With so much emphasis on digital and social media marketing for small businesses, it’s easy to believe that printed marketing brochures have had their day. In fact, marketing brochures can still be a powerful tool to interact with your customers and generate sales, whether you choose to create a printed version and/or an electronic version. They just need the right approach.
Marketing brochures have many benefits – you have control over the content, and each brochure will focus solely on your business or products rather than competing – as press ads and marketing emails do – to get noticed among the noise of other content.
You can also create marketing brochures in virtually any shape or size (print costs permitting) and for a range of purposes, whether a front-of-house brochure at reception or to market a specific event.
Broadly speaking, printed marketing brochures are still very much part of the buying decision for high risk or high value products, such as cars or furniture. People like to have something tangible to browse and compare against other products alongside their online research.
Most marketers agree that, if a potential customer picks up a printed brochure, they can be classified as an ‘engaged’ or ‘warm’ lead, someone who is actively seeking to buy what you offer.
Of course, you do need to consider the costs of printing a marketing brochure, although this may be more affordable than you realise due to modern printing techniques. If you’re worried about the environmental impact of printing on paper, you might want to explore sustainable paper options to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. However, if you decide that printing is not the way forward for your business, you always have the option of creating a virtual marketing brochure that customers can browse online.
Whatever route you take, it’s crucial to create a strong marketing brochure that provides a clear return on your investment. To help you get started, we’ve put together our list of 10 secrets of a successful marketing brochure:
- Know your audience
As with any marketing activity, it is essential to identify the target audience for your marketing brochure before you create it. Who will read the brochure? What will they want from it? How do they spend their time? What matters to them? What problems can your products or services solve?
The more you understand about who your brochure will be talking to – and why – the easier it will be to write the content to appeal to your target audience.
- Know what you want the brochure to achieve
A surprising number of small businesses create a marketing brochure, less out of necessity or strategy but because they think it’s something they should do. But this can lead to the creation of a brochure that lacks focus and therefore fails to engage the reader.
What is it that you want your brochure to achieve?
Do you want …
- to raise awareness about your brand?
- to advertise a specific product range or service?
- to drive traffic to your website?
- people to pick up the phone and make an appointment?
Your goals for the brochure will shape its design, format and content.
- Identify how you will use the brochure
Once you know who a brochure is for and what you want it to achieve, you should also identify how you will use it. Will it be on a stand in your reception or sent out to targeted customers on your mailing list? Will you be handing it out at a business/trade fair or in response to enquiries?
If, for example, you plan to post the brochure out to your mailing list, you will need to consider the postage and distribution costs, which may mean you opt for a smaller, lighter brochure than one that would be printed to be collected in person.
You may need fewer copies for brochures available in reception or for a time-specific trade fair.
- Prioritise design and copy
Like the chicken and the egg, there’s often a dilemma about what should come first when creating a marketing brochure – the copy or the design? Ideally, it’s best to come up with an initial concept for the brochure based on the points we’ve outlined above and then encourage the design and copy to evolve in collaboration.
Too often, we see brochures where the copy is being crow-barred into the design or vice versa. Really, the look and content should be created to a shared brief.
- Keep an eye on your competition and industry
Marketing brochures don’t come about in a vacuum; although you will want yours to be distinct, it’s also helpful to know what your competitors are doing and whether specific trends are sweeping your industry. This way, you can produce a marketing brochure that shows your finger is on the pulse of what your customers want and that you can stand out from the crowd.
- KISS – Keep it short and simple!
In our experience, the most powerful marketing brochures are those that keep the content short, simple and engaging. If possible, you should also make the content easy to skim read and understand at a glance using strong headings, bullet points, clear fonts, and a design that reflects your branding.
- Choose your images carefully
Images can make or break a marketing brochure. And yet, this is one area where people often decide to cut costs, opting to use the images they already have instead images unique to the brochure.
Our recommendation is that you choose images for your brochure that are relevant to your audience. If possible, show how your products or services will meet their needs. Use images that are aspirational, so that the reader begins to imagine what their life will look like if they buy from you.
- Use headlines and graphics that your audience cares about
As with the images you choose, your marketing brochure should also feature words and graphics that speak to your target audience and the things they care about. The idea is to show the benefits of buying from you, rather than the dry features of your products or services.
A good technique is to look at every feature on every page of your marketing brochure and ask the question, “So what?” or “Why does that matter?” If an element doesn’t tie into the over-arching purpose of the brochure, it probably needs to go.
- Have a clear call to action
One of the most important features of any successful piece of marketing is a clear call to action. Identify what you want the reader to do next and tell them how to do it.
- Make it easy to respond/contact you
Whatever the goal of your marketing brochure, it’s wise to give the reader a mechanism for responding or contacting you, or at least following through on the call to action. For example, if you want your audience to pick up the phone and make an appointment, make sure you give them the appropriate phone number or email address. If you want them to go to your website, make sure the correct URL is prominent in the brochure.
Want to find out more about creating virtual or printed marketing brochure for your business, products or services? Give us a call at Grafixbiz on 01733 308198 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a conversation.