Is Brochure Copywriting Still Relevant?
Now that we’re firmly ensconced in the digital age, printed marketing material is sometimes categorised as having reached its used-by date. While it is true that ‘traditional’ forms of advertising like brochures are far less prevalent than before, they’re a long way from becoming obsolete.
In fact, for many industries, having a brochure with great copy is still regarded as being an essential part of any sales strategy. The role a brochure can play as a lead generator can be just as important as your online content.
This is especially so for business owners who have a lot of face-to-face interaction – at meetings, in a showroom, or at expos or trade shows.
Imagine walking into a car dealership. You’re definite about getting a new car, but you haven’t made up your mind yet about which make or model. You’re well aware that after your house, your car is the most expensive purchase you’re ever going to make, so you want to ensure you make the right choice.
After spending some time with the salesman who looks like his smile is permanently glued to his face, you still haven’t decided and want some more time to think it over. You want to take some information away with you and ask for a brochure.
How would you feel if the salesman’s reply was, ‘Look, I’m terribly sorry but I can’t give you one. Our marketing department has decided to discontinue printing brochures because they’re too old-fashioned and ineffective.’
What impression would you have about that car dealership? Would you be likely to buy a car from them?
So, yes, brochure copywriting IS still relevant.
Relevance can only be maintained if you avoid mistakes – mistakes that’ll have a seriously negative impact on your ability to convert prospects into clients. Here are some important guidelines that’ll help you to avoid two common mistakes when creating a brochure.
Guidelines for Brochure Copywriting
Common Mistake 1: The purpose of a brochure is to disseminate information
This statement is only partially true. Merely providing information isn’t enough. You also need to be persuasive.
Some copywriters focus so much on providing high-quality informative content, they forget to be persuasive. How do we know this is true?
Have you ever been to an expo, trade show or some other business event and had a look around after everyone has gone home? There are usually hundreds if not thousands of brochures on the floor, on the counter tops, discarded by attendees without a moment’s thought.
Quite simply, they did not appeal because they weren’t persuasive. To be provide copy that is both informative and persuasive, brochures should:
Highlight benefits as well as features.
If the reader doesn’t understand how the product will benefit them, ie WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), they won’t be interested.
Avoid technical jargon
Using words that the reader won’t understand is a big turn-off. Use a chart or a graph instead.
Include case studies or testimonials that demonstrate how great your product or service is. Readers want to see that you have a good track record.
Common Mistake 2: Space is not used effectively
It’s important to carefully consider how space is used. Content shouldn’t be too sparse, but it also shouldn’t be crowded. Either of these extremes will lead to a layout that is ineffective.
The cover is the ‘prime real estate’ of the brochure, yet many that you see are bland because they don’t have enough content. A lot of copywriters only put the name of the company or product, a logo and maybe a couple of pictures on the cover, which is a big waste of space.
It’s important to come up with a reason for the prospective buyer to turn the cover page and read the rest of the information you’ve provided. Adding a compelling headline or tagline and a short testimonial can engage the reader, encouraging them to want to learn more.
Get to the point
The inside pages of the brochure often have too much content. Huge blocks of uninterrupted text is visually intimidating and is an immediate turn-off.
It’s important to be succinct. There are thousands of things that you could say. You need to distill that down into what you need to say. Your message must be sharply focused. Get to the point.
If you’d like to read more about the art of copywriting, look out for more blogs in this series. Or if you’d like to share your thoughts, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.