Integrating Social Media to Your White Papers?

Integrating Social Media to Your White Papers

 

It’s no doubt that social media has shaped the way we live, share and connect to each other – for better or worse. Since we people love sharing valuable content, social media is the perfect channel to get our message across.

However with its noise around the B2C market, I wonder if it can do the same for our B2B marketing campaigns as you know, marketing strategy for B2B businesses is no way like that of B2C. It requires more level of professionalism and education.

As a matter of fact, it’s already hardwired to our brain that white paper is something so valuable and informative that it can’t be shared among the noisy environment of social media, that once being forwarded among social media community, we are ruining its original purpose – educating and can eventually damage our company’s credibility.

Is it true? Or it’s time we change the way we think and perceive about this new evolution?

Benefits of White Papers

More than anyone else, we marketers know this: white papers are the most effective marketing tool and play crucial role in driving traffic, convert sales as well as generate thought leadership for our business.

Unlike other marketing materials, white paper is a mix of both marketing language and technical voice which give its owner the credibility necessary to dominate their industry market.

Well crafted white papers show our credibility and expertise in the industry, one thing that can eventually help us increase sales. Because being wrapped with unbiased information, white papers are easy to get into the heart of potential customers. Additionally, white papers make the job of building thought leadership for business even easier.

Because of its nature – educating customers about new solution to a problem or challenge, there would be no hype, no marketing tone in a white paper. If you go against the rule, customers know it immediately and will walk away. They are tired and overwhelmed of marketing and advertising information, they don’t need it. All they need is something that makes their lives better.

A Boom in Social Media

It’s all about the buzz that your businesses create in the community that brings you more traffic and finally more sales. This rings true in the B2C market. For B2B, you need more than that, noise does help of course but practical data is even more effective. That’s why people love white papers, they provide them what they hunger for – educative information with facts and statistics.

Social Media and White Papers in Same Place – Dead or Thriving?

Social media is outstanding, white paper is powerful. So what happens if we combine them into one piece? Will it be dead or thriving?

The answer is yours.

You may turn your readers off with inappropriate social media information in your white papers as they appear to be some type of marketing materials or you may make your white papers go viral among the community.

It all depends on how you make it but always remember that white papers are for educating purpose only whereas social media is for marketing and promoting purpose. Therefore social media sharing buttons (if any) should be placed properly at the end of your white papers where your readers reach the point of wanting to know more about your business. Or when they feel love your white papers so much that they want to share them to their friends and family and help them solve their problem.

How Can You Measure Your White Paper’s Effectiveness?

White paper's effectiveness

I’m sure that this is not the first time you’ve heard about white papers, perhaps you have already had some white papers written (if not, you may consider having one after reading this blog post). However, to what extent or degree of benefits can you expect from white papers? Or how can you measure the effectiveness of these white papers?

That is what matters the most.

In this article, I would like to give you some kinds of measurement that you can take into consideration when writing white papers for your advertising campaigns as well as how you can increase their effectiveness.

What is White Paper?

First thing first, what is white paper, really? Why does it matter that you should have one for your business?

There’re quite a number of definitions of white paper which you can easily search through the Internet; however, I would like to bring a fresh perspective to the table with my own definition. Of course, it can’t be the best ever but it is an interesting one.

For me, white papers simply are papers that are white – the symbol of pureness. That said, white papers are white, pure and objective. When you use white papers, you want to inject the pureness of technology innovation into the market. Through these pure documents, you want to educate or announce your readers about the latest technology that can solve their problems as well as benefit their business at the most. Therefore, white papers are both informative and marketing oriented.

The problem is how do you know if white papers can benefit your business? Or in other words, what measurements you can take to evaluate their effectiveness?

White Paper’s Effectiveness

When it comes to white paper’s measurement of effectiveness, it all boils down to what you can expect from your white papers, or simply put, what are your white paper’s objectives?

Leads Generation

Companies of all types and sizes can leverage white papers as a call to action of their online marketing campaigns, traditional advertisement or direct mail to generate leads. This objective is very common nowadays as it is believed that white papers can produce high click-through rate than normal trade journal or publication magazines thanks to their unique characteristics. If this is the case, you can measure your degree of success using white papers through the number of subscribers to your lists.

Thought Leadership Establishment

Besides boosting your leads generation, white papers also provide your business with a solid platform to demonstrate your expertise and establish thought leadership in the field.

As you know, a well-written white paper is a reader-focused one coming from an objective viewpoint to educate readers, not to try to sell anything. Often, a white paper is always jam-packed with useful information, insight knowledge supported by facts and charts. This method makes white paper a trusted resource when readers are in the evaluation stage for a new purchase. Without awareness, you have created sustainable credibility in the mind of your target readers which is often known as thought leadership. Whenever it comes to problems within your field, readers think of you first.

Though thought leadership establishment is something you can’t measure one by one (maybe because it’s in the mind not in the figures), you can still estimate how well you have done your job by counting on the speed of your white papers spread across. In other words, you can rely on how often your white papers are forwarded among community. If your white papers are establishing thought leadership for someone, it’s for sure they want to forward them to their friends too.

Close Sales

White papers are also used to close sales in the later stage of the sales cycle when prospective clients are well explained about the products/ services of your company in greater details. Accordingly, the target audiences of these types of white papers are influencers and decision makers who rely mostly on white papers to find solutions to their problems.

In this case, when it comes to measure the effectiveness of your white papers, the figures can be expressed through how many sales you can close after implementing an online marketing campaign.

Hope after reading this post, you have a taste of what to expect when delivering your white papers to your target audiences and how to measure their outcome.

If you have any ideas or thoughts on the subject, please do speak your mind in the comment section below.

Why We Should Use Images and Videos in Social Media Marketing [Infographic]

Today’s digital marketing is not only about building and creating engaging content that your customers love to read but it’s also about producing attractive images and videos that they will be likely to share among their community. Customers are now buried under a huge load of content, if yours is not that interesting and visually presented, they will simply walk away.

B2B Infographics has recently created an infographic about why we should leverage visual content in our social media marketing that you might be interested in.

Why Use Visual Content in Social Media Marketing

Case Studies – Powerful Storytelling Technique for Your Lead Generation [Infographic]

Case studies are essential marketing tools often used by B2B marketers to get the word out about a product or service. Effective case studies work like a bridge to fill the gap between your customer’s needs and your services/products.
Let see what you can learn about case studies in B2B marketing through this infographic.

why-case-study

Leverage Infographics for Effective Case Studies, Shouldn’t We?

For B2B marketers and companies alike, case studies are their effective tools to make prospects feel trusted in their services/products. What could be better to hear a story of someone like you who has successfully solved their problem by using a particular solution and service?

Since people only believe in what they can see by their own eyes, case study has its place in their heart. That said, case study has all the power, compelling stories with specific customers and realistic facts and figures.

However, it’s already the past.

Now, I think a change is about to happen (I wish I was right ;), let’s see).

One fact is we human being becomes more and more overwhelmed with information but has almost no time to read all of them. Time-starved habit makes us ignore case studies as soon as we can. And it’s bad for you – marketers and me too.

Just imagine who can be excited with just dried and hard-to-swallow figures after a long tired day at work? Or when we can steal a little time at office, do we really want to read those technical and numerical papers? I bet we don’t.

Actually, these feelings have kept going on my mind these days and out of a sudden, I’ve thought if we have any chances to express our case studies in infographics? Whatever to say isn’t we’re going to put data and numbers in infographics? Which are coincidentally covered in case studies too? Fantastic, isn’t it? (Well, at least I think so).

For all of these reasons, and for my whole love for infographics, I’ve spent a day working with Power point (right, it’s Microsoft Power Point – I have to thank Hubspot for giving away their free Power point templates to creating infographics, which you can find here) and translate a case study about cloud adoption of Concern Worldwide to Microsoft’s Office 365 and put it up below in this post.

Have an interest to take a look? Wonderful!

Also, wouldn’t it be great if you can share with me your thoughts about this?

The original case study can also be found here.

CS1 - Cloud Power_b
A version of this infographic is posted at B2B Cool Infographics.

Will Infographics Destroy Your B2B Branding Strategy?

Yep, you’ve heard it right. Infographics destroy your B2B branding strategy. How come?

Remember the first time I’ve heard and seen an infographic on the Internet, I had bad feeling for it. It’s just like a drawing piece of a kid, unorganized, crappy and most of all, not professional. We adults won’t do this to our serious marketing campaign, will we?

I was wrong. Absolutely.

Recently, when I look back I realize how much I love that colorful drawing piece, it makes me want to read and discover more (and I do with a complete infographic about white paper creation as an outcome, you can see it in my previous post here). Maybe like you, I feel more attracted to this visual content rather than any long blog post or white paper.

Now go back to our first question, can it infographic ruin our marketing and branding strategy as a professional and serious business? If you say yes, think again.

Infographic Conveys Your Expertise

When crafted well, infographic can convey your expertise and knowledge about a topic through numbers from surveys, reports and statistics. But, you say, numbers can be clearly and persuasively displayed in a white paper, can’t they?

That’s right and … wrong. Wrong because in some situations when you have to make comparison among these numbers or convey your stories through just numbers, white papers are boring and they can kill your reputation. It’s when infographic shows its powerful strength with visual content packed with numbers and charts, graphs and emoticons. This time, numbers make people interested and your readers will thank you for this wonderful kind of report.

Infographic Drives You Traffic

When talking about infographics, we talk about socializing. Why do I say that? Because they are cute and interesting, people love them and can’t resist sharing them to their friends and family. This explains why appearing on earth so long but infographics only become popular in this century thanks to the Internet and variety of social media platforms. Social media makes infographic develop and go viral among the community. And it drives traffic to your website too.

Infographic Builds Your Readership

You know that you should be where your customers are hanging around and give them what they are looking for. That’s why you leverage social media for your business online presence. However, you can’t just throw reports, blog posts and white papers at their face and tell them – read it. They are lazy and time-starved, you know than anyone. They need something more relaxed yet informative. Infographics have both. Especially, when you feed an engaging and compelling infographic to your social channels, you can build a substantial list of followers to your business.

A Successful Infographic Tells a Story

Though infographics can be very helpful and effective in marketing and building your business brand awareness, they can ruin your professionalism as well if you don’t know how to craft them. A successful and effective infographic always hides a story in it. If you just compose your infographics to your liking, add images, figures, charts, and words at your own comfort, you are making a drawing piece for a kid, no more. And they will turn your readers off.

Next time, when you are going to produce an infographic for your business, remember this:

There’s always a Story in Every Infographic.

Stay tuned to my next infographic about this topic. It will be very cool!