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Build a Better Brochure

People often ask too much of the lowly brochure. Some think that just having a “good brochure” will fix a myriad of marketing problems. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Too many brochures are asked to do too much for too many. However, with a little bit of planning, creating a brochure can enhance your company image. Here are a few tips for a successful brochure project.

1 Set Goals. Before you start work on your brochure, figure out what you want it to do. For example, a brochure that is simply a company overview will have different goals than a product sales brochure. Also consider your audience. If the reader is a computer programmer who is buying software, your text and approach will be different than if your reader is a 19- year old college student who is purchasing make up. How does your intended audience make decisions? Do they need to see a lot of pictures and read a lot of facts? Or is an emotional appeal the best way to reach them?

2 Set the Specs. After you have thought about what you’d like to do, it’s time to ponder reality. What is your budget for this project? Obviously, it’s going to cost a lot more to print a 16-page 4-color glossy magalog than it will to print a 2-color Z-fold brochure. Get an idea of your printing costs before you start writing or laying out a design.

3 Consider Your Words. An oft-overlooked point of brochures is that people are supposed to read them. Don’t get so caught up in the design that you forget the message. Use headlines and keep them short and to the point. Focus on words that will resonate with your target audience. People are bombarded with marketing messages so keep your overall message simple and your paragraphs short. Break up long sections of text with bullets, lists, testimonial boxes or pull quotes.

4 Stress the Benefits. Although it might be tempting to include every feature of your product or service, resist that urge. Again, simple is better. Remember that while examining your brochure, readers are silently wondering “what’s in it for me?” Explain how you can solve your readers’ problems. You might even entice them with a few coupons or discounts too.

5 Focus on the Visuals. Use graphics to further hone in on your message. Large photos are a great way to get attention and can add emotional impact to your message. The old saying a “picture is worth 1,000 words” is true when it comes to brochures so stay away from cheesy clip art or poor quality photos.

6 Finish It Right. When it’s all said and done, take the time to proofread your creation. Typos can ruin your credibility. Have as many people scrutinize the brochure for errors as you can.

Done right, a brochure can be an important part of your marketing arsenal. With a little upfront planning, you can create a brochure that enhances your company image and maybe even increases your profits!

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