Case Studies & White Papers
Case Studies & White Papers
Client Success Stories or well-placed Case Study Articles can reap huge and enduring rewards in publicity, client relations, and new sales.
Salvador Trinxet and his team of specialists are experts at telling stories the way legal, accounting and financial professionals need to hear it.
Of course, we make the information actionable. But more than that, we make it compelling.
White papers are fast gaining ground as a dominant advertising vehicle on the internet.
Why? White papers are simply one of the best, most natural uses of the internet to generate qualified leads.
Think about it: In advertising, television is great at setting a mood, a flavor, a style — an emotional connection with a brand. Radio is great at telling stories. Readers of newspapers expect news; thus coupons and promotions are naturals.
With the internet, it’s all about information. The brand with the best educational message wins.
Research shows that 69% of prospects who download and like your white paper PDF will actively pass it on to their colleagues. In fact, 36% of total downloads will be passed on to a direct supervisor.
In other words, if your white paper is good enough, it can go viral.
The more people it reaches, the more chances you have of closing the deal. In one study, 56% of information technology purchase decision-makers said a white paper influenced at least one buying decision in the past 12 months.
So smart marketers are dedicating at least a portion of their lead acquisition campaigns around offering the most enticing white papers possible.
“The fact is, most white papers suck. The topics are uninteresting, titles blah, and content far too salesy or just plain dull,” according to one major marketer.
Instead of coming up with a title and slapping a paper together, we think is better to craft white papers with several distinct steps:
STEP #1. WE RESEARCH TOPICS.
We prefer to gather ideas from sales, business development, and customer service. We also review all the white papers and trade press on the topic as well. The goal is to find topics with “mass appeal” that haven’t already been discussed to death elsewhere.
Then we call key evangelists on the customer-front and pitch the best ideas to them. An informal focus group is better than guessing in the dark. By working with your key customers and stakeholders, we are assured of producing a white paper that, as tagline for Kix cereal says, is “kid-tested and mom-approved.”
STEP #2. WE WRITE AND REWRITE BASED ON CUSTOMER INPUT.
Generally your in-house experts can write the first draft. Then, we bear in mind the tone and technical level of content already being written by trade press and competitors. With that insight and understanding, we edit the paper into a distinctive and readable voice representative of your company.
If, for instance, magazine-style articles dominate the related industry trade press, we can go in the other direction, sounding more businesslike.
In general, we try to keep the length between four to eight pages, which represents the attention span of a busy executive. Whenever feasible, we would always want to float rough drafts past a few current customers to see if anything should be clarified or improved.
STEP #3. WE HANDCRAFT A CATCHY TITLE.
Just as a subject line can make or break an email campaign, cover titles profoundly affect white paper success.
This isn’t rocket science, just good marketing. Think of the words that jump out at you… “secrets of,” “insider’s guide,” “top 10,” and, especially, “free.”
Naturally, our very next step is to ask customers what they think of the suggested title. Often their suggestions make the difference between pretty good and really great.
STEP #4. DESIGNING THE LEAD-GEN SYSTEM.
Next, it is desirable to launch a marketing campaign aimed at garnering as many targeted downloads as possible.
For instance, we recommend:
1. The lead gen download page must be as streamlined as possible, asking for as little contact information as possible.
2. The headline on the landing page should refer as personally as possible to the prospect by addressing the prospect by his or her affiliation. For instance, “Welcome Accountants!”
3. There should be a graphic of the ‘cover’ of the paper on the page so people know they are at the right place for the information they want.
4. The summary description of the paper featured on the landing page should eschew distracting sales copy about your company. The focus must be 100% on how useful and informative the white paper is.
5. The copy should end with an explicit privacy statement to reassure visitors their contact info is safe.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT: FREQUENCY MATTERS.
Good white papers should have a long, but not infinite, shelf life. You should publish a new paper every three to four months. We suggest promoting the old papers until responses drop precipitously or until there is a high percentage of duplicate leads coming in from prospects that forgot they already downloaded that paper.
A winning white paper strategy creates a renewable resource, initiating an educational dialog – a conversation, if you will – with the marketplace that benefits both the buyer and the seller. Everyone wins.