Your Guide to Writing, Promoting and Using White Papers for Business
Did you know you could brand your white paper?
As I have mentioned countless times before, adding promotional information about your company to the magazine section of your white paper will make it ineffective. But branding your white paper, though slightly promotional, will make it more effective. Branding it with your logo, contact information, etc. will help your readers know a bit about your company while they read the magazine part of the white paper.
The reader will know about your company without you having to promote it aggressively. Branding promotes your company, subtly. Therefore, when you’re in the designing stage, always make sure you brand it.
The best way to brand your white paper is to add your company logo to each and every page. Usually it’s best to add your logo to the top left hand corner or the top right hand corner of the white paper. I have also seen white papers where the logo was added to the bottom corners.
You also need to add a large logo right at the end of the white paper.
Another important bit you need to do is add contact information. You could add the contact information to the header or the footer of the white paper. Contact information can be in the form of email address, website address, phone number, etc.
This contact information could work really well if the reader is reading the white paper for the second time. As they have already read the white paper once, they have most likely been through the brochure section too. If they are reading your white paper for the second time, they most probably found it helpful the first time they read it. So if you add the contact information they won’t need to go through the brochure section again. They can contact you from the contact information on these pages.
You need to make it really easy for your reader to contact you, if you want your white paper to generate more leads. So add your contact information to every page of the white paper.
Another important detail you need to add is the company name. Add this to the header or footer on every page of the white paper.
You should also add the copyright at the end of the white paper, right after the big logo. The copyright consists of the sign ©followed by the year the white paper was published on and the name of the company that created it. You can also add “All Rights Reserved” at the end. The copyright protects your white paper. The copyright lets others know that they can’t reuse this white paper to promote their company and if they want to, they need to contact you first.
Your white paper design should be based around your logo. The colour of the header, footer, any graphs you might use or any other design you will add to the white paper should go along well with the logo. You could also use a similar design to the one on your website, doing this will make sure your white paper appears better.
This is how you brand your white paper when you’re designing it. This subtle promotion doesn’t have a bad effect on the white paper because it’s not mentioned in the text. It’s only in the corners and the headers and the footers of the white paper. The readers can only look at it if they want to.
Branding it will make your white paper appear more professional and attractive. If you would like to look at some well branded white papers you can take a look at some of my white paper samples on my samples page. These can give you some ideas on how to brand your white papers.
For more tips on creating good white papers, read this free white paper on How to Write a White Paper.
How do you brand your white papers? Have I missed out any important points? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
Proper promotion of your white paper is the key to your white paper performing at its best and helping you generate leads. If your white paper is promoted properly, it will get more exposure and more people will read it. The more the number of people who read your white paper, the more leads it will help you generate.
So if you would like to generate more leads from your white paper, read all the rules below and follow them while you promote your white paper:-
A white paper landing page is the basic necessity for every white paper. You shouldn’t just place your white paper somewhere in the corner of your site and just have a couple of lines that describe it. You need to have a well written, persuasive landing page which can convince the reader to read the white paper.
There should be no ads on your white paper landing page. If you want your landing page to convert really well, you will need to get rid of any ads or links which could lead to another page or website. A good landing page with no distractions at all will convince more people to download your white paper.
Always add social media sharing buttons at the top of every landing page. These buttons will make it easy for the page visitor to share the landing page. They can also add credibility once you get many shares. As many shares will help display that your white paper is read and shared extensively by many people and this will add proof that your white paper’s worth reading. You can see an example of this on the landing page of my free white paper on how to write a white paper.
You shouldn’t just use one method or one marketing material to promote your white paper, use as many as you can. For e.g. don’t just use the landing page, supplement it with other marketing materials like; social media, blog posts, press releases, forums, articles, guest posts, etc. Read this free white paper on how to promote your white paper, to learn how to write different kinds of white paper marketing material.
Always have a link in your other marketing material that lead to the landing page. Your aim is to increase traffic to your white paper landing page so that people can download it. So work hard on driving as much traffic as you can to your white paper landing page.
Always fan gate your white paper. It’s important that you collect as many emails as you can. Not everybody who reads your white paper will hire you right away. There will always be a few people who will just download your white paper and plan to hire you in the future. If you want to make sure that they hire you and not your competitors you will need to stay in touch with them and the best way to do this is by emailing them your latest posts, news, offers, etc. So collect email addresses right from the start.
People should be able to sign up to receive your white paper easily. You can fan gate your white paper, but ask as few details as possible. Normally it’s good to just ask for the name and email address. If you want more details, you can ask for it as you slowly build trust. If you ask too many details it could discourage people from signing up to receive your white paper.
Social sharing buttons should not only be added to your landing page, they should also be added to the white paper document. This will make it easier for someone to share your white paper. They can share your white paper while they read it. You can learn how to add social share buttons to your PDFs by reading this post.
If you have a blog, add links and call to actions at the end of posts which relate to your white paper. Let people know that if they would like to learn more tips they can read your free white paper and then provide a link that leads to it. This can drastically increase your white paper landing page traffic.
Never write about your company or who wrote the white paper in your white paper marketing material. The marketing material should always be about why your reader should read the white paper, what they will learn, how it’s going to help them, etc. Your aim here is to get the reader to read the white paper, so focus on that job. Your white paper will automatically do the job of letting them know more about your company and how to contact you.
Always keep your white paper marketing material as short as possible stick to a length between 100 and 400 words. Short, quick and easy to read white paper marketing materials can help convince busy readers to read your lengthy white paper.
Don’t ever forget to use white paper distribution services along with your regular promotion. These websites usually have an audience who regularly download their white papers and read them. These services also promote white papers through email, social media, etc. Once you place your white paper here you can be sure that people will download and read them. So look around and find a few services which will suit your white paper.
If you follow all the 12 rules stated above, while promoting your white paper, your white paper will be read by many readers who will get to know about your knowledge and expertise. This will help you generate a lot of leads.
For more tips on how to promote your white paper, read this free white paper on how to promote a white paper.
Have I missed out any important white paper promotion rules? How do you promote your white paper? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
Your white paper has to be interesting, right from the very beginning. You need to get your reader engrossed in your white paper from the first line itself.
A white paper is usually a very long document, if you want your reader to read it completely then you have to make sure they find it interesting and helpful right from the very beginning, otherwise their mind will wander off and they won’t read your white paper completely.
If you would like to learn how to get your readers engrossed with your white paper right away, then read the 4 tips below and use them in every white paper you write:-
The headline is the most important part of anything you write. As a good headline can attract attention and spark the initial interest. It’s the same with long documents like white papers you need really good headlines which can convince people to check out your white paper. Follow this headline with a good sub-headline too. For more tips on how to write white paper headlines read this post. Also check out this post on Copyblogger by Brian Clark on how to write good headlines.
Your headline and sub-headline will be followed by an introduction. If it’s the job of the headline to get the reader to check out your white paper, then it’s the job of the introduction to convince the reader to read the white paper.
In the introduction briefly summarize the contents of the white paper. Let the reader know what the white paper is on, the problems and the solutions it covers and how the reader can make use of the education they receive by reading it. If you let the reader know that they can apply these solutions effectively and solve the problems they face, they will want to continue reading the rest of the white paper.
Many people make the mistake of creating suspense while writing marketing material. They feel that writing the most important point at the end and building suspense to it, is the best way to write a white paper. But this is a huge mistake. When people read white papers they want to know about the biggest problems that are hindering their performance and tips on how to solve them right away. They don’t want to know about it at the end – it’s not like they are reading a story or a novel where they patiently wait for the end.
You need to keep this in mind and avoid creating suspense. When you write a white paper always write the biggest problems and key solutions first and cover the less important ones later. These will get the reader engrossed in the white paper and they will continue reading the rest.
If you want the reader to read the brochure section after they finish reading all the solutions, you need to write a good conclusion too. The job of the conclusion will be to let the reader know that they can either try out the solutions discussed in the white paper or they could check out the readymade solutions designed by experts below. This will get them to read the brochure too.
If you follow all the tips above you should be able to keep your reader engrossed while they read the entire white paper.
For more tips on writing white papers that keep readers engrossed read this free white paper on how to write white papers.
What do you do to keep your reader engrossed with your content? Have you got any other tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
A white paper doesn’t have to always be used to show that your products solve a specific problem. You can also use a white paper to show the reader that your product or service is better than your competitors.
Most white papers just discuss a problem in detail and then provide the ideal solution to this problem. At the end of the white paper, information about a product is given which provides a similar solution. But by using another white paper writing technique, you can show your readers that your product or service is better than your competitors.
This white paper is the similar to any white paper – a problem is displayed to the reader and the solution to this problem is then written. One change you will need to make here is to write about your competitors. In this white paper your competitor becomes the problem and you become the solution.
You will need to start the white paper like any other white paper; with a headline, a subheadline, and a brief introduction. In this introduction write about what you plan to discuss in the white paper and how the reader will find it helpful.
Follow this introduction with the problems section of the white paper. Here, write down about the problems of using all your competitors’ products and services. Let the reader know what the main problems are and how using these products or services can have a bad affect on their company.
After you write down all about the problems of using your competitors’ products and solutions in detail, you can start writing the solution. Here the solution is your product or service. Write down why your product or service is better and the benefits of using it and then write down all about your company in the brochure section.
One thing you need to make sure for this to work is to not mention anything about your company or give specific names of your competitors – write down relevant problems with your competitors and relevant solutions provided by you. You need to be subtle. For tips on how to do this, read this free white paper on how to write white a paper.
I wrote this white paper for an electrical renovations company. My client wanted a white paper which showed that the services he offered were better than, if the client did their own renovations or hired an independent handyman or an electrician. This is exactly what I did in the white paper.
If you look closely at the white paper, you will see that trying to fix your own electrical issues and hiring a handyman or electrician, form up the problems section of the white paper and the benefits I pointed out about using a proper electric renovations company, form up the solutions section of the white paper.
After that I go into detail about choosing the right electric renovations company. I don’t give any information about my client till this part. I only give information about my client at the end of the white paper in the brochure section of the white paper. This is how you create a white paper which can destroy your competition.
For more tips read this free white paper on how to write white a paper.
Have you ever written a similar white paper? Have you got any other tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
One of the best ways to promote a white paper is with a press release. There are several benefits of writing a press release – you can take advantage of the same benefits when you write a press release for a white paper.
A white paper press release can help spread the word about your white paper, increase credibility of your white paper and help increase traffic to your white paper landing page which can help increase the number of people who download your white papers, thereby generating you more leads.
The biggest mistake most people make while writing a white paper press release is marketing the wrong part of the white paper in the press release. Many people end up marketing the brochure part of the white paper. Here they write more about what the company is all about and why they need to read the white paper produced by their company. This doesn’t work, as people don’t care about who created the white paper – what they care about is how the white paper can help them.
This is what your press release should focus on too – marketing the helpful magazine part of the white paper. So in your press release write about the different benefits of reading the white paper. Let the reader know what they can learn by reading the white paper. Your aim has to be to let them know how reading the white paper is going to benefit them and their company – this will convince them to read your white paper.
1. Write a short headline (less than 14 words). The headline needs to attract attention and generate curiosity. One of the best ways to do this is by mentioning a benefit.
2. Start the press release with a short paragraph which explains the problems faced by the reader. These need to be the same problems you mentioned in the white paper.
3. In the next paragraph briefly write about the solutions to these problems and how they can be learnt by reading your white paper.
4. In the next paragraph write more about your white paper and the benefits of reading it and how your reader can make use of the knowledge gathered.
5. After you have marketed the white paper write down some brief information about your company. You could have a statement from your CEO or chairman or from someone of a similar position stating what the white paper is about and how it can help their clients.
6. After you have felt that you have done enough to market the white paper include a call to action which leads to the white paper’s landing page.
7. At the end of the white paper include your contact information. Let people know that they can contact you for more information.
8. Keep the length of the press release to less than 400 words. You don’t want it to be too long as the press release needs to be a quick way to learn more about your lengthy white paper.
These are a few tips which will help you write a powerful white paper press release which can increase white paper downloads and help you generate leads. For more tips read this free white paper on how to promote a white paper.
Also read our free white paper on how to write a white paper.
Have you ever promoted your white paper with a press release? Have you got any tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
“How much does a white paper cost,” this is the first question I am asked when someone wants me to write them a white paper.
The cost of a white paper can depend upon many factors like the length, the subject, the time taken, etc. Every white paper won’t cost the same. The white paper cost will usually vary from one project to another as different amounts of time will be required to create different white papers.
Some white papers might need more time writing, some white papers might need a lot more research – these are just a couple of the many factors that could affect the cost of a white paper. It usually takes up to 24 to 45 hours to write a white paper.
A good price for a white paper is $1,000 to $3,000. Sure, you can get a white paper for a lot less than that, but are you ready to take the risk. When you get a white paper written on the cheap, you take the risk of losing a lot of time and money.
There might be a few writers who would write a white paper for really cheap, but this is going to affect the quality of the white paper. Sure you will save a lot of money and you will have a white paper, but you probably won’t generate leads with it and all the money you spent on getting this white paper written will just go to waste and you will need to shell out more to get a new effective white paper written.
So make sure you get a white paper written by a good experienced writer. Like I mentioned a good price for a white paper is between $1,000 and $3,000. This price might include a basic design too. The writer might charge a little more if the client wants some special design in the white paper. If your budget is a lot more than this you can find a few other writers who charge between $7,000 and $14,000.
Before you hire a writer spend some time analysing their work. Check if they have written any articles about white papers, their samples, etc. Getting a white paper written is a very important part of your marketing strategy, make sure you get it right the first time and then make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
If you would like to learn how to write a white paper read this free white paper on how to write a white paper.
Have you ever had a white paper written? How much did it cost you? Are you a writer – how much do you charge for a white paper? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
As I mentioned in this earlier post, white papers can be converted into several short blog posts or a few long posts. You don’t have to use your white paper just as a white paper – you can convert it and use it as blog posts too. This works really well if done before or after you publish your white paper.
If this is done before or after the white paper has been published it can increase white paper downloads, as you will be attracting relevant traffic to your website. These people will be interested in downloading and reading your white paper if they find your blog posts helpful.
How do you convert the white paper into blog posts?
The best blog posts offer solutions and this is what a white paper is filled with solutions to problems. The contents of the white paper can be divided into two sections the problems and the solutions. When people read white papers they want to find out more about the problems that are effecting and the solutions to these problems. But when they read blog posts they are looking for solutions. They aren’t interested to find out all the details about the problems. All they want to read is solutions.
What does a blog post contain…
A good blog post usually has a brief introduction which explains the problem and perfect the solution(s) is discussed in detail. This is how you need to use the content of the white paper too. All you will need to do is take a couple of lines from the problem stated in the white paper and use it in the introduction. Following this problem will be the solution to that problem which is discussed in detail. The solution can just be as it’s written in the white paper or it can be a little different with new content written in your own words.
After you finish writing it, make sure you add a call to action which asks the reader to download the free white paper on the same subject.
Another way in which an entire white paper can be converted into one single post is like in this post. Here the common mistakes are stated and the solutions to all of them are provided. This post is just like a miniature white paper.
These are a couple of ways in which you can convert your white papers into several blog posts or one long blog post.
To learn how to write white papers read this free white paper on how to write a white paper.
Have you ever converted your white paper into blog posts? Have you got any tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/5772909
If you want your white paper to be read completely and to help you generate leads, you need to make it reader friendly. Making your white paper reader friendly will increase its chances of generating leads.
Follow the 5 tips below to make your white paper reader friendly:-
1. Easy to read: Make your white papers easy to read if you want them to be reader friendly. Many people think that white papers need to be complicated and extremely technical if you want them to generate leads. This is actually a huge misunderstanding. Your white paper needs to be at the reading level of a 9th grader in order for it to generate leads.
2. Design: Good pleasant design can make a white paper easy to read and pleasant to look at. If you want to make your white paper reader friendly then add a lot of graphs, charts, etc. that will go well with the text.
3. Skimmer friendly: As I mentioned in this post, there are two kinds of people who read your white paper – detailed readers and skimmers. If you want your white paper to influence both sets of readers you want to make it easy to read for both of them. You can influence detailed readers with good content and skimmers with side summaries, headlines, sub-headlines, highlighted text, etc. For more tips on how to make your white paper skimmer friendly read this post.
4. Provide definitions: A good white paper has a lot of definitions in it. Whenever you use a new term in your white paper and you’re unsure whether your reader will understand it, you will need to provide a definition to it. Definitions can make a white paper very easy to read, especially to someone new to the subject, so provide definitions wherever necessary.
5. Easily navigable: Readers will enjoy your white paper more if it’s easily navigable. If they can find out more about the specific problems that are affecting them and the solutions to these specific problems in the white paper quickly, they will enjoy reading it more as it will help save them a lot of time. So make it easily navigable with a lot of attractive sub-headlines and bolded text that stand out.
These are 5 ways in which you can make your white paper reader friendly so that it’s completely read and can do its job of generating leads.
For more tips on white paper writing read this free white paper on how to write a white paper.
Do you go take the extra step to make your white paper reader friendly? How do you make it reader friendly? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42931449@N07/6092122923/
One of the many ways you can use your white paper is to get your clients contact details. Some companies use white papers, effectively, to get the contact details of potential clients and use these contact details to build relationships with their clients, while some struggle to get any contact details, thereby their white paper goes to waste, as nobody downloads them with the fear of giving away too much personal information.
The biggest mistake…
The biggest mistake companies make while trying to get people to download their white paper is by asking for too much contact information. I have seen many websites where they ask the reader to provide information like their job details, age, gender, home address etc. in exchange for downloading the white paper. This can discourage a lot of people from downloading the white paper.
You need to ask yourself the question – Would I give away all my personal information to a stranger for a small gift?
Asking all this information will also decrease your white papers exposure as nobody will download them and all the effort and investment you put into writing the white paper will just go to waste.
Usually the solution is to just ask for the person’s name and email address, for downloading the white paper. Your aim has to be to get their email address – most people wouldn’t mind giving their email address, as it’s one of the safest ways to communicate with someone (new). Getting the name is also important as you can send emails addressing that and this can help make a personal connection.
After you get their email address, you can stay in touch with them and send them your latest news, offers, and content and use it build relationships. Once you have obtained your readers trust you can ask them for more information like their phone numbers, company name, job title, etc. You can do this by offering another free white paper or a free video or webinar.
If you try out the above tips and initially just ask for your potential clients’, names and email addresses, you should see an increase in the number of white paper downloads. You can then use these email addresses to obtain more details of your potential clients.
If you would like to learn more about how to promote your white paper, you can read this free white paper on how to promote your white paper.
What details do you ask your clients for in exchange for downloading your free white paper? Have you ever experimented with the details you usually ask for and how has this effected your white paper downloads? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.