It can be hard to know where to start when you’re creating or reworking a marketing strategy for a small business—or any business, really. With so many kinds of marketing collateral, it can get overwhelming quickly.
So today, we’re breaking down the types of marketing collateral that every business needs to have, plus the marketing collateral that would be good to have if you have the time, money, and resources to create.
But first, let’s make sure we’re clear on what marketing collateral is.
Marketing collateral is any branded asset that promotes a company, product, or service. These assets are also used to establish and build a relationship between your brand and your audience. That means marketing collateral refers to everything from a logo that introduces an audience to your brand and grows awareness and recognition, to a case study that educates a prospective customer about a product they’re considering purchasing from you.
That wide range is one of the reasons why marketing collateral is so important. It helps you market in any medium, to any audience, at all stages of the funnel.
Now, let’s get to the marketing collateral that you need to get started—and the assets that are great to have if you can get them.
In this first section, we’re sharing the marketing collateral that’s an absolute must. These are the assets that you need to have to for your business regardless of your company’s size or your marketing budget.
A logo is one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral any business needs. It’s a foundational element for your branding your business that will appear on most of your marketing collateral, so it’s important to take some time to get it right. To create the perfect logo, choose something that fits your brand’s purpose and personality, and make sure it includes your company name.
Your brand’s mission statement is another non-negotiable element of your brand. For your mission statement, focus on the impact of your company’s work and the value for your audience.
Take TED, for example. The organization’s mission isn’t to create a forum for engaging talks or bring people together at their events. The mission is bigger than that: It’s to spread ideas. Focus on this bigger picture for your own mission statement, too.
Even better: TED’s mission corresponds to its tagline, which appears in the org’s logo. That’s some brand consistency.
Not all of the types of marketing collateral you need will be digital—we’ll get to real-world collateral soon. But regardless of what your business does or sells, you do need an online presence. That’s why you absolutely need a website.
From a marketing collateral standpoint, a basic website that provides the essential information will do, but from a marketing strategy standpoint, you’ll want your website to be optimized for search engines, lead gen, and conversion rank on search, generate leads, and convert customers. Website optimization is worth its own post, but these website graders can help you identify areas of opportunities
What you need on your website will largely depend on your business model. If you’re generating leads online, you’ll want to pay attention to blog posts and SEO pages (which we’ll talk about below). If you’re running an ecommerce store, you need a system for online sales. If you’re a one-person design agency, you might only need a simple website with a portfolio.
But one thing all businesses need to have on their website is a clear, concise about page that tells your audience exactly who you are and what you do.
Follow our easy guide to creating an awesome about us page and use these about us page examples for inspiration.
You need to set up social profiles on the most popular social media platforms for your audience. That could be Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, but it could also be less common social media networks like Reddit or Quora. Be sure to do your research.
Missed opportunity for Albertine Press, a small stationary shop in Cambridge, MA, because it’s not on Twitter.
For each social profile, fill out every field possible. The more information you provide, the more online visibility you’ll get. LinkedIn company pages are quite thorough, while Instagram bios are short and creative.
Your potential customers will see your online listings if they’re searching for your business—or a solution that you provide—on Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, or another local listings platform. Don’t risk these leads getting misinformation or, worse, no information, and take the time to review and monitor your online listings.
A complete, optimized Google Business Profile is a must.
This one is simple but significant: You need to set up a branded email signature for your business. This not only makes your communication more professional, but it also ensures you’re taking advantage of emails as interactions with your brand.
Here are two email signature templates from Wisestamp:
Having an image in your signature can make all the difference. In some cases, you’ll want a signature with your headshot, while in others, you may want to have your logo. Consider creating one of each to use accordingly.
If you might see any clients, customers, potential customers, or even friends of potential customers, you need to be prepared with some business cards to share if the opportunity arises. You can keep these simple and paper or use a nice reusable version, but either way you need to include your company’s name, logo, and contact information.
So many ways to get creative with your business cards. (Image source)
A one-pager that outlines your products or services, includes a testimonial, and details on how to get started all in a nicely designed, branded document is essential. It’s best to have this as a .pdf that you can share digitally or print to hand out in person at a trade show or other event with prospective customers.
Brand colors might seem like a nice-to-have piece of marketing collateral, but these are essential for building recognition and, in turn, growing a loyal customer base. In fact, sticking to a signature color palette can increase your brand’s recognition by 80%.
That kind of recognition isn’t nice to have—it’s a must for growing any business.
The items in this section aren’t absolutely essential if you don’t have the resources, but they are important and relatively low-budget marketing materials. So when opportunities arise, prioritize getting these made. Here are the types of marketing collateral you’ll want to get started on as soon as you’re able to hire or outsource the help.
Every time you send an email—anything from a newsletter to an order confirmation—you’re creating an interaction between your audience and your brand. The best way to take advantage of this is to create engaging, effective, and branded email templates.
Here’s an example from Blackbird Donuts, a local Boston chain.
As a side note, if you don’t want to populate the content of these design templates from scratch, you can always refer to our copy and paste email examples and templates.
Blog posts are fundamental to any content marketing strategy. That’s because these pieces of content let you address your audience from awareness to consideration, develop your brand personality, and grow your online presence if you’re targeting keywords effectively.
Blog posts are also prime SEO content, and lucky for you, we have nine blog post templates designed to drive traffic.
Whether you call them ebooks or guides, long-form pieces of content that are focused on educating your audience once they’re familiar with your brand are necessary to market to your entire funnel. They’re also a staple in any lead-generating content strategy, if you gate the content.
Online ads include Google Search Ads, Google Display Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Snapchat Ads, and more. When you’re looking to grow your business, online ads are effective for getting in front of highly targeted audiences and finding new potential customers.
But these do come with a cost for creating the ads, bidding, placements, and managing the accounts. Be sure to prepare for this when you’re ready for this type of marketing collateral. You can learn how to run Google Ads
When you’re running ads and offering downloadable guides, you need landing pages. These are pages specific to an offer or a campaign that you’re running. Need some inspiration? Take a look at these landing page examples.
When you’re trying to convert new customers, it’s amazing to have examples that speak to your ability to help—and even better to have existing customers speak to your value.
Case studies should be deep-dives into examples of successes with your product services, but testimonial ads can be short or in-depth. Both are excellent to have on-hand for marketing collateral.
From our post on how to write a case study.
If your sales team is presenting to any of your prospects, you want a branded pitch deck as your marketing collateral. You don’t want to run the risk of having different information in different deck, incorrect brand colors, or messaging that doesn’t align.
Flyers are great for so many businesses that rely on local marketing like a car wash or a restaurant. If that’s you and your brand, you need a template for a flyer that’s ready to go if you have an event, a sale, or an opportunity to post some.
Here, we’re moving into the “nice-to-have” territory. These types of marketing collateral are great if you’re looking for more assets to improve your marketing and your sales process.
Explainer videos are short videos that explain what your product or service does. They typically start with a character facing a pain point, then progress through showing how your product or service solves that problem, using screenshots and screenshares. These are great for highlighting the features and benefits of your offerings, and can go on landing pages, homepages, YouTube, social media, and more.
Swag sounds like an automatic big expense for tech-y logo gear, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I would be shocked to learn that you don’t have a branded mug or pen right now. 60% of consumers keep swag for two years—that so many in-person impressions for your brand.
A customer welcome kit is a particular type of swag, but it’s worth its own place on this list. A branded gift box to thank a new customer for signing upstarts the relationship on a warm, celebratory note that could have an impact on your business for years.
You already have email templates and testimonials, and the next step is to have some marketing collateral in place to ensure you’re getting fresh customer perspectives regularly. You need a thank you email that prompts a review.
Excellent example from the Ace Hotel Brooklyn.
Once you have established branding across your marketing, you’ll want different graphics to add to your blog posts, pillar pages, social posts, and more.
Mailchimp’s line illustrations are a great example.
This not only keeps things fresh and original, but also keeps your brand consistent, which improves brand recognition and even brand affinity.
In this last section, we have some types of marketing collateral that are excellent to have if you’ve got a marketing team and budget that’s ready to go.
I know, I know—everyone and theirhas a podcast these days. But that’s because it’s an incredibly popular format that allows for creativity and flexibility, as well as incredibly specific niche topics.
It also takes a ton of work, which is why this type of marketing collateral is next-level.
If you’re able to create original research reports and data projects, you should do so. This is an excellent type of marketing collateral because it’s informative, engaging, and valuable for your ideal audience. Even better, it’s a link magnet for your website.
Make this annual like the Content Marketing Institute
Community-driven marketing is time and labor-intensive, so this is definitely a next-level marketing asset. But branded communities (on Slack, Discord, and other platforms) have become more and more common over the last few years. This popularity is partly because it’s so effective. In fact, CMX Hub found that 84% of organizations believe their community has helped them meet their business objectives.
If you’re missing any of the need-to-have types of marketing collateral, it’s time to get started now. If you’re set on the fundamentals and ready for a new project, try tackling one of the next-level items. Either way, these assets will help you as you market to your audience and grow your business. Good luck!
To recap, here are the 26 types of marketing collateral to have for your business:
Céillie is Head of Marketing for Building Ventures, a VC firm focused on funding and mentoring early-stage startups in the built environment space. Previously, Ceillie led content strategy for Unstack and managed the award-winning blog at WordStream.
See other posts by Céillie Clark-Keane
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