The 6 Most Popular Types of Digital Publications (with Examples)
by Rita Theologi
By the time you’re reading this article, there will be more than 1,7 billion websites on the internet. The amount of content produced each minute is mind-boggling.
Remaining relevant — and just getting noticed — in an ever-changing digital content landscape requires innovation and an ability to keep ahead of technological advancements.
And when it comes to online sales and marketing collateral, innovation translates to interactive digital publications.
If you have a product or service and you’re online, then you should seriously consider using digital publications as a way to engage, persuade, and convert your audience.
But, what exactly are digital publications, how are they different from websites, and how do they fit into your content mix?
In this article, you will find answers to all of these questions, and hopefully be inspired to create your very own suite of digital publications.
How are digital publications different from websites?
Websites remain important for every company. However, some types of content don’t always fit there. Brochures, annual reports, white papers, support manuals — all of these deserve more than a mere page on your website. They work best as standalone content.
That's where digital publications come in handy.
Digital publications are independent pieces of online interactive content with their own URLs. They have distinctive characteristics, like linear navigation, immersive media, and rich animations that make them stand out from regular websites.
Instead of stuffing your best content assets into PDFs or emails, digital publications act like a "third channel" that give them a stage of their own. Incorporating digital publications into your communications, alongside your website, opens up new ways of engaging your audience, generating leads, and boosting sales.
In a nutshell, digital publications are:
Interactive microsites with their own URLs, used for specific marketing collateral or campaigns
Linear in structure
Easy to create, update, measure, and optimize
Fully responsive; perfect for reading on any device
Below we gathered six of the most popular ways to use digital publications, including their best features, and some valuable insights from our customers.
1. White papers
White papers are long-form, technical pieces of content often used to position you as a thought leader on a specific subject. They’re useful assets for lead generation in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.
According to the 2019 Content Preferences Survey from Demand Gen, buyers consider white papers to be one of the most valuable content formats for the latter stage of the buying process.
Digital Magazines are highly versatile and are one of the most popular uses for digital publications. They can be used in every stage of the sales funnel, and they vary from customer magazines to staff magazines, to member magazines, and even event magazines.
Not only are digital magazines mobile friendly, but they can be measured and optimized — something that's not possible with print magazines. With digital magazines, you can monitor average reading time, the percentage of people who get to the last page, social media engagement, and much more.
Digital reports are for sharing data and statistics. They can range from industry reports to a company's own annual or integrated report. Creating reports typically takes a large amount of work. To reap the full benefits of your efforts, they must be presented in a way that makes the data both understandable and visually appealing.
Most companies still put this valuable content into a static PDF making it difficult for them to control distribution, gather data, or engage mobile readers. Digital publications, on the other hand, enable the creation of measurable and mobile-friendly reports with interactive charts, infographics, and visuals to present numerical data clearly and in a compelling way.
Extreme Reach, one of our clients, created an inspiring digital report called Video Advertising Benchmarks for Q1 2019. Ad industry metrics have never been so bright and colorful!
4. Annual reports
Annual reports are so widely used, they deserve a section of their own. More specific than industry reports, annual reports highlight a company’s financial overview and are typically targeted towards shareholders.
By using digital publications instead of PDF, a company can gain deep insights into how this critical segment of their audience engages with each section of their annual report. These insights can then be used to improve each subsequent edition.
Many companies are liberating their newsletters from the constraints of email and turning to digital publications instead. They support video, embedded forms, smart CTAs, and can comfortably facilitate longer content formats.
Personalized digital newsletters distributed to different target groups ensure better engagement and enable you to gather rich insights about your readers' behavior and preferences.
Digital brochures are an excellent way to present your company’s products and services in an engaging and personalized way. They are more effective than traditional printed brochures because they allow for embedded media, retroactive updating, performance monitoring, and can be integrated with your CRM.
They can also save you huge amounts of money on printing and distribution while simultaneously allowing you to reach a bigger audience.
Spending on content has increased over the past 12 months and is indicative of a transformation in the digital world. More money spent on content means brands are putting more effort into catching the eyes of prospects and increasing their ROI expectations.
If your content strategy needs improving and you’re exploring different ways to boost its effectiveness, incorporating digital publications into your marketing mix will help you gain traction and keep you ahead of your competitors.
Inspired to experiment with digital publications? Start a free trial and discover the possibilities!
Rita is a writer and content marketing specialist at Foleon. She has years of experience in SaaS and continually enriches our blog with her wide range of expertise.
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