Marketing with Whitepapers (3 of 3) - Promotion
After writing and designing your whitepaper, it’s time to get it added to your website and start promoting it. The third and final part of our Marketing with Whitepapers series will discuss best practices in regards to doing that, and further steps you need to take to make sure that your whitepapers stay relevant.
Posting Your Whitepaper to Your Website
When getting ready to put your whitepaper on your company’s website, make sure that you convert it into a PDF. This allows your whitepaper to maintain its appearance without losing any styles or formatting based on the end user’s software.
Once you do that, you need to determine where you want your whitepaper to be on your website. Ideally, you should include it in multiple places, including:
- Relevant service page(s)
- A landing page
Best practice is to make an individual fill out a short form that includes at least their full name and email if they want to download your whitepaper. Pair the form with a call-to-action that encourages the website visitor to download the file. You can also highlight the key points covered to give that person a taste of what they’ll learn by reading your whitepaper. You should definitely do this on the landing page you design for this whitepaper, and can in other places it’s referenced on your website as well.
Marketing Your Whitepaper
It’s not just enough to publish your whitepaper on your website (though, you SHOULD be doing that on multiple relevant pages). Consider promoting your whitepaper using the following methods:
- Email: Email your prospect list an email that directs them to your whitepaper’s landing page. You can also email your current clients that don’t currently utilize your service that the whitepaper covers.
- Blogs: When your whitepaper first comes out, write a short blog article announcing it that tells a little bit about what the whitepaper discusses. The title of the article should inform the reader that there is a free deliverable available so they are encouraged to read it. Embed a form on that page that will allow them to download your whitepaper. Also, when writing a blog that is related to the topic covered in your whitepaper, you can include a call-to-action at the bottom of your blog to download your whitepaper. If you didn’t want to do that, you could include an ad about your whitepaper in the sidebar of your website for those related blogs.
- Social Media: Promote your new whitepapers on social media through regular posts, boosted posts, and campaigns that encourage people to download it. Include an image in those posts, as well as a call-to-action and a link to your whitepaper’s landing page.
- Direct Mail: Direct mail campaigns can be effective in promoting a new whitepaper. You can use letters and postcards that include a shortened URL and QR code on them that links to your landing page.
- Remarketing Campaign: You can set up ads with Google AdWords that target people who have already visited your website that encourage them to download your whitepaper. Your whitepaper might be just the push they needed to become a paying client. You can also do this through social media.
- Trade Shows: Bring a couple of printed out copies of your whitepapers to trade shows that you attend. Now, these won’t be as popular as your other printed marketing materials (brochures, sales slicks, etc.). But, for that individual who is very interested in learning more (likely someone at the bottom of the sales funnel), they can be a great tool - one that most other trade show attendees probably don’t have. If you don’t want to waste as much paper, consider providing a link to a landing page where they can download the whitepaper on a small card. You could also include that link on your other printed marketing materials that are designed to promote the same service offering.
Updating Your Whitepaper
Whitepapers aren’t a “one-and-done” sort of thing: you can’t just throw them on your website and use them for multiple years without revising them. As time passes, it’s likely that some of what you wrote about will no longer be accurate. Or, the sources that you use will date your whitepaper.
For example, if you referenced a study conducted in 2013 in a whitepaper that you published on your website in 2014, it’s okay. But, if that same study is still referenced in your whitepaper in 2018, it’s not going to be nearly as relevant as when it was when you first published it.
Get in the habit of updating your whitepapers at least once a year to make sure that they stay relevant.
That’s A Wrap
Be sure to take a look at the previous parts of the blog series if you need a refresh. And if you need help with your own whitepapers - whether it is writing one, branding it to your company, or promoting it - we’re here! Reach out to us today.