The 14 marketing materials for small business

Reading time: 14 minutes

No brand can thrive without a solid marketing strategy. Marketing materials for small business are star players for your success. You need to know your audience, understand where your products or services fit in the market, position yourself well, and differentiate yourself from your competition. 

All that, however, is impossible without a few aces up your sleeve — marketing materials your business will use to bring the marketing strategy to life.

Businesses require marketing materials for:

  • Promotion — to showcase products or services.
  • Brand building — to establish and reinforce brand identity.
  • Engagement — to connect with customers and prospects.
  • Sales — to drive revenue and business growth.

But not all marketing materials for business are equally important and effective. Let’s look at some of the most crucial ones so you know where to start. 

4 essential marketing materials for business

In this section, we’ll talk about four must-have marketing materials that lay the groundwork for your brand. Without these, you can’t start creating digital and print marketing stuff, so let’s tackle these essentials first:

  • Logo
  • Brand book
  • Press kit
  • Press release

1. Logo

Picture your logo as the friendly face of your business, the one that shows up everywhere, from your website to your business cards and even on your stylish branded clothing. It’s one of the mightiest tools in your small business marketing arsenal! 

An example of a business logo

Logo — a crucial marketing material for business of any kind via VistaPrint

Now, here’s the scoop: not all logos are created equal. You can’t just whip up a run-of-the-mill, messy, or amateurish logo and expect it to work wonders. If you want your logo to truly represent your brand, boost brand recognition, and connect with your fabulous customers, you’ve got to go for a well-designed masterpiece.

Why is this so crucial to have this marketing material up your business sleeve? Having a solid logo is a vital step on the way to crafting an established brand identity. It’s the first impression folks get of your business, and it sets the stage for everything that follows. 

So, unless you moonlight as a designer (hey, we can’t all be creative geniuses, right?), that means investing in a pro custom logo design. For instance, you can turn to 99designs by Vista services for help. 

Alternatively, you can tap into the power of a Logomaker tool for some creative assistance. Even if the end result only leaves you somewhat satisfied, you’ll still have a solid foundation to build upon. This means you won’t have to grapple with the dreaded blank page dilemma.

Best for: Any small business aspiring to create a lasting brand

2. Brand book

We’ve already touched on the importance of brand identity and the role of logo in shaping it. Now, let’s talk about another thing that rules over all your marketing materials for business and ensures everything is on-brand. 

The brand book. Also known as the brand style guide

Here’s what it consists of…

  1. Logo usage. Guidelines for logo placement, size, spacing, and variations.
  2. Color palette. Approved colors and their usage, including primary, secondary, and accent colors.
  3. Typography. Specified fonts for headings, subheadings, and body text.
  4. Visual elements. Icons, graphics, and imagery guidelines.
  5. Brand voice. Tone, style, and messaging guidelines for consistent communication.
  6. Mission and values. A concise statement of the company’s mission and core values.
  7. Target audience. Description of the ideal customer profiles.
  8. Brand story. Narrative explaining the brand’s history, purpose, and vision.
  9. Design examples. Practical design applications for various materials.
  10. Usage rules. Rules for consistent brand representation across all mediums.
An example of a brand book

A brand book (style guide) will help you build a cohesive brand identity; an example of a brand book via VistaPrint

Once you have a well-developed brand book in place, you can use it to guide your business in projecting a professional, recognizable, and cohesive brand identity. It helps to streamline processes, enhance brand equity, and foster trust among your target audience

Best for: Any small business looking to ensure a cohesive brand identity

3. Press kit

A press kit is a vital marketing material for small businesses looking to establish their presence in the media and gain exposure. 

A press kit is essentially a packaged set of information and resources designed to make it easy for journalists, bloggers, and influencers to write about your business. Some of the crucial elements of a press kit include…

  • Company overview
  • Executive bios
  • High-resolution images
  • Videos
  • Product/service information
  • Customer testimonials
  • Past media coverage
  • Contact information
  • Brand assets
  • Press release

Tip

Make sure you regularly update your press kit so that it always contains relevant information about your business and makes the journalists’ work easier (that’s how you build relationships with media and get plenty of press coverage).

An example of a press kit folder

An example of a well-organized press kit folder via VistaPrint

Best for: Boosting your odds of securing media attention

4. Press release

Previously, we discussed the need for a well-written press release in your press kit pack. Now, let’s talk about it in a bit more detail. 

The first thing you need to know is that you aren’t limited to just one press release. You can have as many as you want (and need) to reflect on the most recent or significant developments about your business.

Just make sure all your press releases are concise, straight-to-the-point, adaptable, and newsworthy. That way, you can make your document alluring to journalists looking to cover your business and its developments online. 

Now that you’ve got the basics covered and are ready to dive deeper into building your collection of essential marketing materials for your small business, let’s explore five digital marketing materials and five print marketing materials that are absolutely crucial when launching a business.

Best for: Sharing your company news and latest developments with the target audience and media

5 digital marketing materials for business

In our increasingly digital world, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and position your business at the forefront of the digital landscape. Here’s the absolute minimum of digital marketing materials you’ll need when starting a business:

  • Business website
  • Social media profiles
  • Email signature
  • Blog
  • QR codes

1. Business website

Most people turn to the internet when they want to find out more about a business. So, a well-designed website is an absolute must. Not only does a website lend your business credibility, but it’s a great way to share information about your offerings, build trust with clients and customers and show them why you’re the one they want to do business with.

Like your logo, your website is a marketing material that’s going to get a lot of exposure—so it’s important to nail the design. Unless you have a background in web design, you should plan to use professional website design services to make sure your final site gets you the results you’re looking for.

While an effective website design will depend on your business and your customers, here are a few universal elements you should incorporate:

  1. Your branding. For your website to be an effective marketing tool, people need to be able to recognize that it’s a website for your business. Make sure to leverage your brand’s color palette and include your logo on each page.
  2. Contact information. Just like your business card, you’ll want to include your contact information (including your email, phone number and address) on your website.
  3. ‘About us’ section. Your website offers a great opportunity to tell potential customers who you are—and an “About us” section, which tells the story of your business, is a perfect way to do it.
  4. Product and service information. In addition to telling your customers who you are, your website should also tell customers what you do—which means including information about the products or services you offer. (Depending on your business model, this may include selling those products and services directly on your website.)
  5. Hours of operation. If you own a brick-and-mortar business, your customers need to know when you’re open. Include your hours of operation on your website in an easy-to-find spot.
  6. Social media handles. Include links to your social profiles on your website so customers can easily connect with you.

 

An example of a business website

Your website is the face of your business online; an example of a well-designed business website via VistaPrint

Best for: Every small business aiming to establish an online presence and get traffic from search engines

2. Social media profiles

In the previous section, we talked about the importance of placing all your social media handles on your business website. But the thing is… To be able to do that, you need to get a hold of your social media profiles first. 

Why is social media presence important for a small business? We’ll let the stats speak for themselves. According to Google’s internal data, nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers searching on TikTok and Instagram over Google Search and Maps. 

As studies indicate, it is projected that Gen Z will emerge as the most substantial consumer demographic, accounting for around 40% of the worldwide consumer population by the year 2025.

So… If you want your business to be in the spotlight, you need to cater to this demographic — set up business accounts on the most popular social media platforms.

Here are a few tips on how to choose the right social media for your business and align it with your brand…

  1. Start by identifying the social media platforms that align with your target audience and business goals. Focus on platforms where your potential customers are most active.
  2. Before setting up profiles, develop a clear social media strategy. Define your goals, target audience, content strategy, and posting schedule. This will provide direction and purpose for your social media presence.
  3. Use a high-quality version of your logo or a representative image as your profile picture.
  4. Complete all profile fields, including a compelling bio that succinctly describes your business, what you offer, and why users should follow you. Include keywords relevant to your industry.
  5. Select a username (handle) that is consistent with your brand and easy to remember. If possible, make it the same across all platforms for consistency. Customize your URL to match your business name if allowed.
  6. Establish guidelines for the type of content you’ll share, including visuals, tone of voice, and messaging. Ensure that it aligns with your brand’s identity and values.
  7. Create a content calendar outlining what you’ll post and when. Plan content that engages your audience, such as educational posts, promotions, behind-the-scenes content, and user-generated content.
  8. Outline how you’ll interact with your audience. Respond promptly to comments and messages, encourage user engagement, and consider running contests or surveys.
  9. Maintain a consistent posting schedule. Consistency builds trust with your audience and keeps your brand top-of-mind.
  10. Use social media analytics tools to track the performance of your posts and overall account growth. Adjust your strategy based on what works best for your audience.

To learn more about growing your business on social media, check out our collection of social media tips for small business

Instagram page of the brand X, via Instagram

Best for: Enhancing brand recognition, fostering online interaction, driving web traffic, and gaining access to paid social features

3. Email signature 

As your business scales up, you’ll come to realize that, despite the ever-increasing popularity of social media platforms, email remains an exceptionally effective marketing channel. So, it’s almost given that you’ll consider email marketing as one of the marketing strategies and will need high-quality marketing emails in your marketing materials arsenal. 

However, during the initial stages of your entrepreneurial journey, you need not concern yourself with email marketing best practices just yet. At this point, the only email-related marketing material you should focus on is creating a professional email signature.

An example of a business email signature

A professional email signature via VistaPrint

No matter the size of your company and the industry you operate in, it’s likely that you’ll use email a lot from the first day of your business’ life. You’ll reach out to media, leads, potential partners, suppliers, and others. To make sure your email looks professional, polished, and helps you to build brand awareness, you need to spice it up with a well-designed email signature. 

You can use it as a space to share your…

  • Contact information
  • Website URL
  • Logo or photo
  • Social media links
  • Promotional content

Best for: Raising brand awareness and brand recognition, distributing promotional content

4. Blog

Maintaining a blog is among the most cost-effective marketing materials for business, regardless of its size or industry. 

Blogs serve as a cornerstone of content marketing by bolstering your expertise and credibility while offering numerous opportunities for SEO improvement. 

Most website builders offer user-friendly blog page integration with just a few clicks, or you can craft one from the ground up.

VistaPrint Tip: To make your blog a traffic magnet, ensure it has a user-friendly design, looks clean and on-brand, easy to navigate, and offers high-quality, exclusive content. 

Best for: Enhancing SEO and launching content marketing initiatives

5. QR codes

QR codes are a versatile, cost-effective, and user-friendly marketing material that allows small businesses to seamlessly connect their physical marketing materials with digital content. They facilitate engagement, provide valuable insights, and contribute to an enhanced customer experience, making them a valuable asset in the marketing toolkit of small businesses.

Find more reasons why your business needs QR codes in our article. 

An example of using a QR code in business

A creative way to use a QR code to promote a business via VistaPrint

Indeed, QR codes serve as a bridge between the digital and physical realms. Typically found on stickers, branded merchandise, posters, flyers, or business cards, QR codes offer a direct connection to a business’s digital hub, which could include the website, blog, newsletter, or social media profiles, when scanned by potential customers.

These can’t exist in isolation from each other, so… Let’s move to the must-have print marketing materials for business. 

Best for: Connecting physical marketing materials with digital content

5 print marketing materials for business

In today’s digital age, print marketing remains highly effective. What’s even more interesting is that, amidst the digital rush, using print materials can set you apart from the competition and help you reach audiences that others might miss.

So, don’t miss out on an opportunity to give your business a headstart and consider print marketing materials for building your brand offline (and online — because who doesn’t snap a picture of a cool-looking flyer or poster they come across on the night stroll?). 

The most common (and the most effective) print marketing materials for small business include…

  • Business cards
  • Postcards and flyers
  • Posters
  • Brochures
  • Printed ads 

1. Printed business cards 

When it comes to your business card design, all you need is your logo, contact information, and the right business card dimensions. From there, you can design your card and start using it to make connections and get the word out about your business.

An example of a business card

A well-designed business card via VistaPrint

Business cards are an incredibly versatile small business marketing tool — you can use them to…

  1. Connect with clients and customers. The most traditional way to use business cards is also one of the most effective. When you meet a potential client or partner, give them a card to let them know about your business and how to get in touch with you.
  2. Build visibility in your community. Many small businesses rely on marketing in their local community—and business cards can be a great way to do that. You might post your business card on bulletin boards in local coffee shops or introduce yourself to other local business owners and ask to leave a stack of cards behind. The more business cards you get out into the community, the more visibility your business will have…and the more successful your marketing will be.
  3. Market on the fly. Opportunities to market your business can hit when you least expect—and keeping business cards on hand ensures you’re ready for anything. For example, you might meet an interested investor in line at the grocery store or a potential client while on vacation. If you’re prepared with a business card, you can take advantage of those chance encounters to market and grow your business on the fly.

Learn more about how to design a business card in our step-by-step guide. 

Best for: Connecting with target audience, building visibility in your community, marketing on the fly

2. Postcards and flyers

Postcards and flyers are some of the most versatile marketing materials for small business, especially for events or local marketing. 

They’re larger than a business card, so you can include more information about your business, along with interesting visuals or even a promotional offer. 

Just like business cards, postcards and flyers are highly portable. You can leave a stack of postcards with other local business owners to reach new customers, or you can try posting flyers on local message boards to boost brand visibility. You can also slip postcards and flyers into shopping bags and packaged orders to encourage return customers. Postcards also work extremely well for mail marketing. Because of their size and finish, they tend to stand out from other types of mail—making it easy to grab your customers’ attention.

Postcards and flyers come in a variety of styles, finishes, and paperweights, and what you’re marketing will determine how many you should plan to order. For example, you’ll want to order a large stack for more ‘evergreen’ postcards and flyers, while you won’t need as many for limited-time promotional offers.

A creative flyer used to promote a business offline via VistaPrint

Best for: Increasing brand awareness, promoting special offers

3. Posters

Business posters serve as effective tools for drawing attention to specific things, be it an upcoming event, daily specials, or the introduction of a new product or sale item. 

They offer versatility, whether you’re using a poster within your store to promote a new service to existing customers or employing public signage to attract new ones.

An example of a business poster

A well-designed business poster via VistaPrint

Learn more about the different types of signs a small business can add to its arsenal of marketing materials. 

Best for: Attracting attention of new customers, promoting content, events, or special offers 

4. Brochures

Sometimes, you need to share a lot of marketing information with your customers — but you need to deliver that information in a compact to-go format. That’s where brochures come in handy.

Brochures can help you market your business in a variety of ways. For example, you can use a brochure to tell the story of your business, similar to the “About Us” section on your website. You can use a brochure to share in-depth information about a particular product or service, to promote an upcoming event, or to pitch potential investors.

A well-designed business brochure via VistaPrint

Learn everything you need to know about making a brochure in our step-by-step guide.

Best for: Sharing more in-depth information about your company, product, or service

5. Printed ads

Print ads are vital for small businesses because they offer local targeting, credibility, and tangibility. They reach a niche audience effectively and can enhance brand recognition. In some markets, there is less competition in print advertising, allowing your business to stand out more easily.

Print publications often cater to specific demographics or interests, enabling precise targeting of potential customers. Additionally, print materials, such as brochures or direct mail, can have a longer lifespan than digital ads, creating lasting impressions. Combining print and digital advertising can create a comprehensive marketing strategy, reaching customers through multiple touchpoints.

Best for: Local targeting, increasing credibility, reaching niche audiences

The best thing? In the modern day and time, you don’t have to worry too much about printing your marketing materials for business. Simply design everything you need (either yourself, with the use of design templates, or with the help of professional designers), and order all your printed marketing materials on VistaPrint. Everything you need is just a click away, really!  

But that’s just the start… 

We hope we haven’t overwhelmed you with the list of marketing materials needed to start a business. As your business grows and you become adept at managing your operations, you’ll likely find yourself needing to incorporate additional marketing materials into your toolkit:

  • Google Business Profile
  • Catalogs
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers
  • E-books
  • Mobile apps, and more!

But don’t worry… Even though it is, indeed, a lot of work, you’ll always have a reliable partner on your side. Use VistaPrint for all things print — we’ll make sure your print marketing materials are top-notch every single time. 

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