9 Easy Ways to Leverage a White Paper or Special Report

9 Easy Ways to Leverage a White Paper or Special Report
Jamie Lee Wallace - Tue Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:11AM
Comments: 35

Imagine you've invested in an information marketing product - say a white paper - for your business. You've spent a lot of time on the piece, hired a specialist to write it, and it looks great. You upload the finished document to your Web site and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Hold on there, cowboy. Your job isn't done yet.

Too often, at this point in the process, businesses fall victim to what Michael Stelzner of White Paper Source calls the "post and hope" syndrome. They bury their shiny new white paper somewhere on their Web site and wait for the leads to roll in. I don't care how fabulous your document is, if no one ever reads it, it won't do you (or your bottom line) a lick of good.

To get the most mileage out of your investment, you need to be savvy about promoting it. Here are nine easy ways to do just that:

1. Add a call-to-action to existing marketing materials
Mention your white paper on any existing direct mail piece, print ad, product brochure, newsletter, or e-mail campaign. Add a P.S. to sales letters inviting readers to download the document. Test an offer-focused (vs product-focused) version of a print ad that highlights the download. Add a small banner to your newsletter template.

2. Blast a dedicated e-mail announcement
Send a special announcement e-mail about your white paper. Encourage people to forward it to colleagues who might be interested.

3. Add an in-house banner
Create a banner on your Web site's home page.

4. Run an offer-focused PPC ad
Run a PPC (pay-per-click) ad that focuses on the white paper rather than your company or product. Test it against other, more "traditional" ads and see which one generates the most clicks.

5. Add the link to your e-mail signature
Add a "blurb" and link to your company e-mail signature to effortlessly promote your white paper every time you or one of your employees sends a message.

6. Include a link on trade show materials
Put information about the white paper on all your trade show materials - invitations, RSVP confirmations, brochures, leave behinds, handouts, etc. You may also want to distribute hard copies to interested show visitors.

7. Incorporate the link into your business card layout
Highlight a link to the white paper on the reverse side of a two-sided business card along with a few other key tidbits about your company or product.

8. Thank you, welcome, and follow-up e-mails
Make sure that each touch-point with prospective customers includes access to the white paper. For instance, if someone registers for your newsletter, include a link to the paper in the thank you e-mail (you are sending a thank you e-mail, right?).

9. Twitter Bio
Mention the link in your twitter bio or simply make your Bio URL link directly to the download page.


Since, with a little finessing, many of these tactics allow you to track how people are finding your white paper (more on that soon), you'll be able to quickly see which promotion strategies are working hardest for you. If you have multiple information products to offer, you can create a customized "flow" that inserts links to appropriate papers at various points of the sales cycle.

So, there are your nine simple ways to provide people with easy access to your white paper - try them and let us know here at Savvy B2B Marketing how you make out. More importantly, let us know other suggestions you have for getting the word out about white papers.

Comments: 35


1. Chet Geschickter   |   Tue Apr 07, 2009 @ 09:50AM

Here's number 10:
List on free syndication sites like TechRepublic and TechWeb.
Hey, does that count as number 11 as well?

2. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 07, 2009 @ 10:39AM

@Chet - LOL ... sorry - that only counts once, but great suggestion - free and painlesss ... it's a win-win!
Thanks for the valuable addition.

3. Heather Rubesch  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 07, 2009 @ 11:28AM

Chet - Stay tuned as I have an upcoming blog post on our site planned on White Paper Syndication. We love steering clients to free publicity. Makes us look even more savvy!


4. Sarah Mitchell  |  my website   |   Tue Apr 07, 2009 @ 11:22PM

Post the URL for your white paper on your LinkedIn status bar. Also, post it on the discussion or news sites for groups you belong to in LinkedIn.

5. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 08, 2009 @ 04:25AM

@Sarah - Great to see you here! :)
Excellent suggestion - I'll admit that I'm more of a facebook/twitter addict. I'm just starting to scratch the surface of the opportunities LinkedIn has to offer. Thanks for the great tip!

6. Laurie Phillips  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 08, 2009 @ 09:18AM

Ditto Sarah's comment. I'm getting more activity from LinkedIn contacts and groups than any other source of marketing. I've had people find my blog (http://www.deadcompanyclub.com - this is a "public service" blog for everyone, not a money-making proposition) from my LinkedIn profile. The same info is available on Twitter and I tweet posts often, but there's so much noise on Twiter that I don't get as much bang. LinkedIn is focused on business and very effective.

7. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 08, 2009 @ 05:05PM

@Laurie Phillips - LOVE the name of your blog. On my way to check it out. :)
Thanks for the add'l info about LinkedIn networking. I feel a new blog post coming on....

8. Kate Headen  |  my website   |   Thu Apr 09, 2009 @ 03:09AM

Jamie this article is great - and so needed. I am going to send this article to clients along with their white papers from now on.

9. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Thu Apr 09, 2009 @ 09:26AM

Great to hear, Kate! Make sure to include our readers' excellent additions to the list!

10. Leslie Kohler  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 22, 2009 @ 01:26PM

Hey Jamie, Great reminders. Did we take the same class? I need to add my SR to an ad I'm now running.

My best,
Leslie Kohler

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