A brochure is a tangible and credible sales and marketing tool.
Your customer can touch it, flip the pages, absorb the benefits of your product.
It is the face of your company to the world.
It supports online marketing efforts and has the credibility of the printed word.
Despite the internet boom, print still influences peoples thinking today, in the form of newspapers, magazines and books.
A brochure is an integrated part of your company’s communication strategy.
Professional brochure writing builds and expands on messages in ads, direct mailers, banners, flyers and billboards to build brands and corporate image.
Here are some points to remember when writing a brochure to make it powerful and effective.
1. What is the purpose of the brochure?
Brochures are written to sell. To sell an idea, a product, a service, a corporate image.
A company may have a number of different brochures for individual products in its product range.
However, each product brochure should also build a consistent image of the company that the product comes from. The company’s signature line, a paragraph about the company itself, the corporate logo all need to be given due weightage, even in a product brochure.
2. Who is the target audience?
Is the brochure a B2B or B2C communication?
You would need a different tone of voice while talking to shareholders than to
customers, retailers, employees, or business associates.
3. What is the key message?
Or, what are you saying?
A study of the competition and of the selling features of the product will help develop the key message.
What is the one thing that will encourage customers to buy your product instead of your competitor’s? Write it in an engaging, memorable way that will appeal to your key target audience.
4. Write from the reader’s point of view.
Answer questions he might have. Overcome objections. Find out his needs and show how the product fulfils them.
In a brochure about a car, you could write out a list of questions people ask while buying a car, and walk the buyer through the benefits of the product while answering those questions.
Depending on whether the reader is a prospective employee, shareholder, or business associate, your brochure can show how your company is a great place to work in, invest in, or deal with. You could also create different versions of the same brochure to appeal to different target audiences.
5. Write to grab attention and hold interest.
To do this effectively, you need to know your reader. If you’re writing to college students, it pays to talk to a few or observe them to find out how they talk, what they’re interested in, and then write in a language they are comfortable with.
For example, young people do a lot of texting and SMSing on cellphones and use abbreviations to do this faster. A cover line on a cellphone brochure using “cellphone texting lingo” like “urt1” which can mean “You are the one for me”, can communicate quickly to this target audience. Business jargon can do the same with businesspeople.
6. Tell. Sell. And tell again.
Tell your prospect about your product benefits, not features.
Translate features into benefits to sell the product. “An all-steel body” (feature) translates into “durability” (benefit). You can write about it as “a durable all-steel body”.
Highly technical features can be mentioned as features, and then explained as benefits, using terms such as “so that” or “which means that” followed by the benefit associated with the feature concerned.
Despite your best efforts to sell, however, people are forgetful. They need to be reminded about your product’s selling points, at different points and perhaps in different words, at different places in the brochure.
Use text boxes with a synopsis of the main points, for those who skip reading detailed content. They can get the gist of what you’re saying and if they’re interested, they will read further.
While writing the content of the brochure, it’s important to have an understanding of how the brochure is to be used, (whether at the beginning or at the end of the sales cycle, for instance) and where it will be distributed (language and regional issues, habits and practices may need to be taken into account).
These and other factors are part of the marketing and sales strategy, and brochure
content writing has to dovetail into the objectives of this strategy.
7. Personalise for greater impact.
Instead of writing to an amorphous crowd of “a target audience of 3,000”, speak to one person, one-on-one.
This could be a potential heavy user of your product, the one who will make up 80% of your target audience. You can study the habits and attitudes of this person and write with these issues in mind.
Let your brochure content follow a logical linear sequence to complete the sales cycle.
Like a salesman in a store, a professional brochure writer must create rapport, engage, persuade, convince and motivate the customer – move him along to a sale.
8. Create an environment that stimulates interest
Keep interest alive so the reader keeps flipping the pages rather than throwing your brochure in the trash. Intrigue or engage the reader.
Introduce an element of surprise, say with a little-known fact that grabs attention and relates to the product.
9. Use words that make pictures and pictures that sell.
One way to do this is by using words that arouse emotion. Or arouse curiosity. An example is: “Did you know that you can eat cheese and lose weight?”
Use word pictures to create atmosphere. Use photos to break up content and tell a story that’s relevant to the product.
Add captions to the photos. Research shows that captions are highly read and remembered, and add to the credibility of a photograph.
10. Support claims with verifiable facts.
Add credibility with third-party verification such as independent tests, customer testimonials, experts’ opinions, excerpts from research or write-ups in press.
11. Ask for action.
Ask the customer to do something to move him along to the final objective, the sale. Ask him to make an appointment, buy, fill a coupon, send a postcard, email, make a deposit, fill in contact details, schedule a convenient time for a representative to call on him, etc.
This response mechanism and contact tel no. and email ID should be repeated on every page.
Keep these points in mind when you create a brochure that becomes a powerful marketing tool.
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