In order to ease your visitors through the buyer’s journey, you need to provide them with the right stepping stones. And to do this you need to create the right marketing assets for each stage.
Aligning your marketing assets with the three stages of the buyer’s journey will help you convert leads into customers.
The Buyer Journey
TOP OF THE FUNNEL: This content aims to attract a large pool of relevant leads. Marketing assets in this section of the funnel focus primarily on educating or raising awareness.
MIDDLE OF THE FUNNEL: Leads who convert from the top of the funnel content progress to the middle of the funnel stage. These offers should still focus on educating your leads, whilst advertising your services at the same time.
BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL: Assets in this stage should convince your leads that you’re the answer to their problems.
In essence, the content or service you provide in each stage should be more valuable and specific than the last.
Your top of the funnel visitors need educating about their problem; your bottom of the funnel leads need to believe that you’re their right partner or solution.
Before you begin to create or evaluate the specifics of each asset, you should be clear where in the funnel that asset is best used.
Here are six marketing assets that you need to create (or at least think about utilising):
1. White papers
We define white papers as ‘advanced problem-solving guides’, which is what makes them a perfect top of the funnel offer. If your visitors haven’t received enough information from your blog posts – or wish to research the subject more – white papers are the perfect marketing asset for them.
These lengthy documents offer your leads an in-depth source of knowledge for a certain topic. They can also build your brand trust with potential and existing customers. If they can see that you’re willing to help for little value, they’ll be more willing to invest in you.
Not everyone has the time or patience to read a lengthy document. Videos and webinars are a great alternative, and a good, quick way to tackle your lead’s pain points. They’re particularly helpful for ‘how to’ videos.
Depending on what your videos offer, they can be either top of the funnel or middle of the funnel marketing assets. For example, a video or webinar that offers you a checklist or a series of tips for a specific topic is likely to be a top of the funnel offer. On the other hand, a piece of content that walks through what a certain solution or service can do for your business is more of a middle offer.
3. Case studies
So, some of your leads have jumped from the top of the funnel stage to the middle of the funnel stage… Now what? At this point in their journey, they are aware of their problem, but they need convincing that you’re the answer.
Concise, interesting and factual case studies of existing clients are important resources for your leads. No one wants to make a big investment without looking at the star ratings and reviews first. Reading good praise from other customers can offer your leads reassurance of your business and customer service.
4. Interactive content
Eighty percent of marketers agree that interactive content grabs readers’ attention better than plain old copy. With user expectations (and attention spans) changing, you need to find bolder ways to reach your audience.
5. Free evaluation or trial
Not many people can resist taking up something that’s free.
Offer your middle of the funnel leads a free consultation, evaluation or trial depending on your business and services. For example, if your business makes software, you can offer your leads a free trial or demo.
The trick to making this work is to make it personal. Whether you’re doing a consultation, evaluation, free trial or demo, you need to let your leads know what you can do, specifically, for them.
6. Consultation call
Consultation calls are an important marketing asset, not only for your bottom of the funnel leads, but for your business too. These calls allow you to vet potential customers to see if their business is at the right stage, or budget, for your services. It’s like interviewing a candidate for a job opening: the process helps you determine whether they’re a good fit for your company, and vice versa. A consultation call will give your lead deeper insight into what your business provides and the costs of your product or service.
No matter what marketing assets you create, remember one thing: always be helping. Focus on genuinely helping, nurturing and delighting your leads and customers. Don’t just pump out content for the sake of making a single sale – put some soul into it. You’ll find that your marketing data (and sales funnel!) is all the better for it.
What Are Marketing Assets?
Marketing assets include anything used by an organisation to promote its products, services, or brand. Emails, brochures, datasheets, presentations, sales letters, blog articles, website content, videos, and images are some of the most popular assets available to external customers.
The company’s marketing strategy determines the type of assets that are most valuable to its audience. Inbound marketing focuses on the most modern buyer — one who researches the product before contacting the company. Inbound marketing activities are designed to attract prospects that are in the market for the product or service you offer.
For example, a blog article that includes tips and best practices on organising their home will attract people who are likely in the process of decluttering and revamping their personal spaces. If your specialty is space efficient furniture, this thought leadership blog will help you attract prospects and communicate to the buyer that you are an expert in this industry. On the other hand, outbound marketing markets to people regardless of whether they are looking for a product or service that you offer. Online paid ads and email marketing are some outbound marketing tactics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Methods for effectively using your marketing 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:
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 holiday 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 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.
How to create different marketing assets
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 and branding: It is worth hiring a good graphic artist to make your brand stand out from the crowd. A distinctive design can be a good way to get consumers to pay attention to your company.
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. Almost all marketing asset types need great images.
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. This can add significant value to the asset, exponentially extending its reach and therefore the reach of your message.
Digital Marketing Landing Pages
When running a campaign, there are several options for showcasing your message in a landing page format that follows user experience best practices.
Primary message and form above the fold
CTA above the fold
Form follows the user down the page
Include sharing functionality
Utilise various brand colors
Incorporates brand imagery
Use multiple CTA’s
Have a CTA below the fold
Have unclear messaging
Use off-brand visuals
Make the user work to find benefits and CTA
What Is Marketing Asset Management?
Marketing asset management is the admin, evaluation and organisation of marketing assets in a central location for easy distribution and usage.
Why Is Marketing Asset Management Important?
The marketing department is responsible for contributing to a business’s bottom line. One of the department’s responsibilities is to produce critical business assets that support campaigns and empower staff to promote and sell products or services. However, tracking and monitoring all these materials can quickly become overwhelming. Eventually, after your company has developed numerous assets, it becomes impossible to remember every asset you’ve created. It also becomes too time consuming to find assets and too complicated to collaborate without a central repository.
Imagine a company that distributes a brochure to its entire sales team via email. The team uses the brochure to attract prospects and sell the product. But, what happens when that brochure needs to be updated? Who has the original design? Who is using the brochure and requires the updated version? Decentralized and fragmented marketing asset management degrades the ability to maintain brand consistency and accurate information. Moreover, team members end up wasting time searching for information and performing redundant work to recreate assets.
Globally distributed marketing organizations that interact with print providers, agencies, cross-functional team members, partners, vendors, franchisees, IT staff, HR staff, branch managers, and contractors require a more robust management of marketing assets.
The Benefits of Marketing Asset Management
Fast-changing market demands and competitive conditions put pressure on marketing teams to respond more quickly and with more agility. Marketing asset management helps streamline the tracking and monitoring of essential business materials. The ability to digitally control marketing assets ensures that all assets are accessible, easy to find and share, brand compliant, and available for global campaigns.
The most significant benefit of marketing asset management is quick, uncomplicated accessibility. What good is an asset if no one can find it? If you have ever dealt with the annoyance of trying to find a critical campaign or program asset, you know the frustration and loss of productivity all too well.
Time is money, and marketing asset management provides a fast return on investment. Proper management of your marketing assets means no more digging through file folders, emailing the entire team, or logging into an old server to perform a search.
With the ability to locate a branded, current asset, you’ll reap the following benefits:
Increase business performance and revenue growth.
Improve communication, productivity, creativity, and collaboration.
Create autonomy for local marketers, partners, sales, resellers, and third parties.
Reduce time searching for assets.
Reduce redundant recreation work.
Maintain brand consistency.
Repurpose assets for improved ROI.
How to Organize Marketing Assets So They Are Easy to Find
The number one goal of organising marketing assets is to get them all in one centralised repository or marketing asset library. Ideally, you’ll have an online system that supports a variety of file types and is easy for users to access from any location.
Below are tips for organising marketing assets, so they are simple for any user to locate:
Standardise file names and include a date and version.
Implement a marketing asset repository or marketing asset management system.
Apply a status to each asset, such as current, needs update, or archive.
Archive outdated assets.
Simply starting with standard file naming conventions can help you get more organized. For example, you could name your files according to asset type, asset name, and creation date, respectively so that the result would look something like this: filename_12172019.pdf
If you need help evaluating your marketing assets or deciding on a content creation plan, please contact us