Marketing Collateral 101 | What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Designing Marketing Collateral
Marketing Collateral 101 | Your potential clients are a tactile group. No matter what industry you’re in, or what products or services you’re providing, print literature, or marketing collateral, will play a crucial role in creating, sustaining and building a mutually beneficial relationship with them. As markets grow increasingly efficient and competition stiffens, overlooking marketing collateral materials or failing to follow the best principles of good marketing collateral design can be disastrous for your bottom line.
The benefits of well-designed marketing collateral, on the other hand, are endless; it gives your potential clients a chance to engage with your business on a tangible level and allows them to instantly get a sense of your brand’s nature and unique style. When properly used, it can familiarize your existing clients with the services, products and goals, while at the same time marketing them to your target audience. In other words, it can be the difference between a near-sale and a loyal client for life. Here’s how to get yours right!
Make Collateral A Part Of Your Overall Content Strategy | Marketing Collateral 101
The content you use for marketing collateral should be outlined well before you kick off your next big marketing campaign. It will help you focus your marketing more effectively by preventing you from losing focus on the themes and types of content you want to promote. Start by determining three to four of the most important issues for every audience you’re targeting. Research tells us that potential clients usually respond to content that discusses their challenges and problems — not your product. These issues should be the basis not only for your product literature — but your entire content strategy.
Revise Your Current Materials | Marketing Collateral 101
Regardless of what you might think, your existing marketing collateral items have some strong points. The simple elimination of the weak points should be your main goal, rather than revising and creating entirely new content from scratch. If your brochures, business cards, letterheads, and competitive comparisons don’t provide the relevant information your potential clients will be looking for, they will never be the powerful marketing tool they should be. Go through your current materials. Do they have a consistent theme? Are the information and product details correct and up to date?
Create A Style Guide | Marketing Collateral 101
A style guide is a great method of defining the elements that will be part of the marketing collateral. It allows you to build a theme of the elements that include the logo, important images, key phrases, and brand words – a theme you’ll be able to easily apply consistently throughout your marketing materials. The style guide also allows you to focus on the content that will make the marketing collateral more effective with the target audience, instead of the visual theme.
Pay Attention To Fonts And Colors | Marketing Collateral 101
Use pleasant and appealing color scheme consistently throughout your materials, both online and off. Color can evoke feelings and communicate ideals, so use it to your advantage. Consider using typography as a design element as well. Fonts of the texts should no doubt be off the beat and legible but also should be professional and easy to scan. Experiment with different fonts and selective kerning to build a specific image and convey a unique tone, from classic to playful to edgy.
Tell Your Story Clearly, Simply, Visually | Marketing Collateral 101
People are scanners, so it’s crucial your materials hook them into the content with strong visual design. Creating effective marketing materials requires that you understand the thought process your potential clients go through when they view your content. Things like how your content flows, what grabs a potential client’s attention and how quickly your content can be read all work towards successfully selling your goods or services.
You’ve heard people say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not commit to spending a few hours at the white board brainstorming different ways to communicate your key messages and solutions visually? While stock imagery is readily available online and rather affordable, stock images can make your marketing look like everyone else’s. Custom photography is worth the investment. It’s usually the first thing your potential clients will look at and can be the make/break point for whether or not the piece will avoid the trash can.
Integrate Physical With Digital Collateral | Marketing Collateral 101
Business owners tend to forget that it can be a good idea to blur the line between physical and digital marketing collateral items. Things like web addresses and QR codes printed on physical media can help customers access your business’s digital side, which in turn gives another opportunity for them to find out more about you and do business with you.