Whether you intend to drive more leads or position your thought leadership ideas, creating a top-notch whitepaper doesn't come easy - especially when everyone is vying to take center-stage amidst all the content clutter. Regardless of the end goal, the only way to distinguish a great whitepaper from the sea of mediocrity is to determine how well it resonates with a B2B buyer's problems.
Know that your whitepaper is a lot more than just an in-depth guide and can often come across as a boring sales pitch if not presented the right way. Hence, ensure that you're only offering genuine help rather than driving away customers with annoying advertisements and do more harm to your brand than good.
While there are various elements in a content marketing campaign, a technical document like a whitepaper is something that most attracts a B2B buyer. Hence, to make your whitepaper marketing successful here are some blunders that you need to stay away from and Deck 7's content marketing solution to overcome them.
1. Blasting Your Leads with Sales Messages
Just because someone has downloaded your content marketing whitepapers doesn't mean you can take that as a green signal to freely sales call them. That is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Don't call the IT pros just five minutes after they've downloaded your whitepaper as this will only kill your chances of driving ROI.
What you should be doing instead is be more transparent about the process on your landing page, by informing the customers about the contents of the whitepaper and how it can help solve their pain points. Circulating this as a gated content allows you to increase your database and have more leads in your marketing funnel while your potential customers receive the information they are looking for.
2. Not Doing Adequate Research
How can the reader know you are trustworthy if you aren't backing up your claims? A marketer considers an interactive whitepaper to be the no.1 influential content marketing strategy that can impact a buyer's critical decisions. Consequently, a poorly researched whitepaper will be of no value to the readers. Your whitepaper topic must include statistics as well as infographics that are supported by legitimate research findings as well it should be a long-form content piece so that there is more scope for brand awareness as well as knowledge transfer.
If you're unsure of where to start with your research here are a few tips:
- Dig into industry research reports as they are backed by legitimate data of your potential customer. Take references from research groups such as HubSpot, Forrester, or any other professional organization that produces original research. A blog post is also a good away to know what your audience likes and dislikes.
- Alternatively, you can also check out another related whitepaper from the same industry for references.
For your whitepaper to drive more leads and achieve its intended effect, it's important to showcase your content as a legitimate source of valuable insights that the readers can benefit from. Since digital marketing is everything that exists online, have a content strategy that makes your whitepaper a valuable lead generation tool.
3. Not Getting Through with the Promotion
When it comes to promoting your whitepaper, it's best for B2B marketers to leverage a few different distribution services like social media platforms, SEO, demand generation tools and see which one performs the best. A lot of marketers work hard at content creation but suck at promoting them the right way. They simply post them on their websites and hope that the leads will come through. If only that worked.
As a content marketer, here are a few methods to include in your marketing strategy that you can use to get your whitepaper reader interested.
- Direct those readers from your blog to your whitepaper's opt-in form.
- Create a whitepaper "cheat sheet" and make the sales team hand it out to leads in your sales funnel.
- Leverage Slideshare to turn your whitepaper into an engaging presentation. If you're looking to connect with potential clients and target audiences who prefer better visuals, then Slideshare's the place for you to deliver your quality content.
- Bring targeted leads to your whitepaper via LinkedIn. We all know how powerful Facebook and Twitter are but let's not forget how powerful LinkedIn is for its worldwide influence. With LinkedIn's advanced targeted features you can have your ads displayed in front of the right audience. This promotes your valuable content and thus creates the required buzz around your brand.
- Get your industry's top bloggers to talk about your whitepaper to drive more leads. This is one of th top and trend B2B marketing activity that most companies invest in.
Based on the kinds of topics, your target audience, and your end goal, you should specialize in targeting your niche business area. Take help from distribution services such as Bit Pipe, Information Week, and CIO whitepapers to reach your content marketing goals. They can help in casting a wider net and expose you to a bigger range of audience interests and hence increase the conversion rate of your business.