Ultimate Guide to Writing a B2B Content Marketing White Paper

b2b content marketing white paper

A B2B content marketing white paper that can help you to enhance your company’s brand awareness, address your target audience’s pain points, and generate leads.

It is one of the most valuable resources to include in your B2B marketing tactics.  While most people think that B2B content is dull and “technical” there’s another side of the story: businessmen are humans, too and they require practical solutions to their business difficulties. 

So, if you can amaze readers with your knowledge and provide practical solutions to their difficulties, they’ll be more willing to investigate what you have to offer. According to research, 71% of B2B buyers utilised white papers to influence prospective customers’ purchasing decisions. 

This article discusses the B2B content marketing white paper in more detail and shows you how to convert potential customers into long term clients. So, let’s get started!

What is a B2B Content Marketing White Paper?

b2b content marketing whitepaper

HubSpot defines a white paper as a convincing, credible, in-depth report on a specific issue that presents a problem and offers a solution.

In general, a B2B content marketing white paper is a publication that sales and marketing teams use to stimulate interest in a particular trend, issue, or technology. These documents can be anywhere between 2,000-5,000 words, depending on the organisation.

White papers are perfect for providing comprehensive expertise, best practices, and research with prospects. It helps to broaden their knowledge of technical topics and assist them in solving problems or making decisions.

Businesses use B2B white paper marketing to educate their target audience on a certain topic or to explain and promote a specific methodology. White papers are also used as sophisticated problem-solving guides that demand at least an email address to download, making them ideal for acquiring leads.

How Can a B2B Content MarketingWhite Paper Boost Leads?

Consider a scenario where an engineer or executive is interested in learning about automation and robotics. 

They stumble upon a well-composed white paper. The report contains instructional information, thorough case studies, lessons learned, how-to instructions, and educational content. Furthermore, the document includes illustrations, photos, data visualisations, callouts, and even workbook pages that will effectively explain the idea.

It can help to promote the business that created it and convert those individuals into customers, increasing their sales. However,  most companies are yet to utilise white papers. As important as white papers are, a quarter of B2B companies allocate just  5% of their overall expenditure on B2B content marketing white papers.

5 Stages of Creating A B2B Content Marketing White Paper

White papers are used as sales tools by businesses across different sectors. However, it takes a significant amount of time, effort, resources, and money to create one. 

Even before you start working on the basic framework, creating a white paper requires a significant amount of effort. Before you put pen to paper, you must consider planning, stakeholder approval, SEO strategy, value proposition, and ability to drive revenues.

So, you need to make sure your B2B content marketing white paper is getting you the most bang for your buck. Here’s the good news: writing a white paper isn’t as daunting as it seems. To make the process easier for you, we have highlighted the five stages of drafting white papers that will leave a lasting impression on your target audience:

Step 1: Choose the Right Topic

The best B2B content marketing white papers offer a one-of-a-kind yet simple answer to common problems. You should conduct in-depth research of your target audience to gauge what kind of topics they are interested in.

As this white paper may be your reader’s first introduction to your organisation, you should choose a topic that will make a great first impression. A solid topic will supply them with deep, important insights and, ideally, pique their interest in what your company can accomplish for them.

Choose an area your company excels in when brainstorming topics for your white paper. Consider the many tactics you’ve taken with previous clients, as well as the knowledge you’ve gathered that is second nature to you but that others haven’t figured out yet.

An article published by the Harvard Business Review lists some steps for brainstorming potential topics for your white paper. According to the author, a person should first set the stage, brainstorm the questions, identify a quest and then commit to it.

You should ask yourself these questions to come up with a suitable topic:

  • What are your areas of expertise within your organisation?
  • What area of expertise do you want to highlight the most? What kinds of talks do you want to have as an authority figure?
  • Who is the white paper intended for? You should write for your most potential prospects and clients.
  • What are your prospects interested in, or what are their challenges?

Finally, spend some time thinking about a catchy yet effective title for your B2B content marketing white paper. A decent title will create the (right) idea that your work is a must-read. Avoid using too much industry jargon or overselling the content you cover. Simply be truthful, forthright, and most importantly, engaging.

Step 2: Prepare a Draft

The second step is to design a layout that covers the essential points. Organise them in a logical manner that draws the reader in with a problem or conflict and leads them through the storyline to a satisfying conclusion. Then, fill up the outline with your source material or new information to create your rough draft. 

A B2B content marketing white paper must have the following elements:

  • Introduction: A brief outline of the white paper’s topic.
  • Challenge: Demonstrate empathy for the reader’s problems while simultaneously establishing yourself as an authority on the subject, compelling them to read more.
  • Body: This is the white paper’s major content. It covers your piece’s instructional material, thorough case studies, or findings, delivering essential information to the reader while exhibiting your knowledge, authority, and capacity to solve problems or clarify a complex scenario. This will be the longest part and should have numerous sub-sections.

There are two things to remember here: firstly, don’t pitch your products in the body, rather suggest a solution to the clients’ problems. Secondly, resist the temptation to write a book. 

At the top of your report, you should also provide information about your organisation and how you serve prospects at the end of the document. Include the actions they should take if they want specific information or assistance with the subject of the white paper.

If you’re writing, revise, polish, and work in a voice that’s consistent with your whole brand. Be authoritarian, yet approachable, and easy to read. It’s common for a white paper to contain a lot of technical jargon, so try to balance it out by being plain and simple.

Considering that 50% of the B2B marketers outsource part of their work, you can even collaborate with another writer to edit and polish the final output. You might also ask them to obtain further information. Provide links to additional resources to the writer and/or have them contact you or other experts in the field.

Step 3: Design

Once you’ve written the B2B white paper, your goal should be to generate traffic to it and gradually move leads down the sales funnel until they convert to customers. And here’s the thing: words don’t do it all! 

Companies frequently make the mistake of marketing their white papers by distributing links on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. They may receive a few likes, but they rarely receive the traffic that they wanted.

Instead, we recommend producing an infographic that visually communicates the white paper’s details. This will help you to engage with people on social media sites while also breaking down the infographic into consumable chunks.

In a society where people skim through the conventional black and white documents, visuals significantly increase the desire to read content. According to research conducted by Forbes, 91% of users prefer interactive and visual material over typical, text-based or static media. 

Social media traffic is usually a top-of-funnel priority. The idea is to get people to come to your website and stay there. After they’ve digested your infographic, propose that they read your white paper to discover more. This recommendation will filter away unqualified visitors, while qualified traffic will go to the lead generation stage of the content cycle.

Step 4: Outreach Strategy

Infographics have the potential to drive traffic and leads months after they are published, but you must first have a strategy. If you do not invest in your white paper, it will not produce the desired effects.

Consider that you’re also speaking to the same audiences on social media, essentially targeting those who are already acquainted with your business – they will get bored of the same content. You’ll need an outreach strategy if you want to grow.

Guest writing and influencer marketing are two examples of outreach. Whatever you call it, the purpose is the same: place your name and material in front of industry colleagues who have audiences that would be interested in your message. For example, if your white paper is on project management strategy, you want as many company professionals and managers to read it as possible.

Your outreach approach plays a huge part in determining the effectiveness of your B2B white paper marketing strategy. A publication by the Content Marketing Institute states that 76 percent of marketers adopt a strategic outreach plan when it comes to content marketing. 

The ultimate goal is for viewers to discover your material organically through search results rather than through your marketing efforts. As long as you rank for relevant words and phrases, this traffic will be more qualified.

Step 5: Evaluating the Impact

content marketing whitepaper

Lastly, you will need to evaluate the performance of your B2B white paper marketing strategy.

Even a failing white paper provides the foundational metrics for improvement -and you must always begin somewhere. As you implement your white paper marketing, you need to keep track of your KPIs. Monitor social media shares, traffic, and ultimately organic links to the material for the infographic. 

Tracking leads, sales, and ROI is important for a white paper. You should have set goals and be able to track your performance against them, depending on where you are in the funnel and the goals for each aspect of the plan.

Advantages of Creating a B2B Content Marketing White Paper

advantages of a b2b content marketing white paper

You might have seen some articles debating whether B2B content marketing white papers are useful. However, an increasing number of businesses are leveraging the effectiveness of white papers to increase leads and impact.

Here is a list of reasons why you should implement a B2B white paper marketing strategy:

1. Help Convert Leads into Sales

This is arguably the most well-known advantage of utilising a white paper. They have a high conversion rate because they comprise both instructive information in the form of a long journal article and direct marketing material in the shape of a company brochure. 

According to IDG’s poll of IT workers, 72 percent of respondents considered white papers beneficial or highly valuable in their decision-making process.

2. Helps Build a Mailing List

Creating a mailing list is typically a difficult undertaking. It is hard to persuade someone to sign up for your newsletter just to receive updates. However, giving away a free product in exchange for a sign-up can help you attract a lot more subscribers. So, if you have a white paper, you can give it out as a free present to individuals who sign up for your newsletter.

3. Helps Show Expertise and Build Thought Leadership

A white paper does not necessarily have to be utilised to generate leads. It can also be used to spread knowledge and improve brand image. Instead of attaching a convincing catalog at the end of the white paper, you may offer a brief explanation of your company. This will help people to comprehend what your company does while also allowing you to showcase your credentials and skills in your sector.

Tips To Prepare an Effective B2B Content Marketing White Paper

b2b content marketing white paper

Here are some of our top tips to make the most out of your B2B white paper marketing strategy:

1. Set a Goal

Setting a goal for your white paper can keep the content focused. For example, if thought leadership is your goal, a white paper on the state of your sector might be a smart choice. If lead creation is your objective, find a topic that will help your target audience solve their challenges and connect it with your products and services.

2. Don’t Treat It As a Sales Pitch

If the purpose of your white paper is to create sales, you may be tempted to stuff it with sales pitches for your product or service, but this is not recommended. Your white papers should never be overly promotional; doing so will turn readers off. Instead, concentrate on assisting your readers in learning more about a topic or resolving an issue.

3. Do Your Own Research

Always use statistics and credible research to back up your arguments in your B2B content marketing white paper. So, for reference, look at scholarly work, company research papers, and government websites. However, keep in mind that you can conduct your own unique research as well. Your original research will be especially effective for your target audience, because it contains knowledge that your competitors do not have.

4. Add Eye-Catching Visuals

Many people associate white papers with dull, unappealing text-heavy reports. So, if you want your white paper to be appealing to readers, make it fascinating. You can accomplish this by including eye-catching illustrations in your white paper. The top-five interactive content used by marketers to improve the readability of their white paper include assessments, quizzes, calculators, contests and interactive infographics like graphs, charts, and photographs. Studies show that people only remember 10% of what they hear, compared to a shocking 65% when the same content is supported with images. 

5. Include a Call to Action

Of course, you’ll want people to continue engaging with you after they’ve read your white paper, whether that’s through visiting your website, joining your email list, attempting a free sample, making a purchase, and so on. However, if readers don’t know what to do next, they will be less likely to take your intended action – after all, they are not mind readers. That is why including a CTA (call to action) in your white paper is critical.

Why You Should Invest in Markateur

why choose markateur to do your b2b content marketing white paper

Markateur is a copywriting agency based in Leeds that specialises in B2B marketing and startups. We also write copy for one-man bands and community organisations.

We believe that copywriting is an important – but often overlooked – aspect of web marketing. No matter how wonderful your products or services are, if you can’t write in a creative and convincing way that influences someone to purchase your product or service, then everything you’ve written has been ineffective.

We have had enormous success in assisting businesses and people in achieving their objectives by producing powerful and convincing content. Allow us to do the same for you!

With our expertise in thought leadership, you can establish yourself as such in the eyes of a prospective client. Consequently, they’ll be much more likely to contact you when they are seeking to solve problems for their company. According to Statista, 66% of businesses are planning to increase their B2B content marketing investment in the next twelve months. Are you?

Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane

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