Inspirations From the Rain
Rain, whose soft architectural hands have power to cut stones, and chisel to shapes of grandeur the very mountains ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Before the Internet, a business-to-business (B2B) salesperson was the company gate-keeper. Every B2B buyer had to talk to a salesperson to get even the smallest scrap of information about a product or service. These gate-keepers held all the company secrets.
Now B2B buyers find their own information and call a salesperson as a last resort, if ever.
Today, surveys show 80% to 90% of B2B buyers use the web to find all the information needed to evaluate a purchase. No more gate keepers. Gate keepers have become the 21st century dinosaur of the marketing world.
Since the advances in technology have caused such an incredible shift, B2B marketers can now publish attractive documents in-house or contract outside help (copywriters, designers, editors) to create executive briefs, research reports, special reports, or technical backgrounders. All of which are white papers by another name.
When business owners buy major items like accounting software, factory or lab equipment, the process is very deliberate. It can involve a group of people who talk about it for weeks, months, or even years before making a final purchasing decision. The ticket price can be huge. The buying committee looks at the cost and benefits of the purchase and figures out how long it will take to see a return on their investment (ROI).
Because a B2B purchase can involve millions of dollars a year, buyers need information to help them make a final decision. White papers provide that information. They are the shiny knights of the new millennium… the new content pillars of marketing.
A content pillar is an informational piece on a specific topic or theme that can be broken into many smaller sections, pieces, or materials. Bite-sized pieces of content covering the concepts explained in detail in a white paper. By providing small tidbits of information you could see an increase in downloads, site traffic and earned media coverage.
The more people share your content, provide contact information in exchange for a report, and convert from site visitors into known contacts or leads… the sooner a company may see an increase in their ROI.
With careful planning, white papers can become the foundation of your marketing campaign – your content pillars.
Strategize how to get the most out of every section of your white paper.
This is an efficient, process-driven method for covering all content bases and delivering the right content to the right buyer at the right time.
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