Back to Blog

29 types of marketing collateral (by funnel stage)

13 min read
Katie Oberthaler

As a creative, you design a variety of types of marketing collateral, each with its own purpose and benefit to the business or client. With the growth in marketing channels over the years, there has been a steady increase in the types of marketing collateral being developed and how they are used in tandem to influence buying decisions.

Creative teams should be aware of the types of marketing collateral being produced today and how they’re being used in the market. In this article we will provide a full guide that outlines the definition of marketing collateral, its primary role, key considerations for creatives, examples, and best practices. 

We hope you find this useful and are able to draw inspiration from this as you approach your next creative project. 

What we'll cover

 

Key considerations for creatives when designing marketing collateral

Before you create your marketing collateral, you’ll need the following information:

Brand guidelines

If you’re creating marketing collateral for a client or an in-house brand, you’ll need a solid understanding of their brand guidelines — colors, tone, logo, fonts, and value proposition, for example. (Even when clients say they don’t have brand guidelines, they probably at least have preferences.)

Distribution channels

Wouldn’t it be great if Facebook, LinkedIn, and your website all had the same content formatting parameters? Unfortunately, each distribution channel/social media platform operates by its own rules, so you’ll need to know where your marketing collateral will appear. You may need to make a few versions of a file, edit text to fit a character limit, or change the resolution of images. 

Target audience

Who’s the target audience for the marketing collateral you’re creating? Existing customers? Prospective customers? Former customers you’re hoping to bring back? If you want your marketing collateral to resonate with people, you need to know who you’re trying to reach. 

Funnel stage

In addition to knowing who your target audience is, you’ll need to know where they are in the customer journey, or “marketing funnel.” 

The marketing funnel is an easy way to segment customers by awareness. In some industries and agencies, the funnel might contain several levels, but generally, you can create marketing collateral based on these primary levels:

Awareness — (top of the funnel, or “TOFU”)

At this stage, potential customers know that they need to solve a problem or fulfill a need. They’re just starting their search for a solution. They might be Googling key terms, asking colleagues for recommendations, or reading articles in trade publications. 

Consideration — (middle of the funnel, or “MOFU”) 

People in this stage have begun to zero in on a solution. So instead of Googling, “How do I manage creative assets?” maybe now they’re Googling, “Creative collaboration software.” 

Decision — (bottom of the funnel, or “BOFU”) 

BOFU prospects are typically weighing their options — for example, Googling “Frame.io alternatives” or comparing product features and pricing pages.

The sheer variety of marketing collateral used throughout the buyer journey is staggering. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have a system in place to manage the creation, review, and approval of every piece of content and ensure your team is working efficiently.

29 types of marketing collateral (by funnel stage)

As promised, here are 29 types of marketing collateral — in alphabetical order — you can use to connect with consumers throughout the marketing funnel:

Augmented reality

Best for: BOFU

Augmented reality (AR) seamlessly merges digital marketing collateral and physical reality by adding layers of digital information on top of the original physical real-life environment. In essence, AR enhances existing content with superimposed digital information. 

For example, eyewear retailer Warby Parker uses AR in its award-winning Virtual Try-On app. Customers can try on any of the frames and instantly see how they look in them before making a purchase.

Virtual try on app Augmented Reality feature

The good news for marketers is that AR boosts conversion rates. Research shows that AR increases the average mobile conversion rate from 3.5% to 11%.

Brochures

Best for: TOFU

Historically, companies distributed print brochures to prospective clients when they met in person or through the mail. 

Today, while brochures may still have a “front” and “back,” they’re usually digital (which means no printing costs!). Brochures contain information about a company’s products or services, along with contact information.

For example, here’s a brochure from the Nature Conservancy:

Nature Conservancy brochure - Conservancy organization

Business cards

Best for: TOFU

Business cards are the tried-and-true way to introduce yourself and your business to potential customers.

You never know when you’re going to meet someone in person. Whether you’re at a conference, seminar, or convention, it’s useful to have a business card to hand out.

greyhound business cards made of dog tags

Remember that business cards don’t have to be made of paper, as shown in this example

Buyer guides/spec sheets

Best for: BOFU

It’s common for decision-makers to have last-minute doubts about a purchase, especially if there’s a large sum of money at stake. You can use buyer guides to entice prospects with contextual marketing so that they don’t drop out of the funnel.

Cart abandonment emails

Best for: BOFU

E-commerce stores use cart abandonment emails to remind users that they added items to their shopping cart but haven’t checked out yet. In most cases, the emails contain an incentive to complete the purchase, like a discount coupon.

It’s estimated that 67% of sales are lost due to abandoned carts. But the good news is that you can recover up to 12% by sending abandoned cart emails.

Case studies

Best for: MOFU, BOFU

Case studies are the best example of marketing collateral for the consideration stage as they showcase your brand’s success stories. 

The objective of a case study is to demonstrate how clients achieved success with your product or service. They usually include four main components: the challenge, the solution, the result, and the client’s testimonial.

Before you write the case study, it’s essential to interview the client and get their story. You want to share first-hand how they used your product to overcome their challenge.

Like most marketing collateral, case studies are educational and help build credibility and trust. 

Ebooks

Best for: TOFU

You can use eBooks to educate and inform your audience, particularly if you want to position yourself as an expert on specific topics. 

Your brand can use an eBook to explain your value, build a relationship, and establish credibility with your audience. You can also use an eBook to capture leads, by requiring an email address to download the content.

Event displays

Best for: TOFU

Event displays are an alternative way to distribute your marketing collateral. You can use an event booth to provide potential customers with information about your products and services in the form of brochures, flyers, or free samples. And don’t forget an eye-catching banner that people can see from a distance.

Explainer videos

Best for TOFU, MOFU

Explainer videos are usually short, animated pieces that explain a feature (or features) of your product or service. Visual learners may prefer this format over text.

Flyers

Best for: TOFU

Unlike brochures, flyers typically consist of one A5-sized sheet rather than a foldable (or digital) pamphlet. Flyer content needs to be engaging and well-designed to capture prospects' attention.

Flyers are effective for outdoor marketing, because you can distribute them quickly to many people.

Infographics

Best for: TOFU

Like blog content, infographics are another form of marketing collateral you can use throughout the buyer’s journey, but usually are most effective at the awareness stage. An infographic might include an illustration, graph, chart, or a combination of those elements. They can standalone pieces or part of an article or blog post.

Infographics remain popular as they are a powerful way to present information, particularly statistics and data. Plus, other sites often reference and link to them, so they can help generate website traffic.

Landing pages

Best for: TOFU, MOFU

If your goal is to capture leads (that you can convert into new customers), a paid search ad that leads to a landing page is the way to go. 

great jones landing page - 100$ off sign up form

As shown in this example, a landing page should include minimal text and a clear call to action. Landing pages are good for A/B testing CTAs to see which type of language motivates people to subscribe.   

Long-form blog content

Best for: Any stage

You can use long-form blog content at any stage of the funnel, but it’s perfect for the awareness stage. You can help buyers on their quest for a solution by writing posts that address the problems they face.  

Because blog content acts as a hub for answering questions that people are searching for, it effectively drives traffic to your website and, at the same time, helps your company build brand awareness. Blog posts also help position you as an expert.

Newsletters

Best for: BOFU

Anyone who subscribes to your newsletter is interested in your product or is already a customer. Newsletters can help you foster customer loyalty, introduce new products, and encourage repeat business. 

Zone3 newsletter screenshot - Introducing the vanquish

 

Podcasts

Best for: TOFU

A podcast can be effective for positioning your brand as a thought leader. While it may not be suitable for, say, a manufacturer, it’s ideal for companies that have a lot of insider tips to share — health and fitness brands, for example.

Portfolio pages

Best for: MOFU

Your portfolio is a great way to showcase your creative projects. It provides proof that you’re doing your job well and that your work is appreciated. It’s also a useful tool for employer branding and attracting other partners, as they can see what you’re doing at a glance.

POS displays

Best for: Any

Traditionally, point-of-sale displays are located in retail stores near the checkout. But you can also create online equivalents that nudge people to make a purchase and place items in their shopping cart.

Press releases

Best for: TOFU

Press releases include news about the most significant successes of your company, like awards and recognition. You can publish them on your website and also print them out to hand directly to prospects.

Ziflow named #1 in G2 2021 List of Top Online Proofing Software

Distribute press releases to news organizations to help expand your reach.

Product comparison pages

Best for: BOFU

Buyers that are carefully considering their options may be comparing products and services. It’s in your best interest to create one or more product comparison pages on your site so that you have control over the content.

Yes, you’ll need to be objective, but at least your product info will be correct. 

For example, here’s a product comparison page for Ziflow and ProofHQ:

Considering a ProofHQ alternative - Ziflow online proofing tool

Product pages

Best for: BOFU

Product pages are the online equivalent of printed product catalogs. They describe the features and benefits of your products or services in as much detail as is necessary. Typically, they use both text and visual elements to convey product features. 

Product page of Ziflow - Review all your creative assets on one platform section

Promotional products

Best for: TOFU

Who doesn’t love a free can koozie, stress ball, or notepad? Applying your branding to these inexpensive products and giving them away at conventions is an easy way to stay top-of-mind with prospective customers. 

Proposals

Best for: BOFU

Proposals are confidential documents for B2B clients that include terms, conditions, and pricing. 

Business proposals and presentations may be in PowerPoint or PDF formats. When creating a proposal, tailor it to the preference of the audience. For example, if you know a CFO who’s short on time will be viewing the presentation, keep it brief, and use plenty of visuals to convey information.

Retargeting ads

Best for: BOFU

You can use retargeting ads to re-engage people who have visited specific pages on your site. For example, you could offer a special discount to people who visited a product or service page but left without converting.

Slide decks

Best for: BOFU

Slide decks have applications beyond sales presentations. Potential customers that want to know more about your product or service but aren’t quite ready to ask for a quote or have a conversation with you may appreciate a self-serve slide deck. 

Carlton hotel - Local influences, independent spirits, creative spaces

This interactive presentation deck from Carlton Hotels allows audiences to flip through pages and check out features in their own time.

Solution/industry pages

Best for: MOFU, BOFU

If your product or service covers multiple industries, then you should address each industry or solution type with a vertical page dedicated to each audience.

Choose the primary industries you work with, create some use cases related for each vertical, and then upload the information on your website. 

For example, Ziflow has solutions pages for multiple sectors, including creative & digital agencies, healthcare, and manufacturing:

Solutions and industry pages of Ziflow navigation bar - Product Overview

Sponsored content

Best for: TOFU

Sponsored content is specifically for news publications. Companies may provide images for the sponsored content, but usually media publications will create it (for a fee) to ensure it aligns with their branding.

Testimonials

Best for: BOFU

Genuine customer testimonials and reviews prove that your products or services are what prospects need. In a way, they act like condensed case studies. While not all buyers have time to read a case study, they can see at a glance that you have satisfied customers.

Ensure your testimonials are visually engaging and state clearly who provided the quote – a headshot with the company position works well. Then, in the quote, reference a specific benefit. 

Testimonial of yello Sales Operations & Support - Woman praising Ziflow usability

You could take it one step further with video testimonials, depending on your distribution channels.

Text messages

Best for: MOFU, BOFU

Media-rich text messages can be a great way to share special offers. 

Media rich texts examples on phone messages - Reese's overload

In this example, Sonic includes hyperlinks for discount offers, as well as an image of its newest product. 

White papers

Best for: MOFU

White papers are authoritative, in-depth pieces covering a technical subject. And typically, they introduce a problem and provide a solution to it. You can use them to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field. 

White papers should be thoroughly researched, professionally formatted, and written in a more businesslike tone than an eBook. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be colorful and engaging. Take a look at this white paper excerpt from Vennage:

White papers covering technical subject of Vennage

Creative resources are not unlimited, and creative teams much choose wisely in the types of marketing collateral they spend their time and design effort on creating. Knowing how to choose the most effective form of collateral for each stage of the buyer's journey ultimately your creative team helps determine which collateral should be prioritized in the creative production process. These 29 types offer various outcomes and can be combined to produce maximum results from creative work. 

Katie Oberthaler