And to further illustrate my point, here is the blog post about whitepapers that this infographic was based on:
Actionable, pragmatic tips for using whitepapers in B2B technology marketing
You’ve probably heard it a million times this year: you need a content marketing strategy. You need to be on social media, and, oh yes, while we are at it: you do need a strategy for those as well. So you create a whitepaper. And make a calendar for social media posts. And discuss strategy with your boss. And all the while you are busy getting your product just right, making sure the customers get excellent service and come back for more: who has time for all those marketing strategies?
You might also have read statistics saying the whitepaper is dead. Well – not so fast. The reason whitepapers have been around for a long time, is that they are a great format. One reason is that they make an excellent starting point for the creation of other content types. Oh, and if you will, please note that wherever I say “whitepaper”, you may substitute ebook as well: ebooks are really long white papers, or whitepapers are short ebooks. The way they are written does not really differ: they are mostly distributed electronically only, although nobody says you can’t print them, if you want to be nice and include a handwritten card when you send it over to your favorite customer.
Tip: Topics for Whitepapers
Write down the questions your customers always ask you: during the vetting process and throughout project rollout. Take one of those questions, talk to three or four experts within your company, and write down the answers from your point of view, the marketer: and boom, your first whitepaper is there.
Content Marketing: a fad?
To be sure, it is easy to be overwhelmed by it all. And to feel that a lot of it is “blah blah” marketing speak, the latest fad that some of your marketing colleagues get excited about, but does it really improve the bottom line? I will tell you a sure fire way to get that bottom line increased, to make your customers happy, to get your name out there – oh, and you are going to be able to say that you, too, now have a content marketing strategy, know exactly what to do on social media, and are on the social media platforms that your customers are on as well.
1 Start with a whitepaper
When you don’t really know what content to put into your content marketing strategy, a white paper is a good start: most of us marketers are good at writing, it is a familiar medium, and it is a good way to collect content.
2 Gauge customer interest with a whitepaper
Once you have written one or two whitepapers make them available to your customers: as downloads on your website, as downloads via your CRM, as downloads via an email drip campaign, blog about them, tweet about them, put them on facebook, on instagram. And measure customer response rate to the topics covered, and to the medium you used to communicate. And adapt.
3 Involve your customers with a whitepaper
Ask your customers what they would like to read about: make it an online survey, or ask in structured interviews, or have your sales reps ask their customers. And then, of course, deliver the content they asked for.
4 Create an infographic from a whitepaper
The whitepaper is a great source for other types of contents: take the content and the storyline from your white paper and make it into an infographic. Infographics are a great way to spread your social presence across more visual channels like instagram and pinterest.
5 Make an email campaign from a whitepaper
Yes, of course you can email a link to your whitepaper on your website. Or you could email out the white paper as an attachment. An interesting variation is to create an email series of three to five emails that each cover one of the key points of your whitepaper.
That was simple enough, wasn’t it?
Please get in touch with any questions, or if you need help getting that first whitepaper out of the keyboard.