The extraordinary messaging power of the humble brochure
Image licensed by Unsplash. Collage created in Canva.
So, you’re thinking about a brochure campaign but you’re wondering, do brochures still work? We can give you a good answer to that question! As one of the leading international custom printing services, we have the facts at our fingertips.
We print a lot of brochures for businesses and nonprofits of all kinds. If you start looking, you’ll see that brochures are everywhere — in stores, public and private offices, business premises, foyers, hospitality and conference centers, churches, educational institutions, and more. At first it might seem surprising. After all, in the digital age, you may wonder why so many organizations still rely on printed brochures to get their messages out to the world.
But there are good reasons why both enterprise, business, and nonprofits alike all use printed brochures. But are they right for your business or organization? Let’s explore the possibilities of the printed brochure to help you decide.
Do brochures still work?
Brochures are still so popular because they still work. Why? Because they’re cheap to produce, easy to distribute, have a long lifespan, can be colorful and attractive, extremely portable, and look good on display.
If you need to advertise your business or service in an attractive format, communicate your core messaging clearly and succinctly, and provide contact details, all in one simple format that prospects can pick up and keep, then a printed brochure may be the solution.
You can use printed brochures to communicate anything you need to convey to your target audience. And if you add a QR code to your brochures, it’s easy to drive traffic to your website, online store, or blog. You can use brochures to:
- promote your business brand
- advertise special offers and product discounts
- give advice and information
- promote a program of events
- generate inquiries and subscriptions
Brochures are great for targeting specific demographic segments by displaying them in places where those people go. And a useful brochure will often get passed on from one person to another, extending your outreach even further.
Why are brochures an effective marketing tool?
Brochures are an effective marketing tool for several reasons. They’re often colorful and attractive, so they’re eye-catching and appealing to potential customers and clients. Compared with buying advertising space in a magazine or competing online for pay-per-click promotions, they’re relatively cheap to produce. As with printed catalogs, people seem to enjoy picking up brochures, taking them home, or sitting in a cafe, or back in the car, and browsing through them. And unlike other forms of marketing, they tend to travel, so they get seen by many more people over their lifetime.
What are the advantages of using a brochure to promote products and services?
Brochures can be a single page foldout leaflet, a short booklet, or something closer to a catalog in design. But simple or complex, they share certain advantages. Here are several of the most important for you to consider:
- Perfect for strategic distribution in locations frequented by your target audience
- Cheap to produce and low-cost to ship
- Great for communicating your marketing messages, building your brand, and establishing consumer trust
- Combining visual elements with text and contact details allows you to give a lot of information in a small, easy to digest format
- Customers love them and they’re super portable and so tend to travel, getting even more eyeballs on your business
- Adding links, discount offers, and a QR code can drive traffic to your website or online store
How can brochures help businesses grow?
Brochures can make a real contribution to the growth of your business. The important factor is to do your market research first, so that you know exactly who you are targeting. With that knowledge to inform your design and content decisions, you’ll be able to develop a brochure which works for you.
Brochures help your enterprise become more visible in the marketplace, convey your core marketing messages to the right people, attract new customers into your sales funnels, and boost the image of your brand. You can also distribute them at trade fairs, conferences, business functions, and other networking events.
What to include in a brochure for a business
A business brochure should contain certain specific elements, such as your brand logo, business name, slogan or tagline, and contact details. Other elements depend on the purpose of your campaign and the audience at which it’s aimed. You should consider including the following:
A graphic component enhances the visual attractiveness of your brochure. It also empowers you to communicate a lot of information in a way that’s both concise and impactful. You might use cartoons, symbols, photographs, or “infographics”.
Charts and tables
Sometimes, you need to show the numbers. Well-designed charts and tables can help your readers understand otherwise complex numbers and figures “at a glance”. They’re also great to show comparisons between several product or service options.
Discounts and promotional codes
Introducing a special offer helps engage the prospect’s interest and encourages people to keep the brochure and interact with your business. A section of the brochure can be a coupon which the customer can redeem against a purchase, or you can add a discount code to use at an online checkout. You can also offer a gift when the customer presents the brochure in-store or it can act as a ticket to a promotional event.
QR codes and driving traffic
QR codes are almost ubiquitous these days. We use them for everything from ordering food to checking bank balances. Adding them to your brochures makes it easy for any consumer to scan the code and visit your website, sales pages, or blog. They can also be used to track the visitor back to the brochure. So, a simple QR code can drive traffic to your web properties and support analytics and market research.
How are brochures used in business promotion?
As we’ve already noted, brochures can be simple foldout sheets or more complex bound booklets. Much depends on the specific purpose you want them to serve. But what are the situations, events, places, applications, and ways in which you can distribute your brochures? Let’s look at the most common and proven ways to use brochures to promote your business.
Trade shows are a great place to distribute brochures. You can have them in custom made brochure racks on your stand, exchange them at networking events along with your business card, leave them in the foyer, or hand them out directly in the concourse. Trade fairs are a good opportunity to get your B2B (business-to-business) marketing materials into the right hands and to raise the profile of your company in the wider enterprise community.
Another place the right brochure can work well is on your business premises. In the office, visitors, suppliers, customers, and others can all pick up brochures from dining areas, rest rooms, corridors, meeting rooms, and reception zones. In the store, well-placed brochures can encourage inquiries, highlight certain products, and prompt repeat business.
In the mail
Direct mailing is still one of the most powerful tools in any marketing department’s kit. People love getting well targeted mail. Getting your brochure into your customers’ and potential customers’ homes is a fantastic way to communicate directly with your core demographic. Most people will pick up and read an attractive brochure on a topic of interest to them. The key to successful direct mailing is always the quality of your market research. But if you get mail to the right people, it can give a high return on your investment.
In your press releases and media kit
Brochures are a smart and efficient way to engage the media and get your business stories in the press. Anything from opening new premises, to a merger, to a new product line, an innovative production method or distribution channel, to highlighting your ethical commitments or environmental policies could be promoted effectively in a brochure. Journalists get dozens of boilerplate press releases on their desks every day. Your colorful brochure is much more likely to spark interest and gain attention.
The power of brochures for nonprofits and charities
Charities and nonprofits always make use of brochures. If you need to communicate important information and facts in a succinct and eye-catching format, brochures are a smart move. And as nonprofits need to be especially conscious of how they spend their budgets, the economy of the brochure is also attractive. Nonprofits and charities can also include brochures in their outreach and fundraising strategies.
Testimonials, case studies, and FAQs also work well in brochures format. And a range of versions can facilitate more targeted outreach to different groups: service users, stake-holders, financial backers, and the public.
Involve your printer early
When you decide to design and implement a brochure campaign, talk to your custom printer early in the process. An experienced printer will be able to support and guide you with expert advice to make sure that your brochure is just what you need it to be and within your budget. We have many years of experience working with all kinds of businesses and other organizations to help them produce first-class brochures to support their campaigns. We’d love to use that expertise, knowledge, and professionalism to help you, too. Get in touch for an informal chat, a quotation, or to answer any questions you may have.