Downloadable content like PDFs can help encourage engagement with a website, which leads to more customers making a purchase. However, any PDFs associated with your company will need to be interesting, informative, and professional-looking so customers will gain a positive impression.

When you’re creating a PDF for download on your website, there are a few things you can do to ensure your customers will find it useful and valuable. Use the following information to get started.

Examples Of PDFs To Create

The most important thing to consider when creating a PDF is what it will be about. What information will customers be looking for? What information will inspire trust and create a sense of value?

If you choose topics that are interesting and informative, it’s more likely customers will download the PDF, pass it on to their friends and colleagues, and come away with a positive association with your company.

Various types of PDFs can be created depending on what your business is and what information your customers might be looking for. Some examples to consider include:

  • Catalogs – If you offer a number of different products for sale, catalogs might be a great option. Catalogs can change regularly as items go on sale, or you can have a master catalog that details everything available from your business. Catalogs can also cover just one type of product. For example, if you sell clothing, you might have a catalog for kid’s clothes and another for menswear.
  • Price Lists – If you have a type of products that all have different iterations, features, and prices that change accordingly, a price list can make it easier for customers to determine what they need and how much it will cost. It also makes it easier for them to order products. If you have a hardware store, for instance, price lists are perfect for detailing the prices for each type of part, in different sizes, finishes, etc.
  • eBooks – An eBook can be used for just about any website and can provide more information customers might be interested in, such as a collection of useful tips, buyer’s guides, and more. If you own a law firm, for example, you might write an eBook detailing basic legal advice and general guidance on how a case may proceed. This can help save time by ensuring your client will be informed and will also help establish trust and reputability.
  • Manuals – If you sell products, especially more complex types, like kits or equipment,  it’s useful to make PDF versions of manuals accessible on the website. Although manuals may be included with the products when they’re sold, customers may want to view the manual before purchase, download a copy to keep accessible, or download a copy to replace one they’ve lost.
  • White Papers – White papers can be used to persuade customers to purchase a product or service. These papers are informative and present a problem and the solution to it. To write a white paper, think of a problem your customers might have and delve into how your products or services can help them based on a specific set of needs.
  • How-to Guides – How are your products used? How should a customer take care of something after you’ve provided a service? What should they know to gain the best possible experience from your offerings so they come back for more? How-to guides are informative and help customers learn more about the products or services you offer. They’ll be more informed and you can better meet and exceed their expectations.

Start by choosing a topic or a type of PDF to create. If you start with a topic, you can then find the right type of PDF to create. You will also have a better idea of what the layout might be and all the information it will include. If you pick out a type of PDF first, it could give you some inspiration on different topics that you could address.

Either way, downloadable content is a great way to offer your customers incentives to engage. It’s then simply a matter of details for organizing that information, branding it, and determining the way in which you’ll make it accessible.

How Does A PDF Help With Branding And Engagement?

Once you have an idea of what you want to write, it’s time to think about branding and engagement. Based on the markets and customers you serve, the topic should be engaging.

A well-titled, clearly summarized PDF will help customers decide whether to sign up for it or download it. Once they’ve done so, you’ll still need to keep them engaged. The information should still be presented in a clear, appealing way. This encourages the customer to keep reading and then take the next steps towards a purchase or other form of engagement with your company. Layout and design are just as important for this as the text.

Graphics, images, and other design elements add interest to the PDF. They can help explain complex topics, and can also be useful for building brand recognition. Add logos, colors, and other types of branding throughout the PDF to encourage customers to remember your company. Be careful, however, not to go overboard with this.

The goal is to be clear and reputable in how you present your company, so the pages in the PDF aren’t too cluttered.

Tools Available To Help Create A PDF

Creating a PDF can be made easier by taking advantage of the many digital tools and design resources available today. There are apps as well as editing software that make PDF creation very straightforward. There is also the option of using professional design services. Some of the options to consider will include:

  • Graphic Design Apps or Software – Graphic design apps or software can be used to create the layout for the PDF then build and add the unique design elements. There are free as well as paid options for such applications.
  • Word Processing Software – Word processing software is invaluable when you’re writing a document. Not only can you write and layout the information, but there are proofreading apps available, which can help you make sure there are no mistakes in the document before it’s exported as a PDF.
  • PDF Editing Software – PDF editing software allows you to create the PDF and to make adjustments as needed. This ensures that everything will look the way you want in the final version. This software is crucial for creating high-quality PDFs, as you’ll want to make sure everything is clear and consistent before it’s published on your website.
  • Professional Design Services – If you aren’t sure what to do to create a stunning PDF your customers will love, or you’d prefer a professional touch to make sure it reflects a sophisticated, high-quality brand, professional design services are the option to choose. Designers and content producers help with any part of the PDF design and even handle the whole project from start to finish.

DIY Or Professional PDF Design: Which Is Better?

When you’re working on a PDF for a website, you do have the option of doing all of the work on your own or working with a professional. Both of these have advantages and disadvantages to consider before you make a decision.

Remember, if you do pick DIY, you can always contact a professional later on in the process if you do require help; there’s no need to stick with one option if you’re not happy with it. Think carefully about the following to get an idea of whether you might want to try creating the PDF on your own or if you’d like to start working with a professional from the start.

Creating a PDF on your own provides you the flexibility to create exactly what you want and what you believe customers may be looking for. You’ll have the option to make any PDF, add in any design elements you prefer, and have complete control over how the final page will look. The downside, however, is that you do have to do everything on your own.

This can be a lot of work and it can be expensive if you end up purchasing a few different apps specifically for the process. If you do not have a lot of design or writing experience, creating the PDF on your own might not be a good idea. A lack of experience and proficiency may become apparent in the end-result and that could reflect poorly on your brand.

Working with a professional is a great option if you’d like to save time, if you’re unsure of how to get started, or if you’re just hesitant to create something solely on your own. A professional who has experience working with PDFs for branding purposes can help with identifying relevant topics, creating the layout and design, adding design elements, and ensuring the content is engaging and useful for your desired sales and marketing outcome.

These specialists will add a professional touch to the PDF, so it will have a positive effect and contribute to your overall strategy. The main downside to hiring a professional can be the cost. It’s also important to be aware that the professional may not get the PDF created as fast as you’d like, and in some cases, you may have to pay extra for rush services if you need the PDF right away.

However you decide to create one, downloadable content on your website can help draw in more customers and encourage more sales. But to gain these outcomes, you need a PDF that’s well-branded and going to catch their interest so they remember your company.

To create the perfect PDF, you’ll need to choose the topic and type, then figure out the information it should contain and how the information will be organized. Once you have all of this, the next step is to determine if you’d prefer to create the PDF on your own or work with professional design services.

Each option can be a great one to choose from, depending on your preferences, schedule, and budget.