How To Turn Your Whitepaper Into Content Strategy Gold

“Who wants to read another whitepaper?” 

That was a real question we heard from a client when we were chatting with them the other week about their content strategy. They said they wanted to capture more leads, we proposed a data-driven whitepaper – and their reaction honestly didn’t surprise us.

Long-form content is everywhere. Whether its annual reports, trend forecasts, or quarterly analyses, reports and whitepapers abound. And it’s understandable that the idea of a long-form, data-driven report sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry – especially when so many people are focused on short-form video strategies that capitalize on the trend du jour.

While zany, snackable content has a place (and can be highly effective in gaining top-of-mind brand awareness, when done right), it doesn’t necessarily drive leads the same way that a meaty whitepaper can – and believe it or not, a whitepaper can be plenty exciting on its own. Because the truth about whitepapers is that they’re a content goldmine. And the trick to making them truly work is in how you market all that data.

Here are a few ways to sustain the momentum of your whitepaper and make the most of your data:

1. Visually-pleasing assets

Data does not have to be boring. Bring all those exciting insights to life as eye-catching visual assets – both in the whitepaper and to share as bite-sized content. Whether it’s infographics, charts, or educational videos, there are ways to make the data far from dry that will excite your audience and have them looking for more.

2. Thought leadership articles
Within your comprehensive whitepaper are a ton of insights and findings – and these are ripe for developing thought leadership pieces for both owned and earned platforms. Senior leadership can expand on these topics one by one, adding their two cents in their own words and voice. With the data at their disposal, they’ll be able to share convincing and robust pieces with confidence.

3. Sales enablement materials
Sales teams are always in need of up-to-date materials to share with clients (and potential clients!). With a piece of content rife with valuable insights that are likely of interest to business contacts, it can be a great idea to reframe the whitepaper into a sales-friendly deck, one-sheeter, or newsletter – it’s a great way to whet someone’s appetite, and have them looking for more from your company.

4. Market or vertical insights
It’s a safe bet that your audience is not homogenous – and this is something you can take advantage of. Whether it’s tailoring the findings in your whitepaper for different markets or demographics, or positioning it for different verticals or categories, you can extend the life of your data and reports by making them as relevant as possible for different segments of your audience.

5. Talking points for interviews or webinars
When it’s time to prep senior leaders and spokespeople for interviews, speaking engagements, or even webinars, including the data and findings from the whitepaper in the talking points can not only help ensure more people hear about your great long-form piece of content.

While whitepapers do require a significant investment – both in time and money – they can be used for an array of purposes, and are far more than a one-and-done strategy. By making them a centerpiece of your content strategy and finding ways to turn the data and insights into intriguing, shorter-form assets, you’ll find that your whitepaper goes a long way in bringing in leads.

Need help developing a whitepaper? We can help – write to us at [email protected] to kick things off.

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