Flowery Branch, Georgia

Now It’s Time to Ask … What Else Beyond the Whitepaper

You’re done, ta da! You’ve turned in an exceptional white paper to your client.

Your client is thrilled – you came in on time, on budget, and delivered exactly what they asked for.

All done? Not at all.

Now you can help your client, and yourself, by making sure that white paper gets loads of attention out there, so throngs of prospects find it, download it, and become a strong lead.

In this Lesson, you’ll discover a number of ancillary projects your client will need to promote the white paper. Projects you can write for extra fees!

Create a Compelling Landing Page

As you’ve seen throughout this program, white paper “sign-ups” revolve around an inviting landing page. An effective and well-written landing page is absolutely critical if your client hopes to get lots of downloads … because it’s where prospects actually become LEADS by entering their name, email address, and sometimes additional information for client follow-up.

We showed you an example of a good white paper landing page in Lesson 1. And if you look in your Bonus section, you will find a guide to creating effective landing pages.

As a reminder, here’s the Mimecast white paper landing page1:

This is a great example because a strong landing page typically has:

  • A compelling headline,
  • Fascinations or bullets teasing the beneficial content the reader will get in the report,
  • A simple form to collect the prospect’s name, email address, and whatever other information the company feels they need, and
  • CTA – in this case, a “DOWNLOAD REPORT” button.

Let’s look at another example, for a different industry, which follows these elements2.

The best practice is to make these half a page (above the fold, meaning visible on the reader’s screen without having to scroll) with benefit-focused content, and collect only as much information as is required and no more than that. Landing page studies show that the more information you require in a form, the lower the response rate. Keep it simple!

As a skilled writer who offers more than just the white paper itself, you can guide the landing page content to make sure it follows these best practices. Let these two examples serve as unofficial templates for the landing pages you write for your clients. Keep in mind that you can earn an extra fee as you deliver this essential, valuable component of white paper success.

But after the landing page, what else can you offer?

It’s Back to the Funnels We Go

Your white paper won’t be very effective if no one is reading it.

One way to help your client maximize their investment is to support the release of the white paper with other related content and copy.

Your client can and should:

  • create social media posts to promote it,
  • write blogs on related topics and link to the landing page,
  • promote the white paper through email,
  • give it to the sales team to use with leads, and
  • use it as a lead generation incentive on webinars, speaking engagements, and their website.

And you can offer your writing services for any or all of those.

So, how do you know what to pitch to them? What do they need?

Remember those funnels you learned about in Lesson 2?

Graphic showing an updside down triangle with the Top of Funnel in blue that says, Prospects not really prospects yet.  They're at the beginning of the buyer's journey looking for a solution. The middle section is orange and says, Middle of the Funnel. They've probably found your client's solution, but need to know why they should buy from you.  The Bottom of the funnel says, now they're asking, why should I buy from you right now?

Most B2B products, especially those that might be complex enough to need white papers, are “considered” purchases. No one just sees an ad or product page and clicks “Buy.”

Buyers need to collect a lot of information before they purchase a product: they look for solutions, then compare those solutions, and finally make their purchase decision. That’s where the funnel comes in.

You can create a funnel email series that speaks to the buyer — where he or she is in the buying journey — to pique their interest in the white paper.

Let’s look at an email funnel series for the Propel Media white paper.

Here’s the email inviting the white paper download:

Then, when you download, there are a series of invitations to webinars and to download other white papers on similar topics over the next four weeks. Here are a couple of those emails:


Finally, after about a month of invitations to further information, averaging an email a day, there’s an email to sign up for their software platform, which is the product they’ve been promoting with all the white paper download invitations and webinar invitations:

Specific Ideas for Promoting the Problem/Solution ToFu White Paper

If your white paper is targeted at the Top of the Funnel (ToFu) – like a Problem/Solution paper – the target audience doesn’t know about your client, or at least doesn’t know about your client’s product or service. And doesn’t know there’s a product or service that will solve their problem.

So, creating How To social media posts and blog posts, for example, could lead your target audience to explore their problem further. Show them how to use the product and the benefits it’ll bring them.

And linking from those posts to the landing page for your white paper can help B2B buyers find it.

For example, let’s take the LifeLearn white paper targeted to veterinarians and their office managers. The problem LifeLearn wants to solve for their target audience is helping them be found by more local pet parents, increasing awareness of their practice … and hopefully growing their client list.

Think about how LifeLearn can reach the veterinary professionals who should see this white paper. What do you think they might do to promote it?

A social media post might be helpful, or a YouTube video showing vet practice managers how to reach more pet parents. Maybe an Instagram post with a similar topic.

To help you consider what you might do to help LifeLearn … here’s a sample Facebook lead generation post from Gtmhub, to lead people to their Problem/Solution white paperon OKR best practices:


What else could help LifeLearn get the word out about their white paper?

How about a webinar about how to manage a vet practice that includes a reference to using mobile websites? And then a link to the white paper download. (Pam tells us that LifeLearn did exactly that — they presented a webinar each month, promoting their monthly white papers.)

What about a blog post like “Ten Steps a Veterinary Practice Can Take to Grow Their Client Base”? One step could be advice to make the website more effective … linking to the white paper download page for advice on how to make it mobile-friendly specifically. Two of the posts actually used for the LifeLearn white paper promotion were A quick test to see if your veterinary website is mobile-friendly and Beer, chocolate or mobile? 5 stats for veterinary mobile wellness.

Or an email to LifeLearn’s list? LifeLearn is an animal health software company … so they certainly should have vet practices on their email list.

You should at least talk to your client about how they’re going to promote their white paper given that the prospects are likely to be solution unaware. The prospects are very likely not even on your client’s mailing list. Make sure you’re helping your client understand they need to use methods to promote the paper that speak to the prospect’s problem since they’re not likely to (yet) be looking for a specific solution.

Specific Ideas for Promoting The Numbered List MoFu White Paper

When the paper you’ve written is more for middle of the funnel – the prospect now knows there’s a solution to their problem and they’re comparing and considering their options – you may have slightly different promotional options for the white paper.

Let’s talk about the HP EHR Change Management Numbered List paper. Remember, that paper targets doctor’s offices and medical practices.

These practices are converting their medical records from paper files to electronic. But it’s a big change for most practices. And they probably don’t have a dedicated project manager on staff to handle the process.

So, chances are, they’re looking for advice or help to make sure they get through this change with a minimum amount of extra work for the staff … and do it correctly, so patient’s records don’t get messed up.

They know there are systems options for converting files from paper to electronic, they know it’ll be a disruptive process for their practice, they know they need help with it, and they’re trying to choose the best option for all their needs.

Google Ads might be a great idea here. Why?

If the office manager is googling “how to avoid mistakes when converting to electronic records” or “what is the best software to organize electronic records,” you’d like your white paper’s landing page to pop up in the search on page one. But your client has put a lot of money into the white paper and wants to be sure it gets seen. So, they may also want to pay for it to pop up in front of anyone using that search language (at least for a little while).

Here’s a similar search on Google:

You can see that most of the first page is consumed by paid ads. When you see the word “guide” or “e-book” here, you know this ad is promoting a white paper that solves the problem the searcher has put into the search box.

They also might want to use placed articles or ads in trade magazines or other places medical professionals might be hanging out. Since you wrote the white paper, writing an ad for it or pulling some of the content into an article in a trade magazine should be easy work for you … and a boost to your client’s solution being found.

Specific Ideas for Promoting The Backgrounder BoFu White Paper

At the bottom of the funnel, your audience just wants to know why they should buy your client’s solution and why they should do it now.

You’ve written a white paper that masterfully highlights the benefits of your client’s solution.

And often the sales team will simply hand a Backgrounder to a lead they’re working with.

But there are other ways to promote it:

  • Emails to the client’s list,
  • Social media posts announcing the new white paper,
  • A press release if it’s a new product or service with a link to the landing page for “more information,”
  • Google Ads work here too.

Here’s a PPC ad for the Cresta Backgrounder from your swipe file4:

And here’s the landing page for that Cresta download:

You’ve spent so much time building a relationship with your client over the last few weeks. And you know their product and audience inside and out now. So, now is the perfect time to offer your support on additional projects that will help them maximize the return they get from their white paper investment.

Don’t be shy about asking. As the great Wayne Gretzky says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”

OK, now that you’ve got those white paper skills AND you know how to promote white papers … it’s time for your big assignment.

Here, you can put your learning to the test, write your first complete white paper, and get professional feedback to make it a winning sample for your portfolio!

Your 10-Point White Paper Best Practices Checklist

Use this 10-point best practices checklist to complete your assignment. This is the checklist for a Problem/Solution white paper. If you’re writing a Numbered List or Backgrounder for a real client, some of the items may be slightly different. Refer back to Lesson 3 for details about each section.

_____ 1. A compelling, benefit-focused title on a separate title page (AWAI’s The 4 U’s™: useful, unique, ultra-specific, and urgent) [this does not count as part of the three-and-a-half-page count for the assignment.]

_____ 2. Executive Summary section (half to one page long, written clearly for the intended audience and where the main benefits of reading the white paper are obvious.)

_____ 3. First page of the industry problem and existing solutions section (indicate any visuals or graphics that make this section more engaging – you don’t need to create them, but describe them in bracketed text like this: [description of graphic])

_____ 4. Better solution and expected better results section (remember to keep this section unbiased and don’t pitch your client’s solution; again, include descriptions of any relevant graphics)

_____ 5. Conclusion (briefly recap the preferred solution and describe what are the next steps the reader should take?) – half page

_____ 6. Call-to-Action and Pitch or About Page (separate page)

_____ 7. Includes research that supports claims made (include endnotes with a bibliography at the end of the paper for sources)

_____ 8. Includes descriptions of images and graphics (no less than three graphics included)

_____ 9. Includes quotes from subject matter experts (you can use any published SME quotes or make some up (for THIS assignment, never for a real paper))

_____ 10. Includes customer success stories (not full case studies, but a one-line description on the pitch page from a customer of a feature and the benefit they got from it, for instance)

Don’t forget to use the tips in Lessons 6 and 7 to edit and polish your white paper, making it powerful and effective.

In Conclusion

You’ve completed your white paper training! Congratulations ─ this lucrative and valuable copy skill sets you apart from even most other B2B writers. You’ve opened doors for yourself to a whole new set of clients and client projects. Take a moment to celebrate this major milestone!

Now you have an opportunity to continue to help your client by offering to write copy pieces that will help them get the word out about their white paper.

  • Landing page. You’ll want to offer to write the landing page because it has a significant impact on whether or not someone downloads the white paper. An inviting, benefit-focused landing page with a simple data collection form (i.e., just the name and email address where possible) is your best tool for getting the download and collecting the prospect’s email information.
  • ToFu supporting pieces. Content that offers to solve an industry problem, in the form of blog posts, social media posts, webinars and YouTube videos … are especially helpful at the top of the funnel. It can be the vehicle that leads prospects to explore your client’s solutions further by downloading the white paper.
  • MoFu supporting pieces.Here’s where compare-and-contrast content (blogs, emails, Google Ads … ) leads the prospect to your white paper.
  • BoFu supporting pieces. These can be everything from emails to the company’s existing list to press releases about the new product, solution, or technology, which all link to the white paper landing page to “learn more.”
  • You can use the 10-point checklist to write any Problem/Solution white paper for your clients:

    • A compelling, benefit-focused title on a title page
    • An executive summary that’s clearly for the intended audience and where the main benefits of reading the white paper are obvious
    • Discussion of a known industry problem and the existing solutions – including gaps in the existing solutions
    • Discussion of a better solution and what can be expected for improved results
    • Conclusion, detailing the reader’s next steps
    • Call-to-Action and company About or Pitch page
    • Include research that supports any claims you make, with footnotes or endnotes referencing those sources
    • Include descriptions of images and graphics
    • Include quotes from subject matter experts (SMEs)
    • Include customer success stories

Using that checklist and what you’ve learned in Lessons 1 to 8, you’re ready to write your first Problem/Solution white paper! When you turn it in, you’ll get a professional review and feedback you can use to add “white papers” to your services and your portfolio.

You’ve learned all the different types of white papers and how to write each one. You’ve learned how to make those white papers powerful and impactful.

You’ve written and submitted your first white paper sample for review.

Now, it’s time to get clients who need your white paper skills.

Who are these clients? Where can you find them and how can you connect with them?

Let’s go find out.

Move on to Lesson 10!