With Immersive Content
When Adobe first launched PDFs back in 1993, they revolutionized the way desktop users exchanged documents online. But while PDFs are still suitable in specific situations, modern-day internet users will have to suffer through some limitations. First off, PDFs don’t take mobile users into account. A PDF can’t be optimized based on reading behavior and its distribution is hard to track.
Modern marketing and communications professionals want to leverage technologies that create user-friendly and frictionless online reading experiences.
But what about browsable PDFs?
Browsable (or flippable) PDFs are an improved version of plain PDFs. However, they still lack interactive capabilities like mobile-responsiveness and pop-up forms that modern-day readers want to see in their content.
Sometimes, valuable content assets such as annual reports, white papers, sales brochures, catalogs, etc. — many of which take tremendous effort to produce — are put into a PDF for users to either download them from a website or receive them as an email attachment. Persisting with PDFs can result in unintentionally excluding a large number of potential leads, which doesn’t do justice to critical communication assets. On the other hand, modern marketers focus on taking all audience segments into account and gathering as much data and insights as possible in order to optimize their collateral.
Web publications enable you to deliver immersive content that’s engaging, measurable and looks great on any device. Drive engagement, boost sales, energize your employees, and get the data-driven insights you need to optimize your content and continually grow your ROI.
Here are the 6 most significant PDF drawbacks:
PDFs are fixed-layout documents, which means that they’re extremely difficult to read on a mobile device. With internet usage shifting from desktop to mobile, modern companies can’t afford to lose visitors due to readability issues.
Difficult to share
Sharing PDFs takes a lot of work. The bulkier your files are, the more steps visitors must take before they download and read your content, let alone share it. Often times, those visitors may not have the will (or the time) to go through all these steps just to download your document.
Modern marketing thrives on the ability to gather data in order to make improvements. With PDFs, the only available metric is the number of downloads. Readability, interaction, engagement and conversions are impossible to measure in PDFs.
Poor in rich media
Videos, animations, social media buttons, infographics and overlays contribute to a more engaging reading experience. PDFs may let you add hyperlinks, but that’s pretty much the extent of what PDFs can do in the way of rich media in your documents.
PDF files aren't great for SEO. Whilst PDFs do allow some SEO elements, there are many that are missing and the format itself means it won't rank as well as web-based content. In addition, because PDF content rarely changes once it is published, they tend to be crawled less often than more regularly updated content.
No version control
You cannot go back and update PDF files that have already been shared and distributed. So updateing and refreshing your content to keep it fresh and relevant isn't possible. And whilst content is often referred to as 'king', it's relevancy that's truly royalty.