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Add whitepapers to your content marketing plan

Posted on September 18th, 2015

Whitepapers are an effective way to reach customers and increase sales.  These documents add fresh content to your site – a great way to increase your SEO.  They also offer you the opportunity to really dig deep into a topic to help your audience gain a better understanding of your products, your services and even your business vision.

Whitepapers explained

Whitepapers are a document, usually a PDF that your reader can download on your website.  They are a marketing product, but they are not “salesy”.

Whitepapers examine a specific topic that is relevant to your business.  It is well researched, cited and offers expertise.

Whitepaper example

Perhaps you own a house cleaning company that has an environmentally friendly philosophy by using only natural cleaning products.

As part of your content marketing plan, you have written blog posts with cleaning and product selection tips among other related topics.  Whitepapers give you the opportunity to go deeper.

You could write a whitepaper on how a commercially prepared cleaning product is formulated and produced compared to a naturally prepared product.  This gives you the chance to, not only educate your audience, but to gently persuade by demonstrating why your company is dedicated to environmentally friendly products.

Whitepaper do’s

  • Research your topic and provide sources
  • Keep your focus specific
  • Provide balanced information
  • Include information and quotes from subject matter experts
  • Write about five to ten pages

Whitepaper don’ts

  • Don’t include a call to action
  • Don’t present just one viewpoint
  • Don’t forget to cite your presented information if it comes someone else
  • Don’t write in the first person

Get writing

So now you know what to do and not to do.  Now it’s time to start writing.

As a business owner you are the subject matter expert.  But sometimes it can feel that you have so much information about a topic in your head that you don’t know where to start or what to focus on.

You can start by thinking about what kinds of questions you get from your customers or the kind of questions you don’t get.  And you can align one of these questions with something related to a service or product.

If you don’t have time to write a whitepaper you may have an employee who could take on this task.  Or you could hire a freelance writer.  A professional writer will be skilled at asking the right questions to mine the information stored in your head.

No matter who writes the document whitepapers are a great way to help establish your business as a credible and knowledgeable authority.  So get started and show your audience what makes you better than your competition.