How to create your own digital publishing platform

It’s a challenging marketplace for digital agencies.
Increased competition and adapting to new technologies are two of the top challenges facing digital marketing agencies, today. That’s according to the findings of a recent study following a panel of agencies and looking at:

  • Their changing role
  • Their current challenges
  • The implications of trends in the digital marketing landscape

There’s a clear need, according to the report, for companies to find compelling and value-added services to offer to their customers. Those services need to differentiate agencies from their competitors without adding the burden of complex, technical learning requirements for their teams.

And – in an era where content is king – the addition of a digital publishing platform to your agency’s offering can be an interesting starting point.

But what is a digital publishing platform?

In a nutshell, digital publishing platforms allow you to quickly and easily publish content across a range of devices including smartphones and tablets. The benefits of offering agency customers a digital publishing service are many:

Broad Appeal

Every company has content, of some sort, that they need to promote online. And so offering clients a digital publishing service potentially opens up your agency to a whole host of new projects, meets your clients’ needs and generates extra income for your business.

Competitive Advantage

In an increasingly competitive space, those agencies with a comprehensive offering of contemporary creative services are able to set themselves apart from the more traditional agencies.

Customer Satisfaction

When clients are delighted with the services that your agency offers them – when their expectations are surpassed – word-of-mouth marketing, through reviews and recommendations, becomes more likely. This can open up opportunities with new customers, increase revenue streams and – ultimately – boost profitability.

Offering agency clients a digital publishing service

Over the past 10 years, our team at 3D Issue have become specialists in the field of digital publishing and we’ve compiled some best practice recommendations to help you on your way.

And there’s some great news to kick-off with. You don’t have to build something yourself, from scratch. There are lots of digital publishing solutions already on the market. Some – like ours – have been around for a long time and have been created to exceed the expectations of your tech-savvy client base.

By using an existing platform, rather than developing your agency’s own, you’ll be able to free up time and resources to focus on your core business – and your clients’ needs.

Choosing the right digital publishing software

There are lots of factors to consider when reviewing different platforms to ensure that the software you select gives your agency the best possible chance of achieving its goals. Ask yourself: what do my customers actually need? And then review your options with the answer to this question in mind.

Well-designed software should allow you to navigate smoothly through the digital publishing process, requiring minimal training or assistance. But – if you choose 3D Issue as your publishing partner – our friendly and professional support team is always on-hand.

*Jargon alert!*

An existing digital publishing platform like 3D Issue’s – that offers the choice of an API service or a White Labelling solution – can be a good bet. But what do the terms API and White Labelling actually mean?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. And – very briefly but don’t worry because we’ll explain more later – using an API, you access a digital publishing platform to automatically create Flipbooks without manual input.

With White Labelling, you brand the vendor’s digital publishing platform and position it as your own. The platform resides on the vendor’s servers but its identity – logos, emails and so on – matches yours.

When should I choose API rather than White Labelling?

If your agency creates lots of PDFs for conversion into Flipbooks – but you don’t need the Flipbook software’s editing function to add interactive elements like hotspots, rich media and social sharing – using an API would be ideal.

Because no manual access is required, the API simply forwards PDFs to your online account to automatically create Flipbooks.

Job done!

When should I choose White Labelling rather than an API?

If your clients are likely to request an editing function – to add elements like links, videos, animations and social sharing to their online Flipbooks – White Labelling could be a good option.

Although it’s possible to build an editing function into an API, this adds a layer of complexity as your editing tool would need to mirror the editor on the vendor’s digital publishing platform.

White Labelling works well when you don’t have the resources available to work with an API and you want to get an additional service to market as quickly as possible. In most cases, you can have a White Label solution up and running within a day.

Things to look out for in a White Label platform

Ensure that:

  • The platform comes with a complete CRM and user management system to smoothly onboard clients
  • All branding belonging to the vendor has been removed including from content like tutorial videos and the knowledge base

When should I choose both White Label and API options?

There are business scenarios that might necessitate access to both White Label and API options. If, for example, your company creates lots of PDFs for conversion into Flipbooks but you also want to offer customers a value-added service, allowing them the flexibility of customising their Flipbooks. With a pro-solution like 3D Issue’s Partner version, you’ll be able to easily juggle your clients’ complex publishing needs.

Help! I have lots of PDFs but no resources for API development

A White Label service that includes a Hot Folder tool can be a good solution if you regularly have a large number of PDFs for conversion but do not have the resources to manage an API.

Hot Folders are similar to Dropbox or Google Drive. You simply drop PDFs into a dedicated folder on your PC or Mac – the folder is linked to your account on the Flipbooks platform – to automatically create a Flipbook.

What if I’m juggling publications for multiple clients?

A well-designed structure within the Hot Folder tool should reflect the client accounts that you manage. With a folder dedicated to each customer, you’d simply drop the PDF into the appropriate subfolder in order to have it converted into a Flipbook.

Like to find out more?

If you’d like more information about adding digital publishing to your agency’s suite of services, just give us a call on 718 569 6212 or contact partners@3dissue.com

Our expert team is always happy to help!