Every time one goes to a trade show, a chamber networking event which allows your business to buy a table for marketing, you are faced with what to bring for promoting your business. In other words, collateral material. So What works and what does not work?
The Printed Word
Even if you are not physically out and about, how do you maintain your branding presence? Looking around and what we do and physically have, here are some tips to share with you. A large portion of your marketing materials will be copy-based. And it makes sense: The average company that’s versed in content marketing increases their online visibility with prospects primarily through text. Here are the assets you’ll likely be working with and how you can use them as recurring collateral:
Blogs are the front doors to your website. They’re perfect for owning keywords in organic search, sharing on social media and curating into newsletters. So, with just one individual blog post, you can publish it on your domain, on third-party websites, via email and social, cut up into shorter micro assets and refer prospects to them via a quick hyperlink. One asset, multiple avenues for ROI. Thank you, trusty blog.
2. Case studies
I am not a big fan of case studies but there are many out there who like to read them and it brings validity to your field of business and expertise. Consider it a rubber stamp of your product or services. The drawback of this as a reading supplement is that many case studies are long and boring.
3. White papers
White papers allow your technical expertise to shine. Put them behind form fills on your site, distribute them via email and use them to collect leads. Again, like Case Studies, White papers are cool to have available on line but to bring them to a fast paced trade show or marketing event, nobody is really going to read them there and very few pick them up.
4. Landing pages
Your core landing pages are the front line of your online presence. You need that strong foundation first before you can do much else that’s measurable. Product, services, contact and About Us pages are must-haves, and they give you a vehicle through which to talk about your company, your brand and your capabilities as they relate to customers. Landing Pages also allow you to present your CTAs.
5. Employee bios
This one may not be top of my list for various reasons but employee bios provide a level of assurance that customers are working with a reputable, talented staff. The disadvantage of this is company turnover (which none of us like but it is a reality) and the upkeep of adding or deleting bios.
Infographics perform amazingly well through virtually every distribution channel because humans process information visually. By using icons, illustrations, characters, graphical narratives and design cues, you can convey even the most complex ideas. You can also print out infographics and bring them to your next trade show.
The more beautiful cousin of white papers, eBooks scale back the text a tad in favor of more color, branding and illustrations. Gate them on their own landing pages and capture leads left and right. Saved as PDFs, you can circulate them via email.
Calls to action are a necessity. Embed them in newsletters, blog posts, landing pages and more. Your marketing communications must provide next steps for readers/viewers to take, and CTAs are just that conduit.
10. Social media posts
Social media is a visual artform. This is your chance to use feature images with text overlays, .gifs, punny memes and brand-conscious designs in addition to your snappy headlines and captions. The point is to generate comments, likes and shares, so they’re effectiveness is easily measurable.
11. Product/sales sheets
One-pagers are useful in both physical and digital marketing realms, so they should definitely be part of your collateral playbook.
12. Partnership logos
Your logo is important, but sometimes the logos of your business partners and affiliates are even more important to those becoming aware of your brand for the first time. You don’t need to do any design work yourself; just ask your partners for a hi-res .jpeg of their logos and you can stick them on your marketing collateral to really add authority and emphasis to your messaging.
13. Email newsletters
Newsletters are your digital magazines, the way you stay in contact with email subscribers. Include graphical components like images, CTAs and border formatting along with a few clickable hyperlinks to your blogs or gated assets.
Whether physical or digital, a brochure still holds weight as both marketing and sales collateral. They’re easily distributed and can be circulated for an endless number of purposes.
15. Business cards
Similar to the employee bio, a business card confers a level of sophistication, assurance and credibility that is often understated. Ever have someone ask for your business card and you don’t have one? I have and it’s downright embarrassing and potentially perceived as unprofessional.
16. Email signatures
Adding contact info, CTAs, links to newsletters and other collateral to email signatures is an easy way to promote your brand with every email you send.
Video makes up 80 percent of all web traffic. We’re inundated with video on our laptops, our smartphones, our flat screen TVs; you better believe it has applications as collateral.
17. Video blogs
Using an on-screen presenter, a short 60-second script and a rotating carousel of images, video blogs are digestible in a way that longer-form blogs are not. You can also create them very quickly and publish on a number of channels like your website, YouTube, Vimeo and social media.
18. Video testimonials
Essentially Case Studies 2.0, video testimonials put your satisfied customers in front of the camera, empowering them to talk up your brand, rave about your excellence and recommend others to your business. That’s collateral that is as closely tied to potential ROI as there comes.
19. Web demos
You can think of a web demo as a more appealing stand-in for a sales rep. By demonstrating a product, explaining a service or detailing an intricate process, you let viewers see how your product or service works for them. Using video n this fashion is very popular.
Webinars are seemingly everywhere these days. By soliciting signups from webinar viewers, you gather leads. You can also email the recording after the fact so that you stay in contact with those who may have missed the original viewing. The said thing about these are in our fast-paced world, webinars are losing steam. I am even guilty of this as with our busy schedules, who has time to sit and watch these?
Flyers, promotional products and various trade-show giveaways like branded swag still play a role in your comprehensive brand image. People love swag. Freebee hand-outs is one reason people love to come to trade-shows or visit your networking table.
Collateral is collateral no matter how it is published or made. It is your mouth piece of your business. Make sure you always have enough on hand as you meet potential customers everywhere be it on line or in person.
Tags: #marketing material, #branding, #business, #marketig collateral, #advertising