So your engineering white paper has been edited, proofread, and prepared for publication. What next? As an industrial marketer, your white paper is an important content marketing tool that deserves more attention than just a click of the publish button. Ample planning will help it convince buyers, particularly those in the middle stage of their buyer’s journey.
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Your white paper needs to have a lot of marketing exposure before the actual publication date, much like what would happen if you published a book. White papers may be less grand but will benefit from the same enthusiasm to ensure that readers pick up a copy themselves once it is online. Below are some important things to remember before publishing your white papers.
1. Create a landing page for your white paper
A landing page is a standalone web page that is created especially for a marketing or advertising campaign. This is where a visitor ‘lands’ after they click a link in an email or ad. Before you publish your white papers, make sure that your landing page is already live and collect email addresses with the promise of distributing the white paper as soon as it is published. This ensures that you have a list of readers already waiting to read it.
Your landing page plays an important role in attracting potential subscribers and should be created with care. Encourage your engineering readers to give out their email addresses and other important information by building an inviting, professional-looking page. Also, remember to update your call-to-action once your white paper is published.
2. Write relevant posts
Before publishing your white papers, start attracting traffic to your blog by writing blog posts that are relevant to your featured topic. You can create a series of posts not only on the blog but on some of your social media channels too. Additionally, excerpts from the white papers are good ways to pique interest – just add a snippet or two to get readers’ attention.
When you publish your posts, remember to add a call-to-action that will inform your readers about your upcoming white papers. You can link it to your landing page to encourage email signups. This can ultimately start to attract reader interest and generate a buzz. Remember to place this at selected, strategic locations on the page for maximum exposure.
3. Swap guest posts
Another popular way to launch your white paper is by guest-posting to other blogs from the same niche. Blog posts that you submit need to cover a very similar topic as your white papers. For example, if your white paper is about the latest Bluetooth technology, writing a tech-related post for an engineering blog is advisable. This way you can direct the readership to your white papers. As a bonus, you get your content in front of a new audience and expand your reach, thus attracting more subscribers.
Remember to also have your guest posts published days before your white papers goes live. This can help you target potential readers and subscribers to your website before and during publication. To achieve this, it is best to closely coordinate with blog editors weeks or even months before your launch date.
4. Invite guest experts
Publishing posts from subject-matter experts on the same topic as your white paper can help drive relevant traffic to your website. These experts usually have their own following on the internet and have eager readers who will be attracted to any article or post published under their name. And when they share the post to their page, it can help attract readers to your website who might also be interested in reading your white papers.
Additionally, you can give an advanced copy of the white papers to guest writers and ask for a review of the content. Add their review of your work at the end of their post on your website and include an announcement for your white papers. This will not only help promote your content but also add credibility to your brand, especially if the review comes from a well-known expert in your industry.
5. Create a social media buzz
Social media is a natural tool for promoting content on the internet. Like other publishing and production companies, your channels and pages can be used not only to promote existing articles but upcoming content as well. It’s helpful to start a conversation with your followers relating to your white paper topic to spark interest. Once the conversation starts going, don’t forget to participate and provide insights to keep it engaging.
If you decide to frontload your promotion, remember to provide links to your landing page along with your Facebook post or your tweet. This will help encourage your followers to share it on their personal pages and thus generate additional buzz. Schedule your posts at strategic times but avoid becoming over-promotional, since that can be off-putting to some.
6. Email to subscribers your white paper
Your email list is one of your business’ biggest assets. It allows you a direct method to inform your subscribers about your white papers and their publication date. Include a summary of what to expect when the content is out and how they can get a copy. You can also let them know of your pre-publishing landing page and ask them to register if they are interested.
Once the white paper is published, send another email informing them that it is out and inviting them to download it by visiting the landing page. If they have already registered and are on your contact list, send them a direct link to the PDF file to make it even more convenient.
There is no such thing as over-marketing when it comes to getting your white papers into circulation. As long as you follow all the above points and are strategic when scheduling them (especially on your social media channels), you can expect optimum results.
While it is true that creating high-quality engineering white papers can be time-consuming, there’s no question they can help build your brand reputation. If you need help creating comprehensive engineering white papers for your company, drop us a line!