Gaining brand awareness in the evolving digital landscape can feel overwhelming. Marketing collateral has moved from brochures and business cards to include a variety of digital content. While print materials still serve a purpose in engaging prospective clients, the buyer’s journey has grown and expanded to include an array of digital marketing collateral.
Tailoring your Digital marketing assets and collateral to your target market while simultaneously better engaging prospective customers at each stage of their search journey is an effective way to build brand recognition and campaign buy-in.
Growing your business is hard enough.
That’s why I’ve created a marketing collateral checklist to guide you through the process of building brand awareness with the core components of effective marketing campaigns. Enhance your marketing strategy by understanding the portfolio of digital marketing assets at your disposal that can guide your customers through each funnel stage.
Before creating your core marketing collateral checklist, it’s essential to define your company’s vision. This vision includes defining who you are, your target audience, what services you offer them, and your brand voice.
A good company background will connect your customers to your brand identity by showing the journey of how you built your company from an idea to a fully executed business. This story shows prospective customers how you arrived at your concept and allows them to connect with your mission.
Product and Service Offerings
Your product and service offerings should be a product guide representing your company’s offerings to fulfill customer wants and needs. The content of your offerings and the pay structure for redeeming your company’s products will need to be defined.
Personas are customer profiles that help narrow down your prospective clients and define your ideal buyer based on data sets and case studies. This process will enable your marketing collateral to focus on the consumer types that need your product or service. These customer profiles allow you to navigate the buyer’s journey, generate leads, and guide marketing strategies based on consumer behaviors.
A direct competitor is anyone in the market that shares your industry and offers similar or the same set of products or services to the same target audience. There are also indirect competitors who serve the same customers but respond to the consumer need with a different set of services.
The tone of voice for your brand that you use to speak directly with consumers is what you say and the way you communicate it. The brand voice should engage your audience, foster an emotional connection to their need, and set your product service apart from the competition.
Your value proposition should be a concise statement regarding your services and the unique value your product brings to people that make your company stand out from the rest. This statement should target the consumer’s pain point and give a clear directive on how your company’s products solve their problem. This value proposition often appeals to the consumer’s emotions.
Now that you’ve created a list of helpful information that defines your company’s goals and purpose, it’s time to design the marketing materials that will serve as an extension of your brand’s identity and foster brand awareness. Just as the foundational elements laid the groundwork for these brand assets, they will provide the resources necessary to leverage your brand through its marketing collateral.
Your logo should be the visual representation of your business’s goals and brand identity. This graphic will serve as your calling card across digital and print collateral and is an excellent way to convey your philosophy and engage new customers quickly.
Your logo’s format may vary depending on your use. These different versions will include other file types such as vector and png. You may also need to explore different layouts for collateral. A good example would be the application of your logo on your website versus what your sales team might use in your email signature.
Alternative color modes might also need to be explored, at minimum one color version and one black and white. CMYK and RGB logos may also need to be developed depending on the application of collateral, as RGB works best for digital content, and CMYK is best used for print collateral.
Colors and Fonts
The colors you choose to represent your brand should work with and compliment your logo while reflecting your brand’s personality.
The fonts you choose should also be continuous with your brand and personality while considering their application. For instance, print materials can use any font, while digital content should be web safe or a font that is compatible with most computers.
Your website is the digital hub that houses valuable information to educate the consumer on your products and services and draw in potential customers with a landing page that has visual ease and user-friendly functionality. Your website is often one of the first stops in a buyer’s journey, so making your landing page compelling and valuable is a good idea.
Your website can help build brand awareness and house online media like explainer videos, but its ultimate purpose is to drive prospective clients to take action.
Social media and its digital content have become key to marketing a business. Social media has become a place for customers to engage with and become advocates for your brand.
The links to your social media pages should reflect your business and brand identity through consistent naming and tone. Naming conventions vary across platforms, but keeping them as consistent as possible is essential for quick brand recognition.
Photos and Video
Photos and videos should reflect your brand’s tone and vision while remaining flexible for various uses. These collections can be derived from licensed stock photography or self-generated through a paid photo and video shoot.
Photos and videos can serve as a way to tell your company’s story through visually compelling marketing campaigns that engage people emotionally.
Once you’ve defined some of the key elements that comprise your marketing strategy, you can begin to put them together to create examples of how all of these elements come together.
Think of it as a cheat sheet for creatives to see good practice for your marketing collateral. What do social media posts, blog headers, PowerPoint decks, and email newsletters look like once all of your brand assets have been designed? These layered and editable files are a flexible guide for the creative team. Having these best practices outlined clearly will help expedite the creative process for all your digital content.
So you’ve outlined who you are and what your business does and created the individual components of adequate marketing collateral; now it’s time to put them all together. I’ll focus primarily on digital collateral and its benefits while briefly touching on print materials.
Blog Posts and Articles
Blog posts and articles should serve as a helpful resource to your potential customers while fostering interest in your product or service that creates continued brand awareness and ultimately to people retaining your service.
These blog posts can be a fundamental part of the awareness stage as people dive deeper into a specific topic. Your articles can showcase your awareness of the topic and promote you as a thought leader in your industry.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts offer engaging content to your audience while promoting your product. Social media posts can range from explainer videos to audience-generated online media advocating for your brand. This digital collateral can vary between static imagery and more engaging video content. You can also use social media engagement as qualitative data.
Infographics serve as a visual representation of data. You can utilize case studies and other metrics to tell a visually compelling story with infographics. These can be used across various channels from print to social media.
While digital content remains a huge part of your marketing collateral checklist, print collateral still has a place in your marketing strategy. Printed collateral includes business cards, sales sheets, brochures, promotional notebooks, flyers, direct mailers, and other physical sales collateral.
While these may be used more sparingly in the age of digital content, they can still be an important resource when engaging with prospective customers that aren’t as tech-savvy or promoting yourself at an in-person event. For instance, having a proposal template on hand is helpful in in-person networking.
Case studies are metrics on the success of your product. These include the steps you took to resolve your customer’s issue through the efficacy of your product or service. Case studies may also include customer testimonials that speak to the success of your product.
eBooks provide your target audience with specific information on a topic during the consideration stage. These eBooks are a convenient medium for your potential customers to absorb a large amount of information in your area of expertise.
Their purpose remains informational instead of being a sales pitch. Your target leads will already be seeking out the information, and by having your company offer the information for free, they will be able to connect your brand to an eBook and look to you as an expert on the topic.
eBooks can also serve as a lead magnet by requiring the audience to provide an email address, growing your email list, and retaining the contact information for prospective customers.
Depending on your industry, you may opt for white papers over eBooks. White papers are informational reports that showcase an issue and its proposed resolution. These reports often go into the technical aspects of a problem and offer a solution, more so than a typical sell sheet.
Even with effective marketing collateral in your repertoire, you may need additional content for a specific marketing campaign on an as-need basis.
A good example is if your company is launching a new service. You may find your current digital assets don’t address your new service specifically and therefore need to generate unique photography that speaks more directly to the new customers you would like to engage.
An excellent example of this might be a new graphic or video asset that reflects your tone while showing your generating excitement with new content marketing.