Well, your firm has written and produced a white paper. A quality white paper can one of the most important content marketing vehicles to generate leads within your internet marketing plan. Now what? How do you promote it? Your ultimate goals with white papers are typically the following:
- Generate new leads
- Nurture existing leads
- Establish thought leadership
There are a myriad of methods to promote your white paper, generate interest, and get Google to index them for SEO. Here we go:
Put a link to your new white paper on your home page. Store your white paper on a separate page of your site, with an SEO-friendly URL, title, and meta description. Have audiences link to it as a PDF. Consider using a sub domain for the white paper, and make sure the words in your URL are separated by dashes so Google can read it better
Write a blog post providing an overview of the white paper with a link to it. Post portions of the white paper via a series of blog posts. Promote your paper within your blog’s sidebar or widget.
Besides company news, industry news, and recent posts and other content, promote it in your newsletter as well. Perhaps do a Q&A about the white paper with the author.
Online News Release
All white papers should be promoted via online press release distribution services. This is an ideal method to generate back links and create buzz about your paper. Online releases are submitted to major search engines, industry journals, and social networks. Make sure the release includes links to your website and other appropriate content.
Relevant Blogger Outreach
Compile a list of influential bloggers and online editors, and send them a release on your paper, and explain the rationale on why readers would be interested in reading it.
Of course promote it via social media. Write a short paragraph on what your paper is about (think about the target audience) and get it out on LinkedIn groups, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Try not to be spammy obviously, but provide true value as a thought leader. With LinkedIn, promote your white paper in a form of discussion.
LinkedIn Example: How has technology improved the performance of your sales staff? Our firm’s newest white paper explains our approach. Example tweet: New white paper -how to increase salespersons performance with technology, bit.ly link
Besides promoting your white paper via social media, you need to allow others to share it as well. Social sharing buttons and badges need to be included in the header of your content landing pages or even within the white paper itself (which takes some extra programming). Once you’ve set up this functionality, readers only need to click on the button to share it on their social media profiles.
Webinars and Slideshare
White papers can easily be repurposed as a Slideshare presentation or within a webinar. With webinars you combine the power of audio as well as visual to promote your thought leadership. Webinars generate leads as well via the registration process.
Videos that demonstrate the concepts presented in a white paper can be very powerful. Whether placed on your landing page or YouTube, bloggers can easily embed the videos into their own blogs to share the white paper take-aways in a visual format.
Third Party Email Lists
If you research your target audience’s online destinations, you may be able to rent an email list of an online publisher. Speak to these publishers, and find out what opportunities there are to promote your content.
White papers can be promoted via content syndication services, providing you with efficient cost-per-lead programs. Many of these opportunities are within the IT space, but with some digging, you can find partners that represent many verticals. Simply, these firms partner with online publishers in lead generation programs. More about content syndication strategy can be found here on the NuSpark Marketing website.
Many association websites have resource sections. It is worth looking into and see if they accept white paper submissions.
As an immediate lead generator, paid search can be an ideal place to promote your content towards audiences looking for solutions to their business challenges. By utilizing a unique landing page purely for conversion, leads enter your funnel.
Example search query: “Ways to improve sales performance“
Ad text: “Improve Sales Performance. Our sales technology is proven. Download free white paper”
By utilizing ad networks, ad exchanges, or direct to online publishers and websites, visually striking banner ads on websites or enewsletters can target specific audiences with a compelling message. The Google Display Network should be the first choice after you explore specific verticals that target your industry.
Use white papers as a tactic to target audiences who do not perform other conversions bia banner and text ads via remarketing networks (including Google). Say someone gets to your website or landing page, but does not sign up for a free demo or quotation. Those audiences can them be retargeted to throughout the web with a message promoting the white paper. This tactic gives you another opportunity to capture a lead.
If you’ve defined your white paper by audience segment and buying phase, then it should go immediately into your email lead nurturing program. With a unique email and landing page, those current leads can be converted into opportunities via sound lead nurture sequence strategy.
The sales team can utilize the white paper as a leave-behind during sales presentations, or they can email the paper towards qualified prospects with a cover note.
As you have read, there are a number of methods to promote that white paper and generate leads. Of utmost importance is your conversion landing page. Keep the form fields to a minimum, focus on key benefits audiences will get from downloading (explain why your audience will want to read it), and measure conversions by channel (URL tagging) via Google Analytics or a similar analytics tool.
I hope this post gives you some ideas for content and white paper promotion. How have you promoted white papers? Have you measured what works?