Marketing Collateral: What, Why, Types and Tools!

Toni Becker July 22, 2021

In the business world, marketing collateral refers to the collection of media used to support the sale of a service or product. Traditionally, marketing collateral was made up of brochures, sell sheets and catalogs but today, the digital age has brought new and improved collateral to the sales and marketing space. 

Today's marketing collateral focuses on engaging the target audience while communicating business offerings and business personality. The intent of the communication does vary, and businesses need to create marketing collateral suited to their goals. For example, businesses can use specific collateral to increase conversions or another type of collateral for the purpose of educating the target audience. It all comes down to your goals and where the potential customer is within the buying cycle.

With the variety of marketing collateral available today, you have many options to choose from. Deciding on the best collateral comes down to understanding your goals, your target audience and the buyer's journey.

Below, we take a look at 5 of the most effective marketing collateral types used by businesses today and why they are so effective. 

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5 Types of Marketing Collateral To Better Your Business

1. Blogs

What is a blog?

A blog post is a highly effective form of marketing collateral that is used by businesses of all sizes and industries. By adding a blog page to your website, you are able to consistently update your site and share informative, engaging and helpful content. This kind of content provides your target audience with information about your business, industry and offerings while answering any questions they may have. 

Why are blogs important for marketing collateral?

  • Blogs increase a website's search visibility because quality and well-optimized content increases website rankings and website traffic which contributes to higher search rankings.
  • Blogs should include a strong Call-To-Action. If a blog focuses on a particular topic it should include the relevant CTA to help convert readers into leads and ultimately clients.
  • The reason blogs are important marketing collateral is that they house important business information and at the same time, help your sales team by providing leads with insight without a “sell sell sell” approach. Blogs can be used for lead generation and provide your sales team with insight into leads, helping them focus on a particular lead's requirements. 

What are the types of blogs?

  • Educational: Blogs are a more personalized way to educate your audience about your industry and business offerings.
  • Industry Updates: Through blogs you are able to provide your audience with insight into your industry which has the power to impact sales.
  • Best Practices and Advice: Blogs offer a way to answer any questions your audience may have regarding your business, product or service. 

Tools for blogs?

Content Management Systems (CMS) are designed to help you build your website. They also offer a single location to create, upload, optimize, publish and analyze your blog data. HubSpot offers a powerful CMS that makes the blogging process that much easier and gives you a place to access and store your blog/marketing collateral with ease.

2. Case Studies

What are case studies?

Case studies are a way to highlight the previous successes of your business. They give potential clients a way to view examples of your past work and provides them greater insight into real examples of your business service and product. 

Why are case studies important for marketing collateral?

  • Show Real Life Examples: By collecting case studies you are able to show your business capabilities rather than simply talk about them. This is a great way for your sales team to “show” and not simply “tell.”
  • Tell a Story: Through case studies you are able to tell a story about your business and its offerings. You are able to show your potential customers how you have helped others and how you can help them solve a particular problem.
  • Greater Influence: Your potential clients will be able to relate to the information outlined in your case studies because it is taking the position of the customer as opposed to the position of the business. 

What are the types of case studies?

  • The Full Process: Case studies give you the opportunity to show your entire business process and why you follow certain processes. You are able to show potential clients HOW you offer your services and not just WHAT you offer. 
  • Before and After: Through analytics and data you are able to show potential customers how a product or service created a positive change on a past client in a certain period of time. This shows your potential client what the possibilities are when working with your business. 
  • Comparative: A comparative case study will show your potential clients the long term benefits of working with your business. 

Tools for Case Studies?

Many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems offer case study templates to help you put together the ideal Case Study/Studies for your business. This offers a great starting point to help you identify what is needed for your case studies and gives you insight into the kind of information or data needed for the ideal case study. HubSpot offers a variety of case study templates to help you get started on creating the ideal case studies for your business. 

3. Capabilities Deck

What is a Capabilities Deck?

A capabilities deck refers to a glossy or PowerPoint presentation that is used for pitching to a potential client. The deck will be used to explain what makes a company unique and why prospective customers should work with them. 

Why are capabilities decks important for marketing collateral?

  • Engaging Content: Capabilities decks are made up of engaging visuals and capture the attention of your audience. It is important you make use of visuals in your presentation, from graphs to workplace, company branding and product imagery. Essentially, with this collateral you are able to put together a visual representation of your business - more engaging than a long-winded sales talk. 
  • High-Quality Presentation: Your capabilities deck will usually be seen by a lot of eyes in your business and from individuals across departments, from marketing to sales and service teams. Therefore, you can be sure that your content is well-reviewed, authentic and of the highest quality. 
  • Condense Important Information: When your sales team discusses your company offerings it can become easy for them to get swept up in smaller details. A capabilities deck ensures a higher-level overview so that your prospect is able to understand everything they need to know about your business. 
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What are the types of Capabilities Decks?

At its core a Capabilities Deck is used at multiple points of the sales funnel. This depends on how a deck is designed and how it is delivered. You are able to send it as an email attachment in order to grab the attention of a warm lead or your sales team can present it during a final pitch. Essentially, this marketing collateral adds value as it can be used strategically to convert leads into clients.

Tools for Capabilities Decks? 

PowerPoint is your go-to tool when creating a powerful Capabilities Deck. This is because PowerPoint is great for both email attachments and in-person, live presentations. If you do not have access to PowerPoint there are plenty of free tools available online, including design powerhouse Canva. Look into what will work best for your business and get creating! 

4. Testimonials

What are testimonials? 

Testimonials offer one of the most powerful ways to provide your potential clients with real and positive outcomes from others who have worked with your company. They give your prospects the opportunity to review what past clients have to say about your services or products, which creates trust, authenticity and credibility. Essentially, this collateral provides reassurance and social proof to help prospects make a decision. 

Why are testimonials important for marketing collateral?

  • Unbiased: Your prospects will learn about your company from your clients, not from people who work for your business. Having a third-party express their positive experience with your company is a great way to build trust. 
  • Relatable: Your prospects will be able to relate to your customers and therefore, form a personal connection with what problem they had solved by your business.
  • Create Trust: Today, brand trust is more important than ever and is based on a variety of online touchpoints such as social media, websites and reviews. Testimonials are one of the most influential touchpoints when it comes to building brand trust.

What are the types of testimonials?

  • Website testimonials: By having testimonials on your website, visitors who have an interest in your business will be able to learn about other experiences with your company. This will help guide them through the buying process. 
  • Case Studies: As we discussed previously, case studies tell a story and if you add testimonials to your case studies you make the case study that much more trustworthy and relatable. 
  • Presentations: Including testimonials in your sales presentation or capabilities deck provides greater credibility. 

Tools for Testimonials?

Customer Relationship Management platforms such as HubSpot provide a variety of templates to help you create the ideal testimonial for your business. You are also able to find a variety of templates online to help you through the creation process. 

5. eBooks

eBooks showcase a business’s industry expertise and take a more educational approach to content than blog content and the likes. An eBooks is a publication that you can create that is made available to prospective clients in digital form. It consists of text and imagery and should be readable on all electronic devices. 

Why are eBooks important for Marketing Collateral?

  • Downloadable Content: As eBooks are housed on your website, if a prospect wants to download the helpful content, they need to fill in a lead form. This means you are able to collect lead information to further your marketing efforts and drive a prospect through the buyer's journey. 
  • Cover Important Topics: An eBook allows your content team to take a deeper dive into a specific industry-related topic and inform your audience without being restrained by length. 
  • Reusable: As so much content is housed in an eBook, you are able to repurpose the content for other marketing collateral such as social media posts, emailers and blogs. 

What are the Types of eBooks?

  • How-to Guides: eBooks provide a resource for creating instructional and helpful guides that explain a specific problem resolution, topic or question to your audience. This builds trust with your audience and establishes you as an industry leader.
  • Educational: eBooks, much like blogs, are able to educate your audience. However, eBooks are able to educate your audience on a more in-depth level.
  • Business Related: You are also able to create an eBook that outlines your brand story and is filled with testimonials, case studies and what differentiates you from your competitors. This is a great way to distribute in-depth information to potential clients.

Tools for eBooks?

Canva and related design tools offer a great place for you to create the ultimate eBook. With tools like Canva you are able to use eBook templates at the click of a button, effortlessly insert your content and find the ideal images to insert into your copy. 

The Wrap Up

The above are just 5 marketing collateral examples that you should incorporate into your business strategy. The most important reason to invest in these is to help tell your brands story and build consumer trust. By building your marketing collateral you also have the ability to tell a consistent brand story to your audience and reuse this information across all your marketing channels.

How We Can Help

Nexa is a digital-first company and we know that the most important word in business is GROWTH. Marketing collateral plays an important role in the growth of any business and we are here to help you create the ultimate marketing collateral for your business. 

Contact us today or fill in the form below for all your marketing needs - and get growing! 

 

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