Why Your Business Needs Whitepapers

Think white papers have faded into the grey? Think Again!

Called the “cornerstone report” in business industries, often highlighting benchmark moments in our industrial and financial evolution over the years, white papers have been around for the better part of the twentieth century and despite a few misconceptions they are in fact still in demand.

Why? Simple! There is just no better way to present well researched, in-depth information.

Intriguingly enough, there are many forms in which a white paper can be presented, ranging from a business report released in the Sunday newspaper right through to the ever-familiar online version.

There is no doubt that everyone has read a white paper in some form or another at least once, whether they realized it or not.

They can sneak up on you, you know. This is the very reason why white papers are still so valuable and effective.

They continue to serve several important sales and marketing functions within our business sectors, including generating new leads, increasing company profiles as an informed professional, and setting brands apart from competitors by enhancing what is provided in quality and knowledge alike.

Enjoy a glass or two with someone you love!.png

In recent years, statistics were released showing that up to 51% of companies still rely on content through white papers to research their buying decisions. 96% of consumers want content with input from industry thought leaders, instead of the run of the mill information or jargon one sometimes finds.

So, before you join the crowd in chanting that white papers are on the outs, consider a few points that go quite a way in explaining why and how white papers are still being used today.


Well-researched and authoritative in a specific topic, these nifty reports make great incentives for users to convert to potential customers or clients on a specific website.

By requiring that interested customers provide their contact information in exchange for free and highly valuable content, you can build what is referred to as a “gate” around any content you are providing. Entry to this information is usually just requires a few seconds of the customer’s time.

Studies have shown that 76% of buyers are willing to register for and share personal information in exchange for white papers and the information they supply – 13% more than those who would do so in exchange for an ebook.

Simple right? This step could turn into a huge business opportunity for those companies who are quick with the follow-up and implementation.

One of the key attributes of white papers is that they are an effective means of generating leads within any business initiative. They are a tried and tested method of collecting information from customers and buyers.

White Papers Establish You as a Thought Leader

Marketing Insider Group defines thought leadership as “a type of content marketing where you tap into
the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a particular topic.

It is through this that white papers show their true strength and value. Each topic is so thoroughly researched and professionally presented that one cannot help but feel deeply informed and motivated after reading one, because let’s face it knowledge is power after all.

White Papers Give You a Competitive Edge

If you want to put your company on the map, you need to find a way to set it apart from the competition. White papers allow you to achieve this.

While it is safe to assume that your competitors create content mainly for social media and engage in some sort of blogging and other means, studies show that it’s significantly less likely that they are creating white papers. This creates a perfect gap for you to step into. People love different.

Statistics from a survey AlterraGroup conducted show that white papers and ebooks ranked only fifth in B2B marketer’s most used content marketing vehicles. While most create social media content (83%) and blogs (80%), white papers and ebooks (65%) are only created by around two-thirds of B2B marketers.

As more businesses and curious consumers seek content and find value in it, the demand for white papers lives and thrives.

Creating a set standard of professionalism and knowledge has and always will be a winning formula. So the next time you find yourself in a debate about what type of content you should create next, perhaps you’ll spare a thought for the humble, but formidable white paper.

You Need a Content Strategy that Works

Here’s a throwback for you:

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Let your mind wander back in time to a world where a blog was nothing more than an electronic journal for the chronically narcissistic, consistently bored teenager or desperate housewife.

Aren’t you glad you don’t exist in that particular space any more?

Flash forward a decade or so, and you’ll see that what started out as nothing more than a mere collection of diary entries has become an integral part of every business’ online marketing strategy. Ain’t technology grand?

At least 90% of B2B buyers have stated that online content has an effect on their purchasing behaviour. The fact of the matter is this: if you’re not on the content marketing bandwagon, you’re rapidly falling behind.

A few years ago, content marketing involved nothing more than churning out bulk collections of mediocre text. It didn’t really matter what you were saying, as long as you were actively posting something, your business was in the clear. With the growth of the Internet, however, that particular landscape has changed. Now, more than ever, the competition is intense. In order to take your business to the next level, you have to create content that is educational, insightful, and engaging.

In short, you need a goal. And in order to achieve that goal, you need a content strategy that works.

Set Your Goals and Start Planning

You can’t possibly begin a content marketing campaign without defining what your goals are. How will you know that you’ve been successful if you don’t have an idea of what you’re hoping to achieve?

Quite obviously, each goal will require a different approach. Your desired outcome will greatly influence the way you tackle each stage of the planning process.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to build brand awareness?

  • Are you looking to instill trust?

  • Do you want to increase traffic to a particular website or landing page?

  • Are you aiming to attract new prospects?

  • Is your major goal to convert leads into sales?

  • Do you want to increase customer retention?

Once you’ve figured out precisely what your goals are, you’ll need to establish your KPIs. You need something solid to aim for in order to keep your efforts on the right track:

  • Increase website traffic to 100k visitors by a specific date.

  • Generate a certain number of new leads per month.

  • Convert a specific percentage of leads into sales by a particular date.

By creating KPIs, you’ll keep yourself (and your team) accountable. The idea here is to work backwards to develop strategies that help you achieve your goals.

Develop A Detailed Strategy

When developing your content strategy, you need to focus on a few key factors. Take the time to lay down some groundwork before diving straight in. This will prevent you from doubling back and trying to figure out what went wrong when you’re too far down the rabbit hole.

First and foremost, you need to figure out who you’re targeting. Invest some time in creating customer personas. You need to be able to successfully connect with your readers in order to generate the kind of results you want.

Keywords are another all-important aspect of any content marketing strategy. You need to choose keywords that are highly searched for in your specific industry. Take the time to figure out which topics are in high demand, and build your content around that. Give your potential audience the information they so desperately seek. Try to find a way to spin these keywords into something original and exciting; often a simple change in tone is all you really need.

You’ll also need to pay attention to where your prospects are in the buying cycle. If, for example, you’re communicating with potential customers who have no idea who you are or what you offer, you’ll need to create content that is focused on education rather than sales. On the other hand, if you’re trying to connect with someone who is already familiar with your brand, you need to deliver valuable content (case studies are a good bet) that will help you close a sale.

Finally, you need to consider which channels are important for dispersing your content. Take some time to figure out the platforms that are most likely to be useful to you, and what your goals are for each of them.

Produce High-Quality Content

As soon as you’ve ironed out your objectives and strategies, you need to start curating your content. You have two options here:

1. Work with your in-house team.

2. Hire professional content writers to help you get the job done.

Quite obviously, the path you choose will depend entirely on your in-house team’s expertise and the availability of time. If your team members are too swamped with their own regular tasks, it’s not a good idea to drown them in additional work that isn’t necessarily in their wheelhouse. Remember, you need quality content, not something slapdash you’ve cobbled together at the last minute.

If you choose to outsource your content development, invest in writers who truly understand the principles of content marketing. Make sure they’ll be able to embody your brand message. A trial task never hurt anybody, so perhaps consider asking them to write a short sample related to a topic of your choice and see if they’re a good fit.

Market, Promote, and Measure

You can create amazing content until you’re blue in the face but it won’t help you if no one sees it. Make sure to promote each and every piece of writing on all of your platforms and leverage them as much as possible. If you have to add in a small advertising budget to boost those posts, do it. A small investment can make a huge difference.

While you’re churning out content, it’s too easy to forget that you actually need to measure the performance of your posts. Circle back at least once a month to see how your content is performing. Check if you’re meeting your KPIs. If you don’t see any progress, make some adjustments. If you do see progress, keep on doing what you’re doing.

In the end, it’s all about trying new things and seeing what works for your business. Be inventive, be innovative, and above all, keep measuring your progress.

you need a content strategy that works

Why companies like Yahoo, Myspace, and Dell didn't survive to remain market leaders?

Everybody knows why badly managed businesses fail. What’s more interesting, is how companies like Yahoo, Myspace, and Dell seemed to do everything right and still didn’t survive to remain market leaders.

Online Marketing for Events: Tips for Event Profs

Many event professionals hit a roadblock when it comes to online marketing. Of course, with a few handy tips and tricks you needn’t feel like online marketing is such a huge challenge.
With your event planned perfectly, including fantastic speakers and tantalising catering, the only obstacle you really face is getting the required attention. Essentially, online marketing is a gift rather than a burden. It truly does make your life that much easier…if you know how to use it.

Be Smart – Get Other People to Do your Marketing for You

Perhaps the best thing about online marketing is the fact that you can, without too much effort, get other people to do your marketing for you.

Contests are a great way to generate buzz about your event. Consider launching a competition where entrants can win tickets to the event by sharing the news. You would be surprised at how far information will reach when there’s a prize to be had.

Influencer marketing is another fantastic way to generate interest in your event. It can sometimes be difficult to connect with the right influencers due to the fact that they’re usually bogged down with hundreds of requests. Try to get noticed by the right kind of influencers by doing some noticeable legwork. Reach out to them by sending personalised requests instead of flooding them with generic posts that are clearly targeted at a large group.

Offering referral discounts is another fantastic way to generate buzz. Send a message to your attendees letting them know that they will be able to receive a partial refund on their ticket purchase should they refer a friend (or two).

Use Social Media Wisely – It’s One of Your Biggest Assets

The most important thing to remember about social media is that it is in a constant state of growth. While Facebook and Twitter may have once have been the only bigwigs worth considering, other social media platforms have now joined their ranks. Spend a little time doing research on what’s trending online, and use that knowledge to your advantage.

Create an air of exclusivity by creating a closed Facebook group for VIP guests. There will always be those people who crave exclusivity and “special treatment” – this could be a great way to get them to mention your event on social media in a completely positive light.

If you’re going to invest in social media, you may wish to consider creating an awe-inspiring video. At the moment, video content is the biggest trend. Audiences crave entertainment in the form of a teaser. They want to feel as though they have something absolutely magnificent to look forward to.