Stop publishing your white papers as PDFs

Whitepapers have become a highly valued source of content. These publications are often detailed, in-depth reports on a particular industry, topic or movement. Whitepapers act as trusted, educational research resources for individuals and companies requiring a non-biased and balanced view on the given subject area.

Due to the quality content of whitepapers, these publications are often placed behind some sort of gated access, requiring at a minimum a business email address and often telephone number and company information, making them a valuable lead generation tool.

With this in mind, this premium content is expected to include more than the standard blog post or article, so can a PDF do it justice? The answer is: not really, there are far better ways of presenting the whitepaper than in PDF format. Formats that allow for that extra impact, increased engagement and overall better user experience will be able to provide better performance of the document.

Here are some ways in which content experience platforms like Experios can take the whitepaper to the next level.

Allowing the reader to have a seamless, responsive experience

A PDF is simply just not a good reading experience for those viewing on a mobile device. A PDF requires the user to zoom and pan around the document to read. Mobile devices, excluding tablets, generated about half of all website traffic globally (Statista, 2020). So that’s at least 50% of readers having to take additional steps in order to simply be able to read the PDF. With a document containing valuable content like a whitepaper, readers want a better experience and an easier, more responsive read. 

Readers expect more

The standard PDF contains simple text and graphics. The modern consumer expects far more than this. Video will be the top investment for B2B brands in 2022. (Content Marketing Institute, 2021) and video is the number one format marketers used in their content strategy in 2021. (HubSpot State of Marketing Report, 2021). To truly capture the audience in a whitepaper, engaging, interactive content is key, and a PDF can not perform to this higher standard. 

Increases engagement rates

PDFs are dull, there we said it. The document is static, outdated and provides no opportunity for the reader to engage or take action. Placing well thought out interactive elements such as polls, forms, animated graphics and galleries will provide the reader with a much more engaging experience and allow the reader to digest the content in a more memorable way. 

ADA compliance is now key

If compliance was not on your radar before, it must be now. Due to recent changes in the US, All US government bodies and their contractors must now ensure that their websites and publications are WCAG compliant. Publishing content on a PDF does not allow for the content to be completely accessible for all and therefore not ADA compliant.  A PDF cannot add alternative text to images, or allow for screen readers to read text aloud, and it cannot be zoomed or engaged with easily. So if your content needs to be ADA/WCAG compliant, a PDF is not the answer. 

Creating whitepapers with Experios enables marketers to easily use the compliance validator tool to see instantly areas and elements that need to be changed to comply with these regulations. Not only does this enable your content to be fully compliant but it of course means that this content is able to be consumed by everyone.

Gain a better understanding of the leads

As mentioned above, the whitepaper is often used as a marketing tool, based on its quality content providing the ability to add a gated step. Once a potential lead has accessed a whitepaper, if this is in a standard PDF format then this is the end of the knowledge you will get from that marketing activity. A content experience whitepaper can provide intelligence and data such as how engaged the reader is, how long are they spend reading the publication, what content within the whitepaper is receiving the most traction and much much more.

Key Takeaways 

A whitepaper is a premium piece of content that provides insight and value about your organization, product or service. It should be a priority for the organization to ensure it can be read by all, engaged with, and that you can see the intricate data involving the interactivity of the reader. This can allow you to optimize your content further or even learn more about what your end user might be interested in. So a whitepaper deserves more than to be published as a PDF. 

Publishing your whitepaper as a content experience allows it to be read on its own microsite that will be accessible to all audiences, allows for interactivity, multimedia and engagement of the audience, and gives you data and insight into your readers journey. 

About Experios

Experios is 3D Issue’s all new Content Experience platform that allows you to build all sorts of internal communications easily while implementing your company branding. You can create annual reports, newsletters and brochures for your employees as well as your customers. Take a look at Lead Tiles Employee Benefits Guide for inspiration. You can get started with Experios for free today, schedule a demo to find out how.