Running a successful business nowadays requires marketers to keep on top of ever-developing trends. The biggest trend being the digital revolution which, by now, is in full swing and is set to dominate the coming years. So marketers are tasked with delivering rich digital experiences for an increasingly content-hungry audience . . . enter Digital Publishing. . .
Around 3.2 billion people use the internet, with an estimated 60% of traffic coming from mobile devices such as Smartphones. This trend is here for the long-haul as forecasters predict mobile usage will account for 80% of internet traffic by 2020. And who knows what it’ll be beyond then.
Clearly the internet has become integral to our lives. Empowered by web-access coupled with mobile technology, we’ve become savvy shoppers. We now have an incredibly sophisticated tool that enables us to find and compare relevant products and services on a variety of devices in a variety of situations. Not only that, but over 80% of online shoppers gather information about companies in the form of ratings, reviews, news stories and so on before making a purchase. Conversely, brands can now gather more precise information about their target markets and develop tailored digital experiences, leading to increased sales and positive brand awareness.
Surfing the net has itself become an act of consumption as more and more people find their reading material online. We seek out information, news and books in much the same way we used to, only now we’re no longer at the mercy of limited media channels, libraries and high-street shops – the internet has opened up a world of possibilities in the form of digital publishing.
Essentially, any website that provides information is itself a form of digital publishing. What makes the difference is whether the publisher of a website realises it or not. Those who approach their web-development in the same way an editorial team approaches a magazine, tend to create much more engaging websites simply because they’re focused on providing a polished experience.
When it comes to actual reading material, however, traditional newspapers were the first to realise the potential of digital publishing, and because of their continuing development more than half of British adults get their news online either as articles, videos or downloadable documents. It’s safe to say: digital publishing has become a crucial part our lives, which is why brands are investing so much money in it.
But have we reached developmental limits or are we confronted with a vista of uncharted territory waiting to be explored and colonized?
This is the big question. Romax, a leading-edge marketing firm based in London, recently said boundaries are always being pushed and it’s essential that marketers keep up with technological developments otherwise they may find themselves falling behind. Their research shows that successful brands are utilising digital publishing in creative and clever ways. They’re producing highly polished downloadables and browser-based content optimized for all devices and delivering them to content hungry audiences.
The digital sphere allows for rich media, which is to say, electronic documents can make use of multimedia in ways that print media can’t compete with. For instance, say you have a digital brochure, it’s now possible to include videos – this is an extremely important factor when you consider that nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. Rich media also allows for interactive options such as getting in touch or starting a conversation. You can also provide external links to support any claims being made or direct users to landing pages. In a nutshell, rich media provides readers with a more dynamic user experience and therefore allows marketers to win hearts and minds, and ultimately hit their targets.
The next big question is whether software application developers can keep up with demands and produce service platforms that allow marketers to easily create, convert and deliver e-documents across a broad range of devices – especially mobiles.
I guess we’re just gonna have to watch this space.