Carol Roth Blog
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.
 

80+ Ways to Amp Up Your Small Business Marketing Materials

 

Marketing is absolutely essential for getting the word out about your business. But, with consumers that are constantly bombarded with marketing, how do you make your fliers, advertisements (online or otherwise), social media posts and other marketing efforts stand-out from the crowd? Well, we have asked the CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their very best tips for amping up small business marketing materials. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. They Speak Louder Than Words

Looks aren't everything, but they sure do help! To make a great first impression, marketing materials need to look good. The colors, fonts, images, and how they all come together say a lot about your company before anyone reads a single word.
Thanks to: Ana V. Ramirez of Ana Ramirez Photography.

2. Stand-Out Images and Design

While content may still be king, design is getting more and more important.

It helps to make your business appear more trustworthy and can help with social media sharing.

To help with design, there are now several great tools - from canva.com for designing fliers and advertisements, to piktochart.com for creating infographics, and powtoon.com for creating slides and videos.
Thanks to: Louise Hendon of Paleo Flourish Magazine.

3. Get to the Point!

When writing for marketing materials, clarity is key. Write a first draft that includes all pertinent information and then, cut any copy that's not necessary. Readers need to know who you are and what you're selling within seconds.
Thanks to: Jodi Everts of Love, Madison Weddings.

4. To Get More, Show Less!

The difficulty in creating graphic advertisements, whether it be a digital ad, physical flyer, or billboard, is realizing the potential failure of death by committee. Everyone wants their idea expressed, but expressing ten different ideas is the surest way to create an ad that isn't effective. Instead of trying to hit every bullet point, think about what is the least you can show to get your message across. A minimalist approach is sometimes the best way to get maximum results!
Thanks to: Flynn Zaiger of Online Optimism Design.

5. Podcast: Visual & Audio

When I do an episode, I shoot in video and then, turn it into an audio format to reach two different audiences through podcasting and YouTube.

Podcasting is an affordable way to promote your business and helps with branding, marketing products & establishing yourself as an expert. The start-up costs are inexpensive and if you give great content, people will find you. Finding your niche is important; even in a crowded field you can stand out. Concentrate your efforts where you will be rewarded.
Thanks to: Julie Coraccio of Reawaken Your Brilliance.

6. Don't Bury the Benefits!

In my books and speaking engagements, my first rule is always: "Don't Bury the Benefits". Place them front and center. Don't make people read half way into your message to find them. BENEFIT, BENEFIT, BENEFIT. It's that simple. Tell them what's in it for THEM, right up front.
Thanks to: Barry Cohen of Adlab Media Communications, LLC.

7. Simplicity is the Key

The tip I would suggest to everyone would be to keep the advertisement simple. Don't add too many words because millennials these days don't really want to read; instead, add colorful pictures and a catchy short link that everyone can remember. Custom short links would be even better, but the key to a great campaign is to make it colorful and simple.
Thanks to: AJ Saleem of Suprex Private Tutoring.

8. Be You and Only You

I've met a ton of interesting, fun, inspiring people who use marketing materials that are lame and boring. Good marketing materials need to have your voice -- not the voice of someone unrelated to your company. If you're fun, sound fun. If you're academic, sound academic. You wouldn't put someone else's clothes on for an interview, so don't put someone else's words on your brochures.
Thanks to: Elura Nanos of Lawyer & TV personality.

9. Ask the Right Questions

You want to enter a conversation already going on in your prospect's head (Dean Jackson, Joe Polish, Dan Kennedy). Ask them a direct & simple question. "Would you like to add 190k to your business"; "Do you know what your business is worth?"; "What's the value of your home?"; "Are you still looking for ...?" By asking them a simple, direct question to something they're already thinking about - they almost feel compelled to answer & raise their hands!
Thanks to: Matthew Hudgins of Mosaic Wealth Management, LLC.

10. Can it Pass the Suitcase Test?

To stand out, marketing materials must be different. Think of a trade show, where people gather up a ton of paper and then, throw most of it out in order to lighten the suitcase-load for the flight home.

If your marketing material doesn't pass the suitcase test, it's just not stand-out enough.
Thanks to: David Leonhardt of THGM Ghostwriters.

11. It's About THEIR Needs

It's tempting to make it all about what YOU do, what YOU offer, and what YOU want to get out of the marketing piece. But, think about it from their perspective. Speak to them in THEIR language and address THEIR problems that you can solve.
Thanks to: Beth Bridges of J Digital Identity.

12. Words Do Matter

People buy first on emotions. Your words must be emotionally compelling, from your marketing copy to the words you actually speak. This website, http://www.aminstitute.com, helps to identify how to make your words stand out, to differentiate yourself from everyone else using similar words. Remember, a goldfish has a greater attention span (9 seconds) compared to your sales lead (8 seconds). Source: Microsoft
Thanks to: Leanne Hoagland-Smith of ADVANCED SYSTEMS.

13. Co-op Your Way to Success

Know what I've found that works? Co-op'ing a marketing piece with another business located close by or one that offers a complementary product or service.

There's no cross marketing "theft" that occurs, since you're positioning the marketing yourself and choosing your partner. Even if a potential client isn't immediately anxious for what your product or service might be, they tend to visit/browse/check out both of you, so the other participant scores, too. Try it. It works.
Thanks to: Alan Guinn of The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc.

14. Get Your Own Billboard

Bike Billboards are proven OUTDOOR ad strategies for marketing and getting noticed. It's a guerrilla marketing strategy for sure and depending on the message, they make a great first and/or lasting impression.
Thanks to: Richard Pawlowski of BikeBillboards.com.

15. The Need For Speed!

Marketing is the activity of exchanging offerings that have value. Increasing the chances of making an exchange occur is enhanced when you make the offering time sensitive. Marketing with this kind of approach provides an inbuilt urgency, or scarcity, that makes people take action immediately. They have to make a decision about whether they want to buy your product because if they wait, it will be too late. It's a great way for forcing action in any promotional vehicle - online or print!
Thanks to: Mark Dobosz of National Creditors Bar Association.

16. Social Media Smiles

After a patient gets their braces off, we take a picture of them and post it onto our Facebook page and tag them. This is very effective because the kid is thrilled to have a beautiful smile. He/she is proud to show this off with their friends, so it gets great traction on social media. Also, the great smiles that we create speak for themselves and it's open for any potential patient to see on our social media channels.
Thanks to: Steve Maple of Maple Orthodontics.

17. An irresistible USP

The one thing that I always focus on when creating marketing materials for my company or for my clients is a very powerful USP (unique selling proposition). Potential buyers always want to know what is in it for them when they are considering buying your product/service, so focusing on the USP to immediately show the #1 benefit they will receive is of major importance.
Thanks to: Peter Geisheker of The Geisheker Group, Inc.

18. Vibrant Eye Catching Colors

Color works if you use it to gain the interest and draw attention to your message, no matter the source or media being used. For example, both the majority of men and women choose "blue" as their favorite color, followed by green for men and purple for women. Stay away from brown for both sexes. Men prefer bright colors, while women prefer softer colors. Some emotions attached to color include blue (trust), green (peaceful), yellow (optimism) and red (excitement). So, choose your colors carefully.
Thanks to: Myles Miller of LeadUP.

19. Canva Makes You Look Amazing

Even though I've worked as an art director for a record label and have an extensive knowledge of Photoshop, Canva.com is my go-to design tool for fast, professional marketing assets.

When you're responsible for creating up to 25 social media posts a day— as well as ads and custom graphics for websites— you need a way to quickly crank out high-quality images that are optimized for each channel's pixel requirements and on point with your brand guidelines. Canva does that and more... for free!
Thanks to: Jason Myers of The Content Factory.

20. Promise a Benefit...

The key to creating effective marketing materials...
1) There’s an old adage in advertising that goes like this… “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em. Tell ‘em. And then tell ‘em what you told ‘em.”

And, for the next best advice:
2) Promise a benefit
3) Keep it easy to understand and right to the point
4) Give them a reason to buy
5) And give them a reason to buy now!

But don’t always Sell, Sell, Sell. Tailor your message to the audience and to the medium.
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M. Barrows Advertising.

21. Show Your Personal Side

I'm blind, so when it comes to things like business cards, fliers or anything print, I can't help there. But, when it comes to social media and blog posts, it helps to show your personal side. This is true even with business posts. People want to like and trust the people they will do business with. They are more trusting of people who will admit their mistakes and move on from them. They also are more likely to follow someone who has been where they are or where they want to be. So, be authentic and make your mess your message.
Thanks to: Maxwell Ivey of theblindblogger.net.

22. Get Yourself Out of the Way

To create effective marketing materials, look at your product/service from the perspective of the potential buyer. Choose images and copy that relate to their pain points--not the technical aspects or what you love about your product. Not sure what to use or say? Ask your happy clients to describe what they enjoy most about your product--what it does for them. They will likely provide you with excellent copy or descriptions that help you find the perfect images.
Thanks to: Tom Hopkins of Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

23. Remain To Be Seen

Broadcast ads & print ads are always a flash in the pan. When your message is on an item of practical use and value - something that reminds them of YOU on a daily basis - they don't forget you. The challenge is to put your message on the RIGHT item. Something they'll use and appreciate every single day.
Thanks to: Barbara Kaberna of Plan-It Promo & Design.

24. Market Something Interesting!

Your marketing materials are critical, but be careful not to just self-promote. Just because you find it interesting does not mean that your customers will. They need to know quickly and clearly WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? You have just a moment to capture their attention. Make sure that your unique offer or selling point is clearly stated right from the start. Bottom line, all your marketing materials will be useless if you don't have something interesting and relevant to offer that grabs their attention!
Thanks to: Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks.

25. Keep Your Marketing Consistent

When creating marketing materials, you want to keep all of your branding, voice, and style consistent and integrated through everything that you produce.

For example, our company has specific templates and rules that are required to be used when creating digital media. We are adhered to use specific color palettes, logos, mantras, and other wording to keep an image that people will remember and associate with our company.

Consistency in your marketing will help manifest your brand.
Thanks to: Nathan Barber of seoWorks San Francisco.

26. Quick, Simple and Free

Take any photo into the basic image editor on your computer. I have a Mac, so I use Preview.

There are tools that will let you crop that image into a square. There also tools that will let you add some text.

Save the photo under another name and voila, you have a graphic to post.

You can find photos all over the place (be sure you either attribute the photo or have the rights to use it).
Thanks to: Mitch Krayton of Krayton Travel.

27. Video Killed the Radio Star

Different is interesting- Tim Burton is "different" and people pay him millions for it.

In our business, we collect video testimonials from customers talking about how their problem was solved.

That's not really different... so, we started a series called "Ice Cream in Cars"- 5-minute interviews, talking about business results and we're dripping out 1 per month.

They're fun, but most importantly different...
Thanks to: Michael Bremmer of Telecomquotes.com.

28. Start a Book Club Like Oprah

You don't have to be as famous as Oprah to start a book club. We started one this summer and it's been a great success so far. We give away 30 copies of a favorite business book every week. It's helped us build a community of like-minded people and it's also gotten everybody in our company reading more great books.
Thanks to: Brandon Bruce of Cirrus Insight.

29. Make Your Message Stand Out!

They key to effectively communicating is to start by considering your audience.

They want to know "what's in it for me?"

When writing copy, be sure your focus is on what's in it for the reader and not solely on your offering.

Of course, great images that can communicate the messaging, either on their own or in conjunction with your written words, are important.

Remember, it's all about your audience!
Thanks to: Stephanie Hackney of Branding Masters.

30. Listen on Social, Then Create

When you're writing your marketing copy, use social media to listen first. Find where your target customers are hanging out and pay attention to the words they're using. Their verbiage will often times differ from what YOU think they want to hear, so be sure that you're speaking to their interests in their language.
Thanks to: Spencer Smith of blueXsocial.

31. No Story, No Payday

There's a lot of clever and creative marketing materials out there that really pop. And yet, some of it doesn’t “tell it to sell it”. It doesn’t tell the story. People want to know about YOU, who you are, what problem you solve, what you’re going to do for them, and how they can find and engage with you. Strangers can’t graduate into customers until they can emotionally invest in you. Tell your story regardless of the time/space constraints. Think soundbites.
Thanks to: Gayl Murphy of Interview Tactics! Media Training.

32. Make No Misteaks!

As a copy editor of books and business materials, I’d have to say proofreading. Nothing will make your marketing materials stand out more – in the wrong way – than spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Eons ago, I read a one-liner in Reader’s Digest that said, “Definition of housework: something that isn’t noticed until it isn’t done.” The same applies here. Check, then check again, and your materials will shine.
Thanks to: Flo Selfman of Words à la Mode.

33. Make it Visual

I often make my social media posts and other marketing materials stand out by using personal photos to illustrate a topic. For example, I used a photo of me with my mother and my daughter in my May newsletter that made reference to Mother's Day. It was very well received. I do the same with social media posts. People love photos and they like when you share something personal about yourself.
Thanks to: Debbie Goetz of Debbie Goetz Media Connections.

34. Stop Thinking About Yourself!

Just because they're called marketing materials doesn't mean they need to be promotional content, all about you or your company. Materials that serve as resources, references, and other useful content/products can create a very positive association with you and your business. If people are interested, they'll come to you to find out more. But, first, show you understand what they need.
Thanks to: Stacy Robin of The Degania Group.

35. Human Dynamics Sells

For higher than National average newsletter clicks, start with a human interest banner w/pictures, company videos or radio interviews- a headline or human interest story of employee/community member that grabs attention along w/company listings of talks, events or sale items (ex. a wheelchair bound woman doing fundraisers for van transport money) and congratulate all milestones/successes big/small. Headliners are always found as the last item on the page, so viewers scroll past company announcement/news/sales.
Thanks to: Dr. Daria M. Brezinski of Cyber Security Savvy.

36. Starving Artist Needed!

Make friends with a starving artist. They already have creativity. Why reinvent the wheel? You're not an artist, they are.
Thanks to: Warren Bobrow of Cocktail whisperer.

37. Collaborate From the Top Down

When most companies put together their promotional materials, they entrust the task to a core group of individuals who just take the helm, come up with a strategy, and get things done.

We take a different perspective that we've had a ton of success with: Our process is a collaborative effort between management, the team here, and our creative marketing gurus. We listen to what EVERYONE thinks and then, give the clay to our team to shape into something that represents and works for everyone.
Thanks to: Maxwell Barna of Rush Order Tees.

38. Refine Your "About" Messaging

To create effective marketing materials, refine your "About" messaging and don't be too delicate with it - cutting it down means more flexibility for your creative. A brief, well-crafted company summary is something you will use often across various media and this brevity means core messaging (i.e., special offer, etc.) can have more prominence in any given layout. The best part: once you have a solid two-line "About Us" summary, you can use it again and again, as needed.
Thanks to: Marc Raffa of Voices.com.

39. Promote a Social Cause

Find a social cause that strategically aligns with your product, brand, and audience and support it through social media promotion (via co-branded posts) and consider a donation for every share or retweet of your post.
Thanks to: Joel Schwartz of Parlor.me.

40. Educate 1st, Sell 2nd

My best tip for stand-out marketing materials is make them educate first, sell second. Do you know why most marketing materials fail? Because first, they are sales materials... written to convince someone to buy. Guess what? Nobody likes to be sold to. Really effective marketing materials educate your prospects by showing them solutions, allow them to see themselves building a relationship with your company, demonstrate knowledge and expertise, and showcase past successes.
Thanks to: Patrick McFadden of Indispensable Marketing.

41. Educate Your Readers

Brand personality and value to the reader are two of the most important ways of standing out as an inbound marketing agency.

Whether it’s a blog article or a social media post, helping our readers learn something new and valuable from our digital marketing material sparks communication and is always a priority for us.
Thanks to: Doug Fowler of Waypost Marketing.

42. It's Not About You!

Your ads should focus primarily on the interests of your prospective Customers and not so much about you or your company.
Thanks to: Chuck McCabe of The Income Tax School.

43. Focus on Success

The best advice I have is to focus. Focus on a specific audience. Focus your creative on one strong idea. Focus your message on one strong message that is relevant to the audience. Focus the design so that it is as simple as it can be without losing impact. Keeping focused is the best way to make the most efficient and effective use of any marketing budget, large or small.
Thanks to: Callum Beattie of Honest Agency.

44. Solve Their Problem!

One way to get the largest ROI on any marketing materials is to address your ideal customers' pain points. That marketing piece needs to convey the solution to their problem quickly and effectively, visually with images and words.
Thanks to: Nedalee Thomas of Chanson Water USA.

45. Develop Your Brand's Voice

Get the most "bang for your buck" with your marketing materials by delivering your message in your brand's own unique, distinct, and recognizable voice. The same way that each individual has his or her own tone of voice, each brand should have its own way of speaking, based on the brand's story, personality, target audience, and ultimate goals. Strive for crafting messages that a customer would recognize as your brand's unique communications, even if your brand's name isn't attached to them.
Thanks to: Laryssa Wirstiuk of Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing.

46. Keep it Simple & Actionable

Our best tip for stand-out marketing materials is to create a very simple, actionable call to action and limited time giveaway. For example, we say, "Get a free start-up business consultation in the month of July." With this, we are able to introduce our offer, get clients to call & to educate without having any obligation. It is a non-threatening and educational way to reach out to our potential clients. We try to give something of value & change it by month or season to drive more interest.
Thanks to: Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.com.

47. Be Outrageous in a Niche

Focus on a single niche market and run a marketing strategy that is outrageous and stands out to that market only. Everyone is always looking for the home run that will attract the “masses”. It’s rare that a small business hits the big time with their marketing, but in the meantime, they blow their brains out and fail because they spent all their time, money, and resources trying to attract those “masses”.

Focus. Niche market. Outrageous strategy that resonates with that market. Done.
Thanks to: Liam Brown of Sidestep Coaching & Sales Training.

48. It's Not About You, But Them!

To make marketing materials stand out, make them all about the customer and what the customer needs to know. Too many marketing materials are focused on the business and what the business can offer. The customers and target customers don't need to know about your business, but what you can do for them. So, put the customer first in all marketing materials, and then, almost incidentally, tell them about how your business can meet those needs.
Thanks to: Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing.

49. Avoid Self-Promotion

We have a large Facebook following and receive inquiries through our page every single day, but the majority of our posts are not self-promotional. We focus on sharing newsworthy local content to engage a local audience, as we find this is an effective way to reach a relevant audience. Plus, being overly self-promotional is definitely a turn-off, and could even harm your brand beyond repair.
Thanks to: Sam Williamson of RSS.

50. Be Generous To Your Customers!

To keep customers loyal, instead of a frequent buyer program, send your customers small "surprise" gifts. Customers come to expect rewards when they are members of a program. Surprises always work to instill loyalty and retention. Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking that promotional items are only for conferences and trade shows. Give promotional items out with a business card at a luncheon or meeting. People expect free stuff at conferences, not gifts. It will be a pleasant surprise.
Thanks to: Zondra Wilson of Blu Skin Care, LLC.

51. Go for an Unusual Design

Try an unusual color, shape, or design. A simple example is your business card. If you open your wallet right now, you’ll probably have a handful of 3.5” by 2” white business cards. Boring! Use metallic fonts, cut-outs, bright colors, unique graphics, a different paper type, or a personal photo to stand out.

The design should follow your brand guidelines, but be creative and think about how you can make some simple adjustments to make your pieces pop.
Thanks to: Rikki Ayers of Be Rad Media.

52. Be Targeted

Effective marketing is simple: keep your materials targeted.

Since different demographics use different search queries to discover a brand, it is worth the time to create specific campaigns to focus on each group.

On Adwords, instead of making a giant campaign with all of your brand’s relevant keywords, create separate campaigns with strict, relevant keywords to deliver the exact materials to those searching for one product or service you provide.
Thanks to: Leslie June of Bitcookie.

53. "The Next Great Idea"

"The next great idea" to sell more goods/services is asking for lots of reviews. Studies prove that 8/10 people consult reviews when making the decision to buy. There are 6 different kinds of reviews ("Love this", typical, technical, venting, funny, & short story). All appeal to different buyers.

Reviews are "gifts that keep on giving". They can be "reused" for years to come, in fliers, in social media posts, and in radio and TV ads, by writing or saying "see our x number of reviews on..."
Thanks to: Gisela Hausmann of Gisela Hausmann.

54. A Unique Selling Proposition

The best tip for creating effective marketing materials is not through ornate design and catchy content. It's through clearly and concisely defining your unique selling proposition. What makes you different? What sets you apart from the rest? Once this is clearly spelled out for your audience, you can then focus on the design layout, the corresponding content and any other elements that will accompany this important message.
Thanks to: Christina Giordano of Salient Fox.

55. WIIFM Rocks!

Always think of your prospect's favorite radio station- WIIFM (What's In It For Me?). If you can't convey this to the audience who receives marketing collateral, they aren't going to buy it. Explain the benefits they can expect. Benefits are intangible, but are the most valued by your market. If a prospective lead can read a postcard, listen to a podcast, or watch a video about how your business helped another business similar to theirs, it will answer that critical WIIFM question.
Thanks to: Victor Clarke of Clarke Inc.

56. Make It About Your Audience!

Social media is a great way to get the best “bang for your buck”. It has the ability to make a significant impact and has the broadest possibility for return with the least amount of initial investment.

We make our posts about our audience, not us. Be human. We aim to make it a community they want to be a part of and engage in. Ask and respond to questions. And literally, use the word “you” in your messaging.
Thanks to: Frederique Roy-Boulet of Limelight Platform.

57. Educate, Don't Sell

According to The Alternative Board's 2014 B2B sales survey, over half of B2B buyers agree that the information provided by their vendors is too sales-y. The way to win over customers is to create educational marketing materials, such as how to's and white papers. Become a thought leader and the customers will come to you. By answering your customers' questions and educating them, you create a powerful network of trust.
Thanks to: David Scarola of The Alternative Board.

58. Stand Out Marketing

I am co-founder of GreenPal, which has been described as Uber for lawn care.

Unexpected acts of kindness are the stand-out, most successful marketing tool we have ever used.

We send dog bones out to our homeowners with pets along with a Thank You card. Not only is this very cheap, but it lets our customers know that we are listening and that we care.
Thanks to: Gene Caballero of Your GreenPal.

59. Data Driven Information

Provide compelling information that is data driven. We used RankTracer Enterprise (http://www.rt500.com) to track the sales of leading influencers' books, and then shared comparison graphs, stats and analysis with them.

One author (who had sold the most) was so delighted with the results that he shared our materials with his millions of Twitter fans, leading to a huge, sustained surge in traffic and buzz for us.
Thanks to: David Mercer of SME Pals.

60. Real People Behind the Brand

People engage on content that stirs their emotions. When it comes to social media, the most popular among our postings were those featuring our dog Louky or funny moments at work. People want to see that there are real people behind the brand name with whom they can identify. So, from time to time, even B2B businesses and “boring” niches can let loose and communicate more like “behind the scenes” messages. Of course, that is something that should happen only every now and then.
Thanks to: Eirini Kafourou of Megaventory.

61. Personalization is Key

The traditional mass market approach is no longer effective. Consumers expect you to know what they want, when they want it, and how they want it to be delivered.
Thanks to: Elizabeth Venafro of True Exec.

62. Gold Foil and Quality Material

The whole point of marketing material is to stand out from the competition. One of the best methods is to utilize the design itself. Simple things like adding gold accent foil to business cards and print material can make a large difference in perception. Utilizing higher quality card stock so consumers *feel* a difference helps build the brand and shows commitment to quality. When it comes to combining this with online marketing, make the website designs modern, clean and avoiding skeuomorphism.
Thanks to: Ivan Ciraj of IVAN Real Estate.

63. Mood Boarding!

A picture is worth a thousand words and mood boards are a great tool to create that picture! Most campaigns center on a monthly holiday theme (Mother’s Day, Summer Fun, Back to School, etc.). I begin my mood board by focusing on the theme. A rough collage of colors, textures and pictures is all it takes to evoke a specific style or feeling. We make the theme obvious and aim to spark an emotional response. Using a simple digital mood board saves time and frustration on every marketing project.
Thanks to: Joyce Peters of Celebration Saunas.com.

64. Revive Snail Mail

Integrate snail mail into your customer retention marketing. It’s easy for both efficiency and budgetary reasons to rely exclusively on email communication with your existing customers. However, the customers of Promio clients who received a personalized letter or note card delivered 114% more revenue than customers who received only emails.
Thanks to: Mark Montini of Promio.

65. Co-Create to Maximize Time

While graphic designers can maximize their learned skills and knowledge of editing programs from Adobe, there are now a plethora of online tools to edit and create materials on the fly. There are many apps that do edit photos/videos as in a SnapChat or Instagram, yet we have options for more customizable creations. Canva for business and PicMonkey are created for on the go creating by everyday common users like you and I. No degree or experience is needed, but just some focused creativity.
Thanks to: Vickens Moscova of Moscova Enterprises, INC.

66. Distinction Through Design

Design, design, design. Many professionals hop on the "content is king" train, assuming that content only revolves around words, but almost all great marketing materials share a common trait: excellent design. If you don't have a natural eye for design, hire out! A campaign can be wasted if your target audience is immediately turned off from a terrible look and feel - hiring a designer is infinitely greater than wasting time and money promoting something that doesn't stand a chance.
Thanks to: Jessica Elle of Localturf.

67. Showcase Company Personality

Whether it’s marketing materials, social media, advertisements, or even brand design, the best way be incomparable is through showcasing your company’s personality and highlighting unique characteristics. Brand personality is important to promote, because people do business with people; those who can relate to a brand on a personal level are more likely to pursue that company. Be authentic, show your passion, and let people really get to you know you and your company culture.
Thanks to: Jennifer Matthews of Igniting Business.

68. What's In It For Me?

My top recommendation for creating effective marketing materials is to focus on answering the question “What’s in it for me?” (or WIFM) from the target audience’s perspective. Too many businesses get so focused on promoting the product/service that they forget to highlight why their audience should care in the first place. Are you going to help me save time/money? Will your product somehow make my life easier? Will I be entertained? WIFM?
Thanks to: Greg Melon of SOTAH.

69. 80:20 Rule for Maximum Value

We practice and advocate the 80:20 rule.

This is important for a lean business model. The 80:20 rule states that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your input. This allows for entrepreneurs to truly assess opportunities or tasks and decide if the resource or expense is worth it or not. Therefore, for all our marketing campaigns, I simply apply this rule to get the most 'bang for our buck' and have achieved great results from our digital marketing campaigns on a small budget.
Thanks to: Sam Malik of DrFelix Online Doctor & Pharmacy.

70. I'm Not Being Paid for This...

We have utilized many apps and software programs to create content over the years, but I'm absolutely obsessed with Canva.com right now. We have implemented an effective re-purposing strategy and Canva allows us to create artwork in the exact dimensions for the platform we're posting to, and then, with the click of a button, it resizes for the next desired platform. It saves a TON of time and the end result is always visually appealing and generates the engagement we're striving for.
Thanks to: Baehne Bobbi of Think Big Go Local, Inc.

71. Make Your Marketing STAND OUT!

Whenever crafting a message, it’s important to convey your message in as many ways possible. Creating a successful message is less about standing out from a crowd and more about resonating with the right audience. If you see an ad for a product you won’t use – it won’t matter how well the ad is made.
The more you know about your target audience, the better. From there, you can create a message that will connect with them. When it comes to advertising, people see thousands of ads daily.
Thanks to: Lisa Giosi of Active Web Group.

72. Help Visualize a State Change

Your users are currently in one state — we’ll call it “A” — and your product or service is designed to help them get to another, better state — we’ll call it “B”. Effective marketing materials explain to prospects why A is bad, and how your products or services will help them make the transition to B. They also convey information on how your prospect’s life will improve once they’ve made this transition — through evocative imagery, copy, and video.
Thanks to: Sam McIntire of Deskbright.

73. Curiosity Generates Interest!

To get results from your marketing, use this one critical tactic. In your messaging, mirror the pain your prospects have that you help to solve. This gets them curious & shows you specialize in their needs. To do this, you must have a crystal clear idea of who your target audience is. Don't start sentences with the words “I”, “We” or your company name. Answer the question, “What’s in it for them?" Prospects do not care about you, until they know you care about them.
Thanks to: Dacia Coffey of The Marketing Blender.

74. Translate Your Vision on Paper

Every brand has a story to tell and the first phase of constructing strong brand materials is getting your vision on paper. Sit down with your partners, investors, and target customers for a thorough discussion of your unique business proposition. Narrow that down to what you do best; keep only that which you deliver better than anyone else. Then, stick with it and be consistent! Once you have a vision, you can create messaging and visuals that are on point with your business strategy.
Thanks to: Tara Powers of Xavier Creative House.

75. Tips to Engage Customer’s Eyes

Marketing materials should be focused on identifying the problem and providing solutions. They should not be a menu of everything you can do. Incorporate infographics and pictures for visual learners. Add enough, but not too much, text for those who like to read. Include contact details like a phone number, website, email address and a call to action. What do you want them to do when they see this flier or post? If your marketing materials are not asking them to do something, why should they?
Thanks to: Malik Jaffer of The Mobilizer™.

76. B2B Digital Marketer's Top Tip

When it comes to creating effective marketing content, my number one tip is - make it interactive. This includes both online applications and printed media, which encourage the user's interaction and creativity.
Thanks to: Maxim Shomov of Fair Point.

77. Address Concerns Through Photo

Whether it's a flier, advertisement, or any other marketing material, our best tip is to provide content that addresses any concerns a potential client might have not to use our service. For example, we're a Mobile Salon & Barbershop. Everyone loves the convenience aspect, but they want to know, what does it look like? We address that by providing high quality images of the inside and outside of our airstream trailer. This gives us 55% client retention rate, double of the industry's average.
Thanks to: Kush Kapila of STERLINGS Mobile Salon & Barber Co..

78. Authentic: Tried & True

Regardless of the type of media, the one thing that is a Kingsgate must is keeping posts genuine and authentic.

With today's world being bogged down by constant media, we want to ensure our posts are honest, transparent, sincere and relevant. Keeping it authentic is #KeepingItKingsgate!
Thanks to: Hannah Tobin of Kingsgate Transportation.

79. Wise Impression

Having a great press section on your website shows the media that you are a serious professional. This online asset also increases their goodwill towards you, since you are making their lives easier. Alternatively, having a confused press section or worse, no press section at all, can make you appear insignificant.

If you need to fix your section or can benefit from examples, take a look at companies that you admire. Do their sites have great press sections? Of course they do.
Thanks to: Kelly Isley, Author of Adapt Now.

80. Referrals Resonates Best!

My existing customers are always my best resources for marketing. I find out how they first heard about us and what it was they heard. I ask them for referrals and encourage word of mouth referrals by offering incentives. I also discuss different marketing options with them to see if it is something that resonates with them. For example, I ask them their opinion on artwork or advertising copy. They really seem to enjoy being an important part of our growth and feeling like a member of the team.
Thanks to: Jim Keck of Kuma Health and Wellness.

81. STOP and START

STOP talking about yourself (how great you are) and START sharing how you can help them (your clients) by sharing your actual client experiences (social proof).
Thanks to: CEO Jean-Guy Francoeur of Black Card Books.

Do you have any tips for creating stand-out marketing materials? Please share your thoughts below. And as always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

And if you would like to become a part of the CarolRoth.com contributor network and find out about opportunities to contribute to future articles, sign up here: http://www.carolroth.com/carolroth-com-blog-contributor-sign-up/

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth
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