When drafting their content strategy, marketers and content heads try to incorporate as many forms of content as possible to enhance search engine visibility as well as to keep the audiences engaged. But there is one form of content that is being neglected quite often whilst preparing such strategies – whitepapers.
Simply put, a whitepaper usually describes a theory behind a new piece of technology or innovation. It is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem or provides a solution.
Marketers create whitepapers to educate their audience about an issue or topic, or explain and promote a particular methodology. While many may argue that whitepapers are outdated and obsolete, here are 5 reasons why writing, publishing and marketing a whitepaper might be a very beneficial component of your content strategy:
#1. Ebooks will never replace a whitepaper
While most marketers and content managers claim that ebooks are the number one trend in content, not many understand that ebooks are created for a completely different goal, tone, and audience than white papers.
A whitepaper is very conceptual in nature – something like a research paper. An ebook, on the other hand, is much shorter and has a different approach in terms of the content.
#2. Whitepapers are an extremely viable lead generating tool
One of the key advantages of including white papers in your content strategy is that they are an effective means of generating leads.
Many studies have shown that whitepapers are a tried and tested means of collecting information from customers and buyers. The way this is facilitated is that when users opt to download a whitepaper, they need to enter an email address to which the download link is delivered. This email address is added to the company’s existing database, and follow-up emails are sent in accordance to their choice of whitepaper.
#3. Whitepapers Help You Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry
The most recent buzzword for personal branding is “thought leadership.” 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.”
Writing detailed and elaborate whitepapers is a great way to establish thought leadership in your industry.
#ProTip: Write a whitepaper on a niche topic and then publish a whitepaper to gain more traction.
#4. Whitepapers are a massive competitive advantage
As stated above, many marketers and content heads underestimate the importance of whitepapers. This makes it a very easy category to tap into and subsequently lead.
Statistics from a survey conducted by the AlterraGroup shows that while most companies create social media content and blogs, white papers are only created by around two-thirds of B2B marketers. As a marketer, it is always a good idea to cover all your bases.
#5. Whitepapers can be repurposed to maximize your marketing budget
Last, but certainly not the least, the adaptability of a whitepaper’s content is highly underestimated.
You can literally take one whitepaper and turn it into several promotional items with little to no effort. Here are a few ideas that you can implement:
- Make a slide deck and post it on platforms like YouTube and SlideShare
- Develop a webinar or training session
- Write one or more blog posts from subheads discussed in the whitepaper
- Design an infographic
- Publish the whitepaper as a syndicated article on other websites to increase reach
A well-crafted whitepaper addresses the right problems, provides the best solutions and engages readers with a right combination of visual and text elements.
They are a key component of successful content marketing strategies as they provide readers, leads, and buyers with a holistic view and balanced perspective of the topic.
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