4 Ways White Papers Help Content Marketing Efforts

4 Ways White Papers Help Content Marketing EffortsThe assets that make up the content marketing process are well-known by now: the best, most effective strategies include social media updates (targeted, of course) and blog posts (weekly, at least). And depending on your targeted audience, you may include select video marketing opportunities, or even a webinar or two.

But there’s one part of the process that seems to get less attention than the rest: premium content opportunities in the form of white papers.

While a white paper might seem like a glorified “resource library” add-on to your website, it’s actually the cornerstone of effective lead generation, and each paper you publish offers a unique benefit that other assets don’t bring to the table.

Curious about how that process works? We thought you might be. Here are four ways that white papers and premium content assets help generate qualified leads for your business.

1. Interest equals engagement

When a prospective customer discovers, downloads, and reads a white paper, it’s because they want to be informed about a given topic. That need for information represents an opportunity for your business to convert a customer to your services quite willingly.

The opportunity is yours for the taking: if you can provide interesting, relevant content, then you become the source of information and advice for a customer looking to make a financial commitment. Developing and testing the distribution of white papers is a powerful way to identify the trends on your customer’s mind and which of your services or offerings are the most actionable.

2. Long Copy Sells

David Ogilvy was right. Long copy sells. So, while there will always be a place for short copy such as social media updates and blog posts, white papers represent an entirely different opportunity to connect with your prospective audience in two important ways:

  1. White papers give you the proverbial runway that you need to provide the education and information your customer needs in order to make an educated choice. In fact, this is the most powerful value of long copy: the opportunity to educate your customer and impact their long-term buying decisions with your perspective (but more on that later).
  2. White papers also allow you to give a highly valuable, helpful gift to your customers. One that’s worth downloading, reading, and sharing and that kicks off your relationship with a positive note. It provides you access to an invaluable relationship that you can only enter into if you offer long-form content like white papers.

3. Premium Content Establishes Trust

The gift of long copy goes further than just starting a relationship off on a positive note! Another benefit to long form copy (besides simply being a more substantial asset) is that it also establishes trust with your customer.

When you provide detailed, insightful information without a promotional angle, your customer can relax. Without the pinch of a hard sell, the customer becomes more receptive to your view of the situation and more interested in what you have to say, allowing you to do what you do best: provide valuable services and products that will help your customer succeed in his business.

4. White Papers Let You Control the Conversation

Finally, white papers allow you to control the conversation with a prospective customer. You get to introduce your position and provide insight that simply can’t be covered in a tweet or blog post. Over time, this control becomes a mutual exchange of thought leadership. You provide the unique insights, your prospective customer listens to your point of view.

Use this position of trust to guide the buyer journey. Share the principles you embrace as a company in detail and explain why those principles and applications are important within your industry. This is your opportunity to differentiate yourself, and when a customer downloads a white paper it shows a commitment to read what you have to say (you, as opposed to tens or hundreds of other options).

Your customers are researching and making decisions online as you read this post. If you’re feeling stuck on lead generation, a well-timed, well-made white paper might be the final push that converts your next customer. Use this tool as an important piece of your content marketing strategy to generate more qualified leads from your website.

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