Last Updated on April 5, 2022 by Ronen Ben-Dror
White Papers Can be a Key Part of Your Strategic Content Marketing Distribution Plan
Once you’ve crafted your brand message out of a careful analysis of your values and your target market, you need to come up with a strategic content marketing distribution plan. You’ve got great insight into your industry, but how do you get that information to your audience?
Many companies make the mistake of simply going with the distribution methods they are familiar and comfortable with, instead of getting a clear picture of what their audience wants. One reliable and effective way to increase your reach with your audience is through the use of white papers.
Many companies do not invest in white papers because they are more costly to produce, take longer to write and take a set of expertise that the internal sales and marketing departments do not always possess, said Ronen Ben-Dror, Director of Client Relationship Development at Blue Valley Marketing. The decision to avoid white papers (and case studies) as part of your marketing mix could turn out to be a costly strategic mistake. White papers are not only more educational and informative than most any other form of written communications, but if they are written well, they greatly advance your brand and strengthen your position as an expert in your field.
What a good white paper does for your B2B customer: White papers are more in-depth than other types of content, and they discuss solutions to a specific problem or challenge facing your target audience. When written well, they provide readers with a solution or a set of recommendations that can be implemented and make a measurable difference in their business practices.
What a good white paper does not do: White papers are never crafted for self-promotion. Your content marketing distribution strategy should include a variety of format options, and some of those will focus more on self-promotion. For instance, a blog will often close with a call to action that directs readers to engage further with your company, or a telemarketing call might include a discussion of benefits of your brand.
A white paper is not the right format for selling your company. Instead, it’s an opportunity to show your expertise and establish yourself as a leading voice in your industry. If it’s a good white paper with useful information, your audience will remember that you produced it and look to you for reliable insight in the future.
Your audience is looking for your white papers. A survey by Blue Valley Marketing found that white papers represent one of the most under-utilized formats by B2B marketers. Yet respondents to the survey listed white papers as their preferred source of information, with 37 percent indicating a desire to gain insights through white papers. Magazines came in second at 15 percent.
They aren’t always finding them. While your audience prefers to read white papers, they often receive content in other, less-desirable formats. The survey results show that, though B2B clients prefer white papers, they receive information most frequently through magazine articles and Webinars.
The survey results indicate a gap between what customers want to see from B2B marketers and what marketers are producing through their content marketing distribution plans. It represents a key opportunity for you to better capture the attention of your target audience and get an edge on the competition.
Does your comprehensive marketing plan contain gaps that equate to missed opportunities? Talk with Blue Valley Marketing. We know the power of the right mix of marketing channels in your strategy, and we can help you identify what that combination is for your company.