Given the dominance of eCommerce and digital marketing in practically every product and service category today, conventional wisdom would suggest that print marketing is dead. However, as we frequently say, conventional wisdom is not always wise.
I recently read a white paper that included several contrarian and a thought-provoking ideas from Peter Weinberg, the Head of Development at LinkedIn’s B2B Institute. He postulates that a company that bases its marketing strategy on consensus opinion, such as “print is dead,” is destined to fail. If you do exactly what your competitors are doing (i.e., moving exclusively to digital marketing), then by definition, you lose your competitive advantage.
At TopRight, we believe that print brochures are critical marketing assets for many businesses. And when properly executed, a brochure enables your brand to breakthrough the digital clutter, stand out from the competition and more efficiently reach your target audience. It not only provides information about your “why, what and how”, but also affords you another way to increase brand awareness and recall. And thanks to advances in technology in recent years, designing and developing high impact print materials is easier than ever through brochure templates.
If you take advantage of these print design resources and consider the following tips, you should be able to create an impressive and engaging brochure easily:
Include Visuals, Always
It may sound like a cliché, but it’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of just using text in your brochure, it’s best to include graphics or images so people will have a better idea of what you’re trying to convey. Including visuals can help enhance your brochure’s message and make it more engaging for the reader at the same time. By the same token, use familiar fonts that are easy on the eyes. You may love the look of Comic Sans font but your audience will probably think they’ve just picked up a comic book. If you need digital brochure templates with professional fonts and compelling graphics to jump start the process, Venngage is a good place to start and one of our favorites.
The key here is to to tell your brand story with specificity – you don’t confuse people about what your business can offer. People who read brochures will be more interested in the services or products that you have to offer if you give them a reason to care, a reason to read further and a reason to engage with your content. So, be specific and get to the punchline quickly, or they may move on to a competing offer.
Keep It Simple
People who read brochures will only be interested about the kind of product or service offered by your business, so it’s important that you use easy-to-understand information. You don’t want to make them feel like they need to hire a technical translator and go do extra research just to understand your content. Keep it simple, but don’t be too vague about the information you offer. Keep in mind that using complicated terms and jargon will only confuse people, so it’s best to choose easy-to-understand words instead of terms which nobody will understand.
Headline Your Six-Second Story
Headlines are important because it will likely be the first thing that your audience reads so you want to make a good impression and entice them to read on. This is a great place to feature your six-second story – the short version of your brand story that is not only catchy but also gives people a reason to care and entices them to learn more. You can get creative with headlines for your brochure, but just remember that studies suggest that you only have 6 seconds to get your point across and give someone a reason to want to learn more about you. Most of the time, people who read brochures are only interested in what your business can do for them, so it’s best to create eye-catching headlines that will attract their attention and give them a reason to ask for more details.
Feature Customer Testimonials
People love reading positive feedback and testimonials because it gives them increased confidence that you can actually deliver what you promise . Including one or two authentic testimonials from real customers will create a positive first impression, help build trust and establish a foundation for your brand reputation. Again, be very specific about the results that your product or service delivers so that you can help a prospect overcome their fear of buyer’s remorse. Instead of creating vague statements, include testimonials from satisfied customers to give readers confidence that your business can really provide what they’re looking for.
Highlight Your Contact Details
This is important because it lets people know how to reach you whenever they have questions about the product or service that you offer. If you make this too complicated, it might frustrate them and cause them to lose interest in your business. Much like a letterhead template, make sure your contact details are correct and concise. You don’t want to make it complicated for them because this might frustrate them and cause them to lose interest in your business.
Avoid Using Jargon or Specialized Lingo
Using words that people won’t easily understand will only confuse them and distract them from engaging with your content. If you think that using industry jargon or technical terms will make you sound smarter, differentiate you or make you seem more professional, then you’re making a big mistake because it’s only going to frustrate the reader. Be very specific about the information that you offer in your brochure so people who read it won’t give up trying to understand and disengage from your story. Although you think technical terms add a certain level of credential or increased professionalism to your brochure, that type of lingo is more likely to overwhelm the reader because he or she won’t understand what you’re saying.
Keep it Brief
Most people will just skim through your brochure, so it’s important that you get right to the point and don’t add a lot of fluff. Don’t waste time explaining things that aren’t necessary and focus only on giving information about the product or service you offer. Remember that a print piece is usually just one tactic along the Customer BuyWay. It is highly unlikely that a prospect will jump right to purchase after reading your brochure. You need to meet the customer where they are in their process and recognize that a well executed brochure is usually a way to open a door to a much deeper selling conversation. Which in turn, may lead to a negotiation and a purchase decision. Like many things in the discipline of marketing, there is beauty in brevity.
So is print marketing dead? Far from it. The future of print remains bright as long as there is a need to communicate and find novel ways of doing so. Whether it morphs into 3D, VR-related, or AR-related, print has an enduring power that will always give it a firm foothold in the global communications marketplace. A brochure can be a great way to show off your business. It can be placed in stores, handed out at events, and used to promote periodic price discounts or new product launches. However, creating the perfect brochure may seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. Hopefully, these tips to make a high impact brochure and the design template links will be helpful!
If you’d like to go deeper on print and other direct marketing strategies to win more clients and retain more of the ones you have, subscribe to the TopRight blog! Or connect with me on Twitter and on LinkedIn. You can learn more about how to bring simplicity, clarity, and alignment to your brand’s story, strategy, and systems in our best-selling book: Marketing, Interrupted.