Do you produce white papers? If not, it’s time to start. The Content Marketing Institute conducts a yearly content marketing survey with B2B marketers. This year’s B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America survey found that 68 percent of B2B content marketers use white papers, up from the 64 percent reported last year. Also, 58 percent of those surveyed rated white papers as an effective content marketing tactic. In another survey, Eccolo Media asked technology buyers how much and which types of content they read when making a buying decision. In the report, responders stated that while they read the same number of emails as white papers, they were more influenced by white papers.
White papers have evolved over time. Today, they are more educational and entertaining than in the past. One reason is because they include graphics, pull-down quotes and statistical data. They also use a writing style that inspires readers to recognize potential solutions to their challenges.
In addition to sharing white papers with existing prospects, use white papers for other business building functions, such as:
- Generating leads. By making the white paper available through a registration form on the website, you can identify new prospects and build your email list.
- Distributing at industry conferences or trade shows. An attractively produced white paper bound in report format makes a good impression and a valuable handout.
- Creating a press release and/or blog post. A press release or blog post based on the key findings in your white paper is newsworthy and might be picked up by your industry press. The repurposed content also produces fresh material for your website.
- Promoting through your social media channels. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to publicize your white paper.
- Using the content as the foundation for conducting a webinar. People learn in a variety of ways. A webinar facilitates a more interactive format to address the challenges and solutions presented in your white paper.
White papers are more educational and entertaining than in the past
Remember the purpose of white papers is to help readers see how your products or services can solve their problems. When you demonstrate this type of focus, you earn the readers’ trust and are seen as a noteworthy subject matter expert.
For additional information on white papers, read our Business Builders Newsletter on The Business Case for White Papers. If you’re struggling with the “how” and “what” of writing white papers, contact Trade Press Services at (805) 490-8850. We will work with you to produce engaging white papers that appeal to your target audiences.