No matter what kind of marketing material you are creating — a website landing page, a postcard to be mailed, a tri-fold brochure to sit on a countertop at your business, or something else — for it to be successful it must actually be read. Sounds easy enough but in practice it’s not. To keep from wasting precious time creating things that never get read, one tip we give our clients is to keep things simple: focus on getting your audience’s attention. Then, once you’ve got them, your material needs to keep them interested just long enough to get your message across.
People are busy. They rarely focus all of their attention on one thing. There’s just too much going on in their lives to expect them to put the blinders on and read every word you’ve written. So for your next marketing project, try to focus on three more reasonably attainable goals. They vary a bit depending upon the media you are using to get your message out, but here they are:
1) a good headline (especially for web pages) or an interesting shape or eye-catching art (especially for mailers)
2) an easy-to-follow layout; and
3) concise content
If nobody notices your marketing piece, it’s obviously not going to be successful because it will never get read. Eye-catching art, a good headline or an attractive or odd shaped mailer (depending on the material) is one way to increase the odds that your audience will even begin to take notice. In fact, we believe that headlines are so important that we’ll be devoting an entire post (or more) to writing good headlines in the future.
If you do manage to get your audience’s attention, you’re doing great! But now comes an equally important part — don’t confuse them! Your readers need to be able to follow your content, so the web page or text in your piece must flow nicely. You can ruin everything by getting overly complicated or deep. And if your writing skills are weak, hire someone to write for you. We all know how easy it is to push the “Back” button when we find ourselves at the wrong site or on one that we don’t get a whole lot of confidence in. It’s just as easy to put a boring or poorly written piece down, or worse, throw it in the trash. If you frustrate your readers, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
The last important element in our 3 step simple marketing strategy is brevity. Don’t try to do too much. Nobody is going to read every word, so highlight the important bits with bullet points and/or section headlines, briefly explain and move on. If your reader actually makes it through every topic, you’ve done great!
So, what do you think of our 3 element plan? Give us some feedback below.