Your White Paper Marketing Guide for 2019
Well, ‘Marketing’ is all about communication.
As a marketer, you must be able to communicate the benefits and value your clients are about to get on purchasing your products. A lot of marketers commonly use brochures, e-books or even guides to do the same. However, many are still unaware of the idea of using a White paper.
White paper is a lesser-known marketing communication tool, a document which is up to academic standards, outlining a problem or challenge to provide a solution via a product or service that is being marketed. They are fact-based marketing tools but are not outrightly structured as such. But don’t worry, here is a guide on how to structure a White Paper for Marketing.
White papers in a marketing context will usually have a minimum of 6 pages, with no definite maximum page count. Therefore, it is important for them to have an executive summary that briefly outlines what it entails for faster readership.
But Why ‘White Paper Marketing?
Since a white paper is an authoritative report or guide designed to educate or persuade the reader on a particular topic, it brings in extra credibility. It might range from a single page to hundreds of pages and can be categorized into government and business-to-business (B2B) marketing sections.
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It is indeed a powerful marketing tool. However, many think that it's only sole purpose is to generate leads. In reality, there are actually several other benefits of writing and using a white paper in your content marketing strategy. Take a look:
Generating More Leads
Yes, white papers are a great lead generating tool. They have a high conversion rate as compared to other methods. The combination of learning followed by persuasion makes them one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Also, the leads generated by White papers are generally very reliable because the writing is a mix of experimentation and scholarly insights. And who doesn’t believe a scholar, right?
Bumped-up Mailing List
Getting someone to sign up to your newsletter simply to receive updates don’t get many takers, and most of the visitors will just pass. But if you give away a free gift, you can get a sign-up that can bring more subscribers. A white paper can be used as a free gift/subscription which could be made available to people after they have signed up.
However, it needs to trigger some sort of interest in the user’s mind. And for that, the subject of your white paper must be relevant to what you are offering and must contain something that interests your audience, if you want to gain more subscriptions.
Building Brand Image
White papers spread awareness among your audience and create a better brand image. At the end of the paper, instead of writing a persuasive brochure to coax your users into action, you may write a short description of your company and the tasks it handles. This will help the readers comprehend what products and services your company provides and how it is the best for their problems. Additionally, it also generates value and builds trust with your audience.
More Social Likes
The power of social media is impeccable in white paper marketing techniques. Another way you can use your white paper is to get likes on your company’s Facebook page. In the new Facebook timeline, they have got rid of the landing page, but not of fan-gating.
You can now place your content in the tiny tab below your cover image. Then place a powerful message in this tab, letting your page visitors know that they can get the white paper but only on one condition - if they like your page.
You can also place a short signup form in this tab so that people can subscribe to receive it after they have liked your page. This way you will not only get a lot of likes, but also build your mailing list.
Content and the Digital Era
“Content is (still) king” in this digital era. In any form - article, blog or white paper, content has proved to be the best in providing knowledge to the audience and bringing in leads for the business. Many companies, apart from publishing blogs and articles, are also writing and publishing White Papers to provide a solution to the customer’s problems and help them make a decision.
Now that you know all the benefits of White Paper Marketing, here are 4 Keys to a Compelling White Paper Marketing Strategy.
Coming to the last part of the guide, we present to you the best tips for crafting a white paper:
Publishing a new white paper is a lot like publishing a new book. One needs to do a lot of marketing much ahead of time. However, unlike publishing a book, the marketing doesn’t start months before you plan to put it out. A white paper marketing strategy beforehand can help create the right buzz and get people to line up, but it has to be done in the right way. You should not only have proper planning but also plenty of time to generate excitement to be able to engage your viewers.
Design a Landing Page
It’s good to create your landing page about two weeks ahead of time. The aim of the landing page is to get the readers to provide their contact details. It should be precise and persuasive.
The study by Website Magazine shows that 80 percent of the visitors to a blog are new visits, while only 20 percent are repeat visits. This mean that most of the people who visit your blog on a certain day will probably never visit it again. They might also never find or read your white paper.
Add a call to action (CTA) button to the landing page, which is carefully strategized too. Let the readers know that if they register with their names and email addresses, they will get the white paper and that it’s not a hoax.
Write Guest Posts
Writing guest posts on popular blogs and pages can be another amazing way to help market your new white paper. If you want this strategy to work, make sure you write blogs that focus on the same niche your white paper covers. This cushions your white paper marketing strategy for it to not fail. For example, if your white paper is on a technology topic, write a post to popular tech blogs such as Webware or TechRadar or whichever is the most popular one in your vicinity.
Don’t forget to include a CTA button and a link to your main white paper to increase your landing page traffic and drive registrations.
If you are in contact with an expert on the subject, someone who has a popular page or blog in the same niche, make a preview copy available to them. Ask them if they would like to write a review and post it on their own blog.
The association with an established expert or thought leader can greatly increase your white paper’s credibility. You can add these short reviews to your landing page as well. This can help make it more persuasive and add additional legitimacy to your work.
Email your Subscribers
Always send an email to your readers and viewers after publishing the white paper. Ask them to download the paper by visiting the landing page. This might get even more sign-ups for you. If you already have their contact details, you can send them a direct link to the PDF. It is a great way to increase your white paper downloads. You can inform your newsletter readers about your paper a week or two before you launch it, at the same time, giving a sneak peak into what it could be. Maybe send them a pre-publishing landing page and ask them to sign up if they are interested.
Ready to get started?
Here are some great white paper examples from smart marketers for your reference. Some other resources you’d want to look into to better your own white paper marketing are: Role of White Papers in B2B Marketing and How White Papers is the ROI in Social Media Marketing