Creating digital marketing collateral can be a great deal of fun, but not when you’re stuck on ideas, making the same thing day in and day out. There’s nothing wrong with traditional collateral, but even the most dedicated marketer needs a break from those formats now and then. When you’ve just about had it with email, there are plenty of other options to try.
What Is Digital Marketing Collateral?
Marketing collateral is the range of materials a company uses to promote its products, services, or mission. Typically, these materials are put into action after a potential client has come into contact with the company and are used to persuade them to take the next step in the buying journey – essentially, they’re a sales tool. Beyond that, marketing collateral enables companies to make their mark and provide something unique for their audience – but the benefits don’t end there. If a company’s resources are funneled entirely into one form of marketing, they are only able to speak to a fraction of their potential audience; investing in marketing collateral diversifies your efforts, allowing you to reach a much wider range of individuals.
Digital marketing collateral is the electronic version, and it’s the crux of a strong online strategy. Physical collateral is certainly important, but it will only reach the people who happen to pick up a pamphlet or take a sticker; online, you have access to the masses.
Digital Marketing Collateral Ideas
Customer Case Studies
Case studies are used by marketers to display real clients’ opinions and experiences of working with a company. Unfortunately, people don’t tend to trust brands – but they do trust other people. Not only is a customer feature a great excuse to showcase what the product or service can do for a buyer, but it also shows that you will deliver on your promises (or surpass them). What’s more, this form of digital marketing collateral adds a personal touch to your marketing – it humanizes the brand.
Traditionally, case studies are in-depth articles on how the company helped a client solve a problem or accomplish a goal, but they don’t necessarily need to be articles. You could interview the client in a podcast, have them make a video, or even create an animated short depicting their story. The right customer feature for your company will depend on what you are hoping to accomplish, and who you are hoping to accomplish it with. Most companies have a few different segments within their customer base, so the story you choose to highlight may or may not appeal to all of them.
Infographics kill two birds with one stone; not only do they function as digital marketing collateral, but they also provide something of value to viewers. Infographics turn complex topics into easily digestible content by displaying them visually, making them a great resource for people to turn to. Providing a valuable source of information for viewers positions the company as an expert, and the more people who trust your expertise the better. The best part is that infographics are both useful and visually appealing, so they’re often shared by viewers.
However, people are unlikely to share an infographic if it’s excessively lengthy or stuffed with information; in general, it’s best to keep them a reasonable size and simple enough to navigate with ease. It’s also important to keep the copy brief; when it comes to making infographics, visuals are key. According to MovableInc, we process images 60,000 times faster than text, and even if we do take the time to read, most people only end up reading 20-28% of the words on a page. That being said, infographics don’t have to be all facts and figures, they can also be a great place to show off your company’s creativity. For instance, a child-centric brand could fashion their infographic as a printable coloring page or place mat.
Pillar pages are rising in popularity as an effective, useful form of digital marketing collateral. These long-form articles cover broad topics related to the company and contain links to more in-depth pieces on the subjects covered. The pillar page structure is often referred to as the topic cluster model, a term coined by Hubspot. In this model, the pillar page (the broad article) is the topic, while the articles the topic page links to are referred to as clusters. While linking to articles is the traditional method, in addition, pillar pages can also be a great way to tie in multimedia collateral such as explainer videos, infographics, ebooks, or anything else that helps add context to the topic. For example, a home goods store could write a topic page around gardening, with links to the following cluster pieces:
- Explainer video: How To Choose The Right Type Of Flowers For Your Climate
- You’ve Been Watering Your Herbs All Wrong
- Product catalog: Must-Have Gardening Tools
- Pesticides, Herbicides, And Fertilizers: Poison Or The Cure?
- Benefits Of Gardening On Early Childhood Development
Beyond providing a one-stop-shop for information on a subject, pillar pages can do wonders for a company’s SEO. By linking off to other materials the company has posted, pillar pages build internal links, improve the site structure, and allow for the use of higher-volume keywords; they show both the algorithms and the viewer that the company has a high level of expertise on a subject.
Employee bios are an excellent way to show employees that they are valued by the company, give them a sense of ownership, and build a positive company culture – one that celebrates each individual’s contribution. In larger companies, these bios can even provide a way for employees to get to know one another. And of course, they can also be a powerful form of digital marketing collateral. Employee bios show visitors that there are living, breathing people behind the company, allowing them to create a more personal connection with the brand.
Though similar, employee bios are different from the one-word or single sentence snippets you’ll find on an about page; employee bios are more in-depth. Typically, they are written in the third person, and in a more casual tone than other professional writings – they’re meant to speak to people on a personal level. However, they don’t necessarily need to be purely written; employee bios can also provide an opportunity to show off your creative side. Companies could include a Q&A, video interviews, and of course, pictures of everyone’s pets.
Since many individuals find it difficult to talk about themselves, it can be helpful for the business to provide questions or prompts to serve as a guide. The questions could cover the employee’s current role, a brief work history, or personal details such as hobbies, interests, values, and achievements. Companies could also use these questions to lean into their niche – what makes them unique. For example, they could cover topics related to the brand, such as a retail store asking what someone’s go-to article of clothing is, a food-based brand asking what an employee’s favorite dish is, or a recreation services brand asking about everyone’s favorite outdoor adventure.
Searching for the right solution to any problem can be an arduous task, but catalogs can simplify the process. Product catalogs are a comprehensive collection of a company’s offerings containing all of the information a consumer needs on each product or service, and they can benefit a company in a few ways. To start, by aggregating all of a company’s solutions or products in one easily accessible place, people don’t have to bounce back and forth between websites to find what they need – and the better a company can keep interested buyers on their site, the smaller the chance they’ll go with the competition.
In addition to being an essential type of digital marketing collateral, catalogs are also an extremely useful sales tool. Catalogs provide sales representatives with easy access to product data, help customers get information faster, and ensure that people understand what’s available; they streamline the product education process, allowing for a better overall experience.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating catalogs. Catalogs are meant to help people understand the products better, so thorough descriptions are key; you want people to leave with a solid grasp of the options. It’s also best, if possible, to invest in high-quality product photos. This may be a consumer’s only interaction with the brand before deciding to either buy or move on to another company, so why not put your best foot forward? And last, catalogs are most helpful when they’re up to date (but luckily, one of the main benefits of digital marketing collateral is that it can be changed and updated in just a few minutes).
Video demos are another form of digital marketing collateral that can end up benefiting the sales team. Instead of going over how the product or service works in excruciating detail, they can simply send prospects a link to the video, saving time, energy, and subsequently, money. These videos can also help generate higher quality leads; when someone reaches out after taking the time to see how the product works, they’re more likely to buy.
The benefits of video demos are vast; they showcase the product’s benefits, help people visualize how they could use it in their lives, and they can even improve the experience for current customers. Clients can use these videos when they are getting started with the product or service, to jog their memory, or if they reach a stumbling block. Plus, the company can share demo videos with current clients to inspire them to purchase additional products or upgrade to a premium service.
Streamline Digital Marketing Collateral Creation With Ashore
There are a plethora of digital marketing collateral formats a company could employ, but regardless of which you choose, making sure they are in top shape before sharing is essential. Whether the collateral takes the form of PDFs, web pages, videos, audio, or images, Ashore has all of the tools a company needs to conduct a thorough review. With markup tools and contextual commenting, Ashore makes feedback clear, and to make sure your collateral is ready to go when it needs to be, Ashore offers customizable workflows, instant notifications, and automatic reminders. Thinking of upgrading your digital marketing? Start your 14-day free trial of Ashore today!