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Marketing Materials for Small Businesses (Print and Digital) - Ep. 42

Updated: Apr 13


Marketing Materials for Small Business Blog Cover Image

Today, I want to talk about effective marketing materials for small businesses, things that you need for print and digital. There's a lot of ways you can go about this and I want to simplify it so you feel like you have a handle on your marketing because marketing is how you are going to land those clients and sell your products. You have to implement marketing into your business so if you're ready to scale, land more clients, sell more products, you're in the right place. Let's dive in.


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Ideas for Printed Marketing Materials Let's start off with print. Print is anything tactile. I don't think print is going to be replaced anytime soon. This is stuff like your business cards, brochures, posters, banners, even a storefront sign.


1. Before You Create Marketing Materials Make Sure You Have A Logo and Branding in Place

So the first idea for print marketing materials is to have a logo and branding in place. Your logo is the friendly face of your business because that shows up everywhere on your website, your business card, your invoices.


You don't need to go super crazy with your logo, especially if you're just starting off. Start off with a logo template. You can always upgrade from there. Once you're ready to level up, you can check out my logos at Zsquaredstudio.com/logos. And if you like my style, I would be happy to work with you and answer any questions you may have.


Then you want branding in place because you want all of your printed or digital marketing materials to be cohesive. Branding is using the same fonts, color palette, and brand vibe. If you're looking for a way to quickly update your brand. I have a premade brand style guide for $17, which you can use. Choose a template that you like, and you can edit the fonts, colors, photo styles and make it your own. That's a great way to elevate your look without a high price tag. I also have a DIY brand yourself course, there's a waitlist right now, which you can join at zsquaredstudio.com/DIYbrand. Or you could also listen to a free 30-minute class at zsquaredstudio.com/free-how-to-brand-video. I'm going to give you the same advice about branding. If you're just starting out, there is no need to invest a lot. You just need to start somewhere and those cheap and free resources are perfect. Again, until you really know who you're serving, you niche down on your services and you know how you want to move forward in your business, these resources are a perfect place to start branding because you want to be more established in your business before investing a lot of money in custom brand design.


2. Business Cards

Business cards are your handshake in paper form and a well-designed simple business card is going to be the first impression and physical reminder of your business. This is going to come in handy when you are attending networking events.


On your business card make sure that you have who you are, what you do, your phone number, your email, pop your logo on there. On mine, I put graphic designer and I also have a tiny blurb that says logos, branding, and websites. Super simple, super clean. I've seen people put QR codes on there too. As long as people have some way to contact you, perfect. Don't over clutter it, keep it simple, clean and stick to the simple three and a half by two-inch business card.


3. A Store Front Sign If You Have A Physical Store

If you have a physical store you need to print some kind of signage. So, whether that's getting a simple sign that you can put on the front of your store, or maybe it's a neon sign. I live in Juneau, Alaska, and it gets really dark in the winter. I've seen some people have signs with backlight behind it, so you can see the business name, even in the dead of winter. I always thought that was a great investment so people can see your sign year round. Also having that sign is marketing for you, people will see that sign, read it and say, oh, okay, I didn't know we had one of those. For a design tip make sure it's really simple and don't over-design it. Have your business name and a small blurb of what you are. Ex: Z Squared Studio - Websites, Logos and Branding. Super simple people are going to read these when driving by in their cars and they don't have much time to read a cluttered sign.


4. Rack Cards - If You Are in the Tourism Business

If you're not sure what a rack card is, it's those four by nine pieces of paper that quickly tell you the business logo, who the business is, what kind of services they offer, and some pictures. It's a really quick glance into what your business can provide for the people coming into town. It's all about getting in front of people so that they know you exist. That's the point of print, it's great for having that connection offline.


5. Printed Direct Mail Mailers - If Youre an Established Business

If you're a more established business and you have a physical mailing list, then any kind of printed mailer, like a postcard. I do a lot of work for Juneau Jazz and Classics and for every music festival, they send a postcard to their mailing list. That's going to drive sales to the people who are genuinely interested in Juneau Jazz and Classics. They're going to go to their mailbox ,see the lineup for the music festival, scan the QR code or go to the website and buy tickets from there.


6. Printed Posters

Make sure it's a simple eight and a half by 11 poster. Have an image on there, your logo, and what you're all about. Don't stuff it with too much information.



7. Custom Packaging If You're Selling Products

Create really nice custom packaging because it's going to enhance the customer experience. Branded packaging turns your product into a complete package and it reinforces your brand identity.


It also makes the unboxing an event, like when you unbox an Apple laptop, it's an experience. Everything's wrapped nicely, it's not just cardboard, it's that really nice white thick custom box. There's no bubble wrap in there. It's all part of the experience so custom packaging is definitely the way to go.

Design Tips for Printed Marketing Materials

If you're going to have a QR code also provide the website of the QR code next to it or underneath it. Sometimes people don't know how to use a QR code or maybe the QR code is not working and you didn't check it before you went to print and now it's useless and people don't know how to get to your website. So definitely include both the QR code and website address as well.



Digital Marketing Material Ideas:


1. A Website

Your website is your digital storefront. It's not just about looks, it's about functionality. Your website is a tool to help people know who you are, your services, your prices and how to contact you. It sells for you 24/7 and it's all about you. If you're only using social media, you're competing against thousands of other business owners and you're leaving a lot of money on the table. Your website may be expensive upfront, but you're going to make that money back.



2. Social Media Graphics

Social media content, whether that's Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, is going to funnel people to your website so you can sell to them on your own turf. You can use Canva to create free graphics. As long as your brand vibe is consistent throughout the graphics, you're using the same fonts, the same color scheme, the same vibes in your photo, then having those social media graphics are going to work well. Create a template so that you're not starting from scratch every single time.



3. Digital Ads - Think Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google etc

If you're ready to invest, make sure that you are creating those ads to be on brand. Take the time to think about your look and who your audience is. That way your ads are attracting the right people.

Conclusion

No business can thrive without a solid marketing strategy. So having these marketing materials are really going to play a key role in your success. You're going to use these materials to promote, showcase products or services, to build your brand awareness so that you can establish and reinforce that brand identity for engagement, to connect with customers and prospects, and then sales to drive revenue and business growth.


So that we can kind of put everything together and you can see how it works: For a promotion, that's going to be ads, rack cards, postcards. You're promoting your services or your products.


Brand building, that's going to be stuff like signage for your store. Engagement is going to be all of your social media graphics. Sales is going to be your website. That's where you're going to funnel everyone to. Recap


 For printed marketing materials.

  1. Before You Create Marketing Materials Make Sure You Have A Logo and Branding in Place

  2. Business Cards

  3. A Store Front Sign If You Have A Physical Store

  4. Rack Cards - If You Are in the Tourism Business

  5. Printed Direct Mail Mailers - If Youre an Established Business

  6. Printed Posters

  7. Custom Packaging If You're Selling Products


For the digital marketing materials.

  1. A Website

  2. Social Media Graphics

  3. Digital Ads - Think Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google etc


Hopefully these printed and digital ideas help you move your business forward. Marketing is all about getting in front of people and not just people, but the right people. So really think about your business and how people are finding you. Or even if that storefront sign, which sounds really mediocre, is going to bring in a lot of business because people are aware that you exist. Really think about where your customers live and then market to them. Thanks for reading and happy designing!




 

Brand Need a facelift? Check Out These Resources


Z Squared Studio is a Brand and Web Design Studio based in Juneau, Alaska. Check out www.zsquaredstudio.com for custom brand design, Alaska logo design, or web design.


Or sign up for our DIY Brand yourself Mini-Course if you're ready for a stand out, scroll stopping brand without hiring a designer.






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