The time has come to say goodbye to boring PDFs! I know it seems harsh, they’ve been good to you, but let’s dive into it to see why it’s time to move on and where to go from here.
There is certainly a time and place for PDFs. For flyers, one pagers, quick content you need to get out to your team, these are great ways you can keep the PDF in your life, but if you want to build a relationship with your audience, engage with them, and have them interact with you, you need to move on.
As much as there is a place for PDFs, they are limited in the experience they give the end user;
- There is minimal interaction and engagement available from a PDF, sure you can add your branding, nice colors and a CTA button here and there, but there is no option for animations, videos, image galleries, maps, forms – the list goes on. It is static content only.
- PDFs offer a basic user experience. On a desktop, the reader must scroll through each page, and on a mobile device this makes viewing difficult, if content is small there is pinching to zoom and move around and no clickable menu or contents option, this makes the reading experience hard for the end user.
- Once published there is no tracking, so you cannot see the success of your content, what is working or not working as you cannot track what your reader is doing.
- It is also time consuming to make updates to content, it involves going back to the source file, making the update, publishing again and redistributing your PDF, which isn’t a great journey for the end reader either.
Overall, the limitations with a PDF greatly outweigh the benefits when you are distributing your PDF as content for your audience. But the good news is there are multiple ways to move on, the two we are going to discuss here are Flipbook software and responsive publications or responsive content experiences..
Creating a Flipbook is an easy way to take your PDF to the next level. Your content creation journey stays the same, in that your build your content, populate to PDF and from there, using a Flipbook software like 3D Issue Flipbooks, you can create a Flipbook in 3 easy steps:
- Upload your PDF – Our speedy process will detect elements like images, text and fonts in your PDF. Links, emails and phone numbers will automatically be added to your project as hotspots
- Customize – Change your viewer style with customizable page transitions, backgrounds, colors and buttons. You can add or update features later if necessary
- Publish – Share publications with your audience using your choice of social channels. Get readership insights using our statistics function or Google Analytics
The benefits to using this type of software to enhance your content centers around the user experience:
- Better viewing – Flipbooks takes your PDF and turns it into a digital magazine, it looks and feels like you are reading a book, and scrolling and turning pages vs scrolling down a PDF. The publication is read like an Ebook and responds beautifully to any device.
- Interactivity – Flipbooks offers many features like image galleries, videos, animations to enhance your content, and our technology can detect elements like images, text and fonts in your PDF sol inks, emails and phone numbers will automatically be added to your project as hotspots
- Reader features – making your publication easier to navigate is key to a successful customer experience, with features like search function, a usable table of contents, text selection, bookmarks and notes, your readers will read over and over again with ease.
- Analytics – a big miss for PDFS, Flipbooks offers insights into what your readers are doing, with automatic tracking for each publication, an integration with Google Tag Manager, and the ability to track impressions and views, you can better understand how your reader interacts with your content to best optimize for better results
- Automation – with Flipooks, your content can be published online without the need to download, and with features like the hot folder function and integrated uploader tool you can get your content online quicker. Flipbooks also comes with an API for automation of uploading and publishing from your systems
Flipbooks is the perfect tool for a simple upgrade to your PDF content, with the beautiful dynamic content, digital magazine feel and intuitive reader features, you can give a huge upgrade to your digital content without a big impact on resources.
You can try Flipbooks for free here
A Responsive Content Experience is the overall experience of accessing, consuming, engaging with and responding to a stream of branded content — across diverse devices, platforms and channels, and throughout the buyer’s journey, from prospect to customer. Content experiences focus on how users actually interact with and engage with your content – they can be stand alone pieces of content that truly engage the reader, which is the transformation of a PDF, magazine, online publication etc. into an engaging digital experience.
There are many benefits to a responsive content experience vs a PDF, some of the key benefits are:
- Huge impact on your funnel
According to Google, a consumer is 67% more likely to purchase if they have a positive content experience, and 62% more likely to go to a competitor if the experience is poor. Ensuring that your content is optimized for each individual’s experience will result in more visitors to your site and more leads in your sales funnel.
- ADA Compliance
In the US, all federal organizations must ensure that the content they publish adheres to WCAG. Content Experience platforms output your content in natural HTML which is readable by all accessibility readers and many like Experios have built-in accessibility validators to check things like font size, color contrasts and image captions to ensure your content complies.
One of the advantages of content experience platforms is they output the content in natural HTML which is indexable by search bots, leading to more traffic and more leads in your sales funnel.
- Richer and intuitive experiences
Today’s viewers demand the content they want instantly and they want content they can find and view easily regardless of what device they choose to read it on. Ensuring that your content conforms to the reader’s device will ensure that it has a greater impact on your content strategy.
The benefits of responsive content experiences are so much more than what a PDF or even a Flipbook can offer your audience when it comes to user experience and engagement. With features like videos, image galleries, forms, polls, ads, buttons and CTAs, the possibilities for engaging with your audience are endless. And with a responsive content experience platform like Experios you get the key benefits of:
- Consistent branding throughout – with Experios’ Centralized Style Guide adding your company branding to templates will make it easier than ever to produce content quickly and easily e, you can
- Engaging interactive content beyond the copy, with features like video, audio, links, forms, buttons and pop-ups.
- Responsive design, no more pinching and swiping a publication to respond to your device, an Experios publication with auto reshape to any device.
- Better user experience – simple structures and layouts makes it easier for the designer to build out content from scratch, our predesigned templates add efficiency, and the responsive nature of the end result makes it easier for the user to interact and navigate through the journey.
- Allows for optimization for conversions and lead generation, which is the ultimate goal. Adding a CTA button allows users to stay within the publication while taking action.
Whether you go down the Flipbooks path for ease of use and a low cost upgrade, or decide to invest in responsive content experiences to truly immerse your reader in your content, it is definitely time to end your relationship with the PDF for your digital content and move forward.