Many of your website visitors will come just once and you won’t see them again. So, you must do your best to get the small percentage of visitors that will convert to stick around long enough to hand you their contact information. Then, you can follow up with the lead until you make a sale.
We’ll look at how to use white papers to attract more leads and build your email list. But first, here are some reasons why you must invest time to create effective white papers.
What Are the Benefits of Creating White Papers?
- Brand building: Good white papers enable you to build a strong brand. They boost your company’s status in the eyes of your readers and help them see you as a thought leader in your field.
- Developing credibility: White papers are effective tools for boosting your credibility. They also help you reach out to business partners who can help you grow your business quickly.
- List building: You can decide to mail your white paper to your prospects or simply capture their contact details before you allow them to download it.
- Social media engagement: Your visitors can use them to share valuable information with their friends on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms.
- Link building: You can use them to acquire more web traffic from other websites and social media.
If you’re ready to start enjoying these benefits, read on to discover how to create effective white papers that’ll bring in all the leads you want.
1. Find a Topic that Appeals to Your Target Audience
The essence of your white paper is to offer an applicable solution to a problem, making it imperative that you know your target audience very well. To generate a ton of leads with your white paper, ensure that you only write on topics that resonate with your potential customers.
Here are some tips to help you.
- Don’t try to talk to everyone at once so you don’t repel those you’re actually targeting.
- Segment your market as precisely as you can. Your message must be appropriate for your audience and their position in your sales funnel.
- Be prepared to create different white papers to address the needs of different decision-makers in your industry.
2. Let the Message be Informative Rather than Salesy
Focus on teaching rather than selling. Make the content 80% educational and then use the remaining 20% for sales purposes. Don’t be so eager to sell that you lose the reader before you’ve provided enough useful information.
Concentrate on teaching and illustrating concepts that solve your reader’s business problems. Try to create a relationship with your readers through your writing so they see your brand as a trustworthy resource. To create highly informative white papers, bear these suggestions in mind.
- Provide buyer’s guides and tips to help people who are at the beginning or middle of the customer journey.
- Give your readers detailed information backed with facts.
- Fill the white paper with illustrations, graphs, charts, and references to credible sources.
- Without sounding pitchy, add case studies from your organization to provide facts about the value of your services.
3. Make Sure the Length of the Paper Fits the Audience
It’s easy to get carried away and try to put a huge amount of content into one paper. Unfortunately, this approach could turn some readers off. Adopt a flexible approach and choose a length that suits your primary audience.
Here’s where it’s advisable to do a little digging and download your competitors’ white papers to determine what the average length is for your target audience. Depending on your audience, you may find that it’s sometimes appropriate for white papers to go on for 30 pages or more with lots of details, charts, and graphs.
Or you may discover that your market trends towards short, actionable white papers that aren’t more than 5 pages long. Spying on your competition will help you best determine where your length should be.
4. Use Multiple Opt-ins to Attract New Leads
To start with, you need to create a basic landing page to capture opt-ins. This page should have:
- An eye-catching headline
- An image that reveals what your prospects will get
- A few lines of copy telling prospects what to expect
- One or two form fields for the prospects’ name and email address
You need to strike a balance between the amount of personal data you ask for and the value you’re offering. If you ask for more data, you’ll get fewer but more qualified leads. This is great for high-value products and services.
If you ask for just a name and email address, you’ll get more leads, but you’ll still have to do more work later to qualify them and separate the wheat from the chaff.
In addition to the landing page, you need to add more opt-in forms to other parts of your site. Place an opt-in for your white paper on a blog post that’s related to the topic of the paper. Add a mini opt-in form in the middle or at the bottom of the post so your readers see it as they scroll down the page.
5. Promote Your White Paper Off-Site
Don’t limit yourself to the traffic you can get on your website. If your white paper is well-written and attractive enough, you can generate a lot of traffic to your website by promoting it elsewhere. Here are some ideas you can try out.
- Write a guest post on a high-traffic site in your niche and include a link to your new white paper in the bio.
- Ask a strong influencer in your industry to help you review your white paper.
- Run a targeted ad campaign within your budget and attract high-quality leads that will read your new e-book.
- Create a video with some information extracted from your white paper. Remember that many people who may not be initially interested in reading may watch your video and eventually download your white paper.
- Create a SlideShare presentation from your white paper. SlideShare offers you a unique channel to use in order to generate leads. You can post some highlights from your white paper in a presentation and add a lead gen form to connect with prospects.
Remember that the average conversion rate for website visitors is quite low. You must do your best to capture as many leads as you can by offering your visitors a well-written white paper that also serves as a tool for conversion.