Brochure Copy Doesn’t Belong Here

My wife and I headed to Charleston, SC this weekend. We enjoyed talking for the first 3 hrs but then the last couple of hrs we started to have awkward silent periods. I didn’t want to quickly turn on the radio and to seem like I didn’t want to talk (especially if she still wanted to).

But finally, I eased the volume up and tried to find a station. I kept hitting search and finally found a show that was about home improvement. My passion. And my wife seems to enjoy that too.

We listened for a few minutes and then the host said, “Today we’re going to do something different and visit an appliance store to talk with the owner”.

I thought: that’s odd — I wonder how they’ll do that and make it interesting on the radio.

Well. They didn’t.

The host and the owner of the store “walked” through appliance setups and told us how nice each looked. And how much they cost. After the 3rd set of appliances, it all sounded the same, except the price kept increasing. But for no immediate reason.

If this was a television show, I’m sure we could have seen why things increased in value — and it would have engaged us longer than the radio show did. Within 20 min, we changed channels.

Certain mediums dictate certain content.

A lot of people simply take long brochure copy and put it on a web page and expect to work. But it falls flat.

Websites need good web content. Not brochure content (and vice versa).

What’s the difference? Web content should be:

  • Short, skim-able (about 50-words/page)
  • Content that interacts with other parts of the web
  • Visual (photos, or even better, short videos)

If it can work well in a brochure; it’s not engaging/interactive enough on a website. Putting brochure copy on a website will cause people to jump. Usually within 30 seconds.

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