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Why interactive magazines are better than page-turning PDFs

Are you frustrated by the lack of interactivity and web functionality you’re getting from PageSuite or FlipBook?

Well you’re not the only one, but there is a solution. We’ve already talked about how interactive magazines are better than blog posts (ironic, we know) but we also think they’re far superior than page-turning PDFs and here’s why.

For anyone who hasn’t experienced them, page-turning PDFs are print-replica PDFs that are uploaded into software to have page-turning animations. They’ve been around for donkey’s years – a decade in fact – however, unlike pretty much every other form of software on the market, they haven’t evolved a great deal. If you want to keep your customers engaged for longer, tailor content specifically for them, drive web traffic and monitor results, then interactive magazines might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

Interact and engage

There’s no denying that page-turning PDFs aren’t put together with web users in mind. Interactive magazines however, will allow you to have full-screen imagery, with pop up copy. They are also responsive and will resize, without your readers having to pinch and stretch the screen – so mobile readers are likely to hang around for longer. In fact, bounce rates can be as low as 6% because readers are actively engaged.

Another reason for those low bounce rates with interactive magazines is the engaging, interactive content. You can far more easily insert video into your pages, so readers will stay on the page to watch relevant, informative or entertaining content. Unlike page-turning PDFs, you can also include competitions, with sign up forms right there in the magazine – so there’s no sending people away to a website (see below for more details on how interactive magazines are web pages in themselves) or their email client, they can enter right there and then.

Bespoke content

Do you have customer segments that are only interested in one part of your business? Just send them the content that most appeals to their interests and keep them engaged for longer – so they don’t click off when they get to something irrelevant to them. With interactive magazines you can even send personalised content, including their name and information – so they can have a bespoke experience.

Search and monitor

PDFs are usually flat graphics, so they often won’t be indexed by search engines. Conversely, interactive magazines are fully functioning web pages and, as they’re hosted on your website, not through a third party, the traffic goes to your site. As well as being SEO-friendly, because everything is hosted on your website, you don’t need to use a third party tool for measurement, like you would with page-turning PDF software.

You can measure with Google Analytics, as you would with your website, and see how long people have spent on each page, where they read to and the content that engages them most, as well as which pages lead to sales conversions. Most page-turning PDF platforms will give you a basic outline of which pages were read, but can’t give you a detailed analysis. In fact, the analytics provide some of the most compelling reasons for using interactive magazines – because they are so engaging, people on average read more than eight pages and stay for more than three minutes.

Advertising opportunities

Due to everything being measureable and the bespoke layouts that can be designed, interactive magazines create an attractive proposition for interactive advertising, so you can generate additional income. While you can include adverts in your print replica, page-turning PDF, it’s hard work to add the interactive elements we mentioned above.

Part of your marketing mix

Like with page-turning PDFs, it’s not an either print or interactive situation. Your interactive magazine can be an attractive addition to your marketing mix, working alongside print to reach a wider audience. You can publish an enhanced version of your content online to send to your email database or target specific set of customers, reducing print and distribution costs.

As well as being email-able, interactive magazines can be offered anywhere you might have traditionally placed a print magazine by providing a link or QR code for customers to view it on their device. This is particularly useful for places where potential customers might have time on their hands such as in a reception, waiting room, shop or on a journey.

Decide for yourself

Interactive magazines are fast gaining popularity due to their opportunities for engagement that can be measured effectively and work in harmony with your website and offline activity.

To see one in action, take a look at our own interactive magazine.

Or if you’d like to hear more about how interactive magazines can boost your content marketing strategy, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help.