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Posts Tagged ‘whitepapers

For B2B technology companies, whitepapers are a great way to generate awareness and educate potential buyers about your solutions.

­According to a recent KnowledgeStorm study:

  • 65% of IT buyer decision makers and 62% of influencers said they read a whitepaper within the last 90 days
  • 58% of decision makers and 63% of influencers said they read 2-5 whitepapers in that period
  • 57% of technology buyers said they passed on a whitepaper to others within their organization

So how do you increase interest in and downloads of your whitepapers?

  • Give buyers content they value.
    • Survey data, how-to guides, and educational content are the most valued.
    • 82% of IT buyers said content targeted at their specific industry was most valuable, followed by 34% who said content targeted to their specific job function was highly valued.
  • Give buyers a preview – titles alone aren’t enough.
    • 75% of buyers want to read at least one paragraph before providing registration info.  Interestingly enough, only 48% of marketers provide this type of info.
    • You can increase downloads by simply providing one or more paragraphs of content prior to registration.
  • Remove barriers to registration.
    • Most buyers will give you their correct name (72%) and email (68%) (however they often use a personal email instead of their business email – this helps them separate work related email from outside sources). Less than 40% give a real phone number or answer additional questions.
    • Try asking for just a name and email.  It’s easy for buyers and gets you the information you need to follow up.
    • Clearly state how you will use registration information.
    • Include a link to your privacy policy next to the submit button.
  • Repurpose your whitepaper content.
    • 60% of IT buyers indicated that whitepapers would be more interesting as podcasts.
    • Some B2B companies have found that repurposing whitepapers into podcasts increases downloads.
  • Follow up on downloads within 2 days.
    • The majority of buyers who download your content are quickly scanning it for relevance and putting it away to read it more thoroughly later.  So, it’s important to follow up quickly because it reminds them that they’ve downloaded your content.
    • 72% of buyers say that timeliness of follow-up impacts their impression of the company and it products.
    • Use email to follow up as it’s the preferred method of buyers.  (Whitepaper downloads typically signal a buyer in the early phases of the buying cycle.  As this point, they aren’t ready to talk directly with someone at your company, they prefer being contacted via email.)

Test what works best for your buyer.

Whitepaper downloads are a great place to start testing what works best for your buyers.

  1. Start by measuring the number of downloads you get today.
  2. Change up one aspect based on the best practices above.
  3. Measure the difference.
  4. Keep what works, and discard what doesn’t.

Keep tweaking the process until you’ve optimized downloads for your audience.  Let us know what works best for you.

To see comments, go to original post on Erickson Barnett Blog.

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