Digital brochure: what it is and how to create it

What is the digital brochure? And how is it created?

A brochure is a tool used to advertise a company and to define the identity of that business. With the development of web-related technologies, traditional printed brochures have rapidly evolved into e-brochures. While in digital format, it is used to keep up with the modern consumer who often buys online.

As a result, more and more companies are adopting this mode of advertising, based on the numerous advantages they have found. You wonder which ones? They are indeed many: flexibility, interaction, feedback, eco and user-friendly, reduced printing costs, easy editing, downloading and sharing, high quality, and global coverage.

Read on to learn more and to discover, step by step, how to create a digital brochure.

Digital brochure: what it is

The brochure is an identifying element of a brand or company because it presents the activities and services/products offered to the public. It is a brochure created to represent the products and services your business offers.

Today, many companies have chosen to adopt modern communication by creating digital brochures. Taking advantage of the high readability of the content, its main purposes are to inform, convince and push the customer to action, through a concise and persuasive style.

These, while retaining the usability characteristics of a paper book, improve functionality through a more interactive and surprising use that captures the consumer’s attention.

Digital vs. traditional brochure

Is it better to opt for a traditional or digital brochure? Actually, one does not exclude the other and you can do both, although the digital format is strongly recommended these days because it works better. Let’s look at 12 good reasons to choose an e-brochure:

  1. It is flexible. You can choose many different templates for your graphics, which will adapt more easily to your changes than printed brochures.
  2. It is interactive. You can insert lots of media such as videos, photo galleries, animations, menus, and much more.
  3. It gives you quick feedback. You have the option of sending it by email to all your potential online customers, who will be able to give you personal feedback, e.g. by means of questionnaires. A tool for analyzing the progress of your campaign is Google Analytics, which sends you a report with statistics on total views, average time spent on a page, and links clicked.
  4. Respect the environment. Prevents the waste of paper needed in the printed brochure.
  5. Reduces costs. All expenses related to the printing and distribution of traditional brochures are cut. In contrast, digital costs are low: posting PDF brochures online pays off!
  6. It is easy to edit. If you need to update or delete something, you can do it easily.
  7. It has high-quality graphics. The new technology makes the brochure look great.
  8. It is easy to download. Wherever you are, you can download it. All you need is an internet connection.
  9. It has a user-friendly format. It is easy to read and browse through, with the possibility of enlarging portions of text and images to take a closer look at details.
  10. Global coverage. You can advertise your brochure as often as you like, without limits, to a potentially wide audience.
  11. Can also be used offline. With CDs, DVDs, USBs, and other digital devices, you can also distribute your content offline.
  12. Sharing. Your customers can share it on their social networks, increasing the virality of your business.

brochure digital

 

How to create a digital brochure

What to do

If you intend to make your digital brochure professionally, follow these tips:

  • Include a clickable table of contents on the cover to facilitate usability and make the message more meaningful;
  • Describe who you are, what you do, how you work, what you propose, and how you can be contacted.

Express yourself creatively and highlight your strengths. Ask yourself why people should buy your product and use the answer you give in your persuasive communication. And above all, value design! Graphics, clear layout, and clean form, combined with strategic use of color and images, enhance your business.

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What not to do

When creating brochures, mistakes are often made that undermine their effectiveness right from the start, making them unattractive and uninteresting in the eyes of potential customers. It is not just a question of aesthetic appeal, sometimes what is missing is a targeted sales strategy to best promote your brand.

Let’s look at 4 common mistakes to avoid:

  • Say everything to everyone. It is better to focus on a niche than to consider the entire product range. Think about your objectives and create a different brochure (launch, presentation, membership, event) for each objective. By doing so, you will be able to respond precisely to users’ needs.
  • Focusing too much on yourself. The customer is not interested in knowing in detail the story of your company but is oriented towards satisfying a need or solving a problem. Put the customer and his expectations at the center.
  • Do the bare minimum. Having an anonymous brochure will do no good. Make an effort to personalize it and make it unique and engaging! And make every element speak about you: a slogan, a caption, a photograph.
  • Wanting to appear perfect. Always stay in line with the reality of your business, because otherwise, customers may feel disoriented and suspicious when confronted with the description of a seemingly perfect company.

 

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The best tools for creating a digital brochure

There are many different programs for creating digital brochures. Almost all of them have a free version with which to experiment with the potential of the tool, and then go deeper into practice by upgrading to the paid version. Of the numerous software on the web, this article examines the three that are easiest to use and most intuitive. Let us look at them in detail.

FlipHTML5

FlipHTML5 is the best choice for high-quality, professional projects. And in fact, it requires effort to fully understand how to use it. It is not a tool that allows you to create your brochure online but converts your work from PDF to online in a matter of minutes. Prerequisite number one to take advantage of the program, therefore, is to have first saved your brochure as a PDF. You can try it out as a free version for an unlimited time, but to add media such as videos, animations, and audio, you have to upgrade to the paid Pro version.

flip html

Aiming to attract potential customers with a beautifully designed digital brochure, this program helps you overcome the static and monotonous PDF with professional templates, themes, and backgrounds. You also have the possibility to enrich your content with sharp images, videos, links, etc. For your marketing purposes, you can also send the design to potential customers via email, and share it on social media, your blog, or your online shop, and all digital brochures are mobile and search engine friendly, which is very helpful to make you stand out on the web.

Here are the steps you need to take to convert your brochure from PDF to online:

  • Go to the FlipHTML5 site and create your free account.
  • Click on “Add New Book” and on “Upload PDF” (where you upload your PDF brochure from your desktop).
  • Enter the title, category, keyword, and a short description of your project.
  • Choose the template and theme. This is a very important step because it will determine the effectiveness of your communication. The more original it is, the more it will be noticed by the public.
  • In the”Advanced” section, on “MAIN”, choose the reading mode, and the background color, and go to “Auto flip on Start” if you want the brochure to start flicking itself on start-up as if an invisible hand was flicking it.
  • On “TOOLBAR” set the colors of the toolbar and the Visible Buttons.
  • Click on “Create”.
  • Now you can browse your brochure online, zoom in on the details and print the pages that interest you.

 

 

But the tool’s potential doesn’t end there! By upgrading to the Pro version, in fact, by clicking on “Animation Editor”, you can add as much media as you like. The choice is quite wide: you can insert images, image slideshows, videos, audio, and links, for an interactive reading experience. All these elements, in fact, help to attract the attention of the potential customer, who first dwells on the images and then starts reading the informative content.

Several companies have produced e-brochures with FlipHTML5, such as Dolce&Gabbana. Click on the brand in blue to flip through the brochure yourself! You will appreciate the lettering appearing one after the other, the outfits being composed one by one, and many other animations.

dolce gabbana brochures

Another example is the Starbucks brand, which puts together videos (like the one shown in the image below), writing, and moving images that make reading fun.

starbucks brand

Canva

canva programIn case you are not aiming for a professional result but for something simpler and more intuitive, another highly recommended program is Canva.

This tool allows you to create brochures in the format you prefer, going beyond the classic three-part folded brochure version.

In addition, you can insert: images from your desktop or from those proposed by the tool, grids and tables, frames, icons, illustrations, shapes and lines, text, and background.

The only limitation of Canva is that it does not allow you to insert animations.

layouts from canva

Here’s how to create your digital brochure in minutes:

  1. Choose a brochure template from free layouts made by professionals or design your own from scratch. The templates are already preset and perfectly sized for easy printing.
  2. Upload your own images from your desktop or download those offered by the tool (there are about 2 million!).
  3. Write your own message. Canva offers hundreds of free characters to allow you to communicate what you want best.
  4. Change the background and colors.
  5. Print, download, or share your brochure.

 

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Adobe Spark

adobe sparkAnother free program is Adobe Spark, with which you can create 3 types of content:

  1. pages that tell a story through text, images, and videos
  2. posts that create images optimized for social networks
  3. and finally videos.

Its features are professional themes and typography (there are many fonts available for every occasion), an image gallery, great visual impact, and the possibility of sharing and use on mobile and fixed devices.

Let’s see how to create a brochure step by step:

  1. Choose the shape and size of your project. The “My Projects” screen offers a wide variety of templates and there are specific sizes for social media posts, blog posts. Even after setting up the brochure design, you can resize it to suit your needs.
  2. Choose a theme. From your “Projects” screen, select “Themes” and choose one from those proposed. When your theme appears on the sheet, click on it and editing tools such as color palettes and design tips will immediately appear.
  3. Create your brand or message with images. Your chosen theme provides you with a default image, but you can select another one if you wish. You also have the option of inserting multiple images per sheet, with easily accessible vertical column layouts for brochures.
  4. Express your message through text. To add new text to your design, click on “Text” and type in what you want to write. To change the font of the previously set template, select the text and click on one of the many available fonts in the “Font Menu”.
  5. Download, share, or print. As soon as your brochure is finished, click on the “Publish and Share” options. Spark generates a single link for embedding and sharing your project online, but alternatively, you can download the print link.

 

Flipsnack

flipsnack toolFlipsnack is a tool that, in free modality, allows you to convert PDFs to the online browsable version. To add media such as tags, video, and audio, however, you need to upgrade to Premium. Useful for creating, sharing, and embedding online brochures or magazines, here are the steps to realize your project:

  1. Upload a PDF from your desktop or design your brochure from scratch.
  2. Customize the look of your brochure with over 15 editing options.
  3. Publish the content.
  4. Share it on web pages, email, and social media, and then download it as a PDF or HTML5.
  5. Analyses the progress of your project. The software provides real-time reporting and integration with Google Analytics. It returns statistics for each page; impressions, views and average time spent on each page; clicks, shares, and downloads, and finally locations from which your brochure was accessed.

 

This is the interface of the “Customise” section where you arrive after uploading your PDF. On the left-hand side, you will find all the editing options, from the ability to automatically flip through the brochure (Autoflip pages) to the reading orientation.

autoflip page orientation

Here is an example of a brochure made with Flipsnack (click to browse it online).

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