Seven reasons why you should use a digital brochure
Seven reasons why you should use a digital brochure
Digital brochures have progressed over the years from simple pdf downloads to more elegant, interactive online publications. Here are seven reasons why your business will benefit from them today.
The role of digital brochures
Before we go through the seven reasons for using a digital brochure, it’s probably worth quickly reminding ourselves how we arrived at this juncture and just how vital the brochure, in one form or another, really is.
We live in a time where businesses, operating under more extreme pressure to manage costs, are increasingly having to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly methods.
More business is conducted online than ever before, and less face-to-face first introductions are taking place. These events were where usually ended with a salesperson handing over a printed brochure to the prospect before parting company.
Having a website and social media channel or channels is the norm for most businesses today. What differentiates them, though, is how they are used. One area that comes in to focus is the replacement of the traditional ‘sales’ leave behind, aka, the brochure; how that is used in this environment?
How prospects find and reach us
Very typical today is for a prospective customer to search online for a solution to a problem or a specific product or service type. Searchers are presented with a plethora of search result options, with the searcher likely ending up on a website.
Typically, a website visitor will decide within a second or two as to whether the site ‘looks and feels right’. Somewhat humorously, we’ve reached the point in human development where our brains have evolved to the extent where web experiences are so familiar to us; our subconscious plays a big part in whether or not we stay on a site or move on quickly to the next.
Making that initial impact on a new visitor is so critical these days, which is kind of what the more traditional brochures did. The brochure was something real, something physical, with tactile qualities that left a lasting impression on the recipient. It may also have sat on the recipient’s desk for a few days or resurfaced from time to time in the ‘to-read’ pile. Well designed and printed brochures [still] have that ‘wow’ factor. Today though, we need to replicate that experience online in a digital format and make sure it’s used for the same purpose of grabbing and holding attention.
Visitors can spend less than a few minutes on a website while conducting their initial research. If they like what they see, how easy do you make it for them to remember you and come back? If you are lucky, they may bookmark you. But, if you give them a quick and easy option to download a brochure, that’s probably going to make a huge difference. Your only choice is then either to make the download direct and easy or to put it behind a subscribe button or an email exchange – which could deter the visitor, but also qualify them.
Reason 1: Digital brochures are easy to use and sustainable
In an increasingly ‘paperless’ business world, a digital download is straightforward to manage and file, or print if so desired.
The same is true for the publisher. Once created, they are effortless to add to a website attractively. They are easy to use in email marketing campaigns, either as direct inclusions or through subscription or download links.
The digital brochure is the natural ecologically sustainable alternative to traditional brochures that need to be mass-produced.
Reason 2: Digital brochures deliver superior visual engagement
The creative team tasked with developing your digital brochure, has a blank canvas and a full suite of creative options at their disposal. They are not bound by the traditional constraints of the printed format.
For instance, over the years, consumers screens have been increasing in size and quality. No longer are we confined by rigid 1024px by 768px. Many consumer screens are HD compatible as a minimum, meaning 1920px, by 1080px. Some are much higher. This means that a digital brochure can use stunning, fill the screen type imagery, of the highest quality.
Also, we have to consider what’s known as the ‘third screen’ – the mobile device (TV is the first, computer the second, etc.). Digital brochures can be optimised to match the formats available and deliver the same HD quality images.
The visual impact is significantly enhanced because digital brochures are ‘light-transmissive’. Printed brochures reflect available light to deliver their impact, which means viewing experiences vary considerably. Online brochures transmit light to the viewer, thereby controlling the experience. Believe it or not, this can have a considerable impact on the ‘eye of the beholder’, or more to the point, ‘the brain of the beholder’. In short, digital brochures can provide a more positive, fulfilling and consistent experience all round.
Reason 3: Concise, filterable information delivery
Printed brochures are static devices with limited interaction and information delivery options. Digital version though are a different ‘kettle of fish’.
While one can create a different version for each audience you want to target, the digital format makes it relatively easy to display information the reader is interested in through navigation and filtering. Essentially, you can guide a reader through the document by posing questions or highlighting areas of interest based on profiles or ‘personas’. Also, by creating active links in the document, readers can skip to areas of most relevance to them.
All these options enable the digital brochure publisher to deliver a very concise set of information based on what the reader actually wants or needs to read.
Reason 4: Digital brochures are entirely customisable
Businesses need to be very dynamic when communicating with their market. This means that information changes quite often, especially if a business is reacting to changes in a market dynamic or perhaps new competition. Also, a business may target different industry verticals which require differences in messaging or information related to the application of a product to that market.
Digital brochures are dynamic too. They can be changed at a moment’s notice. Also, you can have one master document that contains all the ‘stock’ or ‘templated’ information, which is applicable across all market segments. Customisable sections can be added to specifically target a profit or service application to a specific market segment.
In short, all your brochures can be created from one, highly customisable digital brochure template.
Reason 5: Digital brochures accommodate multi-media
Using digital delivery for brochures opens a whole creative world of possibilities.
Think of a digital brochure as a springboard to a world of information about your company and its products and services. While the brochure is displayed online through your website, it can act as a mini-website. The publication can be thought of as a hub for all the information you wish to impart to a prospect. It’s a hub that is highly organised and easily navigable format.
In this format, the brochure can have any number of embedded assets, such as video’s, slideshows, presentations, product galleries, even podcasts. More advanced brochures, for mobile devices, can employ AR – augmented reality. Such AR applications could be used in conjunction with scanning QR codes, or recognisable product images in other publications, triggering a video or some other information source to be displayed within the container in the brochure.
As a downloaded PDF, it’s still possible to have rich-media, such as video, embedded within them. Of course, this won’t work if the PDF is printed, but it’s an excellent way of sharing media with other stakeholders online.
Reason 6: Multi-platform distribution
Digital brochures are easy to distribute. They can be used in:
- Email marketing campaigns.
- Social media marketing campaigns.
- As downloadable assets in search marketing (PPC) campaigns.
- As part of the digital assets prepared for Press Kits.
- As part of a subscription incentive.
In short, digital brochures are incredibly flexible in use and easy to distribute to those who request or need them.
Reason 7: Performance measurement
The problem with print is that you don’t really know if they get read or not, one can only estimate based on typical industry statistics. That can be very frustrating if you’ve distributed 10,000 brochures or had a large number distributed at a trade show.
Digital assets though are entirely trackable. When a brochure is accessed or downloaded, a whole range of statistics can be tracked. These include:
- The number of times a brochure is accessed.
- How long a visitor spent reading it.
- What they did or didn’t do next – i.e. navigating elsewhere in the site.
- The number of email sign ups or other completed conversions from the brochure call-to-action.
Even if a digital brochure has been distributed, any link to an off-page asset included in the brochure can be tracked (as long as it contains tracking information).
This means that it may be possible to track where it is accessed from geographically through your site’s analytics data. E.g. if a brochure was read in another country or part of this country, the data might show this. This could be useful in showing how ‘viral’ the brochure is, especially if it had limited geographic circulation in the first place.
A final thought about digital brochures
It should be fairly obvious just how versatile a digital brochure is.
Digital brochures are the way to go, after all, once a traditional brochure has been printed, it can’t be changed, and you are stuck with the print run.
For more information on how The Creative Tree can transform your brochure assets and create a whole new downloadable digital experience for your audience, call us today on +44 (0) 1932 850 122 .
WHERE CAN WE TAKE YOUR DIGITAL BROCHURES?
If you think our creative agency will be a good fit for your next project, please contact us or call our studio on 01932 850122 to speak to one of our experienced designers.