The brochure – once the main marketing force of many companies, has now become a bit of a dinosaur.

With more businesses than ever turning to online marketing, is the humble brochure about to be consigned to the annuls of history?

As more people turn to the internet to find goods and services (both locally and nationally), companies are investing heavily in search engine optimisation. And with 85% of all search traffic clicking on organic listings rather than the paid ads, it’s hardly surprising that’s where the money’s going.

But is it really too late for the humble brochure?

I don’t think so. It still has a valid place within your marketing armoury, and here’s why…

Leaving it behind

When you are out networking with people what is likely to have more impact? Leaving a small piece of card with your details on it (which looks remarkably similar to everyone else’s and just as likely to get lost within a pocket or bag), or handing over your lovingly crafted, benefits-packed brochure?

Your tangible website

Getting your website copy right is vital if you want your site to attract visitors and convert them into sales.

The general format is to grab their attention with a great headline, immediately sell the benefits of your product and then tell them what to do to make sure they don’t miss out on your amazing offer.

That is precisely the format your brochure should take too.

Once they’ve read it they should think “Wow! That’s just what I’ve been looking for. I’m going to give these guys a call.

The elements of a great brochure

If you want your brochure to really hit home, make sure it:

Looks great

You don’t have to go overboard with flashy graphics and ‘in your face’ colours. Some of the best brochures are the simplest. Make sure it fits with your brand and company image and that it’s eye-catching – something people will want to pick up and read.

Talk the talk

Whatever you do, don’t start your brochure with details about how long you’ve been in business etc. Your reader doesn’t care.

The only thing they want to hear is how you are going to help them – think benefits, think offer.

Now what do I do?

Once you’ve ‘sold’ the idea of your product or service to them, don’t forget to tell them what to do.

Your call to action is vital, especially as your brochure is designed to be taken away. You won’t be there to persuade them to get in touch, so your brochure content and call to action has to perform that little task for you.

Even though the world’s moving on don’t forget the traditional marketing ways. There is still a place for the brochure but it must be compelling, different and benefits-packed if it is to have any effect.