Tips for Creating White Papers and Other Inbound Content

407 views

Published on

How to get more downloads, extend your reach,
improve engagement, and win the business.

For purists, white papers are long documents (more than four pages) that describe a product, company, or process and is written in the third person. In today’s blogging, digital world, this strict definition doesn’t apply nearly as often as the seasoned marketer would like.

A white paper, according to more-recent definitions, is a six- to eight-page marketing document to help your prospects, leads, and customers understand an issue or solve a problem they have. White papers are classified as inbound content or content marketing and can be invaluable when working to build trust between your company and your constituents.

If your document doesn’t fit this description, consider other monikers to make it even more enticing: eBook, eZine, Guide, Coloring Book, Big Book of [Whatever], Collection, Illustrated Guide to [Whatever], and Special Report are just a few ideas. (We’ll use white paper as a collective term in the balance of this document.) No matter what you call your document, a great white paper always starts with a great design.

Published in: Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
407
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
11
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Tips for Creating White Papers and Other Inbound Content

  1. 1. For more information on white papers and content marketing, call 651-702-3793 or send an email to cmeyer@spidertrainers.com WHITE PAPER TIPSHow to get more downloads, extend your reach, improve engagement, and win the business.
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION For purists, white papers are long documents (more than four pages) that describe a product, company, or process and is written in the third person. In today’s blogging, digital world, this strict definition doesn’t apply nearly as often as the seasoned marketer would like. A white paper, according to more-recent definitions, is a six- to eight-page marketing document to help your prospects, leads, and customers understand an issue or solve a problem they have. White papers are classified as inbound content or content marketing and can be invaluable when working to build trust between your company and your constituents. DESIGN WELL If your document doesn’t fit this description, consider other monikers to make it even more enticing: eBook, eZine, Guide, Coloring Book, Big Book of [Whatever], Collection, Illustrated Guide to [Whatever], and Special Report are just a few ideas. (We’ll use white paper as a collective term in the balance of this document.) No matter what you call your document, a great white paper always starts with a great design. edocr.com is an ideal platform for promoting your digital content, but many publishers have suffered at the hands of an ill-designed document because, when a visitor searches your topic, they are usually presented with thumbnail images of documents from which to choose. If you had to choose from the two WHITE PAPER TIPS HOW TO IMPROVE QUALITY AND ENGAGEMENT PAGE 1 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS
  3. 3. documents shown on page one, which would you download? You likely chose the image on the right, as would most other people. Tags, rating, titles, and subject matter are all very important components of your document, but people are visual creatures and they need you to appeal to their desire to be engaged. Your design should use easy-to-read fonts, two columns, and bright, clear illustrations and interesting photos in order to capture your readers’ attention. Images will complement and extend the reader's understanding and should be used generously. BE CASUAL BUT AUTHORITATIVE Though you should use the third-person voice, white papers can be written internally or externally as long as the focus is as we described. If you’re looking for a topic, ask yourself: What pain points do my customers have? In what way can we help our customers? What advice can I share with our customers? As you answer these questions, keep in mind that your white paper is not the place to make a sales pitch. You want to build trust and establish your company as an authority on the topic and this cannot be done when you swing a heavy bat. Instead, take a softer approach and, using a conversational tone, write to foster the desire of customers to choose to do business with your company. Use statistics and quotes in order to back up claims you make and cite these sources so that the reader can easily verify your position. Adding live hyperlinks to your PDF is also beneficial for search engine optimization. Of course, choose your sources carefully; the more reputable the source, the more benefit you will gain from citing and referencing the source. SET EXPECTATIONS The title of your white paper should contain one or more of your company’s important keywords. After the design (or first when no thumbnail is visible), your title sets the expectations of what the reader will learn. Skip the urge to be cute, vague, or obtuse and begin to address your customer’s questions early with a clear, PAGE 2 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS Pleated Shades The contemporary, strong lines of our 2" pleats provide a clean and elegant look that opens up new decorating possibilities for the modern home. Available in 94 cool new fabrics, patterns, and colors, these can be easily coordinated with our Roller Shades and Roman Shades. PleatedShadesOur modern 2" pleated window shades represent a unique way to furnish your windows and create a whole new dimension to interior design. This high- impact window dressing looks great in any window, large- or small-lounge areas, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and even offices. Visit us online at www.stoneside.com, call us at 877-340-0158, or scan the code to the left to learn more. All Stoneside products are custom made for you in the USA. Figure 1. While white papers are best presented in a two-column format, if your document is not by definition a proper white paper, call it a guide, eBook, or the like and feel free to take a trip to the adventurous side of design.
  4. 4. concise title and subtitle. Follow these with an equally direct introduction or summary — in other words start with a good finish. Think about your conclusion and cannibalize it for your introduction. Your readers want to know what they will learn before they make the investment in downloading and reading. Titles of white papers can follow many of the same rules of email subject lines, such as (this list is from our video, Writing Email Subject Lines): Write it last Have a clear value proposition Be timely Include a call to action Ask a question Keep it short BE DIRECT Your white paper needs to provide general background of the problem, pain point, or issue and then address the topic in a direct, factual, authoritative manner. Their understanding of both the problem and the solution should come from your text — do not rely on outside source to scope this for you. Stay on track by ensuring that you state the issue and solution in your introduction and then are able to reiterate in your conclusion. If you wander off track, comparing this starting and ending text will help you to rein it in. Be sure you do not introduce issues or topics for which you are not providing a solution. This will only encourage your reader to look beyond the document you have provided, and possibly lose them to another source. ASK FOR THE BUSINESS Though your goal is to answer the questions the questions your readers may have about an issue or product, in the course of the white paper, you will naturally introduce new questions for which they will want you to answer. One of their questions should be, “what do I do now?” Tell them and be direct; this is your call to action. Give them the contact information, link to pages on your site that will help them, link to other documents you have created, and track all of this behavior. If appropriate, offer free trials of your solution, live or recorded demonstrations, downloadable resources, chat and help lines, or enable them to book a meeting. Tell the reader what you want them to do and make it worth their while to follow your advice. This call to action is important, so place it prominently, but without a sales pitch, make it an offer to help. SUM IT UP Write a conclusion to your white paper that wraps up the topic in a neat package with a bow. Make sure that your reader is leaving with more information and fewer questions than they had when they sought out this document. Remind them in the conclusion of the subjects you introduced and how you solved those. If appropriate, reiterate your call to action. PAGE 3 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS For International Professionals: Upcoming Tax Law Changes in the U.S. For international professionals like you living here in the United States, it is likely rather difficult to understand our tax laws and how they may affect you. For that reason, we wanted to provide you with a summary of the possible tax law changes expected to take effect next year. G iven the current level of uncertainty, year-end tax planning for 2012 is extremely challenging. With a host of major tax provisions expiring at year-end, and new taxes taking effect January 1, 2013, some year-end moves have the potential for significant savings. But will new legislation change the tax landscape once again? It's impossible to say for sure. Your best bet is to evaluate your tax situation now, consider your options, and stay on top of late-breaking legislative developments. Higher tax rates a significant consideration A fairly common strategy at year-end is to try to shift income into the following year by, for example, deferring a year-end bonus, or delaying the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. This year, however, you have to consider any income timing moves very carefully. That's because federal income tax rates are scheduled to jump in 2013. We'll go from six federal tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%) to five (15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6%). The maximum rate that applies to long-term capital gains will generally increase from 15% to 20%. And while the current lower long-term capital gain rates apply to qualifying dividends, starting in 2013, dividends will be taxed as ordinary income. Could the current federal income tax rates be extended yet again? Of course, but it's far from a certain bet. That means any moves you contemplate have to be considered in the context of several "what-if" scenarios. As we write this, it appears likely that some of the current lower tax rates may be extended for couples earning less than $250,000. For people earning more, it looks like higher tax rates are a certainty. New taxes also a factor New Medicare taxes created by the health-care reform legislation passed in 2010 take effect January 1, 2013. Beginning then, the hospital insurance (HI) portion of the payroll tax--commonly referred to as the Medicare portion--increases by 0.9% for high-wage individuals. Also beginning in 2013, a new 3.8% Medicare contribution tax is imposed on the unearned income of high-income individuals. ©2012 Maxim Global Wealth Advisors December 2012 | Page 1 of 3 Figure 2. There’s no rule that white papers have to be white. Add branding consistency by matching your website or other corporate documents.
  5. 5. Add information about your company, but don’t confuse this with your call to action. Your about box will disclose factual information about your company in a purely statistical approach, whereas the call to action will remind the reader that your company is an expert on the content and they should reach out to you in order to resolve their issues completely. PROMOTE YOUR WHITE PAPER In marketing, it’s rarely a case of build it and they will come. Just because you’ve written a fabulous white paper doesn’t mean that anyone will read it — after all, how will people even know to look for it, unless you promote it? Content syndicators, such as edocr.com, are ideal platforms for enabling you to distribute, promote, and track the effectiveness of your content, and along with their social tools and other integration, your content is promoted to their members and propagated beyond their site’s boundaries. If you’re short on ideas for how to market and promote your document, take a look at our eBook, The Power of Print (in Marketing). We’ve collected a number of both online and offline ideas along with lots of information on how to implement. RE-PURPOSING CONTENT After syndication of your white paper, think about other ways your document can be used to reach a wider range of audiences. Re-purposing in other formats enables you to extend syndication in platforms for video, audio, social postings, offline, and more. For instance, sales and marketing slide decks make good PDFs and many of these are great fodder for podcasts with a minimal amount of effort. Adding narration or music to post to YouTube or Vimeo, chopping up full- length video into short spots for Instagram and Vine, and pulling out illustrations and images for posting to Pinterest are just a few ideas for giving your documents some legs. CONCLUSION Developing white papers, to help your prospects, leads, and customers understand an issue or solve a problem is ideal for establishing your company as an authority and building trust. 60% of companies say they will execute an inbound-marketing strategy in 2013, but how successful these companies will be may depend greatly or entirely on how well they create, promote, and publish. GET HELP If you’re challenged by writing, publishing, or promoting your inbound content, Spider Trainers can help. As content curators, we produce all types of content for establishing your company as an expert and authoritative resource. Call Chuck Meyer at 651 702 3793 or email to cmeyer@spidertrainers.com. ABOUT SPIDER TRAINERS Spider Trainers helps companies of all sizes achieve a return on their marketing-automation investment through the design, development, and deployment of online or offline blast, drip, and nurture marketing campaigns. A network of more than 80 experts in email development, web development, graphic design, ad creation, multimedia creation, social-media postings, search-engine optimization, writing, editing, and analytics, Spider Trainers is chosen by companies to amplify lead and demand generation using a sales- readiness nurturing process. Founded in 2009, Spider Trainers is based in Denver, CO, and touts more than 30 years’ experience on their principal team. RATE OUR PUBLICATION We hope you find this document useful. Please use edocr.com’s star rating system in the right sidebar to rate our document. PAGE 4 ©2013 SPIDER TRAINERS

×