White papers can be one of the most effective forms of copy for a B2B company. A single piece of content will not lead to an automatic conversion in most cases. But a well-written and expertly distributed white paper can help you move buyers further along in their journey. The educational value you offer through quality whitepaper not only positions your company as a leader, but endears the reader to your brand.
For B2B companies, a well-written t white paper serves many purposes. They can be used for lead generation to gain contact information, increase your brand awareness, as a sales tool for your sales team, and showcase your authority on the subject matter.
The big caveat here is that it’s not easy to create a great white paper. They’re time-consuming to research and develop. You need to be very clear about your target audience and your goals. Your white paper should offer the reader usable information that not only educates them on the subject matter but reinforces your company as the brand providing high-quality content.
White papers are well researched and include a good deal of valuable information on the topic they cover. They’re meant to help the reader make a decision, understand an aspect of their business, or solve a pain point. White papers tend to be more academic and serious than other types of content, but that doesn’t mean that they need to be dry or boring. A good white paper showcases expertise while giving the audience something that clearly benefits them.
Strategy for White Papers
To develop a winning white paper, you need to define your goals. The strategy for your white paper is critical to its success and the value it brings to your audience.
Your strategy should include:
- Purpose. What is the purpose of the white paper? What topic are you covering and what value does it bring to your audience?
- Target Audience. A user persona helps to identify your target audience so that the content can be direct and valuable. Don’t guess. Use your analytics and knowledge of your customer base to decipher what your audience needs and wants. Use your competitive research to find out where there’s a hole in the market that you can fill.
White papers tend to be longer and more complicated in scope than many other content types. But make sure that the length of the content is enough to adequately cover the topic, but not so long that it overwhelms the reader. The content should also be highly relevant to your target audience and offer any information that they can use in their job roles.
Make a Home for Your White Paper
Some B2B companies offer a resources page where all their white papers can be accessed. Many companies include links to white papers on their blog or may offer the option of downloading the full white paper. In other cases, the white paper might be accessed directly on the website, with no need to download a file.
Building out a landing page for the white paper is one of the most effective distribution methods. The copywriting on your landing page should be clear and persuasive and provide enough information to compel the reader to offer the information in exchange for the download.
One of the benefits of using a landing page is that you can A/B test the page for conversion rates and tweak your approach as you gain more insights. Another benefit is that you can position the white paper as a lead generation tool by offering the white paper in exchange for contact information.
White Paper Marketing Methods
To increase traffic and distribution of your white paper, you’ll need to develop a marketing campaign for the content. Creating excellent content is not enough. Marketing will help your audience, and a new audience, find your new offering.
Most B2B companies choose a multi-channel approach. This means that they’re marketing the white paper across all their marketing and social media channels. You might include an email campaign, sponsored content on your social media channels, blog announcements, and paid ads.
Social Media Sharing for White Papers
Sharing on social media can be a great way to encourage your followers and connections to easily share links to your white paper. You might also encourage your employees and affiliates to share posts about the new white paper to increase visibility.
The best social media platforms to cultivate are ones where you’ll find your target audience. For B2B content, LinkedIn is often one of the most effective.