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What is the ideal length of a white paper to be an effective tool of communication? Companies are often told to keep their content marketing short because the Internet has filed down people’s attention spans. The Internet has changed the way people make purchases; however, they still need good information in order to be able to make decisions.
Prior to the Internet, companies got much of their decision-making information from sales people. Research suggests today people turn to the Internet and conduct research independently and with peers in order to make business decisions and purchases. One of the types of content frequently consumed – particularly for complex decisions – is white papers.
White papers are specific pieces of content marketing designed to provide a certain depth of information to the reader. When a company puts out white papers that are too short, they fail to deliver on this unspoken promise of the white paper. In addition, they fall short in using the tool of the white paper to its full advantage in positioning their company. Basically, a white paper that is too short does not function well as a communication tool.
This article helps you explore ideas of what to examine if you think your white papers may be lacking effectiveness due to a lack of depth and alignment with larger goals. Included are discussions on aligning your white paper to the right stage of the buying cycle and using white papers to position yourself as a thought leader. This article is part 2 of a 3-part article on white paper length.