The Best Types of Marketing Collateral to Help Boost Your Sales
In today’s fast-paced sales world, content is king. You need to produce high-quality, engaging materials to resonate with viewers if you want to turn them into shoppers and produce a variety of marketing collateral. With so many media channels available today, each form of collateral serves its own unique purpose. Content is the way you communicate and deepen your relationship with your customers. But you’ll only do so successfully if you choose the right type of marketing collateral.
To ensure that your brand effectively gets the message across, you must address each prospect with marketing collateral appropriate to their stage in the buyer’s journey. This could entail blog posts, white papers, product catalogs, infographics, landing pages, and more—just keep it relevant to their pace.
The buyer’s journey has three main stages: awareness, consideration and decision. In each stage, a prospective customer makes the choice to move forward with your brand. They need to know what you have to offer, and you need to show them concrete proof that your product or service can guarantee satisfaction.
Stage 1: Awareness
Before a customer can purchase a product or service as a solution, they must first have a problem to solve! Establishing the problem will prompt them to seek out a solution—which will lead them to your brand. They could find you through a quick search on the internet, or a recommendation from a peer. No matter how they find you, however, the awareness stage is the first time a prospective customer will encounter your brand.
During this stage, your marketing collateral should focus on introducing your brand, product and value proposition to prospective leads. Since this stage is the first time most customers will learn about you, education is key. Avoid hard-selling. Instead, show prospective customers that you understand their pain points and can answer any questions they may have.
Showing your clear awareness of their problem will lead them to select your solution. When this happens, you must be prepared with the right type of content to meet your prospective customers where they are.
An ebook is an excellent way for a business to establish authority in respective industries because they highlight firsthand knowledge and expertise. Considering eBooks allow for in-depth research into a topic, they make a great resource for this educational stage.
eBooks are also fairly easy to distribute: make them downloadable on your website or send them straight to your target audience via email. This is a great way to get prospects on your mailing list, which you can then use to deepen your connection. Your prospective customers can access your eBook via computer or mobile device, making the whole experience incredibly convenient.
These forms of content help establish your brand’s authority in your industry. Today’s consumers are all about getting value. They want to consume content that will benefit them, and they are more likely to actively seek out educational content like ebooks, especially for high-ticket and complicated products. By using an eBook to build your brand’s credibility, you can then direct prospective customers to your products and services to show them how you can provide a solution to their problems.
When developing an eBook, ensure that all the information is presented in a straightforward, easy-to-digest manner. Add engaging visuals to capture your target audience’s attention and include testimonial quotes throughout to encourage prospects to move further into the funnel.
Blog posts are one of the most popular marketing collateral used by businesses to reach their target audiences. Depending on their specific call-to-action (CTA), you can use blogs at any stage of the buyer’s journey. But a blog’s educational and informational aspects make it particularly helpful at the awareness stage.
Sharing relevant, informative and helpful content through blog posts keeps your audience engaged. Not only can you use blog posts to promote your products and services—but you can also use them to cross-promote other pieces of content. For example, if you have podcasts or videos, writing a blog post about these may boost awareness and drive traffic while also building out the SEO on your website.
Blog posts are excellent for attracting new customers because - when done correctly - they drive traffic to your website. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Your blog serves as a key part of your SEO marketing strategy, boosting your website’s visibility and expanding your reach. This builds your brand’s credibility in the digital space.
Think of your pillar pages as information hubs. They are loaded with data and facts about a particular topic, which can boost consumer knowledge. This marketing collateral serves as a one-stop-shop or portal to other links across your site, directing prospective customers to various pieces of content they might want to see. Like blog posts, pillar pages boost your SEO efforts and can help establish your brand as an industry expert.
Pillar pages are helpful not only for your prospective customers but also for your marketing team. A pillar page gives your marketing team a roadmap for content, which helps them produce more diversified marketing collateral and create content more quickly. This assists your overall content marketing effort and strengthens your brand’s presence online.
Visually stimulating and highly engaging, infographics are a great way to transmit vital information to prospective customers. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Infographics can be used as standalone pieces, but you can also incorporate them into blog posts, eBooks, articles or pillar pages. Infographics help your content pop and showcase your brand’s unique personality.
With a clean design, infographics condense information into bite-sized pieces. This makes content easier to digest and resonate with prospective customers. Infographics also complement your SEO efforts, providing visual content that helps your website or page rank higher in search engines.
Infographics are fairly easy to create and distribute, adding even more appeal to the format. And as they are so visual, it’s easy to stamp your brand’s unique identity across them—whether it be with color selections, fonts or logos. Infographics visualize data, which helps viewers process content quicker than reading a data-laden text. Instead, they can scan and pick up what they need.
Everyone is on some social media platform these days, it seems. For brands, social media provides one of the best ways to expand your reach. Considering the instant access to billions of users—many of them using social platforms to get news and information—this is an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up.
Creating high-quality and engaging visual content does not have to be daunting. Ingage’s easy-to-use and intuitive presentation software can help you create stunning visual presentations that can connect with your customers, no matter which forms of marketing collateral you choose to pursue. With an interface that works across platforms, you can be sure that your content will look compelling no matter the medium.
Stage 2: Consideration
Once a buyer is aware of their problem, they begin exploring options to solve it—this is the point when your prospect begins shopping for different brands and businesses. Now that you’re on their radar, it’s time to showcase your product. Collateral in this stage should focus on explaining how your product works, and demonstrating how you’ve provided solutions for previous customers. This is also the time for you to highlight past successes and showcase client testimonials.
The consideration stage requires a bit of a different touch than the awareness stage when it comes to collateral. Prospects are already intrigued; now it’s time to give them the data. As such, the shape of your content will likely change.
Nothing showcases success like a well-developed case study. Sharing a case study with prospects can demonstrate how your product or service has helped other companies achieve success. For example, if you’re a marketing agency, show how your company created winning marketing campaigns for a particular brand by highlighting key performance indicators, campaign performance and points for improvement.
Case studies use hard data to showcase results and establish your credibility with prospective customers. They also make for excellent social proof. Case studies supplement and strengthen your content marketing strategy by giving key examples of your success. Take a look at our own case studies as an example. Ingage allows you to create compelling, visually dynamic case studies that highlight your brand’s success with customers.
Every business wants to be perceived as a thought leader in its industry. White papers present a great opportunity to show off your expertise, flaunting the more technical aspects of a particular topic. These papers go in-depth to explain exactly how a problem is solved. Reading about your nuanced, professional solutions and understanding helps customers build trust in your authority.
White papers also assist with outreach, as they can help you build your lists with prospects who value expert opinion. Consider providing prospects with a free white paper when they sign up for your mailing list! Customers today are all about value—white papers are a robust source of information that may motivate prospects to further engage with your brand.
White papers can also help you generate more sales leads. They narrate why something should be bought, and specify exactly which products and services to purchase for each solution. Accordingly, marketing teams incorporate them into a strategy to boost conversion rates.
Brochures and Catalogs
If you want to show customers the exact products and services your brand can provide, brochures and catalogs are the way to go. These types of marketing collateral can provide specific information about products and services, giving customers an overview of what you have to offer. They are also an effective space to tell your brand story and share your brand personality.
Once upon a time, brochures were primarily physical collateral. However, in today’s highly digital era, print copies alone no longer cut it. Consumers want to be able to access your brochures on their devices and browse them freely. That’s why digital brochures are a crucial part of every marketing strategy.
Today’s businesses also need a full digital catalog for their customers. A step up from a brochure, a catalog will detail every single item you have on offer. Similar to brochures, we associate catalogs with physical booklets; however, it’s time to go digital. This will allow you more display options and accessibility, at a cheaper cost than printing and mailing booklets. With a digital catalog, you can add multimedia elements and personalize offerings for specific customers.
Stage 3: Decision
Every piece of marketing collateral should drive prospective customers to make a purchase decision. Once they get to the decision stage, the efficacy of your material reaches peak importance. Customers are weighing all of their options one more time and picking which is best suited for their needs.
As the last process a customer goes through before making a purchase, the decision stage is crucial. All your touchpoints and marketing collateral should focus on convincing your prospects to choose your brand and use your products and services.
Emails and Newsletters
Statista estimates that 2022 will see the number of email users across the globe rise to over 4.3 billion. Further estimates anticipate over 300 billion emails will be sent throughout the year. Considering all this digital traffic, email marketing presents a fantastic opportunity to connect and build relationships with customers. In fact, 87% of marketers implement a strong email marketing strategy to send out their content to prospects.
Emails and newsletters are excellent for nurturing relationships with your prospects. You can easily keep them updated with important news about your business: set up automated emails to send prospective customers reminders about converting, as well as welcome and engagement emails. Doing this will show your customers you care about them, keeping them looped in with your business.
Similarly, you should also promote your different products and services in a regular newsletter. Use a newsletter to build awareness of new product offerings—and bring existing products and services back to the fore. Regularly-timed emails and newsletters allow you to successfully follow up on your sales leads and guide them towards future conversions.
When it comes to identifying and showcasing success, data is king. Showing prospective and existing customers up-to-date business statistics is a good way to reinforce their trust in your brand, as well as provide concrete proof of your success. Using reports as marketing collateral can help both your company and your target customers.
A market report shines a light on the objective condition of the business, guiding you to make key business decisions. Sharing this report then allows your customers to do the same: they can analyze market conditions and see how patronizing your brand can benefit their business. With the right information, your customers can make sound decisions and take appropriate action.
While reports are typically data-heavy, they still need to be easily digestible. After all, your prospects need to understand what they are reading. A concise, easy-to-read report is the way to go. Highlighting key performance indicators that identify your campaign or project as a success is a good way to make things easier to understand, avoiding making the report a data dump.
Just like in your blogs and pillar pages, visuals can also go a long way in making your reports more readable. Graphs, charts and other images that break down data will make your reports easier to digest. For visual learners, images are great for explaining key business concepts.
Reports are a marketing material like any other, and good marketing hinges on a narrative. Shaping a story with your data will make it more engaging, rather than just a list of statistics. Explain your overall goals, performance, highlights, and points to improve on, and how these metrics reinforce those topics. Just like with a good story, your reader needs to be engaged throughout your report—beginning, middle and end.
Different types of marketing collateral make sense at different parts of the buyer’s journey and understanding when to use each piece of collateral is critical in shepherding prospects along their path. The right marketing collateral can spell the difference between a long-term client relationship and a prospect whose eyes glaze over seconds into viewing, or abandons poorly timed emails and falls off the grid. In today’s fast-paced digital world, a deft understanding of content is essential to reach your customers—both old and new.
Empower your content marketing strategy by using an effective sales presentation tool like Ingage. Our cloud-based presentation software makes communication seamless between your team members, ensuring that you deliver the most accurate information for every engagement. Crafting compelling content has never been easier with the intuitive platform—make powerful, high-quality presentations that get your customers to convert. Analytic data allows you to assess the performance of every presentation objectively, and make the necessary adjustments ASAP.
With Ingage, you can develop interactive presentations, create dynamic content and measure results in real-time. Elevate your presentations—reach out to Ingage and schedule a demo today.