6 Reasons White Papers Build Your Authority (and Your Client List)

Posted by Scott Danish on Feb 26, 2019 8:45:00 AM

In Demand Gen’s “2017 Content Preferences Survey Report,” nearly half of B2B buyers said they rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did the previous year. And 77 percent of respondents said they used white papers for that research.

When asked reasons why they selected a particular vendor over others, 66 percent of respondents in Demand Gen’s “2018 B2B Buyers Survey Report,” rated “Demonstrated a stronger knowledge of the solution area and the business landscape” as significant; 65 percent ranked “Provided informational content that was easy to consume” significant.

Finally, 56 percent of respondents in that survey said thought leadership content such as white papers was important when they visited the website of potential solution providers.

So, do you have white papers on your website?

A white paper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. It’s not an overtly promotional document—the best white papers won’t mention the producing company’s solution until the end—but many or all of the features needed for the solution can be found—twist ending!—in the solution sold by the company that produced the white paper.

Why Would You Want to Produce B2B White Papers?
For any B2B company, producing a white paper offers several benefits:
  • Generate new leads: In Demand Gen’s “2017 Content Preferences Survey Report,” 76 percent of buyers said they were willing to register and share personal information in exchange for white papers
  • Increase your company’s profile as a thought leader: By identifying and solving industry-wide problems, you show that you know your stuff, that you’ve paid attention to the industry and are an intelligent player in it
  • Present you as an attractive option when researchers, the government, or the media are looking for someone in your industry to talk about a particular topic: That means added exposure for you
  • Increase your company’s visibility in the marketplace and the regard people have for your company: If you present real solutions to real problems, the audience will come to trust you, which can have a profound affect when it’s purchasing time
  • Set your brand apart from your competitors: By highlighting the features that are unique to your product/solution, you’re showing how it’s different from the competition’s
  • Perhaps most important: As mentioned, buyers rely on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions. White papers allow you to present clients and prospects with the research they’re seeking—and to suggest solutions to common problems that tilt the field in your product/solution’s favor; you can discuss the solution in such a way that using your solution becomes a no-brainer
The goal of your white paper should be to inform and persuade based on facts and evidence... not tell the world why people need to buy your product right now.

But Producing an Effective White Paper Requires an Investment
Selecting a compelling, persuasive topic, researching, and writing a white paper, though, eats up a lot of time. Time that many B2B companies (big or small) just don’t have.

Fortunately, you can work with an agency like BayCreative to develop and produce high-quality white papers that speak to, and subtly persuade your audience. BayCreative, a full-service B2B marketing agency, has produced technical land business white papers for some of the largest companies in the U.S... and we can do the same for you.
 
So if you're looking to build your company's authority (and client list) with white papers, please let us know when you’re ready!
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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Client Relationships, Content Development, marketing strategies, customer profile, Messaging, b2b marketing

How To Capture Great Data for Impactful Customer Success Stories

Posted by Scott Danish on Feb 19, 2019 1:37:31 PM

Not to brag, but we’ve helped a lot of enterprise, mid-market and SMB companies tell their B2B customer success stories. Doing so is always fun, and it helps our customers show prospects how the vendor’s solution has solved a problem that a company similar to the prospect’s company was having—and that they likely have themselves.

It’s important to show prospects that their peers are getting benefits from your solution, and to do so in their own words, because studies show that 53 percent of B2B buyers rely on peer recommendations before making any purchase decisions.

But there’s commonly one challenge we come across when building those stories: The customer has a challenge communicating the measurable performance improvements (metrics or key performance indicators [KPIs]) they’re seeing as a result of the new solution/product/service.

They may say "sales have increased", or they "definitely have better relationships with their clients and prospects", but they’re not able to give tangible data that supports those claims. Sales increases could be attributed to a number of factors, they’ll mention. Or they’re not sure how much interaction they had with clients and prospects before the implementation. 

And therein lies the problem: They don’t have enough “before” data for a great before-and-after comparison. And without strong, tangible data to support your solution’s impact, your success story will be weaker than it should.

For Convincing B2B Customer Success Stories, Start Early—Before The Implementation
But you (or we) can fix that problem easily enough. It just takes forethought.

You need to start collecting data before the implementation even begins. Early in the process have your marketing people ask the client questions like: "What are your specific goals?" and "What do you hope to accomplish with this solution?" 

Based on their responses, you’ll be able to figure out two or three areas that should improve after the implementation. Look at those areas and collect metrics associated with them. Write those metrics down for later. Then, after the implementation has been successful and the customer has (hopefully) been getting those anticipated results, go back and get those same metrics, which will now show improvements.

That will make for a persuasive before-and-after comparison. 

Other Roadblocks to Compelling Data—And How to Overcome Them
Sometimes, the lack of before numbers isn’t the problem. I have seen a variety of reasons why a customer hasn’t been able to provide solid measurable performance results: Some clients try to keep performance metrics confidential; others don’t invest in measuring performance results as well as they should; for others, the solution hasn’t been implemented long enough for good performance metrics; and, in some cases, the performance metrics aren’t that good, so they’re hesitant about divulging them.

I'd like to offer two quick tips if you’re having trouble getting great metrics from a customer:

  • Consider waiting longer; if you do, will you be able to better measure impact and KPIs?
  • If they’re concerned about revealing confidential numbers, or if the numbers aren’t really that impressive, consider using percentage improvements. An increase in sales from 50 to 60 a year might not sound too impressive, but a 20 percent increase in sales does!

BayCreative: We Get Them Talking
At BayCreative, we’re experts at drawing out the kinds of metrics that create strong B2B customer success stories. So if you’re looking to build your library, and tell some great stories, please let us know.

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Topics: strategic marketing, marketing agency, Client Relationships, Content Development, marketing strategies, customer profile, b2b marketing

Your Customers Can Say What You Can’t

Posted by Scott Danish on Jan 5, 2018 10:11:18 AM

Every interaction with a prospective customer centers around one key question. 

“How will you help me meet my business goals?”

The BEST person to answer that question is an existing customer. Happy customers are the most valuable asset for sales and marketing efforts. But are you maximizing the value of your current customers?

Prospects don’t want to be sold to all the time. They want to see how you work in the real world, how you'll help them if they become your customer. Success stories do that and more.

Through case studies, video customer profiles, and testimonials, you can help prospective customers understand the value and success they’ll experience by doing business with you. And, they provide valuable content for your website, email, and social media channels.

Showcasing your customer success can be as simple as:

  • Tell a compelling, powerful story your target audience can relate to (similar business pains)
  • Bring a new level of credibility to your marketing with quantifiable results
  • Find the right person to tell the story (ideally a similar persona as your target audience)
  • Let customer quotes lead the story (it’s not about you!)
  • Keep it short, but be as specific as possible
  • Use every opportunity to cross-promote your customer success stories

Over the years, the BayCreative team has produced hundreds of success stories in a variety of formats. Click below for some examples.

See for yourself, and keep us in mind when you need to tell your customers' stories.

All the best!
- Team BayCreative - 


    

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Topics: strategic marketing, Brand Development, Client Relationships, Content Development, creative marketing, Presentation, customer profile, b2b marketing, customer experience, digital marketing

What’s So Special About B2B Marketing?

Posted by Scott Danish on Jun 2, 2015 3:19:34 PM

You’ve probably heard the saying, “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.” 

IBM didn’t get its sterling reputation overnight. It achieved it by creating a superior product, being a leader in innovation, and building trust with its clients to ensure they would return.

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Topics: Client Relationships, full service marketing, marketing strategies, b2b marketing

Outsourced Marketing Continued

Posted by Gabriella Sannino on Jul 24, 2012 11:40:00 AM

Not all things should be outsourced, but there are times when outsourcing your marketing makes more sense than struggling to see some return on your efforts. However, there are ways to make outsource marketing more successful, such as regular communication, accessibility to company information and team integration.

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Topics: marketing agency, Client Relationships, Outsource Marketing, Collaboration

Do You Know Outsource Marketing?

Posted by Gabriella Sannino on Jul 11, 2012 10:36:00 AM

It's not every day you can find a full-service marketing agency. To tell you the truth, we're proud of the wide range of branding, creative and marketing services we offer. Along with our clients, we walk through a four-step process of planning, development, execution and measurement to give them their desired outcome.

Outsourcing in a box
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Topics: Brand Development, Client Relationships, Social, Outsource Marketing

The Benefits of Collaborative PowerPoint Design

Posted by Arne Hurty on Apr 20, 2012 6:26:00 PM

collaborating with powerpoint

Anyone who works in a creative field has had, at one time or another, the same nightmare. In it you've just completed a masterpiece, the product of endless hours of work, and the time has come to present to your client. You make your pitch and they pause and say, "what if we made all the text bright green?"

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Topics: Client Relationships, Power Point, Collaboration, Development

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