A white paper is one of the most persuasive pieces of marketing you can have. This report, usually 10 or more pages, outlines a problem and includes the solution with a description of a product or service that benefits your B2B customer. While it is not a sales pitch, it is a soft sell to consumers to trust you and your brand. You are building confidence with your customers through your expertise.
When done right, white papers are effective marketing tools for your business. The information in your white paper can last for years.
What often gets overlooked in this investment — an investment because white papers take time to create, team members (including writers and designers), and a budget to produce — is its ability to be used in other marketing and branding projects.
White papers and marketing
Your white paper features incredibly important information, so make sure your customers know about it. Use it as another tool to help you build trust and commitment with your customers.
How can you do this?
Review your other marketing channels: your website, your blog, your social media, your newsletter. Share portions of your latest white paper within these channels. Even if not all of your readers are your direct target audience, they may share your white paper and other information with your buyers who are on their team or within their company.
You have enough information in your white paper to last you until your next white paper (unless it is evergreen material, which lasts longer), so use it to avoid the headache of deciding how to fill your marketing and editorial calendars. Outline the topics from your white paper you want to address through the year and develop a plan for each marketing channel.
Next, assign your team specific responsibilities and deadlines for repurposing this content. Since the content is already written, a tweak is all that is needed for your particular marketing channel. Avoid simply copying and pasting the information because each medium works differently — each targets specific audiences and each has a unique content style.
And take advantage of your online channels to incorporate other tools not in your white paper, such as videos, to enhance your data.
Giving your customers small snippets of the information contained in your white paper will whet their appetite for seeing the entire piece.
Finally, make sure that your white paper plays a key role in your marketing by making it front and center on your website. It should be prominent, perhaps with a pop-up box that allows visitors to fill in their email to be sent a downloadable version.