Business Collateral Advice | It’s Spring Cleaning Time For Your Collateral! Design And Material Tips For Effective Marketing Collateral

Business Collateral Advice | Communication is a vital element of your company’s brand identity, whether it’s marketing and press materials, business stationery items, newsletters or any other media designed and used to support and boost sales. As a result, as markets become more crowded and competition keep growing, neglecting your marketing collateral materials or failing to apply best principles of good design can be disastrous.

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The truth of the matter is that effective marketing collateral can mean the difference between a near-sale and a loyal client for life. Marketing collateral items are basically your portable salespeople. They ride along in cars, purses, and briefcases to be referred to and shared with people on a daily basis. Each time they get pulled out they represent your brand and your business. Just as your business has to stay relevant, your marketing materials have to portray relevance, if not vitality. The fact is, marketing collateral that looks tired and outdated gives the impression that your business is outdated as well, which is not the message you want to send to your potential clients.

Revise Your Current Materials | Business Collateral Advice

Regardless of what you may believe, your existing marketing materials have some strong points. The simple elimination of the weak points that work to dissuade potential clients should be your goal, rather than revising and creating entirely new content from scratch. Review all of your marketing collateral and make sure to update statistics and dates. Nothing shouts “I don’t care!” louder than a website page containing a date from a year or two.

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Create A Style Guide | Business Collateral Advice

Even small design elements such as your email signature can give potential clients and new business partners a good insight into your brand. Are your email signatures consistent with your other branded materials? It’s important to have a style guide to ensure consistency: it keeps everyone on the same page about how each and every element including your logo, key graphics, fonts, taglines and brand-oriented words should be used. Creating easy to edit templates is the simplest way to ensure that anyone in your team can make last minute changes and updates without losing the consistency and style.

Develop Slightly Different Variations Of Your Logos | Business Collateral Advice

Your logo should stay relatively consistent across all your marketing pieces, but you should design alternative versions that fit every piece of collateral perfectly. For example, you might need a rectangular logo that fits a corner of an envelope or in the header of a letter. If you have a style guide set in place, then making these alternate and more effective versions of your company’s logo will be easier.

Be Concise And Get To The Point! | Business Collateral Advice

Be relevant, be concise and don’t fluff! Understand your target audience and ideal clients and speak to each one of them directly. Know who they are and what appeals to them. What questions will this piece answer? Clearly communicate the problems you are solving. Use bulletined points to create easily digestible pieces of information, and make sure you use clear language that your audience will understand.

Bring Your Story To Life With Imagery | Business Collateral Advice

A story is more than words. You can use pictures, graphs, tables, screen shots, infographics − anything that will help visually communicate your story, and emphasize your viewpoint and competitive advantage. If you want to grab the attention of your target audience then using just the right amount of graphics on your marketing collateral is a must, as they can help dictate the flow of your content, and keep the attention of your audience on your materials.

RELATED: Marketing Collateral Made Easy | Make Sure Design Doesn’t Ruin The Message: Design Tips For Your Marketing Collateral

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Make Sharing Easy | Business Collateral Advice

Referrals, social media promotion and anything else that you can think of to help your audience in promoting your business for you will greatly boost your marketing efforts. Things like web addresses and QR codes printed on physical media can help your clients access your brand’s digital side, which in turn gives them another opportunity to do business with you.

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Think About The Materials | Business Collateral Advice

Kick it up a notch by really putting some thought into the various types of materials that will be used for your marketing collateral. The paper on which business cards are printed tends to be thick card stock, while brochures are printed on thinner paper that is often coated. You want your business to come off professional and reputable, which means you have to have the highest quality paper and printing that is economically feasible.

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