When Does a Company Need a White Paper?

You may work as a marketing manager and wonder whether your B2B company should be using white papers. Or you may be a white paper writer sizing up a possible client and wondering whether it could benefit from a white paper or two. Here are three simple questions that give you the answer:

  • Does the company sell something new?

  • Does the company sell something complex?

  • Does the company sell something expensive?

If you can answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, the company could probably benefit from using white papers. If you can answer “yes” to two or three of those questions, the company can definitely use white papers.

Any B2B vendor selling anything relatively new, complex, or expensive probably needs one or more white papers to help tell its story. Whether the company sells a product, a service, a technology, or a methodology, it still needs one. Whether the company uses that white paper to gather leads, nurture prospects, undercut competitors, or cement sales, it still needs one.

Why these three questions? White papers help companies describe new innovations that are difficult to research anywhere else. White papers also help companies describe complicated offerings that take a little explaining to sketch in their features and benefits and how they solve an existing problem better than anything else.

And white papers help nurture prospects through a long sales cycle, creating another touch point for the vendor and helping position the company as a trusted advisor that provides truly helpful information.

White papers are now a standard part of the marketing arsenal for most technology companies. After all, many of their offerings are new and complicated, so that’s two out of three right off the bat. And many businesses in other sectors, if they can answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, could well benefit from using white papers as the capstone of their content marketing.

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