White papers are being offered everywhere these days, but what exactly are they? And more importantly, are they worth your time? Well, white papers certainly can’t claim to be the flashiest form of content available, but they can offer some solid advantages to you as a marketer and as a consumer of information.
We recently developed our own take on the white paper with our Quick Look series. We have covered Social Media, Content Marketing, and Public Relations and how each one can help your business. We won’t be upset if you click those links and read our Quick Looks before you finish this blog. (We’re here to help your business, after all!)
1. They’re an Easy Way to Receive a Ton of Information
When it comes to consuming content, the majority of audiences prefer it to be served to them “fast and now.” Since anyone can access any information from the palm of their hand, you can’t really blame them. But the need for speed can sometimes come at a price: missing out on some of the good stuff.
White papers are not as quick to digest as other mediums like videos or blog posts. And that’s exactly the point. Video content is highly important today, but white papers provide a different kind of exploration and explanation than videos. While videos can range from hyper-focused to broad introductions, white papers go more in-depth, taking the time to dive into the details of their subject. They’re a tangible format for conducting research and educating readers on need-to-know information.
2. They’re More Likely to be Shared than Other Content
Seriously. According to Demand Gen Report’s 2016 Content Preferences Survey, which surveyed B2B buyers, 79% of respondents indicated that they shared white papers with their colleagues. That was good enough to beat out all other content formats, including webinars, case studies, blog posts, infographics and even video. Because white papers can live both digitally and physically, they’re easy to pass along to even the least tech savvy members of your team.
There’s more to white papers than their simple format, however. White papers are informative and written from a place of experience. When we developed our Quick Look at Public Relations, our team utilized several recent success stories with our clients to prove the benefits PR can bring to your business. White papers can take the time needed to build trust with the audience and provide reassurance that it’s good information you can safely share with others. Therefore, they tend to be more inherently trustworthy than a blog post or eBook (but we promise, you can trust this blog post!).
3. They Educate and Inform Without a Sales Pitch
Hubspot officially defines a white paper as “a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.” They are careful to point out that persuasive doesn’t mean sales-y. The focus of a good white paper is on facts and figures. We are all about some data at Bouvier Kelly, and we believe data is critical to every purchasing decision. White papers provide data with conviction, backing up what they say with the evidence to prove it.
Another interesting stat from Demand Gen’s Content Preferences Survey indicated that B2B buyers are utilizing content to help them benchmark strategies now more than ever. 51% of B2B buyers relied more on content to research their buying decisions in 2016 than they did in 2015. Educational resources are essential to the early stages of the Buyer’s Journey since the mission is not to sell you on a product or service. It is to educate – identify a problem and provide the solution. In a highly saturated content market, white papers provide a bit of much-needed fresh air.
So, did we convince you to take a peek at our white papers? You can find them all here:
We take our motto “data and gut” seriously, so we’re ready to dig into the facts and figures with you. Get in touch with us today and let’s see how we can take your message further.