3 tips for crossing the print-digital divide

If your idea of “going digital” is to make a PDF of your newsletter or magazine and slap it onto your website — down in a corner, so the designer doesn’t have to redo the page — you’re not alone.

But that’s hardly the way to get maximize your popular product, much less engage new readers in a meaningful way.

Here are three easy ways to leverage your print publication in the digital space:

  1. Give the publication its own space. If you put your content online, then build a home for it as well. That can be a sub-page on your existing web site, or a new landing page just for the content. Have an interactive version of the product on there (issuu is an easy, quick tool for creating an online version), as well as current stories and photos … everything a print reader would like to see.
  2. Expand your content. Don’t just post the current issue’s innards. Provide back issues (either interactive or downloadable), as well as expanded content. If you know you’ve got three great stories on kayaking getaways, for example, and the print version can only hold one, tease to the other two in that content — and then post them online along with the print version. Then do the same thing for any and all artwork. Remember photo spreads? Smaller print real estate has rendered them nearly obsolete, but there’s plenty of room for innovative presentation in your online format.
  3. Tie into social media early and often. When you post new content, or refresh what’s there, be sure to make mention of that on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. Don’t have links to those on your content page? Make that happen right away. Social media should serve as a vehicle to communicate your message to a broader audience. Your print and online content does the same thing, so tying them together only makes sense.

A great deal of time goes into your print publications, no matter what form they take. Putting that information online is a great way to demonstrate your company’s savvy in many different areas, but only if the presentation matches the quality of the product.

A little up-front effort, coupled with continuing maintenance and attention, will put your best face forward.