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?
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.
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.