You’re immersed in your everyday work when you overhear someone in sales say, “I keep receiving the same question from potential clients, ‘What is the inverted traffic pyramid?’”
Suddenly the proverbial light bulb over your head turns on. Drum roll, please.
Marketing collateral. You realize you can create content that answers the questions your sales team repeatedly runs into.
Whether you refer to it as marketing collateral or sales collateral, it’s important for every business. Not only does marketing material serve as a resource for your sales team, it can also drive traffic to your site, boost brand awareness, and more importantly, increase sales.
So, how can you jump onboard and take advantage of this strategy? No worries, we put together a few ways every business can create great marketing collateral. Let’s start with the basics.
1. Blog Posts
Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. However, there are only so many ways you can slice and dice a topic before your content starts to get stale. How do you keep your content reservoir full and audience engaged? By answering consumer questions.
A great resource for gathering consumer questions is your sales team. Our marketing team gives each member of the sales team a journal. In their journal, they write down any questions that arise when speaking to potential consumers. At the end of the week, we collect the journals, and discuss potential topics for blog posts.
It works wonders.
Not only will you have a hefty supply of content ideas, your sales team will be able to answer those lingering questions by referring to different posts. And by doing this, you can become an expert in your niche.
If by some chance, your sales team is having a dry spell and you’re running out of ideas, also consider trying one of these tools:
Answer the Public. Say you’re a digital advertising company, you type in ‘Pay per call’, and out spurts a robust amount of questions being asked on your topic. The search engine suggests results based on what consumers are typing into Google and Bing. Your consumers’ thoughts on your keywords are literally at the tip of your fingers.
Buzzsumo. This tool works a little differently. Instead of showing you what consumers are asking, it provides you with the best performing content based on your topic or your competitors. It requires some more digging, but it still gets the job done.
Keyword Tool. Although less insightful, it still produces keywords users are typing into a Google search box.
By using these tools, you can get inside the minds of your consumers and create content that will thrive. The best part about blog posts? You can rehash the outdated content and create a new, vibrant piece of collateral, or use it as part of a future ebook. (And who doesn’t love recycling?) Or you can take it up a notch and create long-form content.
After you have a decent amount of content on a subject, take some of those blog posts and create a checklist. Checklists are a great streamlining tool, offering users a simple step-by-step guide they’ll appreciate.
With so much content out there, the struggle can be real, and you can help eliminate your consumers’ stress having to go back and forth between sources.
For instance, let’s say you have five blog posts on pay per call. Why not create a checklist for “How to Setup Your First Pay Per Call Campaign”?
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And why stop there? Take those same blog posts and create an ebook, too.
You have a supply of blog posts and a step-by-step checklist, now it’s time to put it all together into an informative ebook.
Although this piece of collateral can be extremely time consuming, it shows your consumers you’re knowledgeable in every aspect of your chosen topic. If you’re running low on time or a deadline is fast approaching, there are a few tools you can use to help in your ebook creation.
- Fiverr. This site allows you to find freelancing services to meet your goals. Under the graphics and design section, you’ll find a whole category dedicated to creating ebooks. The options range from designing the cover to bundling the entire piece of content.
- Zinepal. If you’re in a rush or simply don’t feel up to gathering the information yourself, this site will gather existing posts you have and put them into ebook form. All you need to do is enter the web page address of your blog and check the posts you want added. It even shows you a preview before it’s done in case you want to make adjustments.
- My Cover Maker. If you’re only looking for an ebook cover design, this is the place to go. You’re offered the choice to either create the design from scratch or choose a pre-designed template. Oh, and your first five covers are free. You can never go wrong with free.
Now you have no excuse not to gather your materials and make some awesome marketing collateral!
Once you have your ebook, it’s time to promote it on the strongest piece of collateral for your business: your social media efforts.
4. Social Media
You may have the content down, but how do you get it out there to be viewed? By leveraging your social media.
There are a few different social media platforms you can leverage for your social media strategy. Here’s how you can use each to increase your content’s reach:
Facebook. As the largest social media platform, this is a must. (You will need to create a Facebook page for your business if you haven’t already.) It’s a great way to become part of the online community and see what others are saying about your brand. You can share pictures and videos, give updates when a new post goes live, and even share customer reviews.
Instagram. Also owned by Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram is great for companies who are more visual (e.g. traveling agencies, restaurants, retail). Post appealing images of your products and give a little witty caption. Your consumers will love it. If you have a new ebook, you can even post the cover, but don’t forget to include a nice filter.
Pinterest. Speaking of images, Pinterest can be a great way to advertise your new ebook or blog posts. Create a few social sharing images from a site like Canva or Snappa, and include how your content will help the reader. Helping your consumers is what content is all about.
Twitter. Twitter might take the most time to manage, but it’s definitely worth it. Use it to share company news, blog posts, and curated content. And don’t be afraid to share in a few Twitter chats, too.
LinkedIn. As the platform most known for professionalism, it’s dire to make a company appearance on LinkedIn. Share anything relevant to your industry, your blog posts, and join a few LinkedIn groups to start conversations.
Quora. This platform is a Q&A site where you can answer and ask questions. You can search for questions users are asking and supply your answers to become well known as an expert in your niche. The site can also give you potential blog post topics!
Marketing collateral is leverage every business needs. At first it can be overwhelming, but the hard work and pay-off will be worth it. Just think of how good this kitty will feel after its hard workout.
So, get out there and start creating some great content!