It takes a lot of time and effort to create an engaging white paper. Here’s how to maximize your investment, get your content in front of the widest possible audience, and attract more leads …
White papers, ebooks, and guides are among the most time-intensive content marketing projects. But the time spent on these marketing powerhouses often pays off. A well-crafted white paper can help you attract high-quality leads and convert them into customers.
B2B buyers – especially technology buyers – rely on the in-depth information in white papers to make informed purchasing decisions. According to Eccolo Media, white papers are the #2 type of content that B2B technology buyers use during their purchasing process – behind only data sheets/brochures.
But creating your white paper is only half the battle. Many B2B marketers put lots of time and resources into producing a white paper and then bury it deep within their website where no one will ever find it.
The key to avoiding content black holes is to create a promotion plan while your white paper is still in development. A promotion plan will help you get your white paper in front of a wider audience, attract leads, and raise brand awareness.
Here are 41 ways to promote your white paper to get more downloads and shares. Many of these suggestions work equally well for guides, ebooks, and reports.
Drive Leads from Your Website
1. Create a high-conversion landing page.
The first thing you need is a landing page that converts. It should clearly explain the benefits of downloading your white paper and make it easy for people to opt in. Making it easy means not asking for someone’s life story in exchange for a white paper. The shorter your opt-in form, the more people will download your white paper.
2. Run Google AdWords campaigns.
Research keywords that your target audience use to find answers to problems related to your white paper. Then, run Google ads on these keywords that point to your white paper’s landing page.
3. Place ads on your website.
Advertise your white paper on related web pages. For example, if your white paper is about cloud security, you can promote it in the cloud section of your blog and in related pages on your website.
Increase Your Social Share and Leads
4. Promote your white paper on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the top B2B social network and a “must” for getting your white paper in front of your target audience. Post a link to your white paper on your company page. Mention it in your personal status update, and ask some of your employees to do the same.
You can also use LinkedIn’s advertising tools to get your white paper in front of your ideal customers. For example, you can target your audience by company size, job function, title, and location. You can buy both ads and sponsored updates to drive readers to your white paper.
5. Upload parts of your white paper to LinkedIn Publisher.
Write an article based on your white paper’s content and upload it to LinkedIn Publisher. Using LinkedIn Publisher is a great way to expand your reach on the top B2B social network. Link to your white paper at the end of the article, so readers can download it if they want to learn more.
6. Share your white paper with LinkedIn groups.
Mention key statistics from your white paper in a few related LinkedIn groups. Just be sure that you’re an active member of these groups and aren’t spamming them with your white paper.
7. Collect leads on SlideShare.
Convert your white paper into a presentation and upload it to SlideShare. You can even embed a lead form in your presentation, so people can request the white paper directly from SlideShare.
8. Schedule a tweet series.
Create a Twitter promotion schedule for your white paper. Instead of just tweeting your white paper’s title, write a series of tweets that tells your white paper’s story.
For example, the first tweet can discuss a key problem that your audience is facing. The next few tweets can discuss some of the market drivers that make the issue important. Then, send out some tweets that discuss the risks and opportunities. Finish with tweets about the tips you offer in your white paper.
You can number these tweets, so your followers know that they are part of a series. Each tweet should link to your white paper’s landing page and include relevant hashtags.
9. Host a Twitter chat.
Host a Twitter chat and invite an analyst that you interviewed in your white paper to be your featured guest. Use the chat to discuss your white paper’s key points and answer audience questions.
10. Use Twitter advertising.
Twitter offers a number of ways to promote your white papers. For example, you can include images to make your tweets stand out and encourage people to visit your landing page. You can also pay for sponsored tweets or use Lead Generation Cards to get leads directly from Twitter.
11. Share your white paper on your Facebook company page.
Start a discussion about your white paper on your Facebook page. You can also create a landing page for your white paper in Facebook to encourage downloads.
12. Use Facebook ads.
Facebook offers a robust advertising platform that allows you to set some pretty incredible targeting options. Add a Facebook tracking pixel to your site, so you can create custom audiences that you can retarget with Facebook ads with content you know they will like.
13. Share an article based on your white paper on Facebook Instant Articles.
Reach a mobile audience through Facebook Instant Articles. Since this platform is designed for mobile, it can lead to 70% less abandonment and 20% more clicks from people on mobile devices. You can also add a sign-up form for your white paper directly within the article.
14. Host a Facebook Live video.
Give your network a sneak peak of your white paper by interviewing one of your subject matter expert’s or talking about a topic related to your white paper. Live streaming on Facebook also gives you an opportunity to answer questions. After your live stream ends, you can continue to promote your video through your social networks and email marketing.
15. Share a native video on your Facebook page.
Since 84% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from video, their algorithms favour video content. Create a short video that people can watch and understand when the sound is off.
16. Create a Facebook event.
If you are hosting a live video, webinar, or other event that promotes your white paper, create a Facebook event to promote it through your page. You can even use Facebook ads to get more reach on your event.
17. Share a video on YouTube.
Create a video teaser for your white paper. Then, upload it to YouTube, your website, your blog and your social networks. Since YouTube is a powerful search engine, make sure that you optimize the video with keywords to help people easily find it. With YouTube, you can engage a new audience and drive more downloads.
18. Answer questions on Quora.
Use points and statistics from your white paper to answer questions on high-traffic topics on Quora. The higher quality your answer, the better chance it will be featured. Be succinct and use images to draw attention to your answers. Also, add a link to your blog for more information. Just watch that you’re not promotional, or people will vote your answer down.
19. Try an Instagram ad.
Instagram has a powerful ad platform. If your target audience is on Instagram, you can create a video or photo story ad that includes a call to action button.
20. Pin on Pinterest.
If you have created any videos or infographics, pin them on Pinterest. Pinterest is a powerful search engine itself but also ranks well in Google.
21. Get active in industry-specific social networks.
Industry-specific social networks are a great way to reach your target audience. Share information from the white paper in these forums and social networks. When you share this information, be sure to ask an engaging question to get people talking about the white paper’s topic.
Blog Your Way to More Leads
22. Drive downloads from your blog.
When you publish a new white paper, write a series of related articles for your blog. Encourage opt-ins by running ads for your white paper throughout these posts. For example, you can use LeadPages or OptinMonster to increase your downloads.
23. Submit a guest post to a popular industry blog.
Guest posting is a great way to build your credibility and get noticed. Write a guest post for a leading industry blog on your white paper’s topic. Ask if the publication will let you include a link to your white paper at the end of your post.
Engage Customers Via Email
24. Announce your white paper to your list.
Send your list a stand-alone message when you publish a new white paper. If possible, your list should get access to the white paper before you announce it to the general public. Encourage your current subscribers to share your white paper with others, so they can help you reach a wider audience.
25. Mention your white paper in your email signature.
Your email signature is an overlooked marketing opportunity. Add a P.S. to your outgoing messages that invites your contacts to download your white paper. Also, ask some of your employees to promote the white paper in their email signatures.
26. Promote your white paper to third-party email lists.
Find an online publication in your niche with strong readership. Sponsor an ad in their next email for your white paper.
Help Your Sales Team Convert Leads Into Customers
27. Create a ‘cheat sheet’ for sales.
If your sales team thinks that no one wants to read a 10-page white paper, give them an abbreviated ‘cheat sheet’. A ‘cheat sheet’ – or ‘light paper’ – is a two-page version of a white paper that can easily be printed and handed to leads at sales meetings.
28. Empower your sales team.
Of course, your sales team should also have the full version of the white paper. A new white paper gives your sales reps a reason to reach out to prospects. They can work highlights from the white paper into their sales conversations, emails, and voicemails.
Engage Customers at Events
29. Host a webinar.
Here are three ways you can tie your white paper to your next webinar:
- Include the white paper with resources that you email attendees after the webinar.
- Give the white paper out as a bonus immediately after someone registers for the webinar.
- Make the webinar a next step that leads can take after they read your white paper.
30. Present at a conference.
Conference organizers are always looking for the latest research, best practices, and success stories. If your white paper contains this information, apply to present it at a conference. At the end of your talk, you can ask the audience to download the white paper to learn more.
31. Share your white paper at trade shows.
Hand out your white paper to potential customers at trade shows. If you don’t want to give the white paper away, you can email attendees a link to its landing page.
32. Host or present in a virtual conference.
Boost your company’s thought leadership and promote your white paper by hosting a virtual conference. Invite other industry leaders to present and promote the conference.
Expand Your Audience Via Partnerships
33. Build relationships with industry thought leaders and bloggers.
Getting your industry’s thought leaders to blog about your white paper can bring lots of leads your way. But if you send them a press release, they’ll probably ignore it.
Instead, build relationships with thought leaders before you ask them to do something for you. Comment on their blog posts and share their content. Once you have a relationship, they might be willing to read and discuss your white paper. Send them a personal email explaining why their readers will find your white paper valuable.
34. Send your white paper to your partners.
Form partnerships with others who have the same target audience. You can agree to share each other’s content. Getting the seal of approval from a partner can enhance your credibility and help you reach a wider audience.
35. Leverage industry associations.
Find out if your industry associations share third-party content in their publications. If so, ask if they will add your white paper as a resource.
36. Add your white paper to resource lists.
Search for resource lists that are relevant to your white paper. Email the owners to ask if they will add your white paper to their lists.
37. Use a white paper syndication service.
Attract more leads by uploading your white paper to a syndication service. These services will promote your white paper to their lists, and you typically pay per lead. Just be sure that the syndication service will get your white paper in front of your target audience and that you’re not paying for bad leads.
Try These Tips!
38. Record a podcast.
Record a podcast where you discuss your white paper’s topic and interview an analyst. Tell listeners how they can download the white paper.
39. Create an infographic.
Infographics are a great way to get links to your website, especially if they contain new data that drives search traffic. Include a call to action in the bottom of the infographic that asks readers to download your whitepaper. Share your infographic with your partners, on your social networks, and through your email list.
40. Issue a press release.
Your latest research can become big news. Every time you create a white paper, write a press release to drive journalists, bloggers, and potential customers to your website.
Most distribution services will submit your press release to major search engines and social networks, which helps to improve your SEO. These services also allow you to target your distribution, so your press release goes to the exact audience you want to reach.
41. Encourage opt-ins via direct mail.
A direct mail piece can stand out among a sea of email. Try sending out a letter or postcard that promotes your white paper.
Creating a white paper promotional plan can help you reach a wider audience, attract more leads, and convert them into customers. Try using a few of the suggestions above to expand your reach the next time you publish a white paper.
Also, remember to build excitement for your white paper in advance. Many B2B marketers don’t promote their white paper until after it’s published. But you can create more interest by doing some pre-promotion. For example, send teasers to your list and build anticipation in your social networks.
Download The 41 Fantastic Places to Promote Your B2B White Papers Cheat Sheet.