White papers are research reports, persuasive essays that use facts and logic to promote specific products or services or a recommended solution to a problem. They provide useful information for readers seeking to understand an issue, solve a problem, or do their jobs better.
White Papers can be useful additions to a Marketing Strategy with great results that lead to:
- Lead generation – It’s common for companies to pitch their free white papers in banner ads, sales letters, email campaigns, and more in exchange for limited information such as a name and email address.
- Press Releases – If the content is newsworthy this may be the outcome.
- Search Engine Optimization – Having great content on a website – in the form of case studies, articles, and white papers is a proven way of rising in search engine rankings.
- Lead nurturing – This is the process of staying in touch with prospects during the time it may take them to become ready to buy the product or service. During this period, companies keep the lines of communication open with prospects by using newsletters, case studies, white papers, and other marketing materials.
- Sales communications – A solid marketing piece, such as a case study or white paper, is a favorite sales tool. They can be used to add oomph to sales presentations and as leave-behinds. A prospect is more likely to take the time after a sales presentation to read a good white paper than they are to read a product brochure!
- Branding – A big part of brand communications involves what a product or company becomes known for. Most companies want to be known as the thought leaders, and have their products and services become known as innovative and best-in-class. White Papers help to create this perception in the marketplace.