Even with the rise of digital marketing, print is far from dead. There are still plenty of situations where tangible marketing materials can help businesses effectively spread the word about their products and services to their customer base. So finding the right printed marketing materials can help you get essential information out to potential customers and clients.
What Are Marketing Materials?
Marketing materials are items that businesses use to share messages about their offerings to their potential customer. This can range from digital marketing assets to physical signs. When it comes to printed marketing collateral, these items include tangible materials that can be easily distributed to consumers, like business cards and brochures.
Why Are Marketing Materials Important?
So why should a small business invest in their own marketing materials? These printed items aren’t just for sharing basic information. They can help your company accomplish several key goals.
Keep You Top of mind
When you give someone a physical item that includes your business information, they can hold onto it and reference it again and again. It’s easy for someone to go back and find a business card from a trade show or event when they want to purchase a particular product or service, whereas looking back at something they saw online can be a bit tricky if they’ve forgotten key details.
Marketing materials allow you to present your brand colors and messages in a leave-behind package. These branding elements should be consistent with the other materials your business uses, like your website and digital marketing assets. So your printed materials ultimately help to create a consistent image so a customer will be more likely to remember your brand across various platforms. This can also help you give contacts an immediate feel for what your business is all about. For example, if you want to be known as trendy or modern, choosing a font and color scheme in those styles can help you convey that to customers quickly.
When customers have easy access to materials that include your contact information, website, email address, or other details that help them do business with you, it makes it easier for them to complete purchases. Collaterals can also help you show off products or services and provide detailed descriptions that convince prospects to buy. It can also make it easier for your sales or customer service teams to get in touch with relevant buyers if they already have an idea of what you have to offer.
Include Useful Visuals
Some products or services could use some photos or visuals to really get the point across. With tangible marketing collateral, you can include images that show consumers clearly what your small business offers. You may also be able to include more text than you would in other instances like signage or online ads. Once you get people’s attention with clear headlines and visuals, they may be more likely to read descriptions and sales pitches elsewhere in your brochures or flyers.
Present Special Offers
In some of your company’s materials, you may want to include coupons or exclusive offers that prospects can use to get deals when they purchase from you. This adds some incentive to buy and also makes the opportunity feel more exclusive.
Types of Marketing Materials and How to Use Them
If you’re going to use collateral marketing for your small business, you need to determine what options are the best fit for your needs. There are tons of different styles to choose from, each with a different method for delivering information. Some are best for quick interactions, while others are better suited for diving deeper. Here’s a rundown of the most popular types of marketing materials.
1. Business Cards
A business card is a small card that includes basic information about a company or individual. This generally includes the name, phone number, title or company, website, tagline, and maybe some social media handles. The card should also include the basic branding elements of the business to create a cohesive and recognizable look.
Business owners and professionals often hand out business cards at networking events, trade shows, meetings, and conferences. You can also easily keep your cards on hand to exchange them at chance meetings around your community, or place them on your desk or reception area so visitors can easily take a card to reference later.
Since business cards are small and easy to carry, they’re ideal for busy professionals who are constantly meeting potential clients in person. They’re also easy for your contacts to store and reference later, so they can easily get in touch with you whenever they need your product or service. In fact, many business professionals expect their contacts to have business cards on hand to exchange at events or meetings, so being prepared with the cards can add some legitimacy and professionalism to your business.
Brochures are documents that explain a product, service, or company. It is often folded into a pamphlet or leaflet for easy storage and transportation, but can also be unfolded. This type of marketing collateral can contain images, text, and various design elements to provide a cohesive look while offering detailed advertising information.
Businesses often give out brochures in reception areas or business centers, so potential customers who want to learn more can easily grab them. You can also mail brochures, include them in packaged orders, or hand them out at meetings or trade shows.
You can use brochures to share more details about your offerings with interested parties. Generally, the front of the brochure should include an attention-grabbing headline and visuals. Then the inside can feature your sales pitch, relevant images, explanations, and your contact information or a call to action for your potential customer.
Direct mail marketing can be an effective way for small businesses to reach consumers in a specific geographic area. Mailers are the printed materials that you send out to potential customers. They’re generally basic cards that include your business name, the essential information about your product or service, a special promotion or coupon, and a call to action. However, they can also be larger if you need to share detailed information.
To use mailers effectively, businesses simply need to determine where they want to target potential consumers. Then they can send out items to each household in that community. You send targeted items to a list of your current customers.
Since these items are sent directly to people’s homes or businesses, your target customers are likely to really take notice. These items are often perfect for sharing special deals or promotions so new consumers can become familiar with your company and either purchase right away or save your information for when they need it.
Posters are often large, attention-grabbing signs that can be displayed around town or at special events. They usually include just a few details about a company or initiative, since people need to be able to remember the information shared.
These items can be passed out directly, but most are displayed at prominent locations where they’re likely to get a lot of attention. Some companies also create posters that include small sections that people can tear off to take with them. These sections usually include just one detail like a phone number or coupon.
If you can create a poster that gets people’s attention, you can share information with a large number of people without printing tons of additional items. This can be the perfect way for businesses to get the word out about special events, new products, or promotions.
5. Outdoor Signs
Outdoor signs are normally printed on durable plastic so they can share messages throughout the community while holding up against the elements. Like posters, they only include a few basic details so people who see them can easily remember the important information.
They can be placed in front of a business or in front of homes or public spaces. This type of signage is popular for promoting upcoming events, sales, or campaigns. If you can create a colorful and attention-grabbing sign with just one or two lines of large, easily readable text, you should easily be able to grow awareness for your newest initiative.
In addition to getting people’s attention and sharing information about an event or promotion, outdoor signs can help to grow awareness. If people constantly see your signs around their community or in front of the homes of their friends and neighbors, they may be more likely to take notice.
Catalogs are lists of products or items for sale, generally presented in a booklet that customers can flip through. With these printed materials, you can share more extensive information about your company’s offerings than you could with smaller items like a business card or brochure.
These materials are perfect for companies that offer several products or services. You can hand them out at client meetings, mail them directly to consumers, or make them available at local businesses around town.
Catalog design should include a mix of eye-catching images and headlines, along with smaller text that really goes into details about each product or offer. They can also include your contact information, website, or other details that people need to know to complete their purchases.
7. Door Hangers
Door hangers are printed signs that include a small cutout design so they can easily fit over door handles. Businesses usually place these directly onto the front doors of people around their community to spread the word about a new product, service, or promotion on a mass scale.
These items are similar to direct mail, except that companies generally pass them out or hire a delivery service to distribute them, rather than going through the actual mail. They’re also more visible and can sometimes stand out a bit more since they’re not mixed in with other items in the mailbox – they’re displayed right out in front of people’s homes so everyone who passes by can take notice.
Door hangers usually include basic information about a product, service, or promotion, since they’re relatively small. However, you can fit a bit more information on them than you could with a business card or postcard. Utilize both sides to include a few eye-catching visuals and the most important things people need to know about doing business with you, including a very clear call to action.
Folders are often paired with presentations that businesses make to potential clients. They can feature professional images of a product or offer, along with detailed information that clients can refer to after a presentation to better remember the content you shared with them.
These printed items are most popular with B2B businesses or those who meet with clients in person. You can use them to advertise a particular product you’re selling or include details about the benefits of doing business with your team. Folders may also include sections for business cards with your contact information or another call to action so they know how to act if they want to purchase.
In addition to sharing thorough information that complements your in-person presentation, folders can also help you present a professional image to potential clients. They’ll appreciate how prepared you are for your meeting and have the ability to refer to the folder again and again if they need help remembering the content you shared.
Letterhead is printed stationery that you can use to draft personal communications to clients, customers, or others in your industry. Businesses generally have just a small logo or name, tagline, and contact information printed at the top of each piece of paper.
Custom letterhead is best suited for businesses that send personalized communications to clients or customers. You can have the basic logo or name printed at the top and then alter the content of each message to meet the needs of specific contacts.
This option helps your business appear more professional while also presenting a more personal touch to your written communications. Instead of relying just on emails or digital marketing interactions, some of your clients may appreciate a written note that is still presented in a professional manner.
Newsletters are informational packets that are designed to advertise a business’s offerings or share useful information for interested parties. They generally include a lot of text, so you can share plenty of details and explanations.
To distribute newsletters, you can mail them directly to those on your contact list, pass them out at events, or include them with purchased products. Sometimes, they’re also used to educate or update employees or others in your industry.
Newsletters allow you to share in-depth information about initiatives. So they can help you convince people to buy or understand what sets your company apart. They’re often best suited for current customers or people who are already familiar with your brand.
How Do You Make Marketing Materials?
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of collateral in your marketing, it’s time to have these items created. Your main options are to design and print them yourself using your company’s printer or use a printing service where you can order copies to distribute.
Using your own printer allows you to enjoy full control over the process. However, you do need to have some design savvy and quality printing equipment. There are templates and tutorials available to help you get started.
With a printing service, you can either upload your own design or use their templates or designs to quickly create the items you need. Then you simply place your order and pay for as many copies as you need.
How to Keep Your Marketing Materials Up-to-Date
Once you’ve created your marketing collateral, the work isn’t over. You still need to review your items regularly to make sure the information is accurate and the style is in line with your small business’s image. You can also create easily modifiable documents so you can go in and easily change small details or graphics to meet your needs going forward. This includes the latest or most up to date email address of all your clients to deliver the best customer service possible.
Now that you understand the impact these materials can have on your marketing and the most popular types, it’s time to create them and distribute them to your customer base!
This article, “Which Marketing Materials Do I Need?” was first published on Small Business Trends