The field of industrial marketing is changing as quickly as any other. And just like any other B2B marketing sector, it’s a constant balancing act between the proven techniques that have connected companies and customers for centuries and frequent innovations in how we reach potential customers.
How do we create truly effective manufacturing marketing collateral in this environment? Let’s review some techniques that can take your collateral to the next level.
“Marketing collateral” used to describe a relatively narrow group of tools: Printed material for the most part that could be mailed or used as a leave-behind at a sales call.
Today, those printed pieces are still useful and powerful, but collateral is better defined as anything you’re using to market your product that was produced ahead of time and is primarily for customer use. This can include anything from a tri-fold brochure to a 10-minute video, or even a podcast series. In this article, we’ll stick mainly to visual media and include some specific advice about printed collateral.
Make your customer, not you or your product, the center of the story. Specifically, make their pain points—lost or wasted money, wasted time, difficult or inefficient processes, insufficient manufacturer support, or low quality—the center, before telling them about your product.
There’s no denying that most customers will skim through web pages and brochures to “get the gist.” Use elements like headlines, sidebars, and bulleted lists to adapt to this tendency. The design layout should be simple and include strong visuals.
Is all this a concession to a generation with a lowered attention span? Not really. Research is now relatively easy and most prospects have learned a great deal about your product before ever getting in touch with sales. Giving your prospect a good impression and basic information is going to catch their interest and set them up with a jumping off point for further inquiries. Later in the funnel, meatier collateral such as case studies and white papers can be employed.
A strong ending CTA is essential for any collateral, and though it can obviously be overdone, placing multiple CTAs in a written piece is like trying more than one sales close during a sales call. On web pages, it’s best to have a call to action after every major section of the page. This should take the form of a button, and it should be red if possible—research shows that red buttons have 21% higher clickthrough.
Videos increase the amount of time users remain on your site and increase conversion rates. As we mentioned in a previous blog, demonstration videos can increase the number of sales. For example, the HR management software company Rypple added demo videos to their site and found their conversion rate climbed 20%, while their customer acquisition cost dropped.
Video is obviously perfect for explaining how your product works and the best ways to use it, and that’s before we consider that some visual learners will always prefer video over text.
Whenever you create a new print piece, make sure that it can be accessed on your website, and mention it on your social media channels and in email marketing with a link to your site. This is a low-cost way to make sure it’s available to all comers, may help your SEO, and is another “touch” that keeps your brand top-of-mind for those you are nurturing.
This simple step will not only save printing costs, but take advantage of the customer’s knowledge that they can research a product further online. It will also result in marketing pieces that are stronger by being simpler and more focused.
Do you have a product line that benefits from a full catalog? Simply make sure that “View Our Full Catalog Online” is included prominently in the brochures.
Not every company has experienced web designers and digital marketers in house or the time to create regular content. We follow the most up-to-date practices and achieve the metrics that matter. Get in touch with Cain & Company for thoughtful, strategic marketing that boosts your bottom line.
Theresa CarlsonMarketing Manager
685 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107