The Pros And Cons Of White Papers

White papers are largely considered to be the piece of content that can really sell a company. This is mainly because white papers are considered to have a lot more substance than regular online content, which is considered to result in more customers handing over their contact details so they become a lead, or even jump straight towards being a customer.

When you consider that, it sounds like providing a white paper for customers is something you should definitely think about. However, this is only the case when you have taken everything into consideration. Here we will take a look at the pros and cons of using white papers and the kind of effect they can have on your online sales.

Pros

They Generate Leads: There is no denying that white papers are very successful at generating leads. The main reason for this is that it is an opportunity for a company to put their entire sales pitch across while looking very professional and trustworthy. An effectively designed and worded white paper can really generate a big list of leads, so it is always something worth considering as part of a marketing strategy.

Appealing To Decision-Makers: White papers always have the bare bones of a sales pitch. In other words, then tend to contain facts and figures. This is something that is very appealing to decision-makers, particularly people working at other companies that are looking to use the services you provide. If the numbers you provide for them give them a clear picture of what they need to know, they will be more likely to become buyers.

Can Set You Apart From Your Competition: Some of your competitors may have avoided making a white paper, mainly because they have assumed it takes a long time and is boring to read. If they have made this assumption, then you have an opportunity to capitalise on their decision. The majority of potential leads are always more likely to go with a company that was willing to talk business clearly in a white paper than one that doesn't bother.

Sharing Opportunity: If just one person decides to download your white paper and then print it out, they could well leave it lying around the office for other people to see. Or they could even send it to other people via email or social media. Whichever way they decide to share it, white papers can make the round rather quickly once they have been released. If you can make an effective one, then those shares could well create some potential leads.

Re-use The Content: Once you have put all your energy into creating your white paper, you can then take some small aspects of it and use them to create whole blog posts and other forms of content. You can even link to your white paper in those pieces of content to generate more traffic. So not only can a white paper really help you generate potential leads, but it can also give your overall content strategy a boost as well.

White Papers

Cons

Time Consuming: White papers are very important documents, in that they are considered to be the real spine of your sales pitch. This is why they need so much care and attention before they are released online. You need to make sure that every little aspect of your white paper is up to scratch, otherwise potential leads could be put off. You should only attempt to write a white paper if you are really willing to put in the time and effort, because it can be quite hard work.

Considered Boring: As we have just discussed, there are many people who consider white papers to be rather dull and boring. This is mainly because the majority of them are filled with facts and statistics and many people consider that to be a little dry for their tastes. This is why many companies are now deciding to focus on creating engaging content instead of producing data and stats in a white paper.

Lots Of Research: When you are writing a white paper, you need to make sure that you are using language that is appealing to your potential buyers. In other words, you need to do everything in your power to avoid sounding like a marketing expert trying to get them to buy something. You have to be able to speak on their level, which naturally will require a lot of research. Only attempt to write a white paper if you are willing to put in the hours to prepare for it first.

Conclusion

White papers are considered to be rather dry and time consuming, but their results cannot be argued with. If you are willing to put in the time to do the necessary research and writing in order to prepare a high quality white paper, then they will help generate leads. You just need to make sure that you do not neglect generating high quality web content in the process.

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