Have you ever wondered what, exactly, falls under the umbrella term of “marketing assets”? After all, isn’t it just a broad catch-all phrase for content?
If you’ve written it off as a catchy line of demarcation between media-savvy influencers and a simple, pure brand voice? Wipe your memory – this is the super helpful staff, and easier to learn about than you might be fearing!
All companies have assets to market and promote their material. From the tiniest to the biggest, this is not negotiable. A digital marketing asset is a valued item owned by a company that boosts its marketing campaigns. This could mean a social media profile or presence, audiovisual aids, infographics, images, data, and company websites.
Digital marketing assets are crucial in business now more than ever. With the rising importance of online traffic, creating and streamlining your digital content is the best way to attract, retain, and engage potential clientele.
Ultimately, when we talk about marketing assets as an umbrella term, we’re talking about anything that a company or organization deploys to promote its own products, services, and brand. These assets can be client-facing or geared toward personnel in nature. They can also be referred to as marketing and sales collateral.
Consider your brand voice. What content could you develop for further engagement between your product and potential customers? Furthermore, how to ensure the adherence of that content to the mission and values of your organization? It’s a question that must be asked regularly.
Marketing assets can be external (email, catchy graphics, blog and website content, video, and images) or internal (client onboarding procedures, training materials, management investment in personnel education, and long-term satisfaction).
External marketing assets seek to draw a customer or client’s eye and are often driven by a sales team. While internal marketing assets are more focused on driving employee engagement – put simply, getting employees to buy-in to their own company’s mission and values.
Historically, marketing material in many iterations has been regarded as a solely customer-focused idea. In the Digital Age? Not so.
For instance: Human Resources departments need to be aware of their marketing assets and capabilities. This helps to keep up with the recruiting and employee engagement demands. Especially in the current context of the Great Resignation, it’s never been higher stakes for companies seeking to retain or draw excellent talent.
It’s important to bear in mind your audience and existing engagement when brainstorming new asset formation. Relevantly, ask yourself: what audiences are you attracting currently? Now, what audiences would you like to attract more? Tailor your next content task with this information as the key to marketing efficiency.
There are so many content vehicles out there that it can feel downright overwhelming when you’re deciding which type of marketing asset to deploy. Put yourself in the customer’s position concerning the buyer’s journey.
This industry-defined term refers to the process by which a customer realizes a problem, researches solutions to that problem, and eventually decides based on their research which product or service is right for them to solve their problem.
The part of the buyer’s journey that your ideal audience is on informs your ideal content makeup. If, for instance, you are mainly seeking to draw those who are on the problem-identification, or “awareness” stage of their buyer’s journey, it may behoove you to go the route of an informational blog post, without pushing sales as a priority.
If, however, you are trying to make a sale, and engaging with an already interested party who’s firmly in the decision-making stage of their buyer’s journey, it might be best to present that audience with a series of case studies or testimonials.
Give yourself some flexibility here, as well as room for trial and error. There is no tried-and-true, one-size-fits-all marketing solution. Your business, brand voice, and mission are all unique and therefore require creative, specialized vehicles.
Get out of your comfort zone and experiment with media you perhaps haven’t considered. Seek out the right content formation for you and your business, always staying sensitive to customer traffic, engagement, and feedback.
Another great way to conceptualize the idea of the customer’s experience is to consider who they are concerning you and your business at each phase. Here we examine the stages of the buyer’s journey from your perspective, and some helpful ideas for strategizing your marketing approach based on that analysis.
At the first stage, a potential customer is realizing the nature of the problem and commits to finding a solution to this problem. This is the “awareness” phase on their part, and from your perspective, this problem that they’re having makes them a “prospect” to you – that is to say, a prospective customer.
A fantastic way to address this target audience is through blog posts. Showing a potential customer that you’re able to relate to, articulate, contextualize, and provide relevant information about the problem is marketing gold! It’s sure to make them take notice of your brand, and it’s also why visual aids (along with the written content of the blog) are so important here.
A person who is drawn to your brand voice is someone who is going to keep you in mind as a knowledgeable, confident voice in the running to provide final solutions.
At the mid-stage of the buyer’s journey, we reach the “research”, or “consideration”, phase. Here is the point in which the prospective customer has been able to identify their problem and its cause. They are now weighing their options, further deepening their understanding of the nature of the problem, and using vocabulary presented to them in the awareness stage to troubleshoot solutions.
Because the buyer is not yet ready to make a decision, this is the perfect time to make your own offer – think about free trials, limited-time offers, and requests for data from them so that you can better tailor your own selection of products and/or offers to their needs.
You could also opt for explanatory videos, FAQ-style brochures, and eBooks or white papers. It’s crucial not to charge at this stage; again, they’re not ready to pull the trigger, and besides – customers love free stuff!
White papers differ from blog posts in that they are presented as a higher, more thoroughly researched authority on the matter at hand. Whereas a blog post might cover a range of topics, white papers or eBooks run more to in-depth explanations, with detailed examples and sources that speak to a specific issue.
Think of a blog post as the book report of marketing, and the white papers/eBooks as the academic papers of marketing. The longest-reaching and most relevant advantage of this type of asset is its ability to build trust among customers.
The final point in the buyer’s journey is all about the end result, or hard sale. Here’s where all the options have been weighed, and your company has come out on top, from a veritable sea of choices!
This is where that prospective customer becomes a solid customer, and with some luck and diligence on the part of your team, that solid customer has every potential to become an enthusiastic advocate for your business. A beaming review from a customer for whom you’ve gone above and beyond is priceless.
Which type of marketing asset should you use to achieve this ideal scenario? Case studies, testimonials, and perhaps even a great review from another customer-turned-advocate are your key tools here. It’s wise to review the overall look and feel of your pricing page at this point, too. A callous, misleading, or otherwise suspicious pricing menu could very well mean victory for your competitor.
Not sure where you need to focus the most energy in your marketing strategy? Do yourself a huge favor and perform a marketing content audit.
Perhaps your existing content does a great job of addressing the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey, but you begin to notice a certain hole in the awareness part. Since customers won’t come to you unless you light that beacon of content in the first place, get to work on your social media accounts and your social media marketing strategy!
There’s a reason why visual content performs so well in data analytics across the board. The part of the human brain that processes emotive function is the same part that processes visual information.
For many of us (about 65 percent, actually), visual information is the bulk of how we retain and prioritize knowledge. Even more striking, it’s much easier for the brain to place new information in our long-term memory if it’s presented visually.
The best example of this is the first stage of the buyer’s journey, where we’re really dealing with awareness and identification of a problem. The need for visual content does extend through the entire buyer’s journey, however, and can make a big difference for customer retention, since the most important piece of any marketing goal is generally to leave a favorable and memorable impression.
To begin to target this segment of marketing assets, look first at the access points of your business or company. What does your landing page look like? What about your social media accounts? Is the overall impression that a first-time visitor would gain one that aligns with your brand voice and mission?
If the answer is no – what marketing asset could be generated to be streamlined, concise brand messaging across multiple platforms? Talk to your art and design-minded team members; this is a perfect place for their creativity to shine. And look at you: performing an asset function by engaging employees and listening to input!
Remember that employees who remain engaged and invested in the future and vision of their company are productive, balanced assets in and of themselves.
There are six primary stages, from inception to post-development, to the implementation of a marketing asset. Let’s go over these stages to really get a full picture of this concept.
Have a vision for your new marketing or tool! A solid plan is your best friend when it comes to effective follow-through. Utilize insights from past efforts in your marketing strategy to see what’s worked and what hasn’t. Let this data inform your direction.
Brainstorm and execute the marketing asset. This phase is commonly known to be the fun part – lean into the collaborative energy of the moment and let the creativity flow in your team! If you’re working alone, this definitely still applies; get excited and get down to business.
Now it’s time to integrate the new content into your existing systems. Upload that video, update the web graphics, and debug any immediate issues. This is the part where you’re initially administering the asset from the vantage point of your platform.
Get your new asset out there! Here, you’re seeking to provide easy, fast access to the content, and you’re also tracking how potential clients, customers, or even employees are engaging with and reacting to the content. Share across platforms and put your content where it will be seen.
This is the observational phase of your content’s cycle. Streamline your content to the best of your ability, making sure to take note of how engagement is happening across channels. Be prepared to rework your original strategy based on what’s proving to be most effective.
Also known as archival, this stage is the takeaway session of the asset’s life. After your optimization is done and you’re moving on to new content or material, take the time to do final thoughts on the relative success of the content.
Make sure it’s stored safely and securely upon removal from your platforms; upcycled content is a great way to drive traffic in future engagement.
The archival step in the life cycle of an asset brings us to our next concern: marketing asset management.
Many clients find it valuable to organize and safeguard their marketing assets with a relevant management tool.
This measure ensures clear, concise, and accessible asset storage, whichever phase the asset is currently undergoing. It also aids with better SEO (search engine optimization) as well as increases overall company performance. With an effective marketing asset management tool, you’ll find the control and maintenance of your assets to be streamlined and centralized.
As a key benefit, productivity can also really skyrocket with a centralized marketing asset management strategy. For a team to maintain consistency and generate leads in their marketing products, the products have to be readily accessible and collaboration-friendly. This is particularly true in cases where an asset’s development and integration have become time-sensitive.
A marketing asset management system or more specifically a digital asset management system (DAM) can be the missing piece for many sales teams and can mean a world of difference for a company’s marketing efforts.
Thorough development, utilization, and analysis of marketing assets can make or break a business. Remember to stay alert to market trends and dial into customer engagement when developing assets. Familiarize yourself with the content gaps in your marketing strategy and address them with flexibility and creativity – your brand will be better for it!
Frequently Asked Questions
To deliver true brand consistency, it’s crucial to standardize and centralize your marketing assets. Work with a system that effectively organizes your content to best meet the needs of your team, prospective customers, and evolving brand voice. In a content-inundated digital world, you have to also be sure to regularly audit and update your content to best deliver both accuracy and relevance.
Communication assets from a marketing standpoint refer to anything that a company uses to broadcast its products, services, and mission to potential buyers. This could mean social media posts, member-only newsletters or catalogs, direct mail, or email marketing. Seminars and webinars are also a fantastic way to position your brand as a thought leader, which frequently serves to drive traffic.
Marketing assets can often be the defining factor by which market dominance is established. Because of their intuitive effectiveness at such crucial steps as the specification of target audiences, creation of a niche market, and creating and sustaining genuine connections to customer advocates, marketing assets are arguably the best and most versatile tool to this end.