- To write a successful whitepaper, you must be clear about your audience’s issues, objectives, and requirements. In a sales cycle, you must know every phase of the buyer’s path.
- A whitepaper makes a case for your product or service in a compelling sales document. It should be organized to support your arguments.
B2B customers always have distinct and sorted business requirements. They use the knowledge at hand to make an informed choice. B2B marketers curate whitepapers as a tool to promote brand sales.
However, it has been observed that most whitepapers are dry, uninteresting pieces of writing. In the following part, we’ll share some advice that will be useful as you work to create educational and engaging whitepapers that will engage leads.
But what makes whitepapers stand out?
Whitepapers are a trusted source of in-depth knowledge for B2B buyers, particularly those in the technology sector. The only demand is that they must be created well with a strategy and objective in place, as they are crucial in B2B.
Making a top-notch whitepaper is a function of skills and expertise, regardless of whether your goal is to increase leads or establish your thought leadership. This is particularly true when everyone is vying for attention amid the deluge of content available. The only way to separate a quality whitepaper from the sea of mediocrity, irrespective of the result, is to assess how well it resonates with a B2B buyer’s problems.
Your whitepaper needs to contain much more information than just an in-depth guide, and if it is not presented correctly, it may appear to be a dry sales presentation. Therefore, be sure to only provide genuine assistance rather than alienating consumers with intrusive advertisements and doing more damage to your brand than good.
Let’s dive deep into some commonly observed B2B whitepaper discrepancies that you need to avoid.
General B2B Whitepaper Mistakes that Marketers Should Avoid
1) Non-alignment with Prospect’s Purchase Journey
It’s simple; only when your whitepaper is relevant to your customers’ journeys will they be interested in perusing it. Therefore, you must consider a prospect’s purchasing process while writing a whitepaper.
To write a successful whitepaper, you must be clear about your audience’s issues, objectives, and requirements. In a sales cycle, you must know every phase of the buyer’s path. Accordingly, the material must be tailored to suit early-stage and later-stage leads.
If they are early-stage leads, you should emphasize educating them more about the benefits of your proposed answer. On the other hand, they’ll be interested in learning how your product functions if they are later-stage leads.
2) Using Inappropriate Language Tone
You are attempting to engage your audience with the aid of your report. Therefore, avoid trying to sound like a machine.
Using an overtly corporate tone when writing whitepapers is not advisable because you need to sound as human as possible. In the end, you are still working with people. Request your writing staff read the whitepaper aloud to fill in the gaps. You might want to make the text more conversational if they have trouble reading it.
3) Unable to Trigger Interest in Your Brand Value
Why would someone read a piece of information if it is not engaging?
Selecting an intriguing subject is one of the trickiest aspects of writing a whitepaper.
Pick a subject that speaks to the issues your audience is facing. Create your topic around a trend you discover by researching popular articles and posts your audience members have liked and shared. Pick a subject that could have a significant effect in the future.
4) Emphasizing Past Accomplishments Instead of Future Plans
The brands’ habit of projecting how they succeeded in the past is a frequent error we see in many whitepapers. They attempt to overemphasize their history, which may result in readers losing interest.
Content marketers often ignore the obvious truth that a brand-loyal customer has been using the product for a while. It’s more important now to demonstrate the bright future of the business rather than spending too much time talking about the past.
5) Excluding Experts’ Insights & Statistics
Many content marketers forget to include quotes from subject matter specialists. The success of your report can be significantly influenced by the quotes, statistics, and data you use. Your perspective is better backed up with evidence using quotes and statistics in your whitepaper.
People will naturally trust your content if you provide such specific information, increasing your whitepaper’s credibility. Experts’ insights strengthen the reliability of your whitepaper and give your material more plausibility.
Statistics and data are especially crucial if your target audience is an analytical group. They request statistics to support your assertions.
6) Concealing Your Business USP
Content creators are consistently under pressure from top management not to divulge trade secrets. Because of this, the authors of the whitepapers might even avoid discussing the USPs of the service.
Inform people about what you are offering, why you are giving it, and how you differ from other market competitors.
You must bring the most inspiring, honest, and timely concepts to the table if you want your long-form material, like whitepapers, to be profitable.
7) Withholding from a Logical Argument
A whitepaper makes a case for your product or service in a compelling sales document, so it should be structured to support your arguments.
There are numerous white documents everywhere. They might discuss a challenge, find a solution, circle back to the answer, and then move on to a different issue. Your case loses effectiveness when you jump around like this.
You should first discuss your readers’ difficulties to demonstrate that you know their problems. Then, talk about the answer to create a compelling argument.
8) Lacking the Art of Professional Writing
One of your marketing kit’s most effective tools is whitepaper.
However, creating a solid whitepaper requires a lot of effort and expertise. Since many B2B marketing teams are small and extremely busy, they frequently lack time to create in-depth articles.
You can hasten turning your whitepaper from an idea into actuality by working with a qualified copywriter. Your messages can be transformed into persuasive reasoning by a copywriter. This will surge the interest of leads and encourage them to move forward with collaborating with you.
9) Bombarding with Messages and Calls
Whitepaper opt-in documents are known as “download a call” by IT professionals. They desire the information but not the sales call that follows its download in five minutes. Many IT professionals choose not to answer their phones to prevent an awkward conversation with a sales representative after downloading a whitepaper.
Don’t start calling your leads for sales five minutes after they receive a whitepaper if you want to differentiate yourself from the competition. Instead, keep them engaged with pertinent material and get in touch with them for a sales call when the time is appropriate.
10) Providing a Lengthy & Monotonous Pitch as a Whitepaper
Tech B2B buyers acquire whitepapers to gain knowledge. However, after they continue exploring, they frequently find out that the content is just a covert sales brochure. Some whitepapers even make a product reference in the opening paragraph.
Build a case for your product or service before making a pitch. Talk about the problems your readers are facing, add pertinent information, and offer helpful advice. Ideally, 80% of the information in your whitepaper should be instructive. After educating customers and gaining their confidence, you can talk about your product in the remaining 20% of conversations.
In the early days of B2B marketing, a good idea meant one that could be executed. The winning team was the first to write, design, and post a lengthy essay on a worthwhile topic. But now that the evidence is in, the game has changed. Now that we know that content marketing is effective, everyone uses it.
It all begins with avoiding the common errors mentioned above if you want your investments in whitepapers and long-form content to pay off. You need to present your most business-oriented, unique, and reliable solutions in the whitepaper’s content.