As a strategic PR and marketing consultancy, we are always working with our B2B clients to identify the most effective ways to promote their businesses to the people that really matter – the companies that will benefit from their products and services.
A key aspect of this is building trust between our clients and their potential customers and establishing them as knowledgeable thought leaders in their field. And, with 79% of B2B buyers describing whitepapers as the marketing content they are most likely to share with their colleagues, they represent a great opportunity to do this.
The vast majority of buyers (95%) prefer brands to provide content throughout the buying process. And with 80% of the buying journey expected to take place before the decision-maker even interacts with a salesperson – getting this content right is vital. Designed to be educational, a whitepaper also provides readers with a solution to a specific problem they are likely to be facing.
So, how can a whitepaper benefit your B2B business? Here’s what we think:
1. Delivering content you know is valuable
As B2B companies you speak to your clients on a daily basis and work hard to understand the challenges they face and how you can best meet their needs. And if your clients need a solution, your prospects most likely do too.
By understanding these problems and the solutions to them, you can create a whitepaper that specifically addresses the practical issues that are the biggest concern to your customers. Delivering best practice guidance on the day-to-day problems you know you can solve is highly valuable to the reader. You can have a real and lasting impact on both existing and potential clients by sharing content that is highly relevant and helpful.
2. Becoming the authority
No one knows the industry better than those working within it, so sharing your expertise is a practical way you can set your company apart from the competition as the market authority.
A whitepaper does not only highlight the need for your product but also provides a platform in which to share in-depth insight into its ability to address real-world problems, placing your business as the experts to be listened to and trusted.
3. Generating leads
Of course, the ultimate goal for most businesses is to gain more clients and grow the company. Having a formalised and informative overview of the solutions you can solve is a great tool for the sales team to leverage when speaking to prospective clients.
In addition, sharing the paper for download on the company website pulls potential new leads onto the site. Over three-quarters (76%) of B2B buyers are willing to share their information in return for access to a whitepaper. So, asking for their details to be shared to send the paper to their inbox will create a database of interested parties that is full of potential new leads.
4. Building your brand
In addition to website downloads, the content in a whitepaper can be used in a variety of different marketing materials and contexts to help build brand image. Whether its pulling key learnings out to share on social media, informing thought leadership bylines or incorporated into speaking engagements, the content in a whitepaper can be used as the crux of your marketing messaging. Using messaging in this way builds a comprehensive and fluid narrative that resonates and sticks with potential clients, building positive connotations of the brand.
Inspired to explore whitepapers for your business? Contact your GingerMay account team or say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Naomi Whittome, Senior Account Manager