Have you ever walked down the street and recognized a business’s logo, even if you’d never shopped there before? You may have received a brochure from this business in your mail. Or perhaps you glimpsed the business’s website while browsing the Internet. If so, then you’ve experienced the power of small business marketing materials in action.
Out of the many marketing channels available, marketing materials remain one of the most effective. And it doesn’t matter what industry your business operates in. Promotional materials can have a significant impact on your company’s success.
Why Do I Need Marketing Materials?
You might be wondering, what are marketing materials? Let’s take a closer look at the answer to this question first before we dive into why you need marketing materials.
Marketing materials are designed to present your marketing information to your target market. They are one of the most effective ways for small business owners to meet their marketing objectives.
In fact, you’ve likely come across one or more of the following types of marketing materials in the past week alone:
- Business cards
- Business websites
- Business brochures
- Product manuals
- Business letterheads
- Product labels
Still questioning why your business needs business marketing materials? Check out some of their key uses:
Brand identity. Using the right marketing materials will help you to build your company’s brand identity.
Brand awareness. Your marketing materials will enhance your market’s awareness of your brand. And increased brand awareness means an expanded reach.
Sales team empowerment. Effective marketing materials help to empower your sales team and enhance their performance. The two are interlinked.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your business’ promotional materials. The amount and form of the marketing materials you’ll need will depend on a number of different factors. But they are an integral part of your marketing plan and shouldn’t be overlooked. This is especially true if your business is trying to establish its identity.
What Marketing Materials Do I Need?
So you know that they’re important to your marketing plan, but this won’t help you answer the question, what marketing materials do I need?
The promotional materials your business needs will depend on a number of different factors, such as:
- The size of your business
- The industry in which you operate
- Your marketing objectives
- Your core KPIs (key performance indicators)
- The characteristics of your target market
These factors can help you decide the types of marketing materials for business promotion that you’ll need. But there are core marketing materials that every business should consider using as part of their marketing strategy.
Importance of Logos
In many ways, a business logo is the single most important marketing material for branding for small businesses. Because it’s featured in all of your other marketing materials, your logo effectively becomes the face of your business.
And this means, unless you’re a professional graphic artist, your logo isn’t the place to try out a DIY approach. Remember, when it comes to your logo, appearance matters! Because it can make or break your business, you need to have a professional business design your logo.
Impact of Your Website
A business website is another type of marketing material that is essential for almost all businesses. No matter the size of your business — even if it’s a very small operation — you need to have a website so your customers can find you online.
Getting a professional-looking business website up and running doesn’t have to be challenging or cost-prohibitive. You should make sure, however, that your website answers the following questions:
Who are you? Your website needs to build on your business’s brand identity. Accomplish this by prominently featuring your business logo on each page. Your overall web design should also reflect your brand’s color scheme.
What do you do? And why? Storytelling is a powerful tool for building both trust and credibility. Use an “About Us” page to tell the story of your business. Don’t just explain what you do. Tell them why you do what you do, too.
Where can customers find you? Customers need to have a way to get in touch with you. Let them know how to find you by including not only your address, email, and phone number, but perhaps also a map and a contact form.
When are you open? If you’re an online business, you’re open 24/7, of course. But if you have a physical location, it’s always a good idea to include your hours of operation on your website.
How can customers follow you? Most businesses also have a social media marketing strategy. If you have a social media presence, make sure your social media icons are prominently displayed.
Are Business Cards Still Necessary?
You might feel you don’t have a need for a business card, especially in the wake of the recent pandemic. But even in today’s digital world, business cards continue to be a versatile marketing tool. Use them to build your brand identity. And be sure your cards feature your business logo, your company’s contact details, and your business website URL.
Flyers and Brochures
Flyers and brochures might also seem like an outdated medium. But depending on your industry, both business brochures and flyers can be essential marketing tools. You can use them to provide customers with a wide range of information about your company, your products and your services.
Much like business cards, your flyers and brochures offer a versatile means of extending your marketing reach. For example, you can:
- Distribute them door-to-door
- Hand them out at special events
- Leave them in stacks at local businesses
- Include them in packaging when shipping out products
- Pin them on community bulletin boards
Tips for Business Marketing Materials
It’s easy to see how important marketing materials can be for your small business marketing plan. And it can be tempting to rush to implement this profitable marketing channel. But the thing is, while business marketing materials can be very effective, you have to take the time to create them. They need to be just right in order to deliver the best results for your business.
Check out the following tips for creating effective marketing materials for small businesses. These tips will help you get started with preparing your own toolkit of powerful promotional materials.
Make Sure It’s Professional
Professional marketing materials are key when you want your promotional materials to play a major role in your marketing plan. When it comes to your business marketing materials, appearance really does make a huge difference.
Of course, you can always skimp on costs and go for a cheaper option. But less costly approaches often result in materials that directly reflect your cost savings. And while this might be good for your marketing budget, it can have a major negative impact on your ability to reach your marketing objectives.
But there’s good news! Whether you decide to hire a freelance artist or choose to go with an advertising agency, you’ll find a wide range of pricing options. Browse through prospective suppliers’ portfolios and be upfront about your budget. Take your time to select the right design provider for your needs.
Learn the Fundamentals of Good Design
While you likely won’t be preparing your own marketing materials, you should still have an understanding of the basics of good design. Knowing what looks good will help you assess the drafts and prototypes your designer comes up with.
Here are some key points surrounding what constitutes “good” design:
Keep it clean and simple. You don’t want your business marketing materials to confuse your audience. The cleaner and simpler your look, the more powerful your message will be.
Avoid big blocks of text. There’s nothing more off-putting than being asked to wade through a wall of text. Make sure your designer breaks up boring-looking text blocks with visuals such as charts and images.
Make use of white space. White space is your friend in good design. Text paragraphs should be short, and there should be ample space around each of your visuals.
Stick with standard formats. It can be tempting to go with more “creative” format options, such as a broadsheet size for your business brochures. For the end user, however, unusual formats often don’t work. Your audience is usually accustomed to specific sizes and formats.
Stay Consistent With Your Brand
One of the major functions of business marketing materials is to build your company’s brand identity. The business design of your materials helps make this happen. Your promotional materials need to have a consistent look when it comes to their design. Each piece should clearly look like it comes from your company.
Always Keep Your Audience in Mind
Designing marketing materials can be an exciting process. After all, each piece you produce represents your company. During the design and development process, however, it’s essential to keep your audience in mind. Don’t base your design decisions solely on how the final look works for your own aesthetics. Ask yourself, will this appeal to our audience? Is this something that can effectively reach our target market?
Promotional Marketing Material Wrap-up
Business marketing materials not only work, they often work extremely well. Yet, they are one marketing channel that frequently gets overlooked by small businesses. As a small business owner, you can leverage the marketing power of promotional materials in the following ways:
- Make use of the five core types of marketing materials: logo, business cards, business website, flyers, brochures
- Understand the fundamentals of good design
- Invest in professional design services
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