Many companies today think that the way to go paperless is to make everything into a PDF file and place it on their website, in order to save on printing costs, brick and mortar storage space, etc. However, while this is the easy solution, it may not be the best solution for your business. You don’t want to lose the integrity of the mission of the material you are presenting. Is it marketing material? Instructional?
One key component to successfully transferring print media to a digital format is to keep it “interactive”. Recently, I was involved in a project that took an association’s catalog of artists (and their artwork) and transfer it to an online digital, interactive portfolio. This was done by a company called nxtbookmedia
As you can see by the example above, this is a far cry from a basic PDF. An introductory video has been inserted, you have audience action buttons on the top bar for business drivers (Take a survey), (Join) and (Support), which can lead someone down the conversion pathway. The search options within this e-book format allow you to have various indexes: search by genre, geographical location or by the artist. You can zoom in or out, as well as, a variety of sharing options are available: by email, you can save to your desktop or print pages. But one of the best features of this e-book marketing portfolio is that you can share it to social media sites, such as: digg, linked-in, facebook, twitter, etc.
A key driver for audience adoption is the ability for the person viewing the material to create notes that they can review and reference at a later time – a wonderful knowledge capture and collaboration tool (especially if someone is reviewing your product line).
So although the simple solution is to make that PDF and slap it up on your website for download – keep some dollars open and get the greatest return on your investment. You will still remain paperless and for the cost of a print run you can have a dynamic, reusable, cutting-edge piece of digital media, that can be accessed from anywhere in the world on-demand. Adding a web analytical program into the mix on the back-end will give you reportable data on how your audience used the media-important metrics to analyze in order to determine what “engaged” your audience.
e-Book formats are fast becoming the new vehicle for presenting marketing materials and instructional training or reference materials. They can also be view from the iPad or various smart-phones – so they have a greater mobility than your typical print media. Join the bandwagon and save a tree – without jeopardizing the business intent of the media.