The digital flipbook format has been used wider and wider in recent years, as more companies and even industries are realizing its full potential. However, it is not yet omnipresent enough for the term to be self-explanatory. For many people still, the word “flipbook” calls to mind funny books with images that appear to be moving when you flip the pages fast—not interactive digital publications that can revolutionize your marketing strategy.
So, in this article, we’ll try and answer all the main questions surrounding the format—what an online flipbook is, what makes it different from other digital formats, how you can benefit from it, and, finally, how you get one.
What Is a Flipbook?
A flipbook is an interactive digital publication with a realistic page-flip effect that makes it look just like a printed copy. A digital flipbook is created from a PDF via a one-click process and can be shared as a direct link or embedded into a website. There are multiple flipbook software out there that can do the trick with varying degrees of quality and reliability, but in our article here, we’ll talk about flipbooks made with FlippingBook Online.
What Makes Flipbooks Different from Other Formats
There are several key differences between digital flipbooks and other digital formats, such as PDFs, Google Slides, Google Docs, etc. The most obvious one—the page-flip effect and the lifelike appearance—might look like a purely aesthetical thing at first glance. However, most of the attributes particular to digital flipbooks are not just flashy gimmicks but smart tools for marketing, sales, and more.
The digital flipbook format allows for multiple different ways of sharing. You don’t have to deal with cumbersome attachments that threaten to exceed the size limit of your email agent anymore. Instead, you can simply send a direct link to a flipbook, via email or a messenger, or share the same link on social media where it will be converted into a nice flipbook preview. You can also embed the flipbook itself into your website, where visitors will be able to flip through it without leaving the page. Via a QR code, you can even share your flipbook offline: just place the code on a tradeshow banner, and people will scan it on the go, getting instant access to your promo materials.
Even though flipbooks do look like printed publications brought online, they’re in fact much more than that. You can’t include videos, GIFs, or even whole pop-up galleries in your printed catalog, but you absolutely can do all of this and more with its flipbook counterpart. Why is it important? Because different types of content boost engagement and enhance comprehension—for example, 96% of marketers agree that videos have helped increase user understanding of their product or service. That means you can convey your message better with an interactive flipbook than with any other format.
Built-in interactivity also means more intuitive and efficient navigation. Readers can easily find what they’re looking for via an interactive table of contents, thumbnails, or text search, and even leave private notes for themselves if they see something they’d like to revisit later.
Not every digital document is meant to be shared openly—some require an extra level of protection. And it’s much easier to protect a digital flipbook than it is a PDF. With a flipbook, you get to control how much your document is guarded, as there are several types of content protection to choose from. You can restrict sharing options for your flipbook to limit its distribution. Password protection will shield it from unwarranted access. With restricted embedding, you can be sure that your flipbook won’t be embedded anywhere else on the web but your platform. And if you aren’t ready to share your flipbook with anyone yet, you can just make it completely private, available only to you in your own account.
For those looking for maximum exposure and increased outreach, digital flipbooks are the best bet, as well. Turning PDFs into flipbooks actually helps to improve their search engine optimization. Web crawlers love flipbooks—they scan them page by page, catching keywords and making your documents appear in search results within mere days (we’ve checked!). And all you have to do is turn on the public mode for the flipbook you want to promote.
Whether you share your documents privately or publicly, you want them to look professional and be a good representation of your brand. Flipbooks are up for the task. Not only can you make your flipbook fit the brand image with a custom background and color palette, but you can also add a clickable logo of your company, leading readers back to your website. This way, if a person stumbles upon your flipbook on the web and gets interested in what you offer, they won’t have to search for you manually—they’re just a click away from your website at all times.
A clickable logo is not the only smart tool in a digital flipbook’s collection. A customizable lead form that allows you to capture new leads right from the pages of your flipbook, advanced analytics that help you thoroughly analyze readers’ activity with your content and plan ahead accordingly, a teamwork option, and even individual trackable links with instant notifications… Can a Google Slide presentation do that? We didn’t think so.
And finally, if you want to update your flipbook—to fix a typo or to make its content more relevant,—you can do so easily, and the link to the flipbook won’t change. That means you don’t have to worry about resending the file or changing the links across all platforms. Everyone with the link will see the new version of your flipbook the moment you upload it. If the flipbook in question is embedded in your website, the embed will show the updated version as well.
We’ve mentioned flipbooks’ realistic design as something that may seem a purely aesthetical aspect at first glance—and, sure, a flipbook, with its glossy pages and page-turn sound effect, does look posh. But there’s more to its lifelike format besides appearance. The tradition of delivering and consuming content in a book-shaped form has been with us for centuries—much, much longer than the scrolling thing has been around. There is a certain philosophy behind a book, of a more thorough approach to reading, of slowing down. With a flipbook, you take your reader back to a simpler time when to read something meant to give it your full attention, not to scroll mindlessly through.
Who Can Profit from the Flipbook Format
People from all industries and lines of work choose digital flipbooks as their go-to solution to present their content online. Why? Because a flipbook is capable of meeting all their needs.
Just to give you an example:
- a marketer easily sees via stats whether or not their collateral is getting any traction;
- a salesperson keeps an eye on a lead’s activity with their offer and gives them a nudge at just the right time;
- an educator sends their students interactive learning materials, saving on shipping and printing;
- a real estate agent makes their introduction to potential clients via a digital listing presentation and gathers their contact details through a lead form;
- a restaurant owner creates a digital menu to provide a safe touch-free experience to their guests;
- a creator turns their portfolio into an online flipbook they can embed directly into their platform or share as a link at any time.
And so on! In other words, anyone can profit from turning their document into a digital flipbook—so can you.
What Types of Documents Benefit from the Flipbook Format
The flipbook format benefits each type of digital document in a different way.
A customer can easily navigate your flipbook catalog even if it’s a thousand pages long. Pop-up galleries allow them to view every item in detail. If an item catches their eye, they can get straight to its product page on your website just by following the link.
Flipbook catalog example
Your flipbook magazine looks just like a printed one but better because you can add relevant links, colorful GIFs, and engaging videos to its pages. Insert a lead form, and people will be able to subscribe to new issues straight away.
Flipbook magazine example
Your flipbook presentation will catch everyone’s eye thanks to its colorful design and animated graphs. Choose the format that suits its flow best—go for one-page flip mode or even a slideshow.
Flipbook presentation example
Your monthly employee newsletter is much easier to consume when it’s sent not by post, but as a link that opens swiftly on any device. Just drop your readers an email with the link to a new issue and watch the stats to see what has captivated their attention the most.
Flipbook newsletter example
Send your investor an interactive flipbook proposal but do it smartly—via a trackable link. When they open or download your proposal, you’ll get an instant email notification. This way, you’ll always know when to follow up on your offer.
Flipbook proposal example
Have you been creating a must-read market report that everyone needs to see? Make it public for maximum outreach and don’t be afraid to edit it regularly to keep the data up-to-date—the link to your report will stay the same.
Flipbook report example
Your digital portfolio looks its best in the flipbook format. And what’s even better is that you can copy its QR code and add it to your business card. This way, your elevator pitch is always in your pocket when you need it.
Flipbook portfolio example
An SEO-friendly flipbook brochure basically promotes itself by being so easy to share and ranking high in search engine results. And you can share it on social media, too! Your eye-catching lifelike interactive leaflet will get people’s attention (and likes).
Flipbook brochure example
How to Make a Digital Flipbook
Now that you’ve seen everything an online flipbook is, you’re probably wondering how hard it is to make one. Good news—it’s no hard work! We have a thorough guide on creating a digital flipbook online, but to put it simply, all you have to do is this:
- Have a PDF (you make one in Canva with one of our beautiful templates)
- Create an account on FlippingBook Online
- Upload your PDF there
- Get a ready-to-go flipbook in just a minute or two
- Customize it, if you want to
- Share it anywhere!
That’s really it, it’s that easy. Now you can watch the stats and analyze users’ activity with your brand new flipbook to make the next one even more efficient.
How Much It Costs to Make a Flipbook
To make a flipbook and keep it running for as long as you want, you’ll need an active subscription to FlippingBook Online. With this subscription (that starts from $25/month), you buy:
- the certainty that your flipbooks stay online at all times
- the opportunity to edit and update them wherever you need
- and a ready solution to make more of them should you wish so.
In comparison, printing, shipping, and reprinting (in case of updates) of the same documents would cost thousands of dollars—and you still won’t get all the extra perks digital flipbooks offer. So by going with digital flipbooks, you do save money, not to mention time and trees, while actually getting more than print or other digital formats could ever provide.
To sum it all up for the last time, digital flipbooks are an innovative way of sharing documents online that can help you change the way you present your content as well as your whole approach to marketing.