Originally, “White Paper” referred to official government reports that established the authenticity of an important topic. Also known as “Gray Literature,” today whitepapers are an important marketing tool to present/sell information on the Internet. Whitepapers are used for business-to-business marketing as a promotional document to introduce the benefits and features of a technology or products and services. They combine facts, statistics and logical arguments to indirectly build a favorable claim for a company’s superiority over others. As such, they are used for generating sales leads, making a business case, to establish thought leadership in the eco-system of channel partners, customers, analysts, investors, journalists and other followers. While they may act as promotional material for products and services, whitepapers are also used to present research findings, tips on business issues, and highlight a particular product/service advantage.
Whitepapers are considered to be the most effective marketing collateral today. Research shows that 86% of respondents believe that white papers had positively influenced their purchase/decision. According to B2B Magazine, whitepapers are ranked higher than other content marketing tools such as brochures, case studies, podcasts and videos. According to Frost & Sullivan, a leading market research firm, whitepapers are among the most precious lead generation tool that makes money for a company. The report also suggested that publishing whitepapers is the best investment any company could make.
Effective Ways to Promote White Paper
Once, you have generated a powerful white paper with a strong message, there are several platforms available for publicizing them.
#1 White Paper Submission Sites
These are special websites like TechRepublic that allow companies to present their whitepapers either free or for a fee. They make sure that the content is seen by the desired demographics.
#2 Social Media Platform
Social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, have customer, clients, investors and journalists from different spheres and each of them eager to hear a new story. As such, whitepapers integrate the right kind of material to be promoted on social platforms to make them viral (with social sharing).
#3 Document Sharing Platforms
Platforms like Slideshare, DocStoc, & Scribd allow marketers to upload whitepapers and market them among the interested demographics. Companies can get a lot of mileage by presenting documents on these sites.
#4 Email Marketing
Whitepapers can be emailed directly or forwarded to people who have already signed up for your newsletters and updates. Marketing automation software can play an important role in monitoring, scoring and nurturing prospects that respond to the emails by downloading the whitepaper or requesting more information.
#5 Google Adwords
Google presents this amazing Adwords platform for content syndication with marketing campaigns. Marketing through Google Adwords can really boost up leads, website traffic and sales.
#6 Publish Press Releases
Various press release distribution services like PR-Inside,ReferNews, PR.com can be effectively used to market your whitepaper and generate leads. Online press releases should be submitted to social networks, search engines and industry journals.
#7 Release on Website/Blog
You can have your whitepaper accessible to any guest visiting your website. Many companies offer their whitepapers to be downloaded by interested prospects, customers and clients. However, do ensure that the download formalities (forms, signup, etc) are easy, short and simple.
#8 Create Brief Video
Videos too can be effectively used to present the concept of your whitepaper in a more interactive manner. Placed freely on YouTube, you can always embed the video link on your website and make content marketing take a visual avatar.
#9 Write Guest Blog Posts
Several companies/brands write guest blogs and posts on the subject of their white paper with appropriate links to attract leads. This will also help you to reach your target audiences by sharing helpful tips or resources.
# 10 White Paper Syndication
If you are looking for huge audiences and have enough budget for white paper promotion; this is the best way. There are number of companies who specialize in white paper syndication services. In which; they promote your white paper to millions of target personas through different channels like newsletters, emails, cold calling, social media, their websites or blog, paid content marketing and syndication activities.
According to Reshma Nigam, CEO of aMarketForce; a good quality whitepaper can be one of the most effective marketing tools when it comes to lead generation through content promotion strategy. Whitepaper syndication can be a valuable means of creating a qualified and opt-in prospect list if done correctly. It is important that the whitepapers used for campaigns be properly optimized and have a compelling call to action.
Whitepaper Optimization Tips
Submission to these platforms is one thing, but how will you make sure that your content actually gets the limelight in Google searches or, for that matter, any search engine?
#1 Keep design simple: Whitepapers are meant to be authoritative, official releases. Don’t indulge with excessive graphics and keep the content simple, but bold, classy and clear. Add relevant images to make your point.
#2 Set relevant title: A title is the first thing that visitors will look at. Stroke their curiosity and gain their attention.
#3 Design simple cover pages: Cover pages for whitepapers are important. The information on the cover page can make the document more commanding and influential.
If you have any other creative ideas to promote white papers in an effective way then kindly share your thoughts in comments we will add them in article too.