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How to Build a Fast, Easy, Inexpensive, and Effective White Paper Marketing Campaign

by | Mar 15, 2021 | Content Marketing, Lead Generation, White Papers | 0 comments

White papers—as I’ve written many times before—are among the most effective forms of content for marketing technology. They’re highly sought after by tech buyers.

Compared to most other content forms, however, they’re expensive to create. And they won’t do their best work if they just sit on your resources page where hardly anyone sees them. To assure high ROI, you must promote your white paper effectively.

Fortunately, once you’ve published a white paper, building a white paper marketing campaign to promote it doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. In this essay, I’ll show you how you can quickly put together an effective promotional package for your next white paper—at minimal additional cost.

The quick and easy white paper marketing campaign package

The package I’m going to describe is one I’ve used to promote my own white papers. I’ve frequently proposed it to clients as well. As an independent professional with limited time and budget to promote my own business, I find this package offers several advantages.

First, it’s fast and easy to put together. That’s because it draws heavily on the material that went into the white paper itself. With the white paper in hand and its ideas top-of-mind, a competent content writer can create all the components of this package very quickly.

Second, it covers your basic media channels:

  • Website
  • Industry hubs and trade publications
  • Blog
  • Email
  • Social media

Finally, it’s flexible. You can use whatever elements make sense for you. Plus, you can supplement them with others of your choosing, as your budget allows.

The package consists of:

  • Landing page
  • Press release
  • Blog posts (which can double as email newsletter articles)
  • Social media posts

As we delve into these elements individually, I’ll show you how you can build each from recycled white paper content as well as how to use them to promote the white paper.

Your white paper marketing campaign landing page

The most crucial element of your white paper campaign is your landing page. That’s the place the other pieces will send your reader to download your white paper.

Let’s look at an example.

White paper marketing campaign landing page example
Figure 1: A landing page for a white paper campaign

The image to the left (Figure 1) is a screenshot of the landing page for my white paper, 9 Essential Truths You Must Keep in Mind When Marketing to Engineers. Click here to view the full landing page.

It features:

  • Plenty of persuasive description
  • A hero shot of your white paper’s cover
  • A call to action (button) on every screen
  • Teasers built from facts in the white paper

You’ll want to include as much description of the white paper as each reader needs to make a download decision.

Remember, some readers will already know you. Some may not. One may come from a blog post, another from a tweet. Some may arrive via search. They won’t all come with the same knowledge of what your white paper offers, so don’t assume they will. Take a layered approach (which we’ll get to in a moment).

The hero shot should appear on the first screen, preferably on the left. A hero shot makes your white paper tangible for your readers. It gives them a sense you are offering them something substantive and valuable.

A call to action followed by a ‘click here’ button should appear on every screen of the page. As the reader scrolls down the page past one button, another should appear immediately. This lets readers act as soon as they’re ready. They don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.

White paper marketing campaign registration page example
Figure 2: A white paper registration page

The buttons on the landing page link to a separate registration page, shown in Figure 2. You may want to use an embedded form or a pop-up. I’ve gone away from embedded sign-up forms on this type of landing page because of all the consent and privacy notifications required by GDPR. I feel they distract the reader. They also take up a lot of space when repeated.

Note that I’ve requested only an email address. Ask only for the information you truly need. Research has shown that, in general, the more fields you put on your download registration form, the lower your conversion rate.

What makes this type of landing page so quick and easy to produce is that it draws heavily on the points made and facts revealed within the white paper itself.

Also note the layered approach. The opening paragraphs are built from four points made and one third-party fact used in the white paper. Between the first and second blue buttons, I start to mix in some of what readers will learn from the white paper.

After scrolling below the second blue button, you’ll see long lists of bullet points drawn from the white paper. These have been crafted to pique the reader’s curiosity with the promise of useful information. This is a classic technique for conveying value and using the reader’s curiosity to lure them into taking the action you want.

Finally, between the last two buttons, you’ll find ‘about the author’ material pulled from my professional biography. I’ve placed this credibility information at the end for readers who may never have heard of CopyEngineer.

This type of landing page offers several benefits that lead to conversions:

  • Shows the target reader “what’s in it for them” if they choose to download
  • Intrigues the reader with plenty of hints about the valuable information inside
  • Provides proof elements that help establish credibility
  • Sells the white paper without seeming “salesy”
  • Increases downloads (compared to a tedious form that asks for more information than it provides)

Your white paper marketing campaign press release

White paper marketing campaign press release example
Figure 3: A white paper campaign press release

The second element of the package is a standard press release. You’ll distribute it through your normal PR channels.

The example at left (Figure 3) is a press release I issued to announce another of my white papers.

Much like the landing page, this press release reused a substantial amount of content from the white paper it promotes. The second, third and fourth paragraphs, for example, cite several survey results and a third-party quote that appear in the white paper.

The press release also gives an overview of the contents of the white paper and clearly indicates how the reader can obtain a copy, providing a link to the landing page.

Issuing a press release to announce your white paper offers you the possibility your white paper will gain coverage in media outlets your prospects visit and publications to which they subscribe.

Plus, it’s quick and easy to write. For a white paper I’ve written myself, I can normally put together a press release in under an hour.

Your white paper marketing campaign blog posts

Once your white paper is complete, it’s relatively simple for your writer to repurpose that material into a series of blog posts.

I find most projects will yield three to four posts, each drawing from a different section of the white paper. You’ll need to craft a headline for each post and an introduction to provide context. You’ll also need to add a call to action (CTA) at the end. In between, you’ll borrow heavily from the text of your white paper. Your CTA should encourage readers to click on the link provided to download a copy of your complete white paper. The link will take them to your landing page.

Let’s have a quick look at two examples. Click on the links that follow to view the blog posts I’m about to describe.

The first is a post I crafted from my white paper 9 Essential Truths You Must Keep in Mind when Marketing to Engineers. The headline is essentially the title of the white paper; only the number has changed. Then, there is a brief, three-paragraph lead. The next three sections of the post are drawn directly from the white paper: the first three of the “9 Essential Truths.” Finally, at the end, I’ve added a summary (takeaway points) followed by and a series of calls to action (next steps), the first of which includes a prominent link to the white paper’s landing page.

White paper marketing campaign blog post example
Figure 4: A blog post drawn a from white paper

The second example (shown in Figure 4, at left) is the second of three blog posts built from How to Plan a White Paper. It draws from the second part—the “solution” section—of this problem/solution white paper. Once again, I’ve crafted a short introduction at the beginning. At the end, I place a look-ahead to the next post in the series, a set of takeaway points, and a call to action. Everything in between was pulled directly from the white paper.

Naturally, you don’t have to pull entire sections verbatim from your white paper to compose your blog posts as I’ve done in these examples. For clients, I often condense the borrowed content and emphasize in the CTA that the reader can find greater detail in the downloadable white paper.

Finally, keep in mind that blog posts can be re-used as articles in your email newsletter.

Your white paper marketing campaign social media posts

The final element of your quick, easy, inexpensive, and effective white paper marketing campaign is a series of short, tweet-like posts you can use on both Twitter and LinkedIn.

Drawing on the facts and figures in your white paper and the bullet points you’ve crafted for your landing page, it’s usually quite easy to come up with a dozen or more of these posts for a given white paper.

What’s more, you can use them again and again. The same tweets or updates you use to publicize your blog posts can be reused—with only minor tweaks and a change of link—to publicize the white paper itself. Plus, there’s no reason you can’t repeat the cycle from time to time.

Here are a few examples of posts I’ve made on LinkedIn and Twitter to publicize my white papers:

Content marketing works with engineers, but they’re a tough audience. This new white paper describes nine things to keep in mind when developing content for engineers: bit.ly/9TruthsMktEngrs.

62% of technology marketers say their biggest challenge is creating engaging content for engineers. This new white paper can help with that: bit.ly/9TruthsMktEngrs.

A recent survey found 93% of marketing professionals had been involved in a white paper project that failed to meet its marketing objectives. Most often, the cause was inadequate planning. This new white paper will help you make sure your next white paper delivers the results you need: https://bit.ly/36IrUbq

A full 62% of content marketers surveyed ranked white papers among the most difficult types of content to create. Some 79% have been involved in a white paper project that failed to publish. This new white paper will help you make sure your next white paper delivers the results you need: https://bit.ly/36IrUbq.

You can add a visual element to these posts by including either your hero shot or a relevant chart or illustration from the white paper. And, of course, you can add hashtags to increase visibility on your social platforms.

Short posts like these allow you to accomplish frequent and varied promotion of your white paper on your social media channels—at almost no cost.

Takeaway points

To assure high ROI from your white paper marketing campaign, you must promote your white paper though your various marketing channels.

But that effort doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. You can get a lot of bang for your white paper buck by reusing your white paper content to create campaign materials.

For a cost-conscious yet highly effective approach, start with the following elements:

  • Landing page
  • Press release
  • Blog posts
  • Social media updates (tweets)

Next steps

Looking to develop a new white paper to promote one of your products or services? Need to make sure you get a strong return on your white paper investment? Contact CopyEngineer at info@copyengineer.com. I’ll be happy to discuss your needs and how my white paper development services can help you.

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