A complete guide to effective Marketing Collateral

Marketing Collateral-Fileboard

What do sales teams need from marketing? Why do they value marketing? If you think that the answer is because marketing teams produce good leads, then you are wrong. For sure, good leads are one of the things that sales teams need from marketing, but marketers are responsible –among other things- for the creation of marketing collateral that sales reps use when contacting prospects. In this post you will find a useful guide about what types of collateral you should use and why, how to design effective marketing collateral and how to measure the impact of the Marketing collateral you create.

Types of Marketing Collateral

Whitepapers/ E-books

White papers are sales and marketing documents used to entice or persuade potential customers to learn more about or purchase a particular product, service, technology or methodology. They are among the most commonly used marketing tools and they benefit not only the prospects that get insights about topics of interest, but also the sales teams that get the contact details of the prospects since they have to fill in a form before they download the desired whitepaper/e-book. When creating a whitepaper make sure that the topics you write about add value to your prospects and align with their objectives.

Videos

Videos can be used in many ways. You can even add videos in your whitepapers in order to reinforce the issue you are writing about. The videos can summarize the problem at hand and create a connection between the problem and “your solution”. You should always include references to your website so that you can have your prospects trying to find more about your products. You can also create videos related directly to your product features. These videos can be used as user manuals and/or highlight the benefits of your product/service. What’s more you can use testimonials in the form of a video, but that is discussed below.

Email Templates for nurturing

Lead nurturing is a specific and targeted type of email campaign to “nurture” the leads that converted on content offers from landing pages that are early in the sales cycle. Your sales team needs a series of emails with the right content to send out to the prospects. These emails are a good “excuse” to get back in touch with them. Try not to use phrases like “ just checking in” or “touch base” instead add some value to your emails something of interest for the prospect like a recent blogpost, a whitepaper or a new feature of your product.

Powerpoint presentations

Powerpoint presentations are undeniably a very powerful marketing tool. But I am sure that more than once you have found yourself to be bored by someone’s presentation. This usually happens, when presentations are overloaded with information, poorly structured and do not have a focus point making it difficult to follow. Some simple rules that you should follow when creating a presentation are the following:

1) Understand your goals

Before creating a presentation you should set your goals. Of course a sales presentation aims to bring you closer to a sale, but it is also really important to understand what the customer wants to accomplish in the presentation and try to align your goals with the prospect’s goals.

2) Timing

People’s time is valuable and the last thing you want from a prospect is to tell you that you are out of time. So in order to stay on time you need to plan out each section of your presentation and how much time each part requires. Try to allocate your time wisely and give more time to the most important parts.

3) The rule of three

When preparing your presentation keep in mind the simple rule of three. People seem better able to code and remember ideas that are presented in groups of three. In order to take advantage of that fact you can organize your content in a presentation under three main headings and then create 3 sub headings under those headings.

Testimonials

Testimonials are the best marketing tool you can use. Is there anything better than having your clients saying nice things about you and how satisfied they are by using your product? You should make it a habit to ask for testimonials whenever you can. Those testimonials can have the form of short video as mentioned above or they can be quotes. If possible ask your clients for quantitative figures since they are easier to notice and to understand.

Case studies

Case studies are the best way to show your prospects that you have done similar work in the past. It’s stories, not “features and benefits” that allow brands to create relevant and engaging connections with prospective customers. The key to a successful case study is to express the customer’s perspective and not yours. B2B buyers want to hear your customers’ stories in their words – not yours. So, do not emphasize so much on how awesome your support team is, instead try to convey how your product helped solving your customer’s problems, and more importantly let your customers describe that.

Q&A for prospecting calls

When you call your prospects do you have in mind what they might ask you? Have you planned what your approach to answer their questions will be? You need to be prepared for all kind of questions that your prospects may have and you can do that by creating a Q&A document with the most common questions you get from your prospects. In fact your Q&A document should always be updated with the new prospects’ questions. One thing is sure, they always have new and creative questions!

Blog content

Having a blog is one of the most effective marketing tools in B2B tactics. The difficult part is that you have to know not only what your prospects are interested in reading but also you need to write something different that your competitors and you need to update your content frequently. Some ideas that you should consider writing about are:

  • Technology comparisons
  • The latest Industry research and statistics
  • Industry trend pieces
  • Entertaining/ educational articles
  • Articles that help them solve common problems
  • Templates for documents they might use regularly
  • Product Updates

How to design effective Marketing Collateral

Effective marketing collateral is essential in today’s competitive marketplace and can mean the difference between almost making a sale and creating a loyal customer for life. Here are 4 strategies on how to create effective marketing collateral that gets attention and the sale.

Define your objectives

Most marketers understand the need for an objective concerning the overall campaign but they often do not realize how important it is to make sure that each individual piece of marketing collateral has an objective as well. Only after you have identified what you want to achieve by using these collateral you can start creating your collateral.  Your sales reps can help you in this process by answering the following questions:

  • Are you targeting current customers or new customers?
  • What is the purpose of this collateral? Do you aim to increase brand awareness? Launch a new product/ feature? Promote a sale?

Know your reader

Before starting creating your collateral you should do a research on your target audience. What are their needs? How can you help them? What do they expect from you? Try to adjust your collateral to their point of view and not only on your achievements and success. A good way to achieve this is by answering the most common questions you get from your prospects and current customers. Also your sales reps or customer service team can give you practical insights on this matter since they are the ones that communicate the most with your clients.

Grab attention fast

The very first seconds that your prospect is in touch with your content are the most crucial. You either have his attention or not and this is very difficult to change. Make sure you use some eye-catchy phrases and/or things that interest your prospect. A good way to achieve this is to use images or infographics. As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words. Especially infographics are very attractive and compelling. People not only love facts, figures and statistics but also are more receptive to visual content since 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual. Plus infographics add credibility to your arguments.

Integrate your Marketing Collateral into your Campaigns

You have spent time and money developing your collateral so you have to make sure that you get the most out of them. One of the best ways to do that it to incorporate the collateral you create into your digital and email campaigns. More specifically you can add this content to your social media platforms, landing pages and blogposts. Also, make sure to promote your marketing collateral wherever you have strong online presence.

How to measure the impact of the Marketing Collateral you create

So, you have created all this content and you have shared it with your sales team. Now what? Of course you need to have some feedback and metrics on how your collateral performs, in order to know what you really need to know is what content is most used and contributed most to won deals. According to research the majority of the content that marketing teams create for sales enablement purposes goes unused. This can be because sales reps didn’t get favorable responses to it in the past, or because reps forget it’s available, or even because they didn’t know it was available in the first place.

Fileboard can help you solve this problem. Read here for more information on how Fileboard can help Marketing Managers track the content performance of the collateral they create!

We hope that you found some interesting insights about the Marketing Collateral in this post that will help you not only create more targeted and effective collateral but also track the performance of what you  develop!

What types of marketing collateral do you use and what strategies do you follow? Share your experience and insights with us.