One-pagers are by necessity brief, distilled, impactful marketing documents whose purpose is to get one simple message across clearly, concisely, and memorably. Due to their brevity, these pieces are best suited to high-level overviews or primers, but can also serve as bridges or introductions to more complex content. What follows is a short guide to putting together impactful, engaging one-pagers that get your point across with clarity.
What is the piece’s goal?
What do you want readers to get out of reading this one-pager? In the financial world, the goal of most one-pagers is often educational, with a slight orientation towards sales. For example, a one-pager might introduce investors to the basics of smart beta investing, while also subtly introducing selling points specific to their funds, without explicitly mentioning any product in particular. On the other hand, if the goal is unambiguously “salesy,” you can afford to place a given fund or investment product’s value propositions front-and-center.
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Who is the target audience?
Before you can get into the nitty-gritty specifics about a one-pager’s topic, you’ll need to know who you’re writing to. It’s all fine-and-good to know that a piece is going to be educating investors about fixed income, but the piece’s lexicon, tone, and details will be profoundly impacted by the sophistication level of the reader. Ask yourself: is this reader a relative novice when it comes to investing? Does this reader already know the basics about the topic in question?
What is the subject?
You may broadly know what topic you want to cover, but it’s only once you’ve defined the target audience that you can dive into the specific topic at hand. Let’s suppose you’ve decided your target audience consists of novice investors who may not know much about fixed income. Your one-pager’s tone and subject will necessarily be more basic and high-level.
Putting it all together
You know the one-pager’s goal, you know the target audience, and you’ve nailed down the specific topic. Your next step should be a list of three or four sub-points which can serve as a rough roadmap or outline for drafting the actual text of your one-pager. Although we recommend leaving design work for after the content has been drafted, it is definitely worthwhile to think about where a graphic might fit into the text, and what top line points a graphic might best help illustrate. Keeping design considerations top-of-mind during the drafting process can help simplify things down the road once the content is finalized and your writer and designer begin working together to get the piece to place where all stakeholders are satisfied.
After the text is finalized, it is likely that your designer and writer will need to collaborate to really bring the content to life. This may involve cutting down or re-purposing some text into more visually-appealing packages, to avoid confronting would-be readers with intimidating “walls of text.” During this step in the process, you’ll also want to be sure that the text is “scannable” by casual readers. This can be accomplished through boldface headings, bulleting, and designed graphics that flow along with the text.
Putting together a concise, impactful one-pager isn’t easy, but, thanks to their length, they can prove highly effective as short, punchy marketing hand-outs. By defining your marketing piece’s goal, target audience, and subject matter, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a one-pager that gets the point across in a meaningful way.