Your company’s marketing materials not only aid your sales, marketing, and business development efforts, but it also contributes greatly towards your organization’s brand-building initiatives.
Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, forward-thinking business owners are already preparing for what might be the new normal. Big changes are coming soon– not just in the way we live our lives and the way we work, but in the way we do business as well.
Creating a new business or running a small business is challenging enough as it is, and can certainly be overwhelming. Between marketing, accounting, logistics, supply chain concerns, and other vital components of your business, a founder’s job is never truly done.
When it comes to marketing these days, a business must be as omnipresent as possible, at least when it comes to its target audience. So what sort of marketing materials would a business owner need when trying to connect with audiences today?
Many marketing thought leaders today are encouraging a more omnichannel approach: a multi-channel method and philosophy of marketing, selling, and serving customers in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out.
This method of marketing that not only covers the digital space, but also tangible print media and other forms of traditional marketing as well. This means that you should build up your marketing materials to be able to connect with your clients and customers wherever they may be— both online and in the real world.
To help you get started with your marketing materials, we thought it might be helpful to give you a quick rundown of what you need:
We’ve divided our list of 20+ marketing materials into four general categories:
- The Basics. These are essential items that every single business needs. (We can’t quite think of any scenario where you won’t be needing any of these as a business or brand.)
- Corporate Branding. These are some of the more traditional marketing materials used by businesses but are still handy to this day– mostly printed collaterals and other materials.
- Your Digital Presence. These are essentially online marketing tools and materials, all particularly useful especially if your business has a strong online component. These days, however, having a digital presence is more of a requirement and a necessity more than anything else.
- Other Marketing Materials. Not all businesses might be using these materials or marketing channels; these are more optional items, depending on what your regular activities are as a business or if your audience better resonates with these channels.
So with that said, let’s go dive right in and touch on each one.
You’ll want to start with these marketing materials first. These essentials will be used all throughout the lifespan of your business venture, and so should be defined right from the start.
1. Your Logo
Designing a logo should be among your first steps when preparing marketing materials. It is important that you take the time to carefully develop a professional quality logo because it will be incorporated throughout all other materials.
Your logo can be simple or intricate, and may contain text or no text. The idea is that this image is a symbol of your brand and it uniquely represents you. It should be easily recognized and associated with your business, because if it is forgettable or too similar to a different logo, it will lose its symbolism for your brand.
2. Your Website (and Domain Name)
Your website is like home base for your brand. Think your website as the ultimate collection of content that can help people get a feel for who you are and what is unique about your business.
Choosing the right domain name has an impact not just on your brand-building efforts, but on your SEO as well (so pick out a good one!).
Also: the idea of putting a website together might have been quite intimidating (especially to someone who has no web design experience), but websites today can be built with very user-friendly interfaces (such as on WordPress), allowing you to make quick edits and adjustments even on your own.
(No worries–LOJO can help you design the perfect website that will represent your brand!)
Here are some key elements that your website should definitely entail:
- “About Us” section
- Professional photo content
- Contact information
- Recent updates or news
- Standard info (address, hours of operation, etc.)
- Social media links
Make sure that when organizing your website, you create a natural flow from page to page. Have someone uninvolved in your business try it out and give you feedback before going live with your site.
3. Your Company's Email Addresses
Personal email addresses (such as those you may have made in your teenage/high school years) just won’t do; you should create a set of professional email addresses with your own domain name.
Email addresses from free providers (such as Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail, among others) won’t do either. A professional email address not only helps with your brand building, it also goes a long way towards control, cohesiveness, and consumer trust.
Pro Tip: Check out Hubspot’s free tool to create a professional-looking email signature for you and your team!
4. Your Social Media Accounts
Social Media is not only a great place for teenagers to post selfies, but also an absolute must for online marketing success in the business world. A small business does not need to tackle all social media platforms at once, but try out one or two at first and see how much engagement you can acquire.
Research which platforms are the most applicable to your target market and go there first. Your social media content will help your brand to become personal and accessible for your clients. Once all your social channels are unified within your brand, you will build trust among your clients, investors and potentials.
Pro Tip: Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are the same across all your social media accounts. Include your official email address and a link back to your website as well.
5. Your Business Cards
Your business cards are a great first location to show off your fancy new logo, website, email address, and social media accounts.
These cards are so multi-functional and a vital piece of every business’s marketing strategy. Not only are these simple, yet professional cards a great way to pass contact information along to clients or investors, but these cards are a pocket-sized snapshot of your brand.
A helpful tip for effectively utilizing business cards is to leave stacks of cards at locations where potential customers might come across them.
Pro Tip: Get to know your neighboring store owners and offer to house a stack of their cards in exchange for leaving some of your own with them. Another suggestion is to always carry a few extra business cards in your own wallet because you never know when you are going to run into an important contact.
As your company grows, so too does your need for consistent branding across even more marketing materials.
Much of these materials are print; some clients would prefer to have these while others would prefer to have digital versions. This means you should have both available, allowing your customers more choices and better convenience.
6. Your Official Letterhead
As one of the most important print collaterals in any business, your letterhead carries with it the weight of your company, marking documents as official correspondence. A well-designed letterhead is indeed, a physical representation of your company– lending credibility and professionalism to any document so marked.
7. Your Company Stationery (Folders, Envelopes, Pads, etc.)
Your organization’s official branded stationery are further extensions of your letterhead, and includes just about every single paper product your company uses: folders, envelopes, shipping labels, calendars, notepads, and more.
8. Brochures, Flyers, and Postcards
These branded marketing materials pack quite a bit of information in a relatively small area, allowing you to tell a story about your business, share the benefits of your products and services, or push a special promotion.
9. Signage Solutions
Especially for brick-and-mortar locations, signages can be some of the most cost-effective ways to get your brand seen by your potential clients and customers. Particularly well-crafted signages can help businesses communicate their competitive advantage and even influence perceptions and attitudes towards your brand.
10. Your Company Uniforms
Uniforms add to brand trust and consistency. Employees who wear uniforms with a company’s branding and colors allow your organization to become instantly recognizable by clients and customers. Uniforms add to brand trust and consistency.
11. Your Product Packaging
Branded packaging helps your customers choose you over others in your space, particularly when it comes to a purchase decision. Packaging and tags can also convey important information about your goods; an opportunity to remind your customers what makes you different or better compared to your competitors.
12. Branded Corporate Items
Not quite essential but very much nice to have, branded corporate giveaways and souvenirs are a great way to showcase your creativity, to show generosity and helpfulness, or even just to build goodwill and top-of-mind awareness.
13. Other Sales and Marketing Materials
Different industries may require specialized sales and marketing materials to aid in nurturing leads and encouraging more conversions. These can include anything from stickers and coupons, to pricelists and portfolios, and even coffee table books and state-of-the-industry reports.
Your Digital Presence
Gone are the days when digital marketing materials were optional. Today, digital IS the norm. In all likelihood, your market is spending a lot of time online; not just global or international customers, but your local audience most especially as they look for products, services, and experiences near them.
14. Your Business Blog
Unlike personal blogs, business blogs serve the purpose of providing useful and relevant content to your clients and customers. Having such a blog is not only a great way to showcase your experience and expertise within your space, it’s also one of the best ways to bring in a steady stream of organic search traffic over the long-term.
15. Your Newsletter
Even today, having a newsletter as the centerpiece of your email marketing efforts is highly effective in building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers. Not only does email (your newsletter) give you a chance to speak directly to them (in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them), it’s also great in building loyalty and trust in your brand.
Read: “Why is Email Marketing Important?”
16. Your Social Media Posts
With almost four billion (3.8 billion, to be exact) people around the world using social media every month, social media will always be an essential component of your overall business marketing strategy. A thoughtfully crafted calendar of social media posts will help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales.
17. Other Branded Content and Downloadables
These marketing materials fall under the category of content marketing. By providing useful resources such as checklists, guides, ebooks, infographics, and other forms of branded content, you’re being helpful by answering your audience’s more common questions.
Pro Tip: Content marketing should be an important part of your overall marketing efforts as a company. Through your own branded content and downloadables, you can better connect with your customers, generate leads, build trust, and improve your conversions.
18. Online Advertising
Advertising via search engines and social media has now taken the place of more traditional radio, TV, and print ads. Pay-per-click advertising is a marketing tool employed by many entrepreneurs and business owners to expand their client base and bring in a steady stream of new leads.
19. Branded Video
If you are able to invest the time, effort, and resources into building your own YouTube channel, we suggest you go right ahead and do it. Video is the preferred medium of a lot of people, especially if it’s visual content about their favorite brands, subject matters, or personalities.
Pro tip: Just as important as good storytelling is the ability to solve your audience’s problems, answering their questions, and keeping them entertained via your original video productions.
20. Your Podcast
Podcasts have enjoyed a sudden surge in popularity lately because the format is uniquely designed to fit into our otherwise busy lives. There’s a podcast now for just about any topic, allowing for relatively deep dives into a particular subject matter.
Maybe it’s time to start your own podcast now; as long as you’re offering something that’s ultimately helpful, informative, and entertaining for your target audience, you’ll find this medium to be an effective marketing tool.
21. Online Events
The “new normal” has certainly forced us to include online events in response to social distancing and sheltering-in-place.
Examples of online events that we’ll continue to see more of these coming months include webinars, online workshops, online courses, virtual conventions and trade fairs, online roundtable discussions, and more.
Other Marketing Materials
Depending exactly what you do and how you promote yourself as a company, you’re going to need more specialized marketing materials to connect with your target audience. A brand that’s more heavily into large events will need booths or kiosks or more clever signage solutions, while retail shops and restaurants might choose to focus more on in-store promotions and other such activiites.
22. Press Releases
A press release works to capture the interest of media outlets and publications, in the hopes that they cover a newsworthy development within your organization.
Press releases are a good mid-term method to bring in more interest (i.e. traffic) for your brand, working alongside PPC and SEO.
Read: “How Does a Press Release Work?“
23. Billboards (and Other Out-of-Home Media)
Advertising by way of billboards can still be effective for building brand awareness and broadcasting your business (what you do or what you sell) to as many people as possible, especially if placed along busy areas where a lot of people can see it.
Other forms of out-of-home media include bus shelter ads, aerials and inflatables, mobile billboards (such as those on trucks and taxis), posters, and vehicle wraps.
24. Booths and Kiosks
Just as your website is your base of operations online, a specially branded booth or kiosk serves that same purpose at an event.
Branded kiosks or booths can convey information for the purpose of business and sales, allowing you to exhibit your services and products, initiate on-ground promotions, and attend to inquiries.
25. Banners and Standees
From tarpaulin banners to retractable or roll-up banners, standees and other mobile signages are among some of the best ways to market a brand, bring attention to special offer or promotion, or advertise an upcoming event or activity during an event.
26. Radio, TV, and Print Advertising
As more established, more traditional forms of marketing, print, TV, and radio still play an important role in attracting customers.
Even as advertisers are now forced to dedicate larger chunks of budget to online advertising, those who do have extra often still choose to invest in these more traditional forms of marketing.
A Final Word About Your Marketing Materials
When introducing your company to the world, you have one chance to give a good impression. By having a cohesive brand image available across all your business’s or organization’s marketing materials, you now set yourself up for success, allowing your company to give the best first impression possible.
While each of these services is great on their own, having a branding package with most, or all of them together, is the best way to make sure that you are getting your companies name into the public as a recognizable corporate entity.
LOJO offers an incredible branding package to get you on your way while striving to make a lasting impression on your customers.
Get in touch with our team today for a free consultation, and let’s talk about your brand requirements for both print and digital. Set up an online appointment by leaving a message or by calling us up at (916) 303-4080.