For years, businesses have been using whitepapers to generate high-quality leads and position themselves as industry experts. This can be attributed to the fact that a whitepaper weaves knowledge together with subtle promotion of your organisation. Potential customers then get insight into how your business is a problem solver and caters to thoughtful and resourceful products and services.
Due to the impact whitepapers have on the market, they are known as the most powerful and persuasive gimmick in content marketing. In fact Data fetched from a report indicates that the top three requested content formats by B2B buyers include:
- Whitepapers – 78%
- Case Studies – 73%
- Webinars – 67%
They can effectively help you portray your business as an industry leader by mapping out your expertise and helping convince potential customers that your business solves all their issues on hand.
A whitepaper is a compilation format of your business’s deep knowledge and insights into the niche or industry.
You can compare it to a business report however it differs greatly in several areas. Highlighting key elements of your business is an important bearing in making this efficient marketing strategy work for you.
Creating perfect whitepapers that work exceptionally for you is a work of art. A successful whitepaper requires a checklist of elements such as clear, realistic goals, constant updates of new insights about your business, and most importantly the right platform to publish your work. This guide has information on all things whitepaper and how to use it to the best of your benefit.
What Is a Whitepaper?
The perpetual definition of whitepaper has been speculated for a long time. The real definition, however, is different from what is being used today. In general terms, a whitepaper may be defined as a well-researched analysis and summary report on an industry topic.
A more in-depth definition would be that a whitepaper is essentially a report that targets a specific issue at hand and provides an ideal solution to the issue with regard to a business.
The main aspect that makes rolling out a whitepaper such a lucrative content marketing strategy is that it helps businesses earn trust and build credibility with potential clientele as it allows them to gain insights into your business. At the same time, it allows customers to make an informed decision about your product, educates them about your business and industry and also helps them solve a problem they might have in relation to the industry.
It is a strategy aimed at supporting the end-user knowledge-wise and helping them decide for themselves about a product. Thus, in a nutshell, making it a plausible lead magnet over other educational resources such as e-books and related promotional content.
Generally, whitepapers are used to educate the audience about a particular technique or on how to tackle a prevailing industry issue. Problem-solving guides are a content piece often expressed through a whitepaper. Especially effective in educate readers on a particular issue or topic and bring to light a new insight or a different viewpoint in the minds of a reader.
Considering all these aspects, whitepapers are by far considered an effective tool for content marketing. Not only does it help in generating leads by a great amount, but it also helps in building credibility, also helps in building mindshare, and opens portals to multidimensional sales contingencies.
Whitepapers are primarily knowledge-based and tend to be data-centric, relying heavily on text-based documentation. Often a proper deep read due to the large amount of research-based data presented in them.
What Is Not a Whitepaper &
What Makes it Different From Other Content Formats?
One thing a whitepaper is not, is a pitch or a promotion for a product/service. The intent of a whitepaper is to educate and win over potential leads with facts and evidence rather than telling them why they need to use your service. Designed to earn credibility and trust, and not focused on direct selling.
Some may compare a whitepaper to an eBook or a blog post based on the style of the content presented to the world. But the effective format that the whitepaper uses is entirely different from an editorial article or an ebook. In-depth information that is well-researched and analyzed and is purely based on real-time factuals.
Whitepapers are great for outreach to new potential customers and stakeholders in a very formal and educative way. Comprising more technical content than a typical blog post or an eBook and require much more effort and time for thorough research than other briefer forms of content.
A whitepaper adds value to your business and creates mindshare among readers thus helping generate large amounts of reads. Well-written and researched, it may be characterized as a persuasive document that provides factual solutions to industry issues. Educating a potential prospect of a prevailing issue and how your business is the solution to solve it.
How to Use a Whitepaper to Your Benefit?
There are a few prerequisites before you begin compiling a whitepaper. Here are a few things to keep in mind before starting your whitepaper.
Choosing the Right Topic
The whole whitepaper creation process lies on the foundation of knowledge. Research into determining which niche or topic represents what you do best is pivotal to a good result. But how to figure out which topic would work best for you? The answer is – by identifying your audience’s pain points.
Determining their pain points helps in analyzing the main issue your audience is facing. Knowing that you will also know how your product will solve the issue. A thorough research into what the industry weaknesses, together with your experience is key to choosing your whitepaper topic.
Sketching Out Your Content Plan
After determining the topic well suited for your business, creating a clear concise content plan is imperative. An ideal whitepaper should establish a prevailing issue, propose a well-explored solution, and leave an impression on the minds of the reader to go ahead and use what you have to offer.
It is important to remember that a whitepaper is highly-detailed and should be build around facts and evidence. Hence, planning ahead of creating a whitepaper is key – so that all important aspects are covered.
Determining the Target Audience & Focal Point
Keep in mind that a whitepaper is to generate leads in a particular pool of audience, so a topic/problem has to be chosen. Tailor it to fit the needs of this pool of audience is necessary in order to make it a lead magnet. Creating a focal point on the topic at hand helps in diluting the amount of research needed, and keeps it sharp. It should cover one particular area of expertise matching the need of the target audience.
Now for the important section of all: What makes whitepaper a good lead magnet.
What Makes Whitepaper a Great Lead Magnet?
Now that we have established how whitepapers will help generate potential prospects, here are some more perks summarized below:
- A whitepaper helps in positioning your business as an industry expert.
- It helps in building an enhanced brand image based on facts and research.
- It helps in essentially positioning your business as an expert in the field. This will help in generating leads indirectly as people would want to work with industry experts.
- A whitepaper helps in building credibility and creates a strong rapport with the audience.
- It aids in building a mailing list from scratch.
A whitepaper can and should be used as an effective lead magnet, and works with many types of content. It’s a persuasive way to build a sturdy brand image supported by facts and knowledge of the industry. Solving a persistent problem in your industry and using it to explain how your business is helping tackle the issue is also a great approach. And finally it is a convincing way to present your credentials and expertise without sounding ingenuine.
A whitepaper has the potential to establish a business as an industry leader by the content provided. Remember, it is a client’s mentality to work with experts and whitepaper helps in establishing a business as an expert.