5 Elements of an Effective Brochure

Spring conference season is in full swing, which means a flurry of promotion, planning, and traveling. Part of the pre-event rush includes developing marketing materials like case studies, fact sheets, and brochures. In addition to nifty swag and candy, marketing materials give attendees a reason to linger at your booth. They also give people something they can refer to later.

Company and product literature also helps sales and business development reps do what they do best. When done well, marketing collateral supports conversation and helps your product or brand stand out from all the others on the show floor. In the right hands, collateral also motivates recipients to take the next step: Book a demo. Schedule a meeting. Call with questions.

Those actions may not happen right away, but when you give your prospects high-quality collateral (whether physical or digital) they’re more likely to remember you when they’re ready to buy.

When you cobble together a brochure without much thought, chances are it will end up in the trash.

So how do you keep your marketing materials from clogging up the recycle bins?

Make sure they blend compelling, solutions-oriented copy with eye-catching design. What does that mean? Here, I break it down into five essentials. For the sake of focus, I’m talking about brochures—the workhorse of printed marketing materials.

1. Compelling Content

In product-focused industries like medtech and biotech, it’s easy to talk about features. You think about features 25 hours a day.

Instead, think about what your customers think about. They need specific complicated problems solved. They need an affordable, rapid test for patients with a specific genetic mutation. They need to save time in the OR and improve surgical recovery time. They need one partner to develop their prototype on a tight timeline. They need more hours in the day.

You get the idea. Lead with benefits and solved problems. Use the word “you” at least twice as often as “I” or “we.”

A messaging strategy outlines all the above and then some, making the copy for your brochure more effective. If you don’t have one for your company or your product(s), start there.

Brochure copy flows naturally from your messaging strategy. The basic structure for that copy includes:

  • A strong tagline for the cover page
  • A strong headline and brief overview on the first page
  • Brief product/service explanations, broken up with subheadings or bullets for easy reading, in the middle sections
  • A brief “why us” section in the final section
  • A strong closing tagline on the final page
  • A clear, specific call to action (CTA)

To make it easy for prospects to take that next step, include a QR code and short URL on your printed materials. On digital versions, make it a clickable link.

2. Eye-Catching Color

The color scheme of your brochure must align with your website and all your other content. Your logo, color scheme, and messaging are the three primary elements of your brand identity.

If you’re part of an emerging start-up that hasn’t worked on branding yet, consider a color palette that aligns with your company’s voice, tone, and overall image. For example, if your company’s wording sounds more authoritative and formal, you may not want neon green and orange as your primary colors.

3. High-Quality Images

Include high-quality product photos and images. That’s a given. Go easy on the screen shots but do include images that show what sets you apart. For example, an MRI machine brochure may include a couple scans side by side with an unnamed competitor so potential buyers can get an idea of clarity.

4. Professional Design

Brochure layout must guide the reader from page to page, whether they’re holding a printed product or viewing a pdf. Use design elements to emphasize important points. A few ways to highlight include:

  • Bold headlines
  • An easy-to-read chart or graph
  • Data infographics
  • Checklists

Can you design a brochure yourself? Possibly. Tools like Canva have templates that make it easy to DIY. I don’t recommend it. Brochures are extensions of your brand. Do you want to appear sloppy or professional? Hire an experienced designer if you want the latter.   

OWB’s branding and graphic design partners all have 15-plus years of experience and produce consistently exceptional work. Even if you find someone else to write the copy, I will gladly refer you for the sake of good design.

5. The Nuts and Bolts

Don’t forget the fine print! This information is required for legal and compliance reasons:

  • Photo/image credits
  • References that correspond with any cited information
  • Copyright and trademark information
  • Any necessary disclaimers or disclosure statements
  • Company name, address, and/or other contact information (not always required, but a good best practice)

There you have it! To make sure your brochures don’t end up in the circular file, incorporate the 5 elements above. By doing so, you’ll improve sales enablement by giving your reps quality materials to enhance their conversations.

Are your existing materials underperforming? Sign up for a collateral assessment. For a fraction of the price of developing a brochure from scratch, you’ll get a report filled with tips you can use to keep your leave-behinds from getting left behind. I Want Better Tools

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