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Is Printed Material Still Important?
What we couldn’t have possibly imagined just a decade ago has become a reality: everything has moved online. We shop online, we do our banking online, we play online, and we even socialize online. In addition, research shows that when making buying decisions, the first place people go to for researching their options is the Internet.
Which brings up the question, if everything takes place online these days, and especially if you’re an online business, should you still use printed marketing materials such as brochures as part of your marketing strategy?
Why printed marketing materials are still valuable
The short answer is yes. Marketing is never about just one medium. It’s always a mistake to focus on just one aspect of marketing and to neglect the others. A good marketing campaign utilizes many different mediums to generate many different leads, then nurtures them until they are ready to become customers.
So, while “online” is really hot these days, the physical world still exists, and there are enough potential customers who, after the initial online research, expect to see printed material. These people typically find it difficult to trust a business if it’s completely virtual. They need to know that you have a physical address, a phone number, and that they can see a brochure or other types of printed material before they commit to you.
If you ignore these consumers, you have just lost a segment of the population that could have been interested in your solution.
No doubt, when you plan your marketing budget, you need to pay special attention to online components, including your Web site, your blog and your social media accounts. Ideally, you want to have a great logo, and you want your logo to appear on all online venues.
To keep your brand highly unique and identifiable, you should also have the same logo appear on your business cards and on any printed marketing materials such as brochures and flyers.
How to create an effective brochure
Now that we’ve established the importance of brochures and of other printed marketing materials, here are a few handy tips for writing and designing an effective brochure:
- Make it visually appealing. Design is extremely important when it comes to brochures. If the design is boring or cluttered, people won’t bother to read your text. Look for a small business Graphic Designer who has a lot of experience and can show you samples of their previous work. Better yet, make sure they have positive testimonials on their site, or on a third party site.
- Focus on benefits rather than on features. Prospects don’t care about your product’s features. They want you to answer the question, “what’s in it for me?” and your brochure needs to be able to answer that question, or it will be tossed!
- Keep it short. Do you really need a 12-page brochure? Generally, short, catchy brochures with a large font and a clean design are better than long, tiresome, technical brochures.
- Make it personal. Write your brochure in a direct, conversational tone – as if you are talking with a person face to face. The more personal and direct your tone is, the easier it will be for prospects to connect with your message.
- Include a call for action. Every marketing material should include a call for action, and this is true for brochures as well. A call for action can be as simple as ending your brochure with the sentence “Need ____? Call today” and your phone number. The idea is to present the pain, your business as the solution, and to encourage the prospect to take immediate action by calling you.
Whether you have a physical location or fully operate online, your small business marketing strategy should include online marketing materials AND printed marketing materials. This combination will make sure you don’t neglect an important segment of your potential market.