White papers, or reports on specific topics, that are informative or offer suggestions or solutions can actually be very effective marketing tools. When you produce these for your market, you have a chance to establish yourself as a thought leader and attract new customers as you illustrate your expertise.
So how do you turn an ordinary report into something that helps you build your business and promote your products?
Create an Email Subscription Incentive
It’s not uncommon to see businesses offer freebies to people who subscribe to their email list, and a relevant white paper can be one of these freebies. The key to making this work is making sure the white paper is something potential subscribers would be interested in.
This is a great approach if you are targeting other businesses or industry professionals who might be looking for information about relevant trends or new solutions. Keep your white paper interesting and concise, so it will offer real value.
Make it an Annual Event
Some businesses become well known for offering an annual report on an industry-specific topic. This can help you raise brand awareness, establish your business as an industry leader, get people talking about your business and grow a loyal following of people who rely on your content.
To do this, choose a topic that is very relevant to your market and that can easily be updated with new findings and developments on a yearly basis. It’s best if you can produce an annual white paper that offers a new angle on a topic or is completely different from anything currently available.
Use it as a Sample to Attract Customers
White papers can also serve as samples that give potential customers a taste of what you can offer. They can highlight your level of knowledge and experience and show people exactly what you specialise in.
This kind of white paper should offer some value to potential customers while still encouraging them to work with your business. In other words, your white paper should include helpful information and be a good resource, but it shouldn’t give your services away.
Generate Leads at an Event
Take your white paper to an event to generate leads. This approach works at your own events and other events you participate in and can be an excellent way to raise awareness as you generate leads.
You can do this in several ways, from setting up a kiosk where guests can enter their email address to receive the white paper to asking people to follow you on social media to unlock a download. The idea is that you establish your authority and provide a helpful resource while building a list of possible leads.
Get Earned Coverage and Build Links
When you publish a white paper, create a press release to announce it and help you get earned coverage and build links back to your site. This is especially effective if your white paper includes groundbreaking information or it’s an annual report people look forward to every year.
You can also distribute copies of the white paper to media outlets and industry bloggers to gain coverage and direct people to your website where they can learn more about your business and download the white paper.
White papers can be very effective online marketing tools, and these simple but powerful ideas can help you use them at your business.