The Essential Guide to Marketing Assets For Small Businesses
What Type of Marketing Assets Do I Need?
Marketing assets include materials such as emails, brochures, sales letters, blog posts, website content, videos and images. All of these assets can be used in marketing campaigns of various types, whether via traditional media sources or using Digital Marketing (DM) techniques such as social media or email marketing.
The specific types of assets you need are determined primarily by the type of marketing campaigns you intend to utilise. For instance, in traditional advertising campaigns intended for television or radio, video or audio content is commonly utilised. DM, on the other hand, while using video and audio content at times, often relies heavily on written content in some form.
Acquiring assets of this type, whether your company creates them itself or pays for their creation, paves the way for your marketing outreach efforts. These assets can be reused as needed, or can serve as models for the creation of new marketing assets.
Basic asset types include:
- Sales letters
- Blog posts
- Audio recordings (such as podcasts)
Assets should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they are still relevant for your marketing campaigns. If necessary, they should be updated to make them suitable for use in current or future campaigns.
How Do I Find These Assets?
To find marketing assets it is sometimes necessary to create them. Doing so is not necessarily as hard as it seems. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating your own assets. Look at what your competitors are doing and create content that is unique to you but similar to what is working for others in your industry sector.
Marketing assets can also be found in a variety of places, such as photo libraries and reports put out by industry journals and subject matter experts. Some of this content can be free to use, such as that offered via a “Creative Commons” license. You can search Google Images and other photo galleries with a filter that turns up only material which is cleared for such use, typically with various conditions such as giving credit to the photographer and hosting service.
Potential sources of marketing assets include:
- Content licensing sites (Google images, flickr, etc.): A portion of the content on some of these sites is free to use for commercial purposes.
- Competitor websites (for asset creation ideas): While competitor material should not be copied directly, it can provide inspiration for designing marketing assets of your own.
- Existing company assets that can be repurposed or redesigned: This can include material used in past campaigns as well as material not previously used for marketing purposes.
- Customer feedback: Emails from customers can provide product feedback that could be used in a marketing campaign. Testimonials featuring customer reaction to your products are another potential source of marketing asset material.
How Do I Secure Their Ownership or Use?
There are a variety of ways to secure the usage of marketing assets, including:
- Outright purchase: This is the most straightforward way to acquire assets for use in a marketing campaign.
- Rent/Hire: Assets can rented for use over a period of time. This method generally costs less than purchasing an asset outright, and can work well with marketing campaigns slated to run for a specific period of time.
- Creation: Assets can also be created, either by you or an employee of your company or by someone paid to do so on behalf of your company.
- Partnership: Forming a partnership with another company is another way to secure the use of assets for the purpose of joint efforts.
How Can I Most Effectively Employ Them in My Campaign?
Marketing assets are most effective when they are used in the proper context so take care to employ them appropriately in the right type of campaign. Attributes such as brand name and logo should figure prominently in a strategy designed to improve brand recognition. The strengths of business such as core competencies, distribution reach, and brand image would play a major part in a market-based approach to marketing.
The following tips provide a variety of methods for effectively using your assets:
Match your marketing assets to the media used: With a wide variety of marketing platforms to use, it is important to make sure you are using your assets in conjunction with the media form most suited to bring exposure to your campaign.
The following list details what types of marketing assets are likely to work best with what type of media:
Television advertising: By definition video ads are used for TV. However, depending on the audience targeted, the use of charts, infographics and written material can be justified at times. This is especially true in the modern information age where multitasking is common. Many consumers may not be fully focused on the sound from a television, making it a good idea to back up the visual component of a TV ad with written material explaining a product’s features and benefits in some cases.
Radio Ads: As with TV ads, radio ads are defined by the structure of the medium. The words spoken in an ad will be based on a script prepared either by your company or an agency or contractor retained for the purpose of creating the script.
Print Ads: Ads appearing in print publications such as newspapers and magazines will typically contain both photos and written text.
Online Marketing: With a variety of ways to reach consumers on the Internet, the marketing assets used will differ depending on the specific outlet chosen and the type of marketing being done:
Website: Your website can feature both written and visual assets. The mix of these two asset types will depend upon the type of products or services your company sells and the relevant audience. For instance, a company selling high end jewellery would likely need a mix of assets, including both written descriptions of the company’s products as well as pictures or videos displaying the products. A company selling vacation getaways might also want to use both written and visual assets on its website. To improve its conversion rates, it could offer videos providing potential customers with a detailed look at potential vacation spots.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A mixture of video and written ads is appropriate for pay per click (PPC) and pay per impression (PPM) ad campaigns.
Social Media: Different social media platforms lend themselves to the usage of different types of marketing assets. Major sites where marketing assets can be used include:
- Twitter: This short messaging service is appropriate for linking to articles, blogs, photos and videos.
- Facebook: The most popular social media service is best suited for posting photos and video assets. Facebook ads can contain a variety of assets depending on what is most appropriate for the product being marketed.
- Instagram and Pinterest: These photo sharing sites are excellent places to share relevant still photos with your company’s audience.
- YouTube: The largest video hosting site in the world is an excellent resource for hosting videos that explain how to use or demonstrate the features of your company’s products.
In addition to using the right type of media to display your assets, it is also important to use a system that allows you to effectively manage and deploy your corporate assets. This is often done via a marketing asset management system. Such a system allows you to classify, store and retrieve assets from a digital interface. The system should be employed in conjunction with your company’s brand management efforts.
Assets suitable for a digital asset management systems typically include:
- Marketing materials
- Product descriptions
- Product photos
The system should be able to store certain assets such as logos in various sizes and formats to support both print and digital use. It should also maintain historical versions of various assets if necessary.
How Do I Build an Asset Library?
An asset library is an important tool for storing marketing assets and supplying them for use in a campaign. It helps you determine what assets have already been built and what assets need to be created or acquired. A content asset management system is a helpful way to organise an asset library. By connecting to editorial planning or publishing systems it speeds up the process of storing and deploying assets as needed during a marketing campaign.
An asset library allows you to store material of all type related to your marketing assets. This can include metadata and items related to articles, blogs, images, whitepapers, videos, etc. The library should allow you to tag each asset so it can be filtered for reuse when necessary, or when needed for analytical purposes.
To build your library, make sure that your company has a policy of cataloguing and saving all assets used for company business, whether letterhead, marketing pieces, images, or the like. Information about each asset such as the date it was used and the purpose for which it was used should be recorded in the library for analytical and reuse purposes. Assets should also be categorised by type so that similar assets can be easily located when necessary.
A well-designed asset library can benefit a company by improving the productivity of marketing efforts. Especially in a company with a variety of different departments, the ability to centralise asset storage and delivery can save time in conducting marketing campaigns. An asset can be approved and then delivered for deployment rapidly with such a system, which avoids the need to send assets from department to department prior to using them in a campaign. They can be viewed and approved and then downloaded for use all from their position in the library.
How Would I Create My Own Assets?
With a variety of content creation tools available, creating your own marketing assets is not as hard as it once was. From writing a blog to posting a how-to video on YouTube, there are a number of ways to create your own content. At the same time, a number of freelancer sites such as Upwork exist where you can easily hire someone to create an asset for you. You can also engage an agency specialising in creating certain types of content to do the job as well.
Some tips on creating different assets yourself include:
Blogs and articles: Write about your company and its services and products in a way that your audience will find interesting. The writing doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize worthy, but it should be clear enough to get your point across successfully. If nobody at your company can do this you can always hire an agency or freelancer to put your ideas into words.
A good blog post should engage the reader by providing insight into how your product can affect their life or by offering insight into what it is that makes your company tick – if the reader is interested in your products then providing a behind the scenes look at how your company operates may be of interest. Stories about how others have used your product to accomplish something are also a good topic to cover, as are stories about what makes your product useful or innovative.
Videos: How to videos are a good way to increase your audience’s engagement with your products. Demonstration videos showing your products in action can also be a valuable way to increase interest in them.
Logos: It is worth hiring a good graphic artist to make your company logo stand out from the crowd. A distinctive design can be a good way to get consumers to pay attention to your company’s brand.
Images: Striking visual images can help draw attention to your product or ad. It is well worth investing in images that will help get as many eyeballs as possible to view your marketing campaign material.
White papers and case studies: Providing your audience with detailed information about your products and how they function is a good way to differentiate them from those offered by your competitors. Studies examining your products in the context of industry trends can also be a helpful way to demonstrating the value of your products.
When producing your range of assets do not underestimate the benefits of an image, video or post ‘going viral’; that is when an asset quickly gains momentum and a large audience through being shared on social media and forward to friends or colleagues. This can add significant value to the asset, exponentially extending its reach and therefore the reach of your message.