Crafting an effective corporate boilerplate
Used across a multitude of sales and marketing collateral, your boilerplate is often the one piece of company messaging that receives the broadest exposure. It is generally included on everything from news articles and white papers to company brochures and even corporate websites. It is also a fundamental requirement when writing and issuing a press release, as editors use the information provided to determine if your news story will be relevant to their target audience.
A boilerplate also enables people to quickly determine whether or not your company seems credible, and whether you provide the services or products they require. With the potential to be seen by such a wide range of people – from journalists and prospective customers to job seekers or even investors – your boilerplate needs to be meticulously crafted to ensure it is impactful yet precise.
So, what makes an effective boilerplate?
Keeping things succinct is of paramount importance. Ideally around 100 words if you can! If you try to cover too much information, you may confuse or frustrate readers who just want a quick explanation of what your company does. It’s more effective to save further details for your website, so always include a link to drive readers to the most relevant web page – probably your ‘About Us’ section.
Keeping information concise also means your boilerplate will be much more engaging to read, helping it to appear both eloquent and dynamic. Having said that, as well as making a strong statement about what your company does, the boilerplate should also make it clear how you do things differently, to demonstrate what differentiates you from your competitors.
Top nine points to consider when crafting your own boilerplate
1. Describe what your company does and who it does it for – be specific, include facts and figures. Don’t use generic phrases such as ‘industry leading distributor’ as this adds no value in helping to tell people what your business actually does.
2. Clearly define your company values and strengths – what makes your company unique and the best one to do business with? Just make sure you avoid unfounded and exaggerated claims such as ‘largest’ or ‘most successful’, unless you can prove these to be factually accurate.
3. Include when your company was founded – if it has been established for a number of years, this can help to demonstrate longevity and experience, helping build trust in you as a supplier.
4. Eliminate jargon – remember that your audience may include individuals who will not be familiar with your industry’s language. Elaborate jargon can sound impressive, but ultimately it will only alienate readers and give a negative impression of your business. At the same time don’t be too general or evasive, as you want potential customers to be able to easily understand if you are offering something they need.
5. Use appropriate keywords and phrases – the majority of press releases end up online, so by using keywords that are currently very topical in your industry, you will be able to optimise your boilerplate for search engines. Key phrases could also include your company strapline, or any phrases that you tend to use on a regular basis across different marketing and sales collateral. If you want to know more about SEO, make sure you check out our last Shine Seminar!
6. Make it relevant to your audience – while you don’t need to list specific demographics, your boilerplate should make it clear which audiences you are targeting – for example B2B vs. B2C, or direct customers vs. resellers.
7. Build in metrics – if you have impressive numbers to talk about, when it comes to recent turnover figures or volume of products sold for example, you may want to consider including this information. Specific metrics clearly illustrate a company’s success and give readers a good indication of their industry standing.
8. Include industry recognition – if your company has won an award for example, or been nationally recognised by a prominent publication, then you should mention this, to help you stand out from the competition and to build your credibility.
9. Stock exchange information – if your company is publicly traded on a stock exchange, don’t forget to include this information as it may be of interest to your audience and will also help to add credibility.
Your company boilerplate is an undoubtedly crucial element of your marketing efforts, as it will appear across a vast number of locations and reach an extremely broad audience. It is vital that your boilerplate is succinct, accurate and impactful – and by following the guidelines above you’ll be well on your way to achieving this.