When acting as a powerhouse of conversion, effective marketing collateral doesn’t just drive business growth: it has the unique ability to support your brand in adapting to today’s fast-paced marketplace. Marketing collateral is like your favorite teacher:reliable, committed to your growth, and able to adjust to your needs. What’s more, you’re constantly learning because they’re brimming with useful information.
Keep in mind—like teachers, not all collateral is created equal. Advertising collateral is designed to quickly capture a customer’s attention and create high impact. Depending on the budget, advertising material is something most brands will consider, but it’s not a building block for creating a sustainable long term strategy. That’s where marketing collateral comes in. It supplements advertising and sales, fostering trust between the brand and its audiences.
In fact, effective marketing collateral (in the form of blogs, e-books, white papers, websites, and case studies) is one of the best tools a brand can use to tell its story, demonstrate its unique value, and set itself apart from competitors. In this article, we review the most commonly implemented marketing collateral, the benefits it creates, and which brands are making a splash.
Case studies allow you to showcase the results your brand, product, or service generates. They’re a strong and persuasive tool that typically includes research, statistics, and quotes from actual client experiences. There are many ways that case studies can be integrated into your brand’s toolbox of effective marketing collateral—from including them in sales materials to featuring them on your landing page.
The benefit? Case studies communicate your brand’s value proposition. They inform and educate customers on how your brand meets and fulfills the needs and challenges of people better than competitors. Ultimately, this drives purchases and brand loyalty.
Who does it well? Slack. This case study focuses on Shipt, a grocery-delivery company thrust into high demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Slack highlights Shipt’s pain points and focuses on how shopping habits changed and impacted businesses during the pandemic. Even though Shipt has been using Slack for years, they were able to embrace the advanced features and integrations of Slack to support their business during a time of crisis.
Today, e-books are popular because they are convenient and sustainable. Topics range from a deep dive into a specific product or service to, more recently, “state of the industry” summaries. Most often, e-books take the form of a PDF with 10 to 20 pages and resemble highly detailed blog posts.
The benefit? E-books build brand identity and generate leads. For a small cost, e-books reach a wide net of consumers and help teach them about your brand’s services while reinforcing brand elements like your logo and color. With informative, voice-driven content, they engage target audiences and offer a deeper level of understanding.
Who does it well? Dropbox. With “[an] eBook on how Dropbox helps you get more use out of the tools you already love,” Dropbox provides value and supports the audience in getting the most out of integrations and digital tools they already use and love. With subtle messaging, Dropbox steps away from the hard sell and leaves readers feeling that they can make their lives easier and more simple.
Worldwide, there are almost 4 billion people connected to the internet on a daily basis who are eager to consume content. There’s never been a better time to add blogging to your brand’s marketing strategy.
The benefit? Connection and credibility. An active blog allows your brand to develop (and maintain) a voice, draw customers to your website, and drive long-term results. Connection is a critical part of any business-customer relationship, and a blog can help you build trust and provide value at the same time.
Who does it well? Hubspot. As a leading digital-marketing company, it comes as no surprise that Hubspot has an outstanding blog. Their posts are excellently written, relevant to current topics, and visually engaging with easy to understand infographics. Hubspot’s sitemap also sets them apart. With sections including Marketing, Sales, Service, Website, and The Hustle, readers can easily find the information they need with clearly mapped subcategories.
Founded in 1557, Canson has been crafting fine art paper for centuries—used by the likes of Matisse, Van Gogh, Dali, and artists around the world to this day. But when the company’s North American marketing materials weren’t resonating in their French-to-English translations, the team brought us in to help give their brand a refresh. Understanding the joy of a blank sheet of paper, our writers got right to work: creating brand guidelines and product descriptions that captured Canson’s rich, enduring elegance—balanced with the high quality of the papers that’s appreciated and sought by fine artists today.
Newsletters are an essential part of effective marketing collateral. They can contain various types of content but are most often utilized to share sales promotions, updates, announcements, and opinions. The layout of your newsletter should be established and consistent, and it should come out on a regular schedule. Many brands will tag-team between social media and newsletters—repurposing content to drive and increase followership on both ends.
The benefit? Soft sales strategy. This means your brand doesn’t have to actively sell to prospects in order for them to notice you and want to do business with your company. Mainly delivered via email, newsletters help brands better understand their audience personas and what’s important to them. This takes place when they’re able to review a newsletter’s performance via open rates and sales.
Who does it well? REI. A great example of effective marketing collateral, REI promotes good products with great newsletter content. They offer product, contextual blog posts on an outdoor lifestyle, and market to one audience segment at a time. Whether appealing to runners, campers, or hikers, their newsletters are tailored to the specific interests of their customers. This lighter and softer sales approach resonates with their customer base and serves up big returns.
Ready to build effective marketing collateral for your brand? Connect with MarketSmiths today.