Promises of greater online visibility and increased sales leads have driven many businesses to create content as part of their ongoing marketing efforts. According to a recent study from the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of B2B companies regularly use content marketing while 76 percent of respondents plan on producing even more content this year than they did in 2015.
When it comes to boosting conversions, however, cranking out one piece of content after another may not be the most effective use of your businesses’ time and money. Nearly half of all B2B tech buyers consume just two to five content assets before making a purchase. For marketers wondering how to stretch their marketing budget, the choice is clear – focus on quality over quantity.
Still though, you may be debating which type of asset to create. A closer look at the data reveals that white papers are not only one of the most commonly consumed types of content, but they are also the second-most influential content asset according to B2B tech buyers preparing to make a purchase decision.
If you’re eager to implement a few white papers into your content marketing strategy but don’t know what to write about, check out these three tips for generating white paper ideas.
- Identify pain points – Take a moment to consider what problems your target audience faces along with how you can help them overcome those challenges. Drawing a blank? Don’t worry – your sales team should be able to share at least a few questions prospective customers ask time and again.It might also be a good idea to read through comments on other pieces of content you’ve published in the past few months. After all, consumers who take the time to comment are engaged and interested in your brand. The questions they ask will serve as a good indication of what potential customers might be curious about.
- Check the stats – You may have a hunch that one topic is more popular than another. Rather than going with your gut, it’s probably best to take a look at your Google Analytics account. Remember, numbers don’t lie. By expanding on an article with a high number of page views, you can provide potential customers with more information on a topic they’ve shown interest in. Better yet, keep an eye out for content that boasts plenty of page views and a high page rank. The post’s visibility will cut down the cost of advertising for the white paper since you can add a link to it directly within the post. Consumers are already visiting the page – the white paper will simply serve as a chance to turn them into the leads you want.
- Keep tabs on competitors – When deciding what your next great white paper should be about, it’s important to consider why you’re in business to begin with. How have you been able to differentiate yourself from others in your industry? Providing potential customers with the same information and advice each of your competitors have isn’t going to get them excited. Pay attention to what your competitors are talking about. From blog posts to e-books, find out how you can offer a fresh take on a topic or cover something no one else has. Start off by doing some basic research on your potential topic before subscribing to newsletters and blogs of competing companies.
What are they missing that you know all about? Being the first to speak at length on a new idea will strike a chord with customers and establish your business as a thought leader in the process.
Ready to kick your content marketing strategy into high gear? Check out how Walker Sands can create white papers that showcase your industry expertise.