B2B buyers have relied on white papers for years to shortlist vendors and evaluate choices. Now businesses see the true value of hiring a white paper writer for their content marketing.
Whether you’re targeting consumers at the top, middle or bottom of the sales funnel, a well-written white paper is an essential tool in your marketing tool kit.
All white papers have one thing in common: they educate their audience by presenting a problem and providing a solution. However, they're not a sales pitch. Yes, they are a remarkable marketing tool for B2B vendors, but there is no appeal to emotions, no puff-speak and no exaggeration.
They're not an content marketing ebook either. Ebooks are much lighter in style than white papers, both in style and format. And because they're more visually engaging in general, they have fewer words on each page and use a more casual tone of voice. That's why it typically takes less time to write an ebook.
White papers are one of the most influential content marketing strategies available.
If you sell innovative, complex or expensive products to other businesses, you can definitely profit from publishing white papers. These persuasive, fact-based reports have amazing reach and influence. Most publishers of white papers are B2B vendors, and the industries that use them the most include manufacturing, construction, technology, energy, healthcare, logistics and business services.
What you have to ask yourself is if your target audience needs to or wants to read a paper several pages long before they buy your product or service. In other words, do they need to be extremely well-informed before they become a customer of yours? If the answer is yes, you're probably a good candidate for developing a white paper.
In certain industries, many B2B buyers expect a white paper from their shortlist of suppliers to help them decide which product to buy. After all, they'r about to sped a lot of money and they need to sure about their choice. But if you can't give them a white paper, or you can but it's poorly written, you might as well send them straight over to your competitors without further ado.
Companies know that well-researched white papers that are both readable and persuasive offer a great return on investment. Trouble is, most of those companies do not have the in-house resources to write a white paper. The same goes - surprisingly - for many marketing agencies, which is why many end up outsourcing these projects.
Did you know that half of business decision makers in North America spend at least 30 minutes every week consuming thought leadership content? Or that 41% of C-Suite executives say thought leadership has led them to include a company in a RFP opportunity.
Done right, thought leadership content is clearly a worthwhile investment. And what format is at the top of the pile? Yep! White papers.
Why do white papers have so much influence? If they're well-planned, well-researched and well-written (hint: not all of them are), they can help you:
In short, white papers are incredibly effective in building a company's credibility and getting a website noticed by major search engines and target audiences. That translates into more leads and more sales.
In 2017, 45% of business decision makers and 53% of C-suite executives admit to losing respect and admiration for companies producing low-quality or irrelevant thought-leadership content.
In fact, over 30% of business decision makers have removed companies from consideration after engaging with what they viewed as poor thought leadership content. So, it seems that not investing in well-written content like white papers can have a negative effect on your brand.
Source: How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation: June 1, 2017 (Edelman LinkedIn)
White papers are perfect for today's world of inbound marketing. Re-purpose them and you can stretch your investment even further. Please contact me to discuss your white paper needs.
I've worked with many industries over the years and I have a business background, so I can get up to speed with unfamiliar companies and products quickly, and I work comfortably as part of a team.
Together, we can get your white paper written and published!
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