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Written collateral for thought leadership

White papers really create a buzz as lead acquisition collateral. In a recent survey, 64% of B2B marketers stated that white papers are their customers’ favoured content source in the early stages of purchase decision making (Source: SiriusDecisions). White papers also help to nurturing the purchase process.

Well-written white papers can establish your business as a thought leader, something that B2B buyers turn to when considering a purchase or contract. You don’t have to write it, but it should be exclusive to your business, and be presented as your own.

They can open up a dialogue with potential customers by framing & addressing their potential problems, identifying the issues and the solutions. Presenting white papers as an educational piece, builds on the thought leadership, helping to shape the market’s beliefs regarding your solutions.

If you read an informed white paper, you are often more likely to trust the business that wrote it, and are therefore more likely to do business with them – the white paper possibly influencing that final decision.

White paper content options

The content of the typical problem/solution white paper provides useful information for readers looking to understand an issuesolve a problem, or do their jobs better. This can include explaining a certain productservicetechnology or methodology.

The format of such a white paper is between being a technical manual and a marketing brochure, with academic rigour and a subtle marketing communications message.

White paper planning tips

The most effective strategy is to prepare for potential problems before they happen, by planning and managing a white paper well in advance of starting to write it. Some quick tips include:

  1. Get full buy-in from all stakeholders early on.
  2. Submit short milestones for discussion throughout the writing process, but especially at the beginning.
  3. Get full commitment from the business to completing a white paper, whether you write it yourself or get a subject matter expert to ‘guest write’ it for you.
  4. Work closely with the designer (if different from the writer) and make sure they understand your white paper format.
  5. Prepare to translate your white paper into languages relevant to you audience’s, if you work internationally.

Benefits of commercial white papers

  1. White paper generate leads:
    Probably the most popular benefit of using white paper communications. They have a long shelf life, and can be used passively on a website, or sent to prospects to influence purchase decision. The combination of thought leadership followed by persuasion makes them one of the most powerful marketing tools available to you.
  2. White papers demonstrate expertise and build your brand:
    A white paper doesn’t always have to be used for generating leads. As an educationalthought leadership piece, it can display your credentials and expertise in your field. They will help generate leads indirectly as the white paper will establish you as a leader in the field. People generally like working with experts.
  3. White papers help build a mailing list of prospects:
    Instead of expecting a prospect to sign up to your newsletter, you can provide a free gift in exchange for a sign-up – this gift would be an informed, useful white paper! If your white paper appeals, they may well sign-up to your newsletter too.
  4. White papers are shareable:
    Making your white paper shareable means your customers will increasingly reach out to their friends, colleagues and suppliers, growing your mailing lists, and your reputation via social media.

For information on white paper writing services, distribution or training solutions, contact Jack Marketing Solutions™ today and maximise your impact.

Glossary: Added Value, AIDA, AIUAPR, B2B, B2C, Branding, BXD, Copy, Copywriter, Copywriting, Corporate Reputation, Customer Attitude, Decision Making Unit (DMU), End Matter, Fact Sheet, Front Matter, Headline, International Marketing, Lead Generation, List Building, Mailing List, Marketing Communications, Recognition, Reputation Management, Social Media, Social Network, Trust, Trust Value Chain, White Paper

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