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?
- 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
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.