This year the PDF celebrates 27 years of digital circulation, making it a digital relic. But looking at the traditional benefits in light of newer innovations, the PDF still offers an edge for content creators.
Let’s start with the basics: PDF is reliable. It will always look the same down to the last design pixel no matter what operating system or device you’re using.
But the core of the file format’s strength lies in the psychology of its user experience. The format mimics a physical file, allowing users to store it in their digital file cabinet. This lends credibility and longevity to the content that a webpage simply cannot offer.
And while many point to SEO as the ultimate reason to ditch this format, PDF optimization is actually an untapped opportunity. Many marketers don’t realize that many of the same indexing rules apply to PDFs as they do to web pages – as long as they are opened in-browser.
Opening PDFs in-browser has become the new norm, offering new ways to target and measure using this format. There are ways to track who is reading, insert links, CTAs and all the other goodness we content marketers have come to know and love.
While it isn’t the right format for every type of content, PDFs are still a top choice for long-form evergreen content such as white papers, case studies and eBooks. We think it’s safe to say, they’ll be around for a while longer.