Everything You Need To Know About Marketing Collateral: Meaning, Types and Examples

In the field of marketing, new terms and concepts aimed at accelerating business development, attracting suitable customers, and boosting sales are regularly appearing. Theses are known as marketing collateral.
Marketing collateral is about all types of media that's used to promote a brand to a target audience. If the collateral materials are chosen correctly, the promotional campaign will succeed.

But how can you select the right media for every case? Let's find the answer together.
Marketing Collateral in Detail
Now you know that any creative tool we apply to promote products or services can be classified as marketing collateral. Behind the curtain of abstractions, you'll see that common marketing collateral examples include articles, videos, printed leaflets, brochures, cards and a wide range of digital advertising on the web (YouTube, Instagram, Google AdWords, etc.).
types of marketing collateral infographics
If earlier these channels and approaches were relevant principally for sales and marketing teams, now any company department can create their own collateral materials for promotional purposes. For example, the HR unit can produce a branded corporate e-book for employees.

Usually, we use different types of marketing collateral in situations where we want the target to come into contact with our brand, by generating appropriate media at each stage of the customer's journey.

For example, at the initial stage of awareness, we provide users with a complete information about the company to help them make the right decision about a purchase. For this task, the best marketing collateral examples are blog posts without a persuasive call-to-action and detailed product descriptions.

For further stages of a buyer's journey, it would be necessary to apply other types of marketing collateral that contain more persuasive sales-oriented copy and are reinforced with a call-to-action (CTA) button. These can be lead magnets, retargeting ads and so on.
How to Start Working with Marketing Collateral
Every competent marketing specialist understands that collateral materials are the foundation of a company's marketing strategy.

The reasons for this are the following:
  • They help you to establish a steady positive connection and customers' associations with the brand.
  • They allow you to translate company demonstrating.
  • They raise brand awareness.
  • They leverage your company uniqueness against the competition.
  • They allow you to be flexible in adaptation to new market requirements and audience demands.
But not every marketer knows how to navigate within the vast scope of collateral materials.

Let's clearly define what types of marketing collateral exist and which media has proved their ability to deliver the highest KPIs.

Keep in mind that all materials aren't equally suitable for every company and every industry.

What to use will depend on:
  • your specific goals
  • your target audience
  • your business profile
  • your current web presence level

I've tried to pick the eight most popular and universal types of marketing collateral that you should definitely include in your strategy.
Blog
Blogging is one of the most powerful marketing tools nowadays. In fact, it was so even 15, 10 and five years ago. The reasons for the great popularity of this media channel are that it is cheap and has simple implementation.

The benefits a blog gives include the following:
  • Website traffic growth
  • Conversion of readers into customers
  • Keeping potential and current customers loyal to the brand

All you need is to launch a blog on your website and start sharing useful information with your readers, of course, paying special attention to SEO and a content plan.

Ready-to-use ideas for your business blog:
  • Project overviews. Reveal results of a launched project/ad/experiment, providing readers with statistical data and facts. Reinforce the pieces with customer reviews about their experience and fair estimation.
  • How to benefit from fails. People appreciate sincerity and truth. Tell them an enlightening story about your failures and lessons that you learned. Precisely describe what solutions you've come up with.
  • Interview with team leaders. Invite leading specialists of your company to discuss some professional or even personal topic. A nice idea is to ask for their opinion on emerging industry trends.
  • "How to use" guides. Tell your readers how to use your product, by explaining sophisticated things in plain language.

Blogging will be relevant for those who strives to get high organic traffic to the website, improve the brand recognition and boost sales in a long-term perspective. What's more, you can expect to increase your company's credibility in the industry.

These are the giant corporations that are successfully utilizing blogs and their examples of marketing collateral that really work:
    Case Studies
    This type of collateral materials is must-have for IT outsourcing firms, digital agencies and other service companies that generate income by providing services instead of selling physical products.

    Case studies allow you to overview successful cooperation experiences in a visual, documented form, where you describe customer challenges, the solutions given by your specialists and results that these solutions helped to achieve. Thus, a case study is a convincing argument in favor of working with you.

    You can post them on your official website or add the pieces to reputable review platforms, such as Clutch or Goodfirms (according to your business profile). Also, you can save them as PDF and send to potential customers via email instead of lengthy negotiations. This will significantly save your time and increase the efficiency of the sales process.

    Case studies are a goldmine for specialists who want to reduce the time of lead management, optimize daily work processes and increase the company's credibility in the eyes of leads.

    Look how masterfully these companies introduced case studies in their strategy:
    Email Campaigns
    Newsletters are still one of the most productive methods when it comes to generating sales.
      Learn why email marketing isn't dead in our previous article
      Why Email Marketing Is Important for Your Business Growth
      Learn more
      Besides, email marketing is the most direct way to reach to your audience. By using emails, you act very personally, literally talking with a user face to face.

      However, avoid the use of these collateral materials with the aim of direct sales—people are tired of it. While the rest of your competitors are trying to make direct sales, causing customers' rejection, you can differ and give readers a real value: recommendations, useful lists, discounts and announce events they are interested in.

      Newsletters also save you time. You just gather a database, launch a single campaign and send it to all of the subscribers by one click.

      Thus, email marketing comes in handy when you need to make mass but still targeted sales or stay in touch with subscribers (who are your potential clients or buyers).

      These email marketing collateral examples deserve your attention:
      Airbnb email campaign
      Airbnb
      Starbucks email campaign
      Starbucks
      Branded Corporate Merchandise
      These are special corporate items with the company logo that your brand presents to employees or customers to thank them for their loyalty. Although the budget for such campaign may seem unreasonable and you won't get direct profit at the moment, in practice, the corporate merchandise will bring you more significant results in the long run. Your customers and employees will recommend your product or services to others, give positive feedback and become your brand advocates.

      Banded items are truly memorable. The Promotional Products Association International concluded that 88% of people claim that they remember the advertisers better if they received a promotional product from them. In addition, 70% of brands and businesses think that promotional items are still relevant, effective and a sure way to reach marketing goals.

      You can produce branded notebooks, backpacks, sweatshirts, vinyl stickers on laptops, phone cases, pens, T-shirts, socks and any other items and use them as a part of your promotional campaign.

      Why promotional products are crucial for the business:
      • 70% of brands are convinced that advertising products are effective in achieving marketing goals (Promotional Products Association International).
      • 83% of respondents said that they are highly likely to cooperate with the company that gifted them with corporate merchandise (Promotional Products Association International).
      • 79% of survey participants are likely to cooperate with the company again (British Promotional Merchandise Association).
      • 87% of respondents said that they kept promotional items for more than a year (British Promotional Merchandise Association).

      Branded merchandise will help you increase company recognition among the new audience and enhance the loyalty of consumers who are already familiar with your brand.

      I really like the branded gadgets that Blue Bottle manufactured for their client base.
      Blue Bottle branded gifts
      Blue Bottle
      Viral Video
      The video ads are good on their own. But it would be especially cool if you try to make the most of them by adding a note of brand and excitement.

      • Brand recognition. Add predictable brand's features. Coca Cola or AXE ads are unlikely to be confused with anything else.
      • Virality. The video should be so high quality to be shared with words "Wow! Take a look at that!"

      Viral videos are the choice of the most ambitious and creative companies that want to be No.1 on the market, detach from competitors, increase brand recognition and sales, and scale the business.

      These media are truly amazing!

      Ryan Relnolds, “Aviation" brand
      Real Stories
      Considering all that information buzz that brands have plunged us into, we start feeling the lack of a human component. Instead of vivid ads, we want to hear honest stories told by real people. For example, about how they've suffered a fiasco along the way they were building their brands and secret ingredients of their success. Everything about them is interesting to us—from what they eat for breakfast to what their opinion on space flights is.

      Modern brands are built on the basis of personal brands. We trust more to people, not pictures. Start making your brand more human with such simple actions as using real names of your employees in emails and blogs instead of the non-personalized X company. Especially nice if all these real stories and messages are conveyed by the top managers: CEO, CMO, public relations specialist or a department manager. Choose the most charismatic and suitable employee as a thought leader at your company.

      In this way, you'll show the human face of your company and dramatically enhance its credibility.

      How to apply this technique on practice? Learn from the best ones.
      Customer Reviews
      Present client feedback in the form of short conclusions, articles, video interviews and in other types of marketing collateral. A video format is especially good as you can produce two clips from one recording: a full video review and a shortened promotional video for the advertising campaign, newsletters or the landing page.

      Video testimonials are engaging and credible. It would be great to show how the client has been working with your employees instead of shooting a static video where both interlocutors are just sitting and talking. Or if it's a product overview, let the buyer show how he or she interacts with it in real time. Think thoroughly about the questions for the interview to ensure that the final material will be interesting and valuable for your potential clients.

      Testimonials are indispensable for any organization that deals with clients and buyers as they help you increase trust and loyalty to the company, strengthen trusting relationships with customers and demonstrate a high level of professionalism of your employees.

      Try to get the trust of your potential clients by showing them reviews from previous clients, which look like this one:
      An Exclusive Product
      How about presenting your audience with some exclusive product? I don't mean that you should develop your own scalable SaaS. It can be a specialized course or webinar, a workshop, an e-book or a unique technique. It's vital to give people a competent advice or solution that will help them overcome their professional challenges.

      Plus, thanks to such a contribution, your brand will be more recognizable. You can launch an advertising campaign, drive traffic to the landing page with the product presentation and even sell it. At least, you can give access to your material in exchange for the user's email.

      Finally, these easy-to-implement collateral materials will bring you additional passive sales, an expanded subscriber base, and increased brand awareness.

      That's what HubSpot regularly presents their audience with.
      You should try it!
      Now you clearly know what marketing collateral is and how broad its possibilities and types are. Actually, they're limitless. But even these eight listed tools are enough to keep you marketing strategy on its toes.


      I'm super excited to read what your most effective collateral materials are. Share your marketing collateral examples in the comments below.

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