Using white papers is a digital content marketing strategy for lead generation. Generally, white papers rarely come to mind for organizations that aren’t technologically savvy. However, marketing white papers is a time-tested tool for increasing the brand’s reach and lead generation.
Most organizations focus on the more common and entertaining formats of marketing. With this, they grab the fleeting attention of half-interested customers, but at-times fail to garner the interest of serious clients. This is where whitepapers as a marketing tool come into the picture.
Before delving into how a business can utilize white papers to its advantage, let’s first understand what they are and their types.
What is Whitepaper?
The definition of Whitepapers may change from industry to industry but its role remains the same, irrespective of market share. A Whitepaper is an informative and educational document that requires something from a reader, usually in terms of personal data.
From investments to market reach, lead generation to organization pitches, white papers have numerous end uses. However, the prime focus is on giving persuasive in-depth knowledge about a given topic for those serious readers.
Types of Whitepapers:-
There are three basic types of white papers used for different purposes. Each has a typical format and aims to provide a specific kind of information.
1. The Backgrounder
The backgrounder is a kind of product briefing that elucidates unfamiliar or misunderstood technologies to tech audiences thereby working as a purely educational tool, usually for backend purposes. This format has marginally less marketing potential as its reach is limited only to a few serious target groups.
2. The Numbered List
The numbered list follows the format of blogs and usually is an easier read for slightly less technical topics. This is a great tool to garner attention from regular, non -technical audiences and serves as a great format for resolving queries. This is great for marketing purposes but lacks the technical authority and area expertise that gives organizations an edge.
3. The Problem/Solution
The problem/solution whitepaper format is by far the best among these, providing great technical insights in an easily digestible template. This format allows an organization to place themselves as problem solvers and allows those interested an insight into their business processes. This allows for the usage of this format for multiple purposes- from lead generation to educating sales teams, building mindshare, and creating hype in the market.
Each format has a specific purpose and can be used for various kinds of marketing requirements. Let’s deep dive into how a White paper can help with an organization’s marketing needs.
Why Use Whitepapers?
White papers help educate stakeholders, clients, and customers who are further along their buying cycle. It aims to inform and persuade with evidence making it more than just a marketing tool. There are numerous ways White papers can be used for every organization’s marketing needs.
1. Market Credibility and Subject Matter Authority
Since white papers deal with technical aspects and generally aim to resolve problems, they create an aura of authority around the subject matter for the organization thereby placing them in the limelight for their target audience.
While a generic marketing approach may have a wider reach, White papers are targeted to specific groups and hence, have a much higher conversion rate. This reduces organizational expenses, trying to reach out to false leads, and wastes precious recourses.
White papers are an incisive tool and create the best results for organizations seeking validation in the market by putting products on a pedestal of evidence-backed decision-making.
2. Lead Generation
White papers are an effective form of lead generation since they are an informative tool and talk about cutting edge developments in an organization’s domain. Most readers happily shell out reviews and personal information to learn from these since it helps them educate themselves on the happenings of their market segment.
It works almost like a newspaper subscription allowing an organization to reach an audience that is interested in their product or solution, thereby increasing conversions. Since this format creates only genuine leads, follow-ups become easy taking a load off from pre-sales and marketing team
White papers create interest in the market and bring genuine leads as customers/businesses are keen to inform and educate themselves about the latest practices in their market domain.
3. Competitive Edge
White papers set an organization apart from its peers since most organizations use a conventional marketing approach and look towards only entertaining and casual encounters with their clientele. Most organizations fail to see the importance that a white paper lends to their business and hence, are stuck in the quagmire with everyone else.
Statistics from a survey Alterra Group conducted show that white papers ranked fifth in B2B marketer’s most used content marketing vehicles and are only created by about half of the competition. This allows a business that creates White papers stand out from the crowd as a beacon of data and thought driven techniques rather than just pandering to whims of customers.
White papers ensure a business is treated differently from the masses as it comes forward as a subject matter expert, creating numerous avenues for growth- from investments to stakeholder satisfaction and last-mile conversion.
In conclusion, a white paper ensures that an organization is taken seriously by all those involved in its domain and creates an interest in the market towards its practices and products. This allows for a firm to have a better, firmer standing in the market and is looked upon with admiration by its peers and subject matter amateurs.
Regular practice of creating and distributing white papers across multiple marketing channels is a sure-shot way to establish dominance in the market as a thought leader making ALL your marketing efforts more effective.