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Got Boring Marketing Collateral? Here are 5 Ways to Make it Stand Out

By Jenna Bruce on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 12:38 PM |


It wasn’t that long ago that marketing collateral consisted mainly of facts and figures with a few images and pie charts thrown in for “appeal.” These were of course printed on plain old black and white paper in mass quantities.

Thanks to modern technology, today’s businesses can wow prospects by featuring their products and services in full-color and on high quality paper. Yet, despite these printing advances, many companies still consider their marketing collateral as supplemental and don’t bother to make it stand out. This is a disservice.

Today’s consumers are busy and not at all interested in perusing collateral that offers about as much visual appeal as a scholastic aptitude test. They want to be visually engaged and offered information in bite-size bits.

With this in mind, here are 5 ways you can make your marketing collateral stand out and grab buyers’ attention.

Make It Align with Your Brand Image

Make it align with your brand image.It’s not enough to slap your logo on your collateral and call it a day. You need to make sure it represents your brand both in how it looks and the impression it gives. For starters, collateral should use your brand’s colors and font styles so that consumers have a universal experience across your website, social media pages, magazine ads, and collateral. In other words, they should recognize your brand immediately.

Also, make sure your brand’s personality is the same across all channels. Collateral copy doesn’t have to be dry and boring, so make sure to infuse it with your personality and humanity.

Make it Relevant

Whether it’s marketing collateral, an explainer video, or an email campaign, unless your content is 100% relevant to your audience, they will ignore your message. Be sure you know exactly who your target demographic is and use your collateral to speak to their particular needs.

Also important to know is exactly how you will be using your collateral. Will you be handing out a tri-fold at an event, offering a sell sheet at a client meeting, or sending a brochure through the post? Do you want prospects to discover your brand, visit your website, engage with you on social media, or call your sales representatives? Whatever the goal, you need to make sure your collateral reflects it.

And finally, be sure to include your web address, email, phone number, and social icons so customers can easily contact you.

Use Images

Think of how you yourself take in information. If, in an advertisement, you are offered an image as well as text, your eyes naturally scan the image first and then move on to the words. All human beings do this. We have been programmed in a way to seek out images first and text second. Colorful images will definitely help your collateral stand out.

Depending on what type of collateral you are creating, and the goal you want it to achieve, consider using a variety of images such as photographs of your products, illustrations, stock photos and infographics.

forget basicsForget Basic

Perhaps one of the best and easiest ways for your collateral to stand out is to forget using a basic shape. Who says a brochure HAS to be a boring ol’ rectangle? Consider using die-cutting, a unique design element that can add a creative shape to your collateral. And, contrary to what you may think, this element won’t break your bank. But it will give your printed material major impact. So, next time you’re printing some brochures or business cards, consider making them the shape of your logo or something else that connects with your brand.

Choose the Right Paper

If you watch any cooking shows on the Food Network, you’ve no doubt noticed professional chefs spend almost as much time deciding on what plates they will use to present their dishes as they do on the ingredients and preparation. You’ve got to do the same thing with your collateral. While you may have always played it safe in the past and used cardstock, for instance, this will hardly get anyone’s attention. (What gets your attention more… an appetizer served on a little plate, or one served on a spoon?)

To make your printed collateral special consider using textured or glossy paper. Get creative and maybe use fabric or a dark paper with light text. Anything not-typical, that is still easy to read and engage with, will get you the attention you want.

Collateral does NOT have to be boring. It can actually be something that sets your brand apart and continuously bring in leads and sales.

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