B2B Marketing: How to Write a White Paper
A White Paper is a document used to educate readers and help them make decisions. Think of it as a ‘big fat report’ which addresses a particular issue or problematic topic and provides potential solutions and answers. White Papers are commonplace documents in politics and business, and are a valuable information resource.
If you’re like most people in business, you are thinking “Why bother? Who’s going to read a 5, 10 or 20 page report? Waste of time!” And you’re partly right; hardly anyone will read it, but here’s why you need it:
- Many will be impressed by the fact you wrote it
- They might read it one day – most put it aside for later
Both results are positive for you and your business. You have entered the conversation in their mind. You have been noticed.
A White Paper is used in business in a ‘2 step’ or ‘3 step’ education-marketing process.
Firstly it offers potential clients a valuable information resource before asking anything else of them; they receive the White Paper before being encouraged to call your office, make an appointment or buy your product. This information resource shows your VIP that you know what you’re talking about and are an expert in your field.
A White Paper appears less pushy and ‘salesy’ than an old school single step tool like an advertisement, where everybody knows that your intent is to make them buy and most are not yet ready.
A White Paper is valuable as it begins to develop a relationship of trust between you and your VIP. Developing a relationship is a fundamental part of the process, because people do not buy professional or B2B services from a sales brochure or from a website that just describes your services. If the prospect doesn’t know any more than what they read in a brochure about you, they certainly won’t want to commit thousands of dollars.
By providing a valuable White Paper along with other resources, you build credibility and trust in the eyes of your potential clients. It also creates a small obligation for the gift you’ve given—people generally try to reciprocate. So they are more likely to be open to having a meeting with you or to taking another step down the path to buying.
Read more about the very intricate B2B Marketing industry.
Cheers, Toby [B514]
Toby leads the team of young and international B2B Marketers at Lead Creation