So it’s finished. You’ve followed the tips in this series and you’ve got the perfect white paper. Now what?
You can do one of two things — You can A: Put it on your website and wait for the leads to roll in or B: You can get out there and actively promote your white paper.
While option A sounds good, don’t get too excited. Unless you are actively promoting your white paper, you’re going to be waiting on those leads for a long time. It doesn’t matter how good the white paper or how groundbreaking the information. If it just sits on a web site, that’s all it’s going to do is sit.
The great thing about white papers, however, is that once you’ve created the paper, the hard work is done. The content of a good white paper naturally lends itself to a number of other mediums which can be used to powerfully promote your white paper.
Here’s a few tips for distributing your white paper:
Social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are the first places to consider when promoting your white paper or ebook. Look for ways to re-purpose the content to fit the medium. For example, a video highlighting the key talking points might do well on Youtube or stimulate clicks on Facebook increasing edgerank in the process. An infographic with key data from the report might work well on Instagram or could be shared by industry bloggers and websites.
When using social media focus on the information presented and not the selling points of the product. Information of value to the community can spread very quickly. However, blatant advertising and spam will be quickly labeled as such. Be sure to use your analytic tools to both uncover opportunities to promote the white paper or ebook and also to track and respond to the discussion it creates.
Public Relations Campaign
A good white paper can form the basis of a powerful public relations campaign — especially if the paper presents groundbreaking information or introduces something new to the industry. If you’ve focused on the process and not product features, you’ve got a white paper with news potential. When it comes to writing press releases and reaching out to the media, focus again on the process (the “newsworthy” angle), not the product.
Offer publications guest articles focusing on the information provided in the white paper and offer the white paper to industry publications and journalist. Guest blog posts are a great way to gain high quality links directed to the report.
Don’t forget about the bloggers. Offer the white paper to industry specific bloggers not as a product endorsement but as industry information of interest to their readers. Offer to help by pointing them in the right direction.
PowerPoint Presentations and Webinars:
The information in a white paper can easily form the basis of a PowerPoint presentation or Webinar. It’s often a matter of summarizing the content, highlighting key points and adding graphics to enhance the information presented in the paper. Be sure that your presentation includes both easy links to the full white paper and a strong call to action at the end.
Videos demonstrating the concepts presented in a white paper can be very powerful and are easy to distribute. By using a service such as YouTube to host the video, bloggers can easily embed the video in their blogs, it can be added to Facebook fan pages, and shared in any of a number of ways. Bloggers will often welcome video of interest to their readers because they are easy to use and provide a break from the normal textual content of blogs.
Pay Per Click Campaigns
When done properly, pay per click campaigns on Google can bring in significant traffic. However, without the proper key words and ad description, you won’t draw quality traffic. Be sure you’ve properly researched key words and that your ad reaches out to your target audience.
Once you’ve placed the ad, be sure it brings readers to an expected landing page. Don’t lead them to a general home page. Send them directly to the white paper. If you’re using the white paper to gather contact information, give readers a taste of the paper. Offer the first page to get them hooked before asking for contact information.
Sites such as CNet and Knowledge Storm offer both free and pay per lead white paper syndication. With white paper syndication sites, your white paper will be competing with a large database of white papers. A compelling headline and abstract/executive summary can help a white paper stand out among the competition. Some sites also offer sponsorship/advertising opportunities to promote your white paper.
For a list of white paper syndication sites, I recommend this post at Writingwhitepapers.com.