is designed with a sole purpose or goal that revolves around the call to action (CTA). Landing pages are often used in campaigns because you can create multiple pages for different touchpoints with the exact information you want.
Benefits of landing pages:
- Not permanent pages: Although landing pages can resemble a page on your website, it is not a permanent page. This means it can be used for campaigns during a certain duration without interfering with the main website’s navigation.
- Can test landing pages: A landing page allows you to run tests and record the performance of the pages. For example, you can run an A/B test between two landing pages to measure which one performs better and why.
- Direct and to the point: Landing pages are created with a single purpose therefore the communication is clear.
- Events: Landing pages are great for event promotion and sign-ups because you can easily add the specific information for the event to the page, share the page, and remove it once the event is over.
- New product: If you want to promote a new product or service, the concise nature of landing pages ensures the content is focused on just the new product for straightforward promotion.
- Paid ads: For paid ads, you often are advertising a specific product or service. When the audience clicks on the ad, it can be linked to the landing page to ensure the content aligns with the ad and provides the information the visitor is looking for.
5) Case studies
Case studies are visual and textual highlights of previous work. It allows the potential client to view examples of past work to gain insight into real-world examples of the business’ services or products.
Benefits of case studies:
- Show not tell: Case studies allow you to demonstrate your capabilities rather than only talk about them.
- Create a story: Using case studies, you can develop the story behind how your products and services helped your clients or customers. You can include what the client’s problem was, how your product or services solved the problem, and what the results were.
- Client influence: Prospects can relate to the information discussed in the case study because it is taking the position of the client or customer.
- Before and after: Case studies can compare how the product or service created a positive change in a short period of time.
- Then and now: Comparatively, you can take a look at the results from a longer period of time to demonstrate the benefits of working with your business.
- The process: Case studies allow you to explain the process of working with your business, so others don’t just gain insight into what you offer but how you offer it.
Testimonials are positive feedback from a client explaining their experience and outcomes from working with the company. Testimonials allow prospects to review what past clients have to say about the business’s services or products, which gives the company credibility. Similar to online reviews, testimonials provide reassurance from other customers and act as social proof to their buying decisions.
Benefits of testimonials:
- Relatable: The audience can relate to the position of the customer therefore the testimonial becomes a personal connection.
- Unbiased: Testimonials are the words of the customers or clients, not those who work at the company. Instead of people at the company telling others how great their services or products are (who are clearly biased), instead, a third-party is claiming how fantastic your business is.
- Build trust: Brand trust is based on numerous factors and touchpoints, but one of the most influential is if other customers or clients also trust your business.
- Websites: Testimonials are commonly used on websites so visitors can get insight into how the business has helped others.
- Presentations: Including what clients or customers have said about your company on sales presentations provides credibility to what you are saying.
- Case studies: As explained above, case studies allow a business to create a relatable story for prospective clients, what better way to create that connection piece than to use the feedback from the actual client?
7) Capabilities Deck
A capabilities deck is a presentation used to showcase your company, including your background and products and/or services. It is often used during pitches or meetings to show why your business is unique and the benefits of working with your business.
Benefits of capabilities decks:
- Quality presentation: When creating a capabilities deck, it is often touched by multiple people providing feedback and ways to improve it. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the final product has been well-reviewed to its highest quality.
- Engaging visuals: An important aspect of capabilities decks, and most presentations, is the visual appeal. In order to capture the attention of your audience, you need to provide visual representations of your business and what you offer.
- Condense the information: When discussing your company’s capabilities, it is easy to dive into details or let conversations become sidetracked on smaller issues. A capabilities deck provides a high-level overview so the recipient can understand everything you do and why your business is different, which then allows your conversation to discuss their business, rather than continuously cover your capabilities.
- Sales funnel: The capabilities deck can be used at multiple points in the sales funnel, depending on how it is designed and delivered. From sending it as an email attachment to gain initial acknowledgment to presenting it during a final pitch, it provides value for the sales team wherever they are with a lead.
Infographics are a visual representation of a topic or key point. Instead of taking a written approach, infographics present the information in a visual manner. Infographics can vary in size, style, or intent, but they all share the common goal of communicating information in an engaging and creative way.
Benefits of infographics:
- Simplify information: An infographic oftentimes simplifies content using elements to explain or support the content. Instead of explaining it aloud or writing it down, it uses visuals to clarify the information.
- Shareable: Since infographics are easier to comprehend and visually appealing, they generate increased engagement. People enjoy viewing and sharing easy-to-understand information.
- Can tell a story: Sometimes to successfully tell a story or get a point across, you need to use graphics or images to paint the picture.
- Listicles: Similar to blog listicles, you can present a list of items using infographics. It’s a great way to easily showcase a small or large list of items without underwhelming or overbearing your audience.
- Step-by-step guides: For assembling a dresser or updating a website post, an infographic can easily explain the process using visual demonstrations that otherwise would be difficult to write.
- Supporting material: Infographics don’t have to be standalone content that is meant to be shared and digested by itself. Oftentimes, infographics are used throughout written work or presentations to summarize or call out key points.
9) Automated Emails
Emails can be used across the sales cycle, making the process of following up with clients or leads more dependable and simpler. Marketing automation is a widely used practice of creating and scheduling emails without manual and repetitive sending while still maintaining those important touchpoints.
Benefits of emails:
- Easy to measure: Emails make it easy to analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) and implement strategies to improve their performance. You can easily test and improve your emails using simple reporting.
- Customizable: Depending on the purpose and objective of the email, you can customize it so it aligns with the target audience, includes desired information, and promotes the necessary call to action (CTA). Learn more about making your email stand out.
- It’s what they want: 66% of consumers rank email as their preferred brand communication channel, meaning people are opting to open and read through emails from businesses.
- Monthly newsletters: To stay top of mind with your audience, sharing a monthly newsletter with valuable content allows you to reach your subscribers while providing content that will benefit them and their business.
- Abandoned shopping cart reminders: An abandoned cart is a huge contributor to losing online sales, but email reminders provide a solution to re-engage the customer and complete the purchase.
- Form completions: When someone completes a form on your website, being able to send a thank you or next steps email allows you to clearly and immediately communicate with the lead.
Webinars are live recordings hosted by a business where people can sign-up and tune into the webinar during a certain date and time. While webinars require certain technology and a large time commitment, they provide unique marketing benefits.
Benefits of webinars:
- Capture leads: Those who take the time to sign-up and attend the webinar are likely very interested in the discussion, therefore are more likely to be considered a qualified lead.
- Record and share: You can record the full webinar and share it with your audience that allows them to watch at their convenience.
- Center marketing: Since webinars are considered a type of event, you can center your marketing efforts and communication around the webinar. It allows you to increase your brand awareness through its promotion.
- Educational material: Webinars can be used to inform your audience about a popular or trending topic using live video as the tool of engagement.
- Feature experts: Oftentimes webinar hosts will invite industry experts to join, turning the webinar into a friendly interview to answer common questions and provide actionable steps.
- Live Q&As: If you have an engaged audience, a great way to use webinars is by hosting live Q&As where your audience can send in questions and the speakers can answer them. This creates a connection between your business and the audience while elevating your brand leadership.
Videos are captivating visuals used across industries and businesses as well as on multiple platforms. A video can have many purposes, such as raise brand awareness or provide education, and it is a video’s unique way of presenting content that makes it a powerful tool.
Benefits of videos:
- A popular form of content: Videos are currently in the limelight of marketing, it seems to be the latest craze (and has been for a while). Videos are in nature easy to engage with, making them an ideal form of marketing.
- Shareable content: Videos are easy to share, meaning if you post a video on social media they are often one of the top posts to be reshared. And the more your video is shared, it increases the number of people exposed to your business thus increasing brand awareness.
- Keep up with the times: As mentioned, videos are very popular forms of content that most people engage with daily. By producing videos, it shows that your business is keeping up with the times giving you an edge over your competitors.
- How-To or tutorials: Being able to discuss how to put something together or walk through a setup process on a video will save your company a significant amount of time answering and solving questions. Instead, the customer can refer to the video to guide them through their questions.
- Explainer Videos: Instead of showing how to do something, an explainer video is useful for explaining the features, benefits, and purposes of a product or service. It’s a great tool to authentically sell or pitch your business.
- Personal: By recording someone and their voice it can make the videos much more personal to the viewer. They feel more of a connection to a person speaking, which can help bridge the gap between your business and your audience.
Learning and reviewing the different types of marketing collateral allows you to learn the strengths of each and decide which type will present your information in the most beneficial way. Creating great marketing collateral is just a step away!
To make your marketing collateral really stand out, you must combine all your marketing ideas into a place of action, or an overall strategy. Watch our webinar on building a marketing strategy!