What’s the Difference Between a PDF and a Flipbook

PDFs are of such universal use that you may question why you would switch to a digital flipbook – or why you would need to do so. While PDFs have long enjoyed a dominance in the digital publishing world, flipbooks are now the source that businesses are turning to, to promote their content. What’s the difference between a PDF and a Flipbook? .

What is a PDF? A PDF is a way to present or read a document exactly as it was designed, without needing a specific software, hardware, or operating system to use it. PDFs became popular because they are versatile, inexpensive to put together, and available to be emailed or downloaded on various devices for offline reading. However, the versatility stops there. Despite PDFs being easy to use, they are an old format that doesn’t offer much in the way of enhancements or providing the best experience for your readers.

Thus, the flipbook was introduced. What is a flipbook? A flipbook is a digital experience that recreates the layout of the printed material by displaying content left to right and utilizes an animated flipping page feature. Flipbooks begin as PDFs, but they offer a richer, more engaging experience for users. With a flipbook, you can add rich media, embed video and audio clips, incorporate gif animations, and more. In this article, we’ll explore both mediums and go over a few ways that PDFs and flipbooks differ.

  • Flipbooks Increase User Interactivity, Useability, and Engagement: Flipbooks are more easily accessible than PDFs. You can utilize any device – from desktop to tablet – for a flipbook. They provide high-resolution images, cohesive branding, and enhanced linking options for content navigation – and the benefits don’t stop there. With a flipbook, you can convert all your existing materials into a virtual library online and unleash a range of features that not only keep your users engaged, but also drive results. Ensure your readers connect and engage with your content by easily adding a range of media elements –  such as embedding video and audio clips, gif animations, and pop ups – with an online flipbook creator. Integrate your digital flipbook library into eCommerce systems and SaaS solutions that revolutionize your content.
  • Maintain and Manage Flipbook Content in Real-Time: With flipbooks, you can manage your materials in a single streamlined platform, utilize real time updates, eCommerce integrations, social sharing options, and multi-language viewers. PDFs do not allow for quite as much management. Digital catalog publishing offers a chance to go beyond mere management and supercharge your content and business potential by enhancing your brand’s reach with accessible cloud-based content on any device from any location.
  • Flipbooks Make it Easy to Track Data and Analytics: PDFs do not allow for extensive tracking of data, instead limiting you to one metric, which is downloads. It is also harder to see who is reading and engaging with your material when you only use PDFs. Digital flipbooks, however, easily enable you to track your readers’ behavior with tangible analytics metrics and find out how your audience really engages with your digital flipbook. You can see how long they stay on each page, which links they click on, and more. This information will propel your marketing efforts by enabling you to hone in on your customer base and create a more personalized outreach plan. This, in turn, will increase your sales and turnaround by promoting the personalization of your content to relate to your customers.
  • Flipbooks are SEO Friendly: Another advantage of digital flipbooks is that they are SEO friendly. With a flipbook creator, your content can be easily searched by Google and found by your customers or leads. You can utilize SEO to add customized keywords to maximize search engine visibility.
  • Flipbook Content is Easy to Share: Whereas with PDFs, it requires downloading to read them, with a digital edition, you get a link to share your content by email or social media, or you can embed it directly into your website. You can even mask the URL, so your digital edition appears to come directly from you and not from a third party. You can also incorporate your flipbook as part of your email signature.
  • Make Instant Updates: With PDFs, changes to the content are more complicated. Via online catalog software, you have the ability to make instant updates to your content and have the updates happen in real-time. You do not have to take a version down to edit it, then replace it – you can use flipbook creator software to make your updates, publish them, and move on with your day.
  • Flipbooks Provide Security: If you are concerned about security, flipbooks are more secure than PDFs! PDFs are great for sharing and distributing content freely but if you would like to keep some content confidential, you are easily able to do that with a digital flipbook. You can add a password to protect your flipbook or embed it behind the login page on your site to further protect your content.

Digital publishing platforms have made it easier for content creators and marketers to get work done faster and achieve aspirational goals. Utilizing a digital catalog will further your reach, improve ROI and sales, and enhance your marketing efforts. Whereas PDFs provide a stagnant view of your content, digital editions open up your content to the world. With so many options to offer engagement and easily share your flipbook across social media, you will create content that is meaningful and relatable to your audience.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.