Balls – you spent a small fortune on your new brochure only to watch it wither and die.
No one read it. It didn’t generate a single lead. It did nothing.
You decide it was a waste of money and that brochures are obviously obsolete.
You just didn’t do a good job.
The truth hurts, and I don’t mean to be harsh, but it’s true.
Brochures are just as valid these days as they’ve always been. Their versatility means they can be handed out to conference delegates, at networking events, given as takeaways to customers or converted to PDF for online viewing.
The only reason no one read yours was that it was boring.
Why did no one read it?
Here are some of the main reasons why your brochure failed.
Re-using existing copy
A favourite of many companies is to get maximum value from their content. They pay for a professional copywriter to create their web copy and then reuse it in their brochure.
You are creating your brochure for a specific purpose, so it’s important the information it contains is relevant.
That means working out what you want to achieve and creating content that satisfies those goals.
A lot of businesses create brochures for specific products or services.
If that’s the case, don’t fill the pages with stuff about everything else you do.
Keep focused on the product and the benefits it brings your customers.
Going all literary
Web copy must be chatty, informal and exciting, so why have you just filled your brochure with mind-numbing corporate hyperbole?
Yes, a brochure is usually a physical publication, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a literary work of fiction.
The audience is the same, so your language must be simple and your style the same as your web copy. Remember, it should look as though it’s come from the same company.
Why use stock images that have no relevance to your business when you can get your graphics created and photos taken?
Personal imagery speaks volumes.
Talk to your reader
Don’t write your brochure in the third person.
It’s there to convince the person reading it to buy from you, make contact or book an appointment. Use the second person (i.e.’you’) to talk to them directly and tell them how buying from you will benefit them.
Show them what they need to know not what you want to talk about
It’s very tempting to use your brochure as a sounding block from which to tell the world how great your company is and how hard you’ve worked to get where you are today.
Your customers don’t care.
What they do care about is how you’re going to help them. Why their lives will be better as a result and how to get in touch. It’s as simple as that.
How many of those are you guilty of?
Brochures can be powerful tools if written correctly.
Writing for your own company can be tough, which is why it is a good idea to bring in an external copywriter with no knowledge of your company who can look at what you do from a customers’ perspective.
Author: Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd