Any post talking about marketing collateral needs to start with a definition.
What do we actually mean by “Marketing Collateral”?
We talk a lot about the importance of content on a website, and in effect marketing collateral is anything that significantly re-enforces your marketing message. In terms of web marketing, examples include:
- Case Studies
- Blog Posts
All of these should work together to consistently communicate your business proposition and re-enforce your brand. However, good collateral takes time to put together, and so requires planning.
The benefits of a content calendar
Picture the scene – You have a newsletter due out in 2 weeks, and you start thinking about content. The subject of the newsletter is your ability to solve your clients’ problems, and a case study for a recent job is perfect to illustrate your message. Even if you have the perfect case study in mind, good case studies need researching & writing, and then ideally need to be approved by the client. This is an absolute necessity if you plan to use your client’s name in the copy. Realistically, this process is likely to take more than 2 weeks, so will probably delay the sending out of the newsletter. In this circumstance, a content calendar which maps out the subject matter of newsletters over the next 3-6 months would have identified the need for this case study in advance, creating space to prepare the content in plenty of time for the newsletter.
Not all collateral is created equal
The other thing to bear in mind is that the creation of some marketing collateral is more involved than others. Once you have the idea, you can put together a blog post in a matter of hours. Thus solid written content should always form the bedrock of your content strategy. Testimonials too are pretty straightforward. Here it’s about having your eye out for all positive comments made by customers. When these appear, it’s usually a quick email requesting permission to use it, and you have yourself a testimonial. At the other end of the scale, things like videos & infographics can take much more planning & preparation. It’s therefore important that you have a strategy to create a mix of marketing collateral that keeps the process interesting & cost effective.
Collateral is a process
The fact is creating marketing collateral is a process and one that should be a core part of your marketing activity & day to day management processes. Creating a culture where people are constantly on the lookout for material that will re-enforce your brand message means that the ideas for content should keep flowing. Embedding this into core management processes means that ideas translate efficiently into reality.