Traditional marketing, pre-digital marketing, involved a lot of paper and a lot of printed collateral. From key communication messages to building consistent branding and imagery; businesses relied on printing to convey their marketing and communication messages.
Now that web and email are our primary source of information, the rules of the game have changed completely. The idea of what is and what is not collateral is also being reinvented.
Remember Print Quality
Although online marketing collateral is increasingly popular, printed collateral is still in high demand. However, any graphic designer will tell you their number one frustration is people who don’t get the translation between digital and printed artwork.
Have you ever prepared a document and printed it to notice the colours are much duller? It is important that your artwork be printed from a file that was prepared in the CMYK colour mode, not RGB.
Also, source high quality images. Never pull anything smaller than 1 MB from Google Search and simply print it. Make sure the resolution of any image you plan to print for commercial purposes is high.
This is especially important when preparing large printed files such as posters, billboards or public transport ads.
Send ‘Friendly’ Files
There is definitely etiquette to email and sharing in the digital age. Too often business owners are sent large files that clog up their email.
Be aware that when sharing files that will used exclusively online, the files size does not need to be too large. If the file is too large, use an image processor to reduce the file size. There are inbuilt image processors in every computer system from OS to Windows. ‘Unfriendly’ files are hassle some and can be easily avoided.
New Content Layout
Traditionally content has been laid out in a book or magazine layout with two pages either side. Online content is being digested very differently – it is being read on smartphones, tablets and computers.
Preparing your content to be read in each of the formats is crucial. Content now has the opportunity to be far more interactive than passive – especially with the universality of touch screens.
Why Content is the Key
Although your designs might look great, if your content isn’t worth reading your collateral is guaranteed to fail. Make sure your content is well though out and well organised.
Most business readers in the digital age are more likely to ‘scan’ content for topics that interest them than invest their time in a whole article. Given this, there are some tips you can employ.
- Don’t leave your content as long-form prose; break it down into headings, subheadings and bullet points;
- Short paragraphs are king;
- Although it is a bit tacky, highlight key words to make them stick out.
These tips will improve the readability of your content. But making sure your content is unique and answers a question is still more important.
Try using a duplication checker tool like Copyscape to check the unique score of your content. Make sure you haven’t borrowed a turn of phrase which could be seen as plagiarism – Google is very harsh on these types of mistakes.
Also, try looking up question sites like Quora to find what people are genuinely curious about. This is the best resource for finding topics for articles. Not only do you get a great idea for an article, with plenty of meat on it, you get a strong indication of your target audience by viewing the profile of people asking questions you are answering.
Collateral may take a different form, but it is more important than ever in today’s marketing climate. Inbound marketing is where a lot of businesses are see good return on investment – so focussing on good content marketing strategies and high quality digital collateral is crucial.
The rise of analytics, attribution and data-driven marketing has also shone a light on the importance of seemingly vague marketing activities such as blogging. Integrated marketing communication has also impacted how collateral can work together to influence an audience.