95% of B2B enterprises use content marketing and of those 78% use white papers. Here's the why, how and where of white paper content.
Content marketing is on the rise for B2B businesses and nearly half of all B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months. Content Marketing Institute's B2B Enterprise Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report found that 95% of B2B enterprises use content marketing and of those 78% use white papers. White papers range from a short, single page document to hundreds of pages, but they are generally just an authoritative, formal document on a non-fiction topic. If you have a blog and are present on social networks, but are looking for a way to expand your reach with content marketing, consider using whitepapers.
Why Create White Papers?
Building brand awareness is a top priority for B2B businesses of all sizes. 84% of the respondents in the CMI survey cited brand awareness as the number one goal of their content marketing efforts. Giving away a free white paper can build brand awareness and is an excellent way to reach a customer who may not have otherwise considered you.
Tailored content is going to be more successful than generic blog posts or email newsletters. 92% of B2B enterprise marketers tailor their content in at least one way, compared with 91% of their B2B peers overall. Whitepapers allow your marketing team to tailor downloadable content for greater success. If a prospect downloads a whitepaper, you're getting an automatic signal of what that person is interested in and where they are in the buying process.
How Do I Create Great Content?
The most effective B2B marketers are able to tailor content to specific profiles/personas more frequently and whitepapers can aid a business in this process. If you get stuck creating fresh, relevant content, have no fear! Here are just a few examples of content you can incorporate into your white papers that help the sales team address the various issues buyers come across in each stage of the process:
- Provide a perspective on individual markets and solutions, such as tips for shipping and receiving items internationally
- Content written by subject matter experts that discusses benchmarks and best practices, including survey results
- Enable prospects to understand alternative solutions, like product comparisons, analyst reports
- Offer advice about making the decision, such as case studies for those in similar situations and ROI calculators
- Annotated content or case studies that call out relevant discussions and decision points they can use in their customer interactions
Where Can I Use My White Papers?
White papers can be featured on your site, in blog posts and weekly round-ups and shared on social media. However, if you're looking for a way to get a new site of eyes on your company copy, there are more options you can consider. The new Business.com white paper content marketing solution delivers high-quality white paper leads to your business while placing your brand in front of a qualified audience of buyers actively researching solutions, products and services.
We connect advertisers with buyers in the discovery and comparison stages of the purchasing cycle utilizing our unique intention- and relevance-based targeting capabilities. Advertisers can effectively demonstrate thought leadership to this concentrated audience of business decision makers with our distribution of their whitepapers. Our content marketing program focuses on helping advertisers reach the buyer at the right place and the right time to close more sales. Exclusive white paper content marketing leads from Business.com and the unique audience provided by the Business.com network can be filtered by industry, location, company size, buyer's title and more (priced accordingly). If you're interested in connecting with buyers and reaching a new audience via the white paper offering from Business.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're looking to step up your content marketing strategy with new content and a new audience, consider white papers. You can target relevant demographics and engage with buyers, no matter where they are in the purchase process, with tailored content. Once you've created a captivating white paper, share and promote your white paper with partners and on social networks to generate qualified leads.
How does your business tailor its white paper content?