The 33 Best Types of Marketing Collateral: The Massive Guide for Better Marketing Materials
Marketing collateral has changed over the years. Two decades ago, all you needed to boost your marketing efforts were a couple of brochures and a few flyers. Nowadays, the options can seem endless. So we created this marketing collateral guide to help you find the best marketing materials for your business.
We provide you with an overview of (almost) all existing marketing collateral and suggest when and how to properly create it.
But first of all, let’s make sure that we’re on the same page.
Marketing collateral describes a compilation of different media types, which is used to help improve the sales of a product or service. In the past, the term “marketing collateral” was mainly associated with brochures that were used to support the sales process.
But today, companies use marketing collateral to inform potential customers about their products or services, so this term now refers to both offline and online media.
The marketing message depends on the type of collateral you’re using. In general, you should concentrate on answering the following questions (among others):
- What makes your product or service unique?
- What are the benefits of using your product or service?
- Why should people use your product or service?
- Why is your product or service better than your competitor’s?
I know you want to have a look at our complete list of marketing collateral. Let’s dive into it. So, sit back and enjoy 😎
You don’t have the time to read the whole guide now? No problem. We’ve got you covered:
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Types of Marketing Collateral
Online Marketing Collateral
1. Biographies of Founders and Executives
Place biographies of your founders and executives on your website as social proof that informs your visitors about the successes of your founders and executives. That way, they will associate the performance of your company with these leaders’ accomplishments.
(Image Source: Loop54)
When to Use Biographies of Founders and Executives
Did your founders and executives work at popular companies, or are they considered to be leaders in your industry? Perfect. Present this information to your prospects as a warranty for success.
How to Create Biographies of Founders and Executives
If your founders and executives are very busy, just have a look at their LinkedIn profiles, and compose a compelling bio about them. Afterwards, send it to them for approval.
2. Blog Posts
Blog posts are great ways to provide your prospects with a lot of value. Don’t concentrate on selling. Instead, focus on solving problems and helping your prospects. Blog posts are good methods for describing topics in-depth.
(Image Source: Microsoft)
When to Use Blog Posts
Blog posts can be used whenever you want to tackle topics that are not directly related to your product or service. They’re great methods for nurturing prospects and getting in touch with them in a non-salesy way.
How to Create Blog Posts
You don’t need to be Hemingway or Goethe to start writing blog posts. Concentrate on the challenges of your prospects, and help them solve them. Convert this knowledge into text, and post it on your corporate blog. You can use a content-managing system such as WordPress to set up a blog within 5 minutes.
3. Case Studies
With Case Studies, you can show prospects what other customers have achieved in the past by using your product or service. For example, if you’re selling marketing software, you could illustrate that a customer increased his ROI by 123% through using your tool.
(Image Source: Cisco)
When to Use Case Studies
Case studies are particularly powerful if they involve popular companies. For example, doing a case study of Microsoft will provide strong evidence, which should convince prospects from similar industries to test—or even purchase—your product or service.
Create a separate section on your website or blog that features all case studies.
How to Create Case Studies
Throughout years of testing different collateral I believe case studies have the best impact on your businesses growth. A case study backs up your pitch to prospective customers with real world proof. The idea would be to have multiple case studies that focus on all the verticals you sell in to.
If the prospective customer can relate more to case study it will increase their chance of purchasing.
Garrett Smith, Founder of RepCheckup
4. Company Awards
Company awards are good ways to demonstrate your quality work to prospects. Put them on your website, and let them bloom into results that will convince your potential clients.
(Image Source: Content Marketing Institute)
When to Use Company Awards
Of course, the requirement for presenting company awards on your website is that you’ve won some. If you have, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t place them on your site.
How to Win Company Awards
First of all, identify important awards in your niche. After you google and find suitable awards, you’ll often be able to apply for one without being nominated. For example, if you’re a content marketing agency, you could apply for a Content Marketing Award.
5. Company Background
People prefer doing business with people they know. Make the first step, and inform prospects about your company and its background.
Let them know about the way you were founded, your progress during the first few years, important milestones, and the ways that your company has evolved. Inform them about your values. Then your potential clients will become more familiar with your company.
(Image Source: SAP)
When to Add Company Background to Your Website
As long as you have an interesting story to tell, put your company background on your website, and help people get to know you and learn about your values.
How to Use a Company Background on Your Website
Write compelling text about your company, and add some visuals. Make everything as personal as possible.
6. eBooks and Downloadable Guides
In the modern era, eBooks and downloadable guides are some of the hottest marketing materials. Everyone loves free things that are entertaining and educational. Hence, people love free eBooks and guides.
These PDF files should contain actionable, supportive, useful information. eBooks and downloadable guides will help you gather emails and generate leads.
(Image Source: Filestage)
When to Use eBooks and Downloadable Guides
If you know that your prospects and customers are struggling to tackle specific topics, make it your job to help them. Compile an eBook, and offer it on your website for free. But ask interested visitors for their email addresses. That way, you’ll be able to reach out to them later and continue nurturing them.
How to Create Ebooks and Downloadable Guides
Creating an eBook or guide doesn’t need to be that complicated. If you’ve already written lots of content, just take 3-5 blog posts about a specific topic, merge them together, and convert them into an ebook. For the conversion, either use eBook templates or a tool like Google Docs or Word.
I would argue the most important marketing collateral is not physical, but a digital downloadable PDF directed at your target audience used as bait to get your audience to give you their email to download.
Then you have their email in exchange for giving them valuable information and can use that to market to them and stay in touch for the future.
Stacy Caprio, Founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing
7. Email Signature
Your email signature is marketing collateral? Yep. You’re sending out hundreds of emails per week. So use your email signature as an inconspicuous way to promote your product or service.
When to Use an Email Signature
You should use one whenever you want to make a good impression, such as following up with a potential client.
How to Create an Email Signature
You can easily use one of the signature generators out there, and create a compelling email signature in seconds.
8. Explainer Videos
Did you know that people view more than 500 million hours on YouTube every day? People love videos.
Explainer videos can present your product or service in an easy and intuitive way. Is your product rather complex? Even better. Use an explainer video to simplify the product’s functionality.
(Video Source: Spotify)
When to Use an Explainer Video
Explainer videos can be used if you have a product or service that can be visually described in 1 to 2 minutes. This definition should apply to most businesses. Put the explainer video on your homepage, or share it via social media.
How to Create an Explainer Video
Either create an explainer video on your own, or hire somebody on a marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork to do it for you. You can use tools like Pow Toon or Biteable to create your own explainer videos.
Clients and prospects consume data in different ways, and so we meet potential clients and understand what they need, creating materials tailored for each opportunity.
That said, we are finding that video is very hot and has given us the highest open rates. It shows the human element of our people and enables us to explain complex concepts in less than 2-3 minutes.
Michael Mellor, Director of Marketing at Pryor Cashman LLP
9. Landing Pages
A landing page is quite similar to your actual website. The only difference is that the landing page completely concentrates on delivering your marketing message, but it refrains from needless distractions and links.
It is only one page, which includes one type of Call-to-Action. So it focuses on the most important aspects and benefits of your product and service.
(Image Source: Shopify)
When to Use a Landing Page
All of your marketing campaigns should have dedicated landing pages. Here’s the advantage of having a landing page, compared to using your homepage for all of your ad campaigns: You can easily adjust and rebuild it, according to the specs of your campaign.
How to Create a Landing Page
One piece of targeted marketing collateral that every business should have are landing pages. Landing pages allow you to make the most of your advertising and inbound marketing efforts by having a specific page to drive traffic to where you can provide a personalized offer to visitors in an effort to capture leads or make a sale. Essentially, instead of driving all your traffic to your website, you’re able to segment your audience and send them to a page that speaks more directly to them which allows you to improve your conversion rate.
Additionally, landing pages are a great place to tie in other pieces of marketing collateral like testimonials, whitepapers, ebooks, etc. to further a business’ objectives of generating leads or making a sale.
Josh Brown, Content Manager at Sales & Orders
10. List of partners or vendors
A list of partners or vendors will demonstrate powerful collaborations with leaders from other or similar industries. If you work with trustworthy companies, you must be trustworthy as well (at least in the eyes of your prospects).
(Image Source: Slack)
When to Use a List of Partners and Vendors
If you’re collaborating with a popular company, proudly present these partnerships on your website.
How to Create a List of Partners and Vendors
You don’t need to create a whole page for your partners and vendors. Simply list them on your website in a subtle but visible way.
11. Mission Statement
A mission statement is the compass of a company. It gives your team direction, but it can also send a strong, bold message to outsiders.
(Image Source: American Express)
When to Use a Mission Statement on Your Website
You should put your mission statement on your website if you feel that it’s perfectly aligned with your marketing message, and demonstrates your exemplary way of working.
How to Create a Mission Statement
Not sure how to create a powerful mission statement? Utilize this guide about composing an effective statement.
A newsletter is an email that you regularly send to all of the subscribed recipients. It should contain valuable content and interesting news about your company.
(Image Source: UXPin)
When to Use a Newsletter
Before using a newsletter, make sure that you build an email list of recipients. You can build this list by using lead magnets, such as eBooks or downloadable guides. Afterwards, you should regularly send out newsletters.
How to Create a Newsletter
Creating a newsletter is no longer complicated. To easily create your own newsletter, you can use a software for email marketing like Sendpulse. Alternatively, you can use other tools like Mailchimp, Mailjet, or Campaign Monitor, which offer a drag-and-drop interface. If you want to go one step further, create and design your own digital interactive publication. You can use tools like Instant Magazine to create beautiful publications in minutes.
A portfolio can be especially interesting for creating products or services. Are you are building websites for your customers? Make sure that you put all the websites you’ve designed so far on your own website, and add them to your portfolio.
(Image Source: Toyfight)
When to Use a Portfolio
You can either present your portfolio directly on your website, or use an external service like Crevado. Either way, make sure that it can be accessed online. An offline portfolio is no longer enough.
How to Create a Portfolio
14. Press Mentions/Clip File
Is your company mentioned in the news? Perfect. You must be very important (and trustworthy) if popular media sources are favorably reporting about you all the time, eh? Gather these press mentions, create a clip file, add it to your website, and update it regularly.
(Image Source: currencytransfer.com)
When to Use Press Mentions and a Clip File
When your business is just starting out, there won’t be any press mentions. But if your company has been around for a long time, don’t neglect the chance to use this information on your website.
How to Create a Press Mentions and a Clip File
Simply create a list of all past press mentions, link them properly, and add them to a dedicated page on your website. Done.
15. Press Releases
Press releases include news about the most important and newsworthy successes of your company. You should put them on your website, but you can also print them out and hand them directly to prospects.
(Image Source: BizLabs)
When to Use a Press Release
You should write a press release when you have something interesting to tell. It’s not enough to proudly present a new feature about your product. Concentrate on the benefits for the reader and the impact of your news.
How to Create a Press Release
Unsure about how to write a press release? Don’t worry. To create a newsworthy press release, just use these tips by Forbes.
16. Price List
This list includes the prices of all your products and services, and it can be easily sent to prospects. And of course, it can be both digitalized and printed.
(Image Source: sampletemplates.com)
When to Use a Price List
If you have a lot of different products and services, you don’t need to publish a price list directly on your website, where it can be seen by all visitors (including your competitors). Instead, you can send the list out whenever somebody is interested.
How to Create a Price List
Of course, you can use sophisticated tools like Photoshop to design your price list. If you aren’t sending out 100 emails per day (including this list), keep it simple. Open a Google or Word doc, and create a table that includes your products/services and the related prices.
17. Product Comparison Pages
Believe it or not: You’re not the only choice for your prospects. They’re always comparing products and services. Make sure that they can easily compare your product/service to your competitors by creating a product-comparison page.
The huge benefit: You decide the comparison criteria, so you can make sure you look superior to your competition.
(Image Source: Intercom)
When to Use a Product Comparison Page
If you have strong competitors, you should use product-comparison pages to decently and honestly compare your products and services. Just remember to utilize this opportunity to concentrate on your strengths.
How to Create a Product-Comparison Page?
Choose the most important comparison criteria, gather information about your competitors, and compare your product/service with theirs on a dedicated website. If you need inspiration, you can use these product-comparison templates.
18. Product Guide or Catalog
Are you selling products that have a functionality that needs to be explained in detail? To describe all the facets of your products, use product guides and catalogs, which can be downloaded on your website. That way, you can easily nurture your prospects while providing them with the information they want.
(Image Source: Littlefuse)
When to Use a Product Guide/Catalog
You should create a product guide/catalog if you’re selling multiple products. That way, your customers get a comprehensive overview of all listed products.
How to Create a Product Guide/Catalog
Making a product catalog is hard work, but it often pays off. In the beginning, start gathering the information you want to include in your catalog. Afterwards, decide on a format, and start designing it by using tools like Catalog Machine.
19. Testimonials and Reviews
Hopefully, some of your customers really love your product or service. You should try to get testimonials from them.
Nowadays, prospects don’t usually want to hear what you have to say about your product. Instead, they want to hear what other customers say about it. So you’ll have to proactively ask for testimonials.
But there is another source of opinions about your products: online reviews. You can use positive reviews from Google or Yelp on your website.
(Image Source: mHelpdesk)
When to Use a Testimonials and Reviews
You can put testimonials and reviews directly on your website, or you can combine them with other marketing collateral, such as flyers or landing pages. Remember, trustworthy testimonials and reviews always look good, and they’re good ways to convince prospects of your expertise.
How to Create a Testimonials and Reviews?
Directly reach out to your happiest customers, and ask them for testimonials. You can also use incentives to motivate them. In addition, you can use reviews from Google or Facebook, and add them to your website.
The most important marketing collateral today is social proof, specifically in the form of online reviews. Online reviews are one of the most effective forms of social proof because consumers check online reviews when researching a business. Consumers want to know what the experience at a business is like for other customers. So if a customer writes, the service here is terrible, in a review, then that is going to affect this consumer who is researching the business on whether or not to visit the particular restaurant.
The evidence that online reviews are a powerful form of social proof comes from our 2018 Online Reviews Survey. According to the survey, 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to read online reviews on Google before a visiting a business. That’s more than any other review site. In addition, negative reviews actually drive consumers away — 94 percent of consumers say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.
Megan Wenzl, Associate Editor at Review Trackers
20. Sales Presentation
Sales presentations can help you sell a certain product or service by stressing its benefits. But they shouldn’t be product- or service-centric. Instead, they should focus on solving the problems of the target audience.
(Image Source: Contently)
When to Use Sales Presentations
You should use these presentations if prospects are interested in your product or service, and you want to convince them that it can solve their specific problems.
Don’t be lazy when you adjust a sales presentation to a specific client. Instead, make it as personalized as possible, and cover the use case of your prospect.
How to Create Sales Presentations
When creating sales presentations, it’s important to tell a story that results in a solution to your prospect’s problem. Many great sales presentations are available out there.
When creating your own sales presentation, you can use these examples as inspiration:
21. Vertical/Industry Pages
Often, products are used across various industries in different ways. You can use this information and create dedicated subpages for each of these industries.
For example, if you’re selling software that can be used in both the real estate industry and the manufacturing industry, create a page for both of them. On these pages, you’re explaining the use case in detail. So prospects will more easily understand if the product can help them solve their specific problems.
(Image Source: Freshdesk)
When to Use Industry Pages
You should use industry pages if your product is used in different industries. It’s as easy as that. All potential customers want to see how you helped other customers in similar situations. And industry pages can easily do this job.
How to Create Industry Pages
Select the industries that you want to present use cases about, and create web pages for them. On each page, you should clearly show how this industry and its specific customers benefited from your product.
22. Warranty Sheet
Warranty sheets ensure that your customers can have repairs made within a certain amount of time.
(Image Source: Kramer)
When to Use a Warrant Sheet
Simply put, you should use warranty sheets when you’re offering a product that involves a warranty.
How to Create a Warranty Sheet
Use one of the existing free warranty sheets.
Surprisingly, some businesses still don’t have decent websites, or websites at all. But an appealing, user-friendly website is the meat and potatoes of your business.
(Image Source: Zapier)
When to Use a Website
How to Create a Website
You can either code it on your own, use a drag-and-drop editor, or pay somebody to do either for you. If you decide to hire an agency, you can compare suitable agencies on Clutch.co. If you’re looking for a suitable website builder, you should check this overview.
I’ve been in digital marketing for 7 years, and consider a business’s website the single most important piece of marketing collateral they can invest in.
A strong website can promote a company’s products 24/7. More importantly, people who are researching products or services online are usually more motivated to make a purchase in the near future than people who are simply reading a magazine or listening to the radio.
By putting your products right in front of a potentially motivated buyer— right when they’re motivated to act—you’re increasing your chances of a successful conversion. If you’re not doing this, you can rest assured that your competitors are.
Of course, developing a successful website takes much longer than developing an ad or an email blast. But the ROI tends to be higher as well. I’ve seen companies reduce their cost per lead by 40-50 percent when they implement smart digital marketing strategies.
Faith Kubicki, Content Marketing Manager at IntelliChief
A whitepaper is a comprehensive document that informs the reader about a complex topic. Prospects expect whitepapers to be backed by research, and to contain valuable and actionable information.
The topics in whitepapers should be related to your business. For example, if you own a Facebook advertising agency, you could write about how to succeed at Facebook marketing.
(Image Source: DocuSign)
When to Use a Whitepaper
You should use whitepapers as part of your marketing collateral. They should attract potential prospects and deliver information when they’re considering buying your product or service.
How to Create a Whitepaper?
There are many tutorials on how to write an amazing whitepaper. I compiled a quick list for you:
The type of collateral you provide your leads really depends on who your target market is, and what industry you’re in. A whitepaper is basically an extended blog post and is a good tool for most industries and audiences.
You can leverage whitepapers as a way of explaining a product, service or aspect of your business that would be too lengthy for a blog post. A white paper is a good tool to use if you want to provide your prospect with persuasive information that gets straight to the point.
It’s not as descriptive as an ebook but it’s more complex than a blog post. In order for the whitepaper to be effective, you need to include facts, statistics, and research with documented references. Whitepapers are basically guides to help people make more informed decisions.
Britt Armour, Director of Digital Marketing at Kibii
Offline Marketing Collateral
Brochures should be well-designed and provide information about your business, your product, and/or your services. Use visual elements to make them appealing.
(Image Source: Behance)
When to Use Brochures
You should use brochures if you need physical marketing collateral that can be easily handed to prospects without being expensive. You can easily print thousands of brochures for big events without blowing your budget.
How to Create Brochures
These days, you no longer need a designer to create an appealing brochure. You can use tools like Canva, and capitalize on their available templates.
26. Business Cards
Business cards are essential for every businessperson who has any contact with external businesspeople. Although they’re considered old school, everyone is still using them. And it’s obvious why: They allow you to swap contact information in a very quick and frictionless way.
(Image Source: CUB on Behance)
When to Use Business Cards
You should use business cards when you’re attending conferences or meeting people in a business context.
How to Create Business Cards
There are literally thousands of products and services that allow you to create and produce business cards. If you want to create business cards on your own, you can use templates from Canva or Shopify. If you also want to print them, use a service like MOO.
The most important marketing collateral, hands down, is a business card. It may often get overlooked, but that’s what makes it a great marketing tool, because it’s unassuming, small, and mostly inexpensive. Everyone carries business cards and when you’re out in the field making connections, word-of-mouth marketing is king. How else will someone remember your elevator pitch or details of your business if you don’t seal it with a business card? That way, you can give your new connection an easy way to remember you and contact you in the future.
Harrison Doan, Director of Analytics at Saatva
While there are countless types of marketing collateral pieces out there the one I think is most important is a business card. I lean towards one with nothing or very little printed on the back. Why you ask – so when you meet someone and they don’t have a business card you have a space to write their information on. It is the most tried and true piece we could ever have – if you’re talking paper.
People keep business card; they attach them to their refrigerator, store them on their desk or keep them in their wallet or purse. Most other pieces, while they might get read, are tossed if not immediately eventually. When was the last time you kept anything besides a business card?
If you’re talking electronically, then I would say a LinkedIn profile is the most important marketing piece. Both for individuals and businesses. It’s everything you need to know when researching a person, business or organization.
And now, with the new ‘find nearby’ feature if you have connected with someone before and see them at a networking event and don’t remember their name – by opening up ‘find nearby’ it will show which of your contacts are where you are at. (assuming they are also using the feature) You immediately have access to their information and their picture.
Bottom line – the business card still wins in the marketing collateral game. They are kept, read and remembered.
Laura Mael, Marketing/PR Expert
Calendars make great marketing collateral. Everyone needs a calendar and is happy to get one for free. So provide your prospects with a free calendar that’s branded with your expectations.
That way, your prospects and customers are reminded of you and your company each and every day, all year long. Of course, you can also brand and provide other useful things, such as pens or cups.
(Image Source: Steph Olson)
When to Use Calendars
Calendars can be used when you are searching for physical marketing collateral that should be given away for free, for example on an event.
How to Create Calendars
You can either use online printing services (including their drag-and-drop calendar editors). Or you can create the calendar on your own by (again) using Canva and printing the calendars in your local copy shop.
28. Company Folders
Company folders contain comprehensive information about your business. They should include some brochures, your business cards, a company or product presentation, and other relevant documents. Make sure that the folder design captures the attention of your prospects and stands out.
(Image Source: Behance)
When to Use Company Folders
You should use company folders each time you want to provide prospects with a comprehensive collection of information while making it as easy as possible for them to go through the materials.
How to Create Company Folders
A service like Company Folders easily provides excellent folders.
29. Company/Product/Service Fact Sheet
Fact sheets about companies, products, or services are great sources of information for prospects. They summarize the most important information on one page, while being well- designed.
(Image Source: Xtensio)
When to Use Company/Product/Service Fact Sheets
You should always use fact sheets when you want to provide a relatively large number of prospects with physical marketing collateral. It’s relatively easy and cheap to produce them, and they offer a lot of valuable information.
How to Create Company/Product/Service Fact Sheets
There are many templates available. Use one of them, and print the sheets in your local copy shop.
30. Direct Mail
Most companies concentrate on sending outbound emails. In fact, only a small percentage still use direct mail. Utilize this opportunity, and surprise your prospects and customers, especially if you’re in a digitalized industry.
When to Use Direct Mail
If you want to conduct a national marketing campaign, use direct mail as an additional channel, and test the impact.
How to Create Direct Mail
Creating good direct mail is hard. Today, less direct mail is sent because people are reluctant to do anything but throw it away. Nevertheless, you can find the Top 10 direct mail providers from 2017 here.
31. Branded Envelopes
Branded Envelopes are the offline version of the email signature. Use branded envelopes to stand out. Letters are sent each day. Why shouldn’t you use this easy marketing tool?
(Image Source: Axiom Designs)
When to Use Branded Envelopes
You should always use branded envelopes when you’re sending letters.
How to Create Branded Envelopes
You can use a service like envelopes.com to design and order your individual envelopes.
Flyers are quite similar to brochures, but they aren’t folded. They should attract attention by being well-designed, and engage prospects by being well-written.
(Image Source: Dribbble)
When to Use Flyers
You should use flyers if you need physical marketing collateral that can be quickly given out to a lot of people.
How to Create Flyers
33. Point-of-Sale Displays
Point-of-sale displays are good ways to support your product the sales of your products. You can use these displays to provide potential customers with additional materials about your product (in the form of brochures, flyers, or free samples).
(Image Source: Evolution Displays)
When to Use Point-of-Sales Displays
You can use point-of-sales displays if you sell retail products, and want to boost af product launch.
How to Create Point-of-Sales Displays
To create an appealing POS display, you should work with retail experts that are making them every day. Companies like Creative Displays Now or Smurfit Kappa allow you to buy and customize such POS displays.
Although it’s 2018, marketing collateral doesn’t only need to be digital. Especially if you’re planning to attend a conference, don’t neglect offline options, such as brochures or flyers. In general, it’s important to find the marketing collateral that fits your needs and situation.
I’m curious. In your view, what is the most important marketing collateral? Have I forgotten any important materials on my list? Don’t hesitate to let me know by telling me in the comments.
Max is a SaaS enthusiast and loves actionable content that provides direct value.