By now you’re gotten an idea about why you’d want to create a whitepaper for your potential clients.
You may have started creating one, or even have one finished by now.
The next step is to put together a way to promote it. Just creating a whitepaper doesn’t make potential clients to come banging on your (digital) door. You need to reach out to them.
First though, you need to decide if you want to have the whitepaper behind an opt-in or completely public.
I mentioned previously that I’ve had great results putting my whitepapers behind an opt-in form. With this version, you’ll have less people downloading it but the ones that do download it will be higher quality leads. These are people who really want what you offer.
Or you can make your whitepaper completely public. That way anyone can download it, without opting in or registering. You’ll get more downloads but most of them will be just looking and not qualified leads. For this to work, you need to make sure to motivate people to contact you in your whitepaper. If they don’t contact you right after they finish reading, they’ll forget and you won’t be able to follow up.
How you promote your whitepaper depends on which option you choose.
Using an opt-in lets you track leads better. You’ll be able to see how interested they are (opt-in rate), how compelling your emails are (email open/click rate) and how good your calls to actions are (contact rate). This appeals to me because I’m very data-driven.
But requiring an opt-in does make it harder to promote your whitepaper. The opt-in is a barrier and not everyone will be willing to go through that barrier. This means social sharing and other no-cost promotional activities won’t be as effective.
Making your whitepaper completely public on the other hand can take advantage of social sharing, and not only by people posting links to your page. You can upload your PDF to various sites, change it into a presentation, and even record yourself giving the whitepaper as a "presentation".
The downside with the completely public approach is that you’re going to have a harder time tracking things. You’ll be working at a much higher volume and it may become harder to build relationships with potential clients.
But it doesn’t end there. There is a way you can do both methods, if you’re willing to put in a little bit of extra work.
P.S. Would you like to see one of the whitepapers I’ve created? You can see many of them on my Guides page. Email me and I’ll send you one as an example (or you can opt-in to one of them).