How to Ensure Your B2B Technology White Paper Gets Read
White papers are the life’s blood of technology buyers. They are the most consumed and influential form of B2B technology marketing. I know this not because of studies found online. I know it because as an engineer I read, shared, and countless white papers.
Today, the problem isn’t finding white papers. Just enter your term in your favorite search engine and it will serve up millions of results. Rather, the problem is finding a useful B2B Technology white paper.
B2B technology marketers and IT professionals look at white papers in a different way. Quite often the marketer sees it as a way to get their product in front of a purchaser. It is often used much like a brochure or data sheet.
The engineer looks at a white paper as a source of information. The perfect white paper gives them a solution to their problem. What an IT pro looks for in a white paper:
- Information not marketing
- A solution to their problem
- Hard evidence to back up the solution
IT Professionals Want Solutions Not Marketing
Let me don my IT pro hat to explain. Let us say I am in the initial phase of the project. I know I have a problem. What I do not know is how to fix it.
I enter a keyword phrase into a search engine. Most often, the result is a smorgasbord of links that I cannot use. Most, if not all lead to content that is more sales pitch than solution. As an engineer that is the last thing I need.
At the beginning of a project, I am looking for a solution, not a product. For example, let’s say my problem is allowing mobile users access to my network. The ideal white paper in this stage solves the problem in a generic manner.
Give me a white paper that explains how a firewall and client VPN software will protect my data and users. Back up your solution with hard evidence. The more information you provide, the better.
In my personal experience, white papers like this were rare. When we found one written like that, it was like discovering gold. We read and shared them. We not only passed them around internally we shared them with peers in other organizations.
As an engineer, when you give me an unbiased solution to my problem, it shows that you understand what I need. When I found a general, solution-based white paper, I put that vendor on my short list. I am not alone. Think back to the Google and SpiceWorks reports. According to them, buyers make most of their decision before contacting a vendor.
Yes, you can use white papers as part of your content marketing strategy. However, make sure that most of the content solves problems generically. You can subtly refer to your product at the end.
Your One-Stop White Paper Solution
North Mountain Associates, LLC is your one-stop white paper solution. You can count on us to write a white paper that provides your potential customer a solution. We will write a white paper that puts you on their vendor short list.
Once the initial coordination is out of the way, we manage the entire project. Just sit back and watch as we meet the milestones and delivery dates established in our agreement. We will handle all the details:
• Interview your internal experts
• Research supporting evidence
• Writing, editing, and proofreading