"White papers are a powerful marketing tool predominately used by B2B companies in order to generate leads or position themselves as a thought leader in their industry," Amy Cowen posted on business.com. In order to get research published and have it be successful, you need to know what your clients expect of your white papers. They expect white papers to feature content that is valuable to them, especially if it concerns common problems in their industry.
"In order to create such papers, you need to be intimately familiar with your marketer's industry and audience," Amy Cowen recommended.
Tips to Get Research Published
Get to Know the Audience
"In order to answer people’s questions, you have to know them and you have to know who your marketer's ideal customers are," says Cowen. "If you are using vague title-based descriptions of potential customers, (senior manager in a pharmaceutical company, for example), it is time to up the game."
Conveniently, AudienceSCAN already knows this audience! 7.1% of U.S. adults downloaded and read a white paper during the past six months, using the internet via browsers, tablets or mobile phones.
Do the Research
"Go completely research berserk and collect as much information as you can about the current events in your marketer's industry. Hit the Internet, interview colleagues, bosses, subordinates; talk to everyone you can in order to gather as much relevant information as you possibly can and then analyze that information," Cowen wrote.
AudienceSCAN found that 36.5% of White Paper Readers have downloaded an app for a product they're considering in the past six months. Mentioning any relevant apps in the white paper could prove beneficial to you. And this stat shows that readers are shoppers, and curious about the products they're shopping for.
To get research published, you need to find a topic that will demand your clients' attention. Cowen recommends focusing on focusing on researching common problems in your clients' industry. If you find a problem that doesn't have a definitive answer yet, you've struck gold.
Learn all you can about how to solve your clients' problems in ways they haven't considered before, and they'll dive headfirst into your white paper.
Writing the Content
You should aim for your white paper to be between eight and 10 pages long. If you get research published that is longer than that, your readers may get bored before they reach the end. Or, they could skip to the end in search of the answer they're searching for an miss crucial information in the middle of the white paper.
Try to position your white papers as buying guides when relevant. AudienceSCAN research showed 23% of White Paper Readers downloaded a buying guide or pricing app (not tied to a specific brand) in the past six months.
Think about the last time you looked for something to read, whether it was another white paper, an article online or even a book. Visual appeal had a lot to do with your decision, right? And not just the cover art. If you opened the article, white paper, or book and were met with a solid brick of text, you probably moved on to something else. To stop this from happening, insert visual aspects that make your white paper seem easier to consume. These could include infographics, bullet point lists, charts, etc. Also, make sure to add an executive summary at the beginning that promotes the points your white paper will be addressing. This lures readers in with the promise of useful information.
Also, "Make sure that your conclusion offers one key takeaway from the paper and include a call-to-action in it," Cowen writes. "Offer something else to a reader, a webinar or a case study if they are that not far down the funnel or your marketer's services if you believe that they are ready to buy. Be up front and sincere about the benefits they will get and don’t over-sell it."
Publishing and Promotion
The next step is to get research published. Then comes promotion. "You want to get the paper out there ensure that it is visible to the right crowd," says Cowen.
White Paper Readers are 119% more likely than average audiences to read blogs every day, according to AudienceSCAN. So definitely post your white paper on appropriate blogs!
Cowen recommends spreading the word of your new white paper through multiple sources. Ask your business connections in your clients' industry to make guest posts about your new research to get the word out in new networks. Influencers could also be a big help in this endeavor. Don;t overlook your own clients and prospects, though. Your mailing list is ripe with consumers who could gain value from your white paper. Finally, post it all over your company's social media pages.