How to Create Marketing Materials: Get Started Guide
Every business is dependent on its customers for success. A coffee shop with no one stopping in for a beverage will not earn enough to stay afloat. An e-commerce brand must drive traffic to its online store to keep generating sales and stay in the black. The world's largest auto manufacturers would go belly up very quickly if people stopped buying cars. If you are a decision-maker at your company, then your priority is gaining and retaining customers.
The question is, how can you do this? There are several ways to draw in people who are willing to pay for your product or service and turn them into repeat clients. First, you can create an amazing product. If what you do fulfills a need for the audience, they will want to pay for it. Second, you can expand your services to include new offerings, increasing the number of people that might want to purchase from your brand.
The third method is one that becomes necessary no matter what stage of the business you are in; marketing. You might already have a fantastic product, and your capacity for expanding your offerings has been reached. This means that the only way to attract customers to your brand is to invest in marketing materials.
The Basics of Marketing
Marketing can achieve multiple goals depending on your specific needs. In the early years of an organization's existence, the top priority is to develop brand awareness. Nobody knows about the company at the beginning, so introducing yourself to people is crucial. Another reason for marketing is to build brand recognition. Now, people are starting to become familiar with who you are and what you do. The next stage is to acquire new customers and retain them.
How you accomplish these various marketing goals is dependent on creating the right strategy.
Who are the people that are most likely to buy what you are selling? Who has the biggest need for your solution? This group is your target audience. While your marketing strategy should be adaptable to reach new audiences, this ideal customer base is the top priority. A large portion of your marketing collateral should be aimed at this group because they are going to be your biggest source of potential customers, and therefore, sales. Let them know that your business can help them meet their goals.
The more you understand your target customer base, the easier it will be to select which marketing channels will be most effective (opens in a new window). Building a brand identity includes how people perceive and interact with the company. A business that is geared toward older generations should not be investing in the same channels as a company with a younger audience. Discovering which channels are going to be the best delivery source for your marketing materials is key to reaching the right people with your messaging.
Speaking of your brand message, this is a crucial aspect of any marketing strategy. If you do not know how to convince people that the product or service you offer can solve their problems, then your marketing will not be effective. Successful advertising initiatives understand how to relay the deeper benefits of a company and its products, touching on the emotions of the customer. In a lot of ways, honing in on the right messaging takes a lot of creativity and guesswork to find the right content.
Tips for Creating Effective Marketing Materials
Your goal with every piece of marketing collateral is to leave a lasting impression on the viewer or recipient. If the content leaves them with a more positive perception of the company, then you have done your job well. However, it is not always easy to create non-stop marketing materials that will always strike a chord with your customers. To this end, here are a few tips that will help you create marketing materials that will be effective for connecting with your audience.
Establish the Brand's Visual Identity
The last thing that you want to happen is for people to be confused by convoluted messaging and images. When your large or small business puts out marketing materials, there should be some principles and designs that are consistent across every channel. For example, you want to use a consistent color palette that will start to become recognizable. Your print materials, social media content, email campaigns, business cards, and other marketing materials should use the same base colors to create consistency among the various channels.
Keeping all content on-brand is far easier when you have established an identity that is based on your brand's story.
Eye-Catching Versus Gimmicky
There is a ton of content out there and people see hundreds of advertising materials every day. As a result, they have learned to filter out the garbage and the gimmicks. There is a huge difference between making marketing materials that are eye-catching and creating materials that use gimmicks to attract attention. For example, offering deals that are always in place but passing them off as a limited-time offer is considered a marketing gimmick.
Your messaging efforts should be attention-grabbing in a way that adds value to the customer's experience rather than tricking them into taking action.
Don't Forget the Logo
A business logo can be the foundation of your brand's identity. Most business marketing materials feature the associated company's logo. The more it is used in public spaces, the easier it becomes to build recognition. Consider a symbol like the Nike swoosh. That curved checkmark has become iconic, and the moment you see it, you know exactly what company is being advertised. This is the result of the effective use of a logo to promote a business.
A Focused Purpose for Every Marketing Material
Every marketing material that a business puts out should have a specific purpose. You should never advertise just to advertise. To that end, make sure that all your marketing materials are being created to accomplish something specific. The goal could be to spread awareness about your small business. Perhaps you want to position your organization as a supporter of other small businesses with a specific campaign. Maybe a social media initiative could be designed to drive more traffic to the website and inform customers about your product offerings.
If your marketing materials have no focus, then they will not be effective at encouraging people to take action.
The human brain is excellent at filtering out clutter, and when the mind is overwhelmed by too much information from the eyes, it can quickly hit the "ignore" button. Simplifying your marketing material designs is a better plan to keep someone's attention for a longer period. If too much is happening visually on a piece of content, then the person will likely decide to scroll past it or keep walking. When you or your team has to design marketing materials, break it down to the basics to avoid overstimulating people's senses.
Also, remember to take advantage of royalty-free images to avoid any copyright issues. There are many online resources for free images (opens in a new window) that you can use for content creation.
Don't Bury the Lede
You may have heard this phrase if you are involved in marketing or some kind of content creation business. Burying the lede means forcing the viewers to wait for the main point or objective of a piece of content. For example, an article entitled "Top 10 movies of 2023" might lose its readers if the first one thousand words are pure filler and don't get into the actual ranking of movies.
The same should be true about your marketing materials. Make sure the most important point you are trying to make is easy to spot. Whether that means the prominent text is a larger font at the top of a sign or announcing a special discount in the first 10 seconds of a social media video ad, make sure that people don't have to work hard to get to the main point of the piece.
Be Willing to Experiment
You'd be hard-pressed to find a large business that didn't have its fair share of marketing failures over the years. Some of the best campaigns have developed out of a trial-and-error process that taught marketers at the organization what worked and what did not. Everyone from that small business in your hometown to Google has conducted marketing experiments to find solutions that connected with their audiences. You will have to go through similar growing pains, no matter who your customers are and how great of a marketer you think you are.
Be willing to accept failure with your promotional materials and use the lessons learned to develop better strategies going forward. You never know what idea might strike gold.
Ideas for Your Business Marketing Materials
Want to talk specifics? Alright, let's dive in together. Now that you have an idea of how to create effective marketing materials, it is time to start thinking about what channels will achieve the greatest impact on your company's future. Here is a summary of some of the most common marketing channels that you could leverage to connect with customers and foster growth for the organization.
It's 2023, and if your business is not taking advantage of the connection possibilities of online social platforms, then you are missing out on a massive opportunity. Within this category, some of the tools at your disposal include social media posts, paid ads, image/video sharing, community-building, and a direct-to-customer relationship platform.
With entities like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more, there is certainly a platform that you can use to connect with your audiences and participate in a shared experience of the digital world.
An online presence is almost a prerequisite for business success at this point. Very few organizations can make it big without having a functioning website for online users to navigate. This tool is a great lead generator, especially when combined with online ads and search engine optimization. It also allows you to target a specific market with pay-per-click ads and local organic search optimization.
If your brand does not yet have a website to draw in online customers, then it is time to get serious about your digital presence.
Printed Marketing Materials
There will always be a place for physically printed marketing materials. Materials that can be seen, touched, or handed out in person can go a long way with audiences, especially because they can serve as constant reminders.
You could (and should) create business cards that can be handed out to potential clients at events, in-store, or while out in public. If you have a physical shop location, then signs that pop with your logo are essential for drawing attention to the property and inviting people in. If your target market skews older, then promotional materials that can be mailed directly to specific addresses are a great way to get your foot in the door with a new customer. Even flyers and brochures can be perfect handouts at a trade show or community-sponsored event to introduce your business to new faces.
Have you ever looked around and noticed someone using or wearing an item with a specific business logo on it? Then you have witnessed the power of branded merchandise. Promotional products can accomplish two marketing objectives at once; increasing visibility and building loyalty. When you invest in giveaway materials, you are providing value to the recipients and fulfilling a need. Whenever that giveaway is used around others, more people may come into contact with your organization via the logo design and business name.
Though this is not a physical material that you can use for marketing purposes, it is still an essential tool for your advertising efforts, and you can bring marketing materials along with you to aid your objectives. Building a network is a critical component required for success in any industry. Whether you attend trade shows, corporate events, exposes, local festivals, or career fairs, the opportunity to build relationships with others in the industry can pay huge dividends in the future.
This strategy could lead to a solid organizational partnership, more talent on your team, or additional customers that want to purchase your product or services. Whenever you attend such events, don't forget to refill your business card stock so that you have something simple to give to new contacts.
Traditional Advertising Media
While marketing trends may be moving to a more online experience, older media like television, radio, magazines, and newspapers can still be used to great effect for business owners and marketers. these channels are still consumed by a large number of audiences, so if your customer base is still engaged on these platforms, they can be powerful sources of lead generation.
Remember the key principles of creating effective marketing materials listed above when you are planning a radio or television ad. Consider who is most likely to read a newspaper or magazine and how your advertisement can hit on the benefits of your product or services to draw their attention.
Open Minded Marketers are More Successful
If you approach the creation of advertising materials thinking that you know what will work and what won't then you may have another thing coming. The world of marketing is always changing with the needs and behaviors of consumers. Materials that worked just five years ago may no longer strike the same chord with audiences because so much has changed in that timeframe.
The more open-minded a marketer is, the more likely they are to hone in on the most effective strategies for marketing in 2023. Plus, a lot of your success will depend entirely on the audience you are communicating with. Maybe a business card is not the most effective tool for sharing contact information with a member of Generation Z. Perhaps your social media materials are no longer connecting with your professional audience because the needs of the business world are shifting.
Always be open to learning more about your craft and how you can better communicate with audiences, and do not let old information stubbornly guide your advertising efforts if new research is indicating a change in your customer base.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into the best ways to create a strong marketing campaign that leverages the right tools for future growth.