Can You Use White Papers as Marketing Tools


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White papers can help generate leads in online marketing programs. One vendor reports that its white papers helped increase sales conversions from 1% to 3%. Free white papers can explain the purpose and specifications of a new product or application. They are advantageous marketing tools for the following reasons:

  • People like to get items for free. IBM generated a response rate of more than 8% by sending golf balls to high-tech engineers. Receiving a valuable gift creates a positive impression.
  • White papers treat readers as intelligent consumers who can gather evidence and make their own decisions.
  • These publications tell customers what to expect.
  • They answer prospects’ questions about current and future needs.
  • They put the marketer and the customer in an educational relationship rather than setting up the traditional opposition between the salesperson and the buyer.
  • In this educational relationship, the customer is the priority.

You gain credibility when your company publishes objective information. Edu-marketing is a form of “pre-selling,” since only 10% of potential customers need your product today. You are actually reaching out to fulfill a future buying need. When prospects respond to a white paper solicitation, the salesperson has an opportunity to engage them.

Then, the salesperson can ask about the customer’s needs and time frame. In this interaction, the vendor becomes the expert.

Finding the Right Tone with your marketing

A successful white paper answers these questions:

  • Who benefits from using the product or service?
  • When should consumers use this product or service?
  • Where should they use it?
  • What does it deliver?
  • How should consumers select and use it?
  • Why is it better than the competition’s?

White papers must have an objective tone and approach. Use authoritative citations in footnotes. Include technical detail. Don’t write at a level that is too basic for your target audience. White papers should be timely – although you must also make sure to write and edit them carefully. 

And Your Point Is of your marketing whitepaper? 

Edu-marketing can be a powerful marketing tool, even though many people claim they are inundated with materials they do not have time to read. To increase the odds that people will actually read your edu-marketing material, follow these steps:

  • Get to the point right away. Don’t be wordy.
  • Use subheadings, bullet points and charts to make the paper easy for readers to skim.
  • Include only relevant information.
  • Provide tips, guidelines and advice. Give readers something they’ve never had.

Choosing a Topic of your marketing whitepaper

White papers can address technology and planning issues, serve as application aids or buyer’s guides, provide case studies, demonstrate the return on investment, show how technology affects customers’ businesses, or discuss strategy, issues or industry trends. Never forget that white papers are educational, not promotional.

To choose a white paper subject:

  • Pick a narrow topic. Focused white papers attract attention.
  • Pick a topic that will advance sales.
  • Pick a topic that no one has covered before. If other papers discuss “how to,” look for a new angle, such as “what about?”
  • Research the topic by asking your field personnel for information. They are aware of their customers’ problems. If your paper supports the field staff’s efforts, they’ll be happy to help you distribute it.

And your Whitepaper Marketing Plan

Once you have your paper, you need a marketing plan. And it should include the following elements:

  •  Your audience’s demographics.
  • Their problems.
  • Your solution.
  • Elements of the solution such as online tutorials, seminars or chat rooms.
  • The best way to reach your audience.
  • A schedule.
  • A budget.
  • Campaign objectives.
  • Measurements of success.

And here is an example of it in action!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Murphy
SiliconCloud provides high-quality, customized solutions to satisfy business objectives by leveraging the online space to drive leads and nurture customer relationships. SiliconCloud's integrated solutions of Web Creative, Analytics, Search Marketing & Social Media is designed to elevate your image, inform sales strategies and drive business. SiliconCloud means having a clear vision. Dozens of organizations in B2B and B2C arenas have counted on SiliconCloud to pave their road to the future by securing their online presence


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