Due to the current crisis, companies are being forced to look anew at how they connect with customers. In particular, all printed content is up for review. Some print publishers and other organisations who produce regular newsletter-type printed updates for staff or customers are reducing circulation or publication frequency in order to cut costs, while others are suspending printing entirely. But the trend isn’t limited to newsletters: all businesses need to assess their printed materials and reconsider how they might more effectively use digital collateral.
We’re all familiar with distributing content in PDF format, and many businesses are proud to present the digital edition of reports and other documentation as flip-books. But technology has progressed far beyond these awkward and simplistic interfaces and it’s time to up the ante and offer more interesting and engaging interactive experiences.
Organisations need to recognise the importance of their digital content and collateral: just as your printed corporate materials show your attitude and the pride you take in your brand, so too should your digital communications: these should reflect your business brand and values as well as meeting the technological expectations of the modern digital consumer. All too many companies settle for a basic, generic replica of their printed content; but what works well on paper often converts to a very poor digital experience, which leaves clients disappointed and potentially disaffected.
We’re at a point where a company's digital content needs to be responsive and deliver an engaging experience on phones and tablets. Collateral designed specifically with a digital interface and experience in mind can provide a responsive, interactive, and elegant reading experience, including features such as audio articles, custom content streams and integrated video feeds. Accessible solutions ensure readers are comfortable with this kind of experience, which can also better reflect brand image and values alongside an attentive attitude to customers.
Digital communications are front-of-mind at the moment and, although we hope that the demand for printing will make at least a partial comeback, we can expect the focus to remain on digital even when the current disruption calms down. This digital transition was already under way: COVID-19 has simply speeded up a process that most businesses were planning to make at a leisurely pace over the coming years.
For many organisations, this is clearly not an ideal moment to completely re-think existing collateral, or to embark on a large-scale re-design project. With this in mind, at Tantamount we have been looking at ways to maximise the effect of available budget spend.
For existing digital content assets (usually PDFs), we suggest the incorporation of a simple menu and navigation system, working within brand guidelines to apply corporate identity elements, as well as including other content initiatives such as video channels, blogs and podcasts, and interactive forms for ease of contact. These simple changes can revitalise the content and keep the audience interested and engaged, making a significant difference to brand perception.
We also suggest repurposing existing content, integrating it into a single updatable digital experience to be distributed as an interactive publication; this will strengthen the brand by offering a curated publication that includes the essence of company communications.
Whether they are able to meet up with clients in person or not, your personnel will still need to present data and give talks and sales presentations; responsive, interactive presentations can simultaneously impress and inform, and will allow your brand to stand out from the crowd.
Incorporating push notifications into your digital publications is one of the best methods to stay connected with clients, guaranteeing that they have the latest information at all times. The same applies, of course, to documentation used by sales and other personnel: the right approach will allow you to remotely control all the content on any company device, wherever it is, so that your staff can share, manage and use correct and current content, even offline.
The popularity of video means the medium is fast becoming the new standard for communication and its inclusion in your digital collateral is essential. Your sales team’s devices can be equipped with all the video content they need in order to grab the attention of your potential customers, and new content can be distributed automatically, and as appropriate, as it becomes available.
Business analysts assure us that the future of the customer sales journey will involve fewer and fewer face-to-face interactions; it’s important, therefore, to be confident of the power and effectiveness of your digital engagement. As you rely less and less on printed materials, it’s time to make sure your digital collateral is cutting edge.
At Tantamount, we specialise in words and design and in making sure they work together to communicate brand messages effectively and appropriately. If you need help finding the right words and getting the tone right, why not mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0798 661 3437 and let’s have a chat?