Whitepaper Best Practices To Ignite the Spark

Olin Hyde
May 10, 2019


In a social media-driven world where Tweets and Instagram posts are the most prominent and rewarding social currency, B2B whitepapers can seem like a marketing strategy of the past.

When thinking of whitepapers, your mind travels way back to the beginning of man, you picture a caveman clubbing another over the head, and you say something like ‘how are white papers going to help me learn or introduce any new marketing tactics in today’s world?

Well, LeadCrunch is here to help you create more persuasive and shareable whitepapers. So, let’s change your thinking from the caveman clubbing each other over the head scenario to a group of cavemen who started the first fire and changed our way of living as we know it today.

Whitepaper is that fire, and refreshing Top of the Funnel content is going to ignite your business.

B2B Whitepapers Don’t Have to Be Boring

To write high quality whitepapers, there is something you need to do first, throw out your pre-conceived notion of not getting personal, and try to appeal to the emotional side of your readers. Social sharing comes from an initial reaction to an emotional trigger. People will share your content when it stirs something inside of them, and they deem it shareable.

Indeed, B2B marketing is unique because every digital marketer is playing the same game, and you win that game by knowing your audience and leveling the playing field. In this blog post, we’ll hone those skills and help you with writing whitepapers that are rich in content, but also create a relationship with your reader while promoting it effectively.

Without further ado, let’s get started with our Best Practices for B2B Whitepapers.

White Paper Content Ideas That Genuinely Engage

Arguably, content is one of the most important factors of writing a whitepaper that attracts an audience. Once your reader initially clicks, they expect content that is going to be thought-provoking, well-written, and precise. Finding a topic that will provide value and new information can be daunting.

To ensure people are going to read your whitepaper and you find a topic that triggers engagement, first ask yourself these questions:

  • Has anything changed? Did you learn something new you didn’t know or realize before?
  • Are there a couple of broad categories you can narrow down?
  • Have your researched Google, Quora, and Reddit to find the pertinent topics and information relevant to your audience?

After researching and finding a topic, and before you put your fingers to the keyboard, think about your specific B2B Whitepaper audience, and then follow this content writing process:

  • Explain: respond to the question your readers need the answer to. Chat with your clients, ask your Sales Team, and find out what your audience really needs.
  • Call to action: instruct your readers on how to act and give them the tools to do so. Once you know your audience well, you’ll know what drives them and how to be of service.
  • Photos, graphics, or charts: incorporate concise words broken up with relevant photos and charts to demonstrate credibility. We live in a digital age where we get what we want with a click of a finger, don’t let your readers get bored – break up your lengthy whitepaper with other content.
  • Language: use phrases and wording your readers know and understand. You wouldn’t promote a Shakespearean sonnet to a 2nd grader, know who you’re speaking to and make sure they can digest the information.

To create whitepapers that are absorbed well after they’re read, you’ll need to up the ante, and simultaneously take your marketing campaign one step further.

Quality Whitepapers vs. Good Whitepapers

Lead generation is the ultimate goal of a whitepaper – finding those prospects and keeping them. But how do you keep the audience that originally clicked, and even more difficult, how do you get leads to convert?

The proof is in the pudding or, wait, the answer is in the whitepaper.

A quality whitepaper has exclusivity. When resources are scarce, people want to gobble them up even more. Use your whitepaper to drive supply and demand. If you’re offering something everyone has, use your whitepaper to push content that hasn’t ever been seen before, this will make your reader feel like they are a part of a unique and ‘never seen before’ group.

For example, Mark W. Schaefer shares his insight in The Content Code, “…providing exclusive or limited access to content can create the perception of scarcity that can make the content move.” This is important because it’s no longer enough to have a good whitepaper, you need quality. Quality is what’s finite, quality is the caveman with the first flame, and everybody is going to want it.

Your content should give them something they can’t get anywhere else and make them feel remarkable because they are getting the inside scoop.

Find Your People: Promoting Your Whitepaper

Yes, the content is important, but how your prospect receives the content is crucial, the cavemen created multiple sparks before the fire was started.

Promoting or finding the channel or spark that your reader receives your content through can be tricky – with multiple platforms and content flying everywhere around you, the important thing to do is come up with a plan.

Here are some promotions suggestions:

  • Create a landing page for your prospect, once the content is emailed, make it easy for them to see why they should download your whitepaper and opt-in.
  • LinkedIn – you have a couple options here, but two of the most pertinent are sharing your whitepaper with a specific group or target audience and/or write your own article about your whitepaper and post it. Link your whitepaper, and your set, into the interwebs it goes.
  • Twitter! I know, I know, but with it being one of the biggest social media giants, its integral to use it for your gain. Write a quick quip and share the link with the Twitter universe.
  • Video – the way of the future. You knew about The Avengers or Star Wars way before the movie came out because of a teaser. Make a teaser video for the whitepaper you’re promoting. I can’t guarantee it will get as many views as a blockbuster movie, but I promise people will watch, and then want to learn more.
  • Email – send your whitepaper through email or build partnerships with content syndication companies that can do this for you on a massive scale.

The Takeaway: Whitepapers Are No. 1

Whitepapers are number one in terms of which content businesses are promoting the most. Undeniably, content marketing has changed the way we think and includes a host of different mediums. A whitepaper can be the most useful channel for your business when written effectively, promoted on multiple platforms, and designed to make your reader feel valuable/smarter/more effective.

With our Best Practices for B2B Whitepapers, you can create successful whitepapers that reach larger audiences, are instrumental in the amount of leads generated, and ignite the passion in an otherwise boring and saturated whitepaper-world.

Further Reading

Savannah Mudd
October 31, 2019
. 8 min read
Lainey Mebust
October 15, 2019
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October 2, 2019