Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ditch the Print? Paper’s Place in a Digital World

Most publishers concede that digital is here to stay. But when told to transition from print to pixel, many publications still struggle with tight budgets and little technological expertise. A full and immediate transition seems unrealistic, and there is still conflict over the future of print. In April, the Wall Street Journal wrote about the purposeful place of paper-intensive catalogs for retail websites. However, by June, Ad-age countered that in our “digital, eco-conscious world,” even the ubiquitous table catalog has no place and needs to join the digital age.

If that’s true of the glossy editorial-style magazines, where does this leave trade publications with their data-heavy text? Stuck between the pressure of dwindling ad sales and hesitancy to move toward digital, what can professional publications that don’t want to abandon paper do with digital? The answer is, frankly, a lot. Here are just a couple of ways your digital and print publication can complement one another.

Enhance Your Digital Version

Yes, PDF viewers are easy, low-cost options to put text on a tablet. But readers want what they can’t get with paper. Consider experimenting with video, audio, and interactive data. Or invite readers is using infographics and interactive charts. Simple things like adding vibrant colors and rich images make readers excited to come back to you publication again and again.

Invite Participation

Your material shouldn’t just talk at readers. Allow them to talk back! Avoid unmonitored comment boards, and instead link your blog and social media outlets to your publication. This will allow the kind of reader participation that is key to engagement.

By realizing the digital world’s strengths it is possible to have a digital publication without laying print to rest. While there is no doubt that the world is moving toward greater digitization at every turn, your paper and digital publications don’t need to be at odds. If the two can complement each other, it’s a win for both you and your readers. 

Check out how can help you deliver a digital publication to your readers.