Brochures are a great way to reach targeted audiences, communicate information and persuade people to purchase your products and services. Unfortunately, however, most brochures just get glanced at and tossed out.
In an era of digital overload, your printed brochures need to stand out from the screens all around us in order to survive. They need to offer something special, something that people can't get anywhere else, something useful, tangible or beautiful. So how can you create a brochure that people will want to read and keep? Try these 10 tactics for creating brochures that "wow."
1. Think Beyond Templates
Nearly everyone has seen the brochure templates available through word-processing programs, and that's precisely the problem with them: You don't want your brochures to look like all the others. You want them to be unique, startling and eye-catching. Build them from the ground up, thinking about how to best represent your business and capture the imagination of your audience.
2. Picture Your Business
Your brochures need to include photos, and they need to be good photos of your actual business, products or services. Don't use stock images of businesspeople talking or someone writing on a piece of paper. Instead, invest in a good digital, single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, and start taking photos that represent what your company's all about. An added plus is that you can use your photos in social media and for other marketing platforms as well.
3. Break It Down
No one wants to read long paragraphs of grey text in a brochure. Think about using bulleted lists, sidebars, infographics and other text techniques to make the information you're presenting easily digestible and memorable.
4. Tie It All Together
Your brochures need to be an organic part of your entire marketing strategy, which means their style needs to instantly connect customers with your brand. You can make these connections through color schemes, logos, slogans and other design elements in order to create a consistent, recognizable message.
5. Proofread It
There's nothing worse than grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors in a brochure. In fact, just one error can cause you to lose customers. If you're not comfortable with the task, make sure to have a skilled professional proofread and edit your text.
6. One Size Doesn't Fit All
You most likely won't have just one brochure. Rather, it's best to have multiple brochures, targeted toward different audiences and used for different purposes. Brainstorm about who you want to reach, what you want to say and what kinds of brochures will work for these varying purposes.
7. Aim High
You'll spend a lot of time designing and writing your brochures, so you want to make sure they're printed on the best quality paper possible. They're not cheap to produce, so it can be tempting to just go with photocopied pages. Don't. Brochures are where you want to look good, which means you'll want to consult with a local printer and get advice about what you can do to produce an excellent, high-quality brochure.
8. Fold Creatively
Not all brochures need to be the typical tri-folds you see everywhere. In fact, accordion brochures and other creative fold styles are trendy and interesting. Think about the overall design of your brochure, including its photos and texts, and design the folds around your content.
9. Distribute Well
Yes, you can simply print your brochure then leave it on your business's front counter. Iif you want to get it into the hands of potential customers, however, you'll need to think about other methods of distribution. Consider leaving copies at your local chamber of commerce or tourism bureau, trading brochures with business partners, or distributing them at conferences, concerts or festivals.
10. Make Them Want to Keep It
If you want people to keep your brochure instead of tossing it, give them a reason. For instance, food-related businesses can include recipes. Tech firms can offer tips for troubleshooting computer problems. Consulting companies can include a short list, including descriptions, of inspirational books. Whatever your business, try to include something that will connect with your audience and make them want to save your brochure.
We live in a throw-away world, and marketing materials often end up quickly and unceremoniously dumped in the trash. To make sure your brochures avoid this fate, give them a little extra time and care. Your business is worth it.
Read more articles on marketing.
Photo: Getty Images