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7 Steps to Launching White Papers Like Products

Product launches can be incredibly powerful tools for uniting an organization.  Consider this:

  • White papers provide powerful influence: 84% of business find white papers either moderatly or extremely influencial in their puchase decisions.  (Eccolo Media, 2009)
  • White papers are the most viral marketing tool: 89% of businesses report passing on white papers to colleagues, with the average pass-along being to three colleagues. (Eccolo Media, 2009)  93% of business pass along up to 50% of the white papers they read. (InformationWeek, 2009)
  • Focus on white papers for sales growth: “The most important thing is to focus on things that make the company money, such as sales lead-generation programs, webinars and white papers.” – Naylor Gray, director of global marketing at research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Product Launches and white paper both share similar attributes:

  • Both touch multiple media channels
  • Both deliver core arguments to different audiences
  • Both have a strong call to action and educate

Unfortunately, many marketers treat white papers like a brochure.  They write, put it up on the website and check it off their list.  Marketers should be launching white papers like products.

Fortunately, launching white papers like products enable companies offer the opportunity to obtain ten of thousands of dollars in free advertising reach from a single white paper.  This results in more leads, better lead quality, broader reach, speaking engagements byline articles and more!

The White Paper Launch Method: Launching White Papers Like Products
Many companies are turning to the white paper launch method to increase the leads, customers and influence. The white paper launch method is a 7-step process that will get your white paper firing on all cylinders. 

Here they are:
1. Create a strong landing page
Landing pages are critical to convert visitors into leads and customers.  Your landing page should be a powerful teaser that incents the reader to download your paper.  To keep your visitor focused, only include an optional video overview of your paper, a contact form below the fold and compelling content to drive conversion.  Use something like Screenflow (Mac) and Camtasia (PC) to flip through the paper and show the benefits of downloading it. 

2. Put a perspective news release on the wire
Perspective news releases share your white paper in press release format. Not only does the wire service get your arguments in the hands of the media, but it also creates potentially thousands of inbound links from sites like Google News, Yahoo Finance and Reuters.  Make sure you optimize the news release with good anchor text, not just by linking your company name. 

3. Distribute pitch letters to reporters
Pitch letters package your white paper in a teaser, enticing reports to hear your story in a phone interview. While not all reporters will respond, they will be aware of your message.  Those who do respond may provide you with valuable briefing time and a chance at a write-up.

4. Offer byline articles
Byline articles are worth gold to marketers.  But they are only possible if you content is educational.  Putting together a byline proposal gives you a chance to turn your white paper into free print and online advertising in major publications.

5. Pitch speaking opportunities
Tradeshow organizers grow attendance when attendees know they’ll learn something.  Pitch tradeshow sales reps to add your white paper topic to the speaker agenda.  Tie an educational topic to your attendance.  The more they educate, the more tickets they’ll sell.

6. Syndicate your white paper
White paper syndication is a great way to generate leads quickly and motivates your sales team.  Use both free and pay sites to maximize reach and early lead flow.  A few early sales are contagious!

7. Leverage social media
Social media is all about sharing useful content.  Strategically place retweet and share buttons within your white paper and on your landing page.  If you’ve written good content, your readers will spread the word.

To learn how to launch white papers like products, download 7 Tactics to Boosting White Paper Performance: The Many Benefits of the White Paper Launch Method.

Ryan Malone is the founder of SmartBug Media, a leading inbound marketing agency and believer in white paper marketing.  You can follow his writing on SmartBug’s Inbound & Content Marketing blog  and  follow his chirps on Twitter.