White papers are one of the best marketing tools you can use to educate your audience about your products and services. A rapidly increasing number of professionals claim white papers are a major factor in influencing their purchasing decisions.
In fact, TechTarget surveyed more than 1,400 IT professionals about their buying habits. The survey revealed that 66% of IT buyers have used white papers within the past 3 months to evaluate new technology information.
Although many marketers take the time to create white papers, their messages may only reach a fraction of their potential audience. This is because some marketers simply post white papers on their websites, sit back and hope their ideal customers will find them. If you want to increase your readership and the amount of leads you generate, you must make it easy for your target audience to find your information. Below are 5 ways you can promote your white papers online and direct more leads to your website:
1. Run a Teaser in Your Blog or E-newsletter Before you create your next white paper, try writing an e-zine article or blog post that discusses one of its key points. Doing this early allows you to:
- Gauge your readers’ feedback to determine if the topic interests them.
- Overcome writer’s block. When you sit down to write the white paper, you’ll already have a solid starting point.
2. Share Your White Papers with Your Social Networks One key component of social networking is providing valuable content for your community. IT professionals and other business buyers tend to perceive white papers as highly valuable. Eccolo Media’s 2009 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report revealed white papers are shared more than any other form of marketing collateral. In fact, 89% of survey respondents reported sharing white papers with others. Use your social networks to spread the word about your white papers. If members of your community enjoy the content, they will pass it along via their own networks.
3. Promote Your White Papers in Your E-mail Signature Your e-mail signature might be one of your most overlooked marketing areas. Add a P.S. to your outgoing messages that invites your contacts to visit your website and download your free white paper.
4. Send Out an Online News Release Your latest research can become exciting news in your industry. Every time you create a white paper, you should develop an online news release to drive journalists, bloggers and potential customers to your website. Online news releases have a few benefits over traditional press releases. Many popular online press release distribution services will submit your news to major search engines and social networks, helping to improve your overall search engine rankings. These services also allow you to target your distribution, so your press release goes to the exact sector you wish to reach.
5. Increase Downloads with Online Advertisements If you have a large website, try placing ads for your white paper on your home page and throughout your site. You can also run a Google AdWords campaign that directs people to your white paper’s registration form. One More Important Point … Once people arrive at your landing page, make it easy for them to request your white paper. If your registration form asks for too much information, people will become frustrated and leave your web page. Keep your registration form as short as possible to ensure the most people request your white paper.
What about you? What strategies do you use to promote your white papers? Please share your thoughts below.