E- publications and other ways to get online
Publishing a document as a PDF file (portable document format) has been around for a long time, however in the last year or so more and more options have become available to make PDF documents easier and more attractive to read. You can now even add interactive elements including video and turn a document into a screenshow similar to PowerPoint.
A further trick is to add a menu with structured hyperlinks creating the feel of a website without having to be online to view the document. That can be a useful first step for a business not ready to set up a website, but it’s also a useful tool for sales staff and others who spend a lot of time on the road (or tube!), for events and exhibitions — where internet connections are sometimes expensive and often unreliable — or where you want your audience to stay focused on particular content and not stray onto checking the weather or train times home.
All you need to read a PDF file is Adobe Reader, which is usually provided pre-loaded on any new computer, though you can quickly download it for free if not. PDFs are not so easy to read on a small screen, which needs to be considered for accessibility, which is why it’s best to use them in conjunction with a website, not instead of.
You can also host PDF e-brochures on sites such as http://www.Scribd.com and www.issuu.com. A basic presence on these sites is free plus they allow you to get a wider web presence as you can tag content for search engines to find. They also provide a very attractive viewing experience and you can allow viewers to download brochures, saving bulky email attachments.
Turn the pages using the Scribd toolbar under the image, not the arrow on the document itself.
To view the same document on http://www.issuu.com (below)
- Click on this link: LDH Marketing e-brochure with some sample styles or click on the image below.
PowerPoint on YouTube
Getting a presence on YouTube is useful for Google rankings (as Google own YouTube). Making a professional video is still quite expensive and your homemade version may not be what you want. One easy option has become possible with the introduction of Microsoft Office 2010 which has the ability to save a PowerPoint show as a video. You can add music as you upload it to YouTube from their own — and therefore legal music collection — but for copyright reasons you can’t add the music to the video if it’s not hosted on YouTube itself. However, once on YouTube the video code can be embedded in your website or on Facebook.
These approaches won’t work for everyone but they are just two ideas that show how easy it is to get online these days at very little cost.
Blog articles in this series
Look out for these blog articles which I will be producing during 15-21 October 2012.
See also these new pages: