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Any business whether small or large needs to market and promote itself. Against this backdrop, having marketing collaterals is necessary. There are various kinds of marketing collateral ideas for print and digital promotion that one can choose based on their business marketing strategy, audience type and budgets. For small businesses, it is important to choose marketing materials that’s cost-effective and impactful, and can resonate with their target audience.
This article explains the meaning of marketing collaterals and types of collaterals that small businesses can use for promoting their business online and offline.
What are marketing collaterals?
Marketing collateral is a piece of communication that is released to promote your company or products. There are mainly two types of marketing collaterals – print and digital.
Digital collaterals include digital materials such as social media posts, e-newsletters, direct marketing e-mailers, etc. Print collaterals include brochures, product catalogues, and other printed materials. Moreover, there are other kind of collaterals too such as webinars and events.
7 Must have marketing collateral types for MSMEs
Every business has to invest in marketing materials for business growth. Depending on business activities, marketing strategy and available budget, these needs vary for each business. However, there are some common types of collaterals that each business must invest in.
For a MSME owner looking to grow your business, here is a list of marketing collaterals that you must have for business promotions, branding and awareness, and expansion.
In today’s digital era, a website acts as the first touchpoint with the customer. Therefore, it is important to have at least a basic website ready.
It can contain information on your company, products, contact details, etc. Moreover, the website has to be updated regularly with the latest information, announcements, new launches, and other updates from your company.
There are many ways to engage customers on your website. For example, chatbots can help customers with relevant product information, etc. Similarly, it is recommended to use marketing analytics for websites to get data and insights on customer behaviour and make informed business decisions and forecast.
Social media posts
Posting consistently on the company’s social media handles is a best-practice for brand-building and customer engagement.
You can post various content such as product/service images, trivia, new announcements from your company, product launches, offers and discounts, customer testimonials and so on.
Companies also post polls to analyse changing trends in customer demand. Depending on your business activities, you can choose the right social media platform to emphasise on.
For companies engaging with customers in a traditional way, brochures are important. Brochures were originally categorized as print marketing material, though in present times they are also designed and distributed to digital audiences too.
Also, brochures come in handy when you are participating in trade fairs and conferences. You can add details on your business, founders, products/services, offices, employees and more in your business brochure.
It said that a picture is worth a thousand words and videos probably convey even more. It is clear that you can communicate more effectively through videos. Engagement and content consumption is also higher on videos.
For example, if you are an interior designer, you can show videos of your previous work that can depict your creativity. Videos especially come in handy if you want to show a demo of your product to the customer.
At trade fairs, many companies display machines while the process is explained through a video. Moreover, videos can contain other information too such as your company’s statement, innovations, history and so on.
If video marketing is a part of your marketing collaterals for growth marketing, take note that it is time consuming, and may require additional expenses in software purchase and resource hire.
Case studies and testimonials from your satisfied customers can act as marketing collateral. It can create a trust factor among potential customers. Case studies can be in any format, print, digital, video, etc. While drafting a case study, it is important to focus on customer experience. Let your customer speak about his/her experience with your product or service. This is because a case study turns out to be useful collateral during the customer’s consideration stage. At this stage, the customer often knows about your product and its features.
If you have an eCommerce business or selling on an e-Commerce website, you can request customers to post a review on the website.
Webinars became a popular tool during the lockdown period and solved a key MSME challenge – the ability to interact online when physical meetings were not possible. Since then, the participation of customers in webinars has increased. It is an effective way to communicate with your existing and potential customers and explain your product and services.
Taking this idea further, manufacturers can create an experience zone in their factory or office for customers to give demonstrations. Watching how the product works is more convincing for a customer than just listening to product features. Many companies also oragnise Customers Meeting Day to meet and greet customers, demonstrate new launches and share other collaterals such as product catalogue, videos, etc.
Sending personalised greetings on occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, and other important occasions led to easy brand recall. Also, it gives an opportunity to sell products in case you are in a certain industry category.
For example, a cake shop can send a personalised greeting on a customer’s birthdays while displaying the latest cake flavours or offering birthday discounts.
How to create marketing collaterals?
- Keep your message crisp and clear: The message that you want to convey has to be clear and crisp. Customers usually do not like to read long messages. Therefore, keeping it short, crisp and clear is important.
- Focus on customer: Focus on the customer’s problems instead of your products and features. Keep your target audience in mind, while creating marketing collaterals. For example, if you are a machine manufacturer and your target audiences are mostly engineers, you can give technical details of the machine. However, if your target audience does not come from a non-technical background, you will need explain machine features in a simple language.
- Sticking to the brand promise: It is important that all your business communication is aligned to the brand promise and mission statement of the company. Any mismatch here may create confusion on the customer’s mind. In this regard, having brand guidelines, using brand colours, templates, etc., is important.