In September 2009, a study polled 500 executives involved in B2B technology purchases. Approximately 85% of these individuals rated white papers as either moderately or extremely influential in aiding their purchasing decisions. This survey also revealed that many of these executives passed on White Papers to friends, peers, and colleagues, making them the most frequently shared type of collateral.
How to Effectively Use White Papers to Get New Leads
Judging by this survey, it’s clear that effective use of white papers will help you reel in the qualified leads you’re looking for. Below is a basic white paper marketing plan.
For each white paper:
1. Create a landing page:
- Offer incentive to download the whitepaper
- Consider adding a video overview of the paper (linked from YouTube)
- Contact form to get the white paper (you may want to test this for a month with no contact form)
- Brief whitepaper overview with concise bullet points on the benefits of downloading whitepaper
2. Write a Press Release and add to PR directories:
- Make sure to focus on the value of the white paper’s content. Tell readers what they will get by downloading or requesting the document. Don’t diffuse your message by talking about your company, brand, products or services.
3. Let Your Fans Know You are Writing these Papers:
- As you’re working on your paper, give status updates such as “I’m writing a white paper on this topic and I’d like your advice”
- Put out a poll asking what your fans want to know about the subject
- Post every day
- On your fan page, be sure to include information on how fans can sign up to get your free white paper
4. Look for Tradeshow Speaking Opportunities:
- Try to get your whitepaper topic added to the agenda – especially if it is an educational topic
- At tradeshows, print out copies of the whitepaper which people can get in exchange for business cards
- Or print out the whitepaper summary and encourage people to read entire whitepaper by visiting you on the web
5. Leverage social media:
- Add a link to your whitepaper on Twitter
- Blog about your whitepaper before it is published to build anticipation
- Add a Facebook landing page for each whitepaper
- Set up strategically placed re-tweet and share buttons within your white paper and on your landing page
- Post your video about the whitepaper on YouTube
- Using your LinkedIn Profile, join groups pertinent to the whitepaper and post links to the free download in the groups
6. Email your client base and ask them to spread the word.
7. Online Forums and Blogs:
- Identify the major players in the space and add links in their blog comments or on forum comments to the landing page for the free download
- Ask blog owners to review the white paper
8. Add an Icon to the WhitePaper download sections (landing pages) on the home page of the site. (Also consider adding to the About Us page).
9. Articles or Webinars:
- If the whitepaper can be distilled into an article, this can be used (with a link to the free download of the whitepaper) and posted in article directories and other people’s blogs
- If the whitepaper subject lends itself to a webinar, this might also be considered as the next step in the whitepaper process…
Learn more about how white papers influence decision making and reliably deliver new leads. Email a Boomtown representative to learn more! firstname.lastname@example.org