Advantages As Marketing Communication Tools
White papers-especially those authored by a recognized industry authority-build stature for your company and a reputation for thought leadership.
Well-crafted white papers have staying power-you can still collect leads long after the paper was initially published. Magazines are quickly discarded, and trade shows last for only a few days. Some Pelorus clients continued to generate leads from downloads years after the paper was initially published.
Influences The Buying Process
White papers are relied on to identify solutions to problems, rationalize capital investment proposals, and help structure RFQ’s. The most effective white papers are largely vendor agnostic. They are perceived by decision-makers as more objective than sales literature.
Unconstrained by length or chargeable column inches, your white papers can include charts, illustrations, photos, executive quotes, and user feedback. While we recommend 5-8 pages there are no real limitations. Some white papers have exceeded 100 pages. Additionally, the paper can be updated as necessary to assure that the content is fresh and accurate.
White papers are ideal as fulfillment pieces for webinars, training tools for new employees, channel partner support, tradeshow
handouts, sales rep leave behind, web content, and product launch support
One of the most important advantages of white papers is that serve as jumping off points for additional collateral including blog posts, webinars, trade magazine articles, e-books, and infographics.
Our white papers typically cost from $3500-$6000 and produce hundreds of downloads. Our record is over thousand downloads for a single white paper. Compare this cost per lead to media advertising and trade show participation. What’s more, prospects that download your white papers are signaling that they are seriously interested in learning more about your company and your solutions..
10 Tips For Winning White Papers
Have a compelling title and engaging first paragraph. Readers will decide in about 3 seconds if they will read the rest of the paper.
- Use graphics, charts, white space, screen shots, bullets, and case studies to add interest, strengthen credibility, and improve comprehension.
- Present a solution to an important problem
- Include practical “takeaways” that readers can use to improve operations.
- Don’t be boring – include color, graphics, quotes, case studies – even a little humor or whimsy.
- Write to be understood – avoid acronym overload and unnecessary business jargon.
- Respect the reader’s time. Stay on point. Target 5-7 page
- Provide citations for third party references
- Use a professional to format the paper.
- Use credible third parties to publicize the paper.
- Retain an author that is well known and respected in your industry
Choosing A Topic
Nothing will impact readership more than choosing the right subject, with the right title. Choosing a topic requires a balance of considerations. The theme should be topical but not overused. Subject matter should provide useful takeaways, but not be so narrow as to limit the audience to practitioners at the exclusion decision-makers. The text should support your solution but not be so product-specific that it comes across as a self-serving sales piece.
Before selecting a topic, we spend a lot of time with clients exploring subjects will be of interest to readers and beneficial to sponsors. We often submit several options from which clients can make a choice. The conclusion may be that we need not one but a sequence of papers one builds upon the other.
Following are must haves for successful papers:
- Supports Key messaging points
- Supports key differentiators
- Topical – readers want to know about it now
- Shares valuable takeaways
- Appeals to the target audience
- Gee Whiz quotient (challenging/controversial)
- You have something special to share, for example, market statistics, research findings, expert opinion, ROI metrics, use case, or performance statistics