More than ever, your customers are hungry for knowledge and solutions to their problems. They will find the answers somewhere, so you have an opportunity to help them find the answers from you. Here is the replay of “How to use white papers to drive sales.”
Go ahead and download this worksheet now, we use it during this webinar.
Neil Howman’s contact info: email@example.com or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-howman-6323579/
Cindy Zuelsdorf’s contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/cindyzuelsdorf/
Neil Howman: For those of you who have just joined, there’s a link in the chat box where you can download our worksheet which will just provide you with a little bit of a guide. Feel free to make notes on it, any questions occur, put them in the chat box. We’ll do our best to get to them. If you’re watching this after this live broadcast, then you can also please email me at email@example.com and Cindy at Cindy@Kokoroinc.com
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Correct and we’ll throw that contact info in the chat box, as well.
Neil Howman: We’ll do our best, obviously, to get to your questions, as many as possible. Welcome, everyone. My name is Neil Howman and I’m from 202 Communications and if I can also introduce, officially, my wonderful colleague, Cindy Zuelsdorf, from Kokoro Marketing. Thank you, Cindy.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Thank you.
Neil Howman: Yeah. It’s still a bit early where you are so thank you very much for that. I know you work all hours but, thanks you very much. Also, thanks Fallon, who I believe Cindy, correct me if I’m wrong, she will be fielding the questions.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Correct.
Neil Howman: In the chat box.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yes.
Neil Howman: Perfect. We thought that we would do a Webinar on how to use White Papers to drive sales. Really the reason why we thought this would be a really good thing to discuss is because, over the past two or three years especially, we’ve noticed the people we’ve worked with, have the desire to create White Papers, the requests for White Papers and that sort of more in-depth content has grown quite considerably.
We were thinking, why is this happening? We’ve got a few observations on how the industry is changing, the changing landscape of the industry. It used to be the case, in my experience, that companies could do a certain amount of marketing and maintain visibility and keep a presence in the trade media by attending the trade shows, doing a bit of activity around that time, press releases, etc. But, I think that year on year, it gets more competitive the marketplace and their customers are wanting more and more in-depth solutions before they make their purchasing decisions. Cindy, would you agree with that? Have you noticed anything similar?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Well, yeah. Customers have changed how they buy. It used to be, back in the day, somebody’s going to fax a price list and really the sales person was in control of everything and had the info. They were the folks giving everything out to prospects before they purchased. As we all know, it’s completely changed. We all research everything online. The long story short of that is the customer’s going to get some info online about the topic they care about. We know that for sure. Really, why shouldn’t you be the person to give it to them. You just have to change, we all have to change how we present that info and how we deliver it.
Neil Howman: I couldn’t agree more. They’re hungrier for knowledge year on year, I think, we’ve noticed. You’re right. If you’re not gonna provide them with the answers that they are looking for, the solutions to some of the issues they’re facing, they’re gonna find that answer somewhere. In a highly competitive industry, you want to give yourself as many advantages as possible. If you can demonstrate that you understand the challenges that your customers, or your potential customers, face and that you have the expertise, the solutions, the flexibility to help them solve their problems, I think that is what we’re talking about here. Why White Papers? I think, specifically, I’ve looked at some recent research and several surveys, industry surveys, and White Papers consistently come at the top of the type of content that people look at when they are making their purchasing decisions. Closely followed by things like case studies and things like that but, consistently, White Papers are at the top of their list. We might mention case studies a little bit in passing, as well, but this Webinar is mainly gonna focus on White Papers. I think we’ll get in and take a look at our worksheets. I hope you all have your worksheets downloaded and ready. One thing I should mention, to some lucky early downloaders of the worksheet … We are offering after this Webinar, over the next coming weeks or into the new year, whatever suits you, if you wish to continue having a strategy conversation with us, maybe a 10-minute strategy conversation, I think the lucky first five who downloaded this, Cindy?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, I believe if it works for folks … There’s a two-piece bonus here for folks who are on live. One is, you get a 12-minute call with Neil to finish up your worksheet.
Neil Howman: You lucky people.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Ton of expertise, right? To sign up for that, all you need to do is put in the chat box right now, put yes and your email address and that’s gonna get you a sign up for that 12 minute call. Not a sales call. No strings attached. Meet with Neil, finish up your sheet, get your strategy and tactic nailed down. What we said was, for the first five people who sign up for it, you said that you’re gonna talk with your writers, your company you’ve got pro-writers who really know what works and they will write your first post promoting your next White Paper, right? Get this expertise that usually costs a bunch of money to get writers to do it. They’re gonna do it for you.
Neil Howman: That will be a free social media or short blog post. We can talk about that later so, good luck with that. I think there are some questions coming in. Is everybody okay with downloading the worksheet? I hope you’ve been able to get that. There’s the link for you, perfect. That’s great. Thank you, Fallon, for working away in the background there.
Let’s get in with our worksheet, for lack of a better word. I think that in our industry, I think we would all agree that sometimes we get a little complacent about the terminology. What is a White Paper? What is a case study? Cindy, I’m gonna give you the first shot at this. I’m actually cheating here because I’ve got an official very brief definition of them. Just so that we make sure that we all know what we’re talking about here.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: All right. You want me to define White Paper?
Neil Howman: Yeah. No pressure, Cindy.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: No pressure. I’ll tell you how I think of it. I think of it as, especially in the technical industry, it can work for any industry but for our industry, it’s going over a technology specifically and maybe a little bit around the problem that technology solves. It’s not a data sheet. It’s not a checklist. It’s not a case study. It’s going over that technology. Over to you Neil, how do you define it?
Neil Howman: Yeah. In my experience, the White Papers that we’ve worked on over the past two or three years, they’ve usually been an in-depth piece of content that is looking at a specific issue or challenge, certainly, the most effective ones are. They are a presentation of whoever’s writing that White Paper, the company, the client, whoever, about their thoughts on that particular matter. Obviously, solving a complex issue or challenge. That’s certainly been the most successful ones. Case studies are, usually, in our experience the ones that we’ve worked on predominantly, a written account of some detailed information about a process, usually undertaken on behalf of a customer or working with a partner, again, to solve a particular issue. A step-by-step guide of how that was achieved, what the positive outcomes were of deploying certain solutions or certain approaches. We’re mainly gonna be talking about White Papers but, I think the case studies are the sort of junior partner to that, or the cousin, or another piece of content which have been extremely useful because, let’s say, if you can get a customer or a partner talking about the work you’ve done together, then it’s worth its weight in gold when convincing people to make sales purchasing decisions. Hopefully, they’ll be buying from you.
The first area is really about what, in our opinion or in our experiences, makes a good White Paper. I would suggest that it’s the relevance of the topic. Again, the most successful White Papers that we’ve worked on and worked with people on is one that they’ve been talking to their customers or their potential customers and they are getting a challenge, an issue that is recurring. If you can address a specific challenge that a lot of your customers are facing and, obviously, demonstrate that you’ve got the expertise and understanding of that challenge and therefore then help them solve it. I think that really is the first thing I would suggest. It builds your credibility. It positions your expertise in a particular area. Would you agree, Cindy? I know that you do a whole range of White Papers in a number of sectors, tech sectors.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, a lot in the tech area. It can actually work in different industries, as well. It’s not limited to tech but, the special thing about tech is everybody’s got so many challenges and they’re scrambling to keep up on the latest technology. It’s a special opportunity there. If you guys haven’t downloaded the worksheet yet, we do have this link here and really we just ticked the first box here is, making a good topic. Some ways that I look to find a good topic … When I work with different companies they’ll say, I don’t know what to do for a topic or, it’s too hard to write a White Paper, that kind of thing. I’m like, let’s look at your outbox. What are you answering? What are your customer service people answering repeatedly? That’s the thing that we wanna talk about. If I’m working with someone at a trade show, I’ll go in and go, hey, so what are the top questions that you’re getting at the show today? What’s everybody asking about? Oh, they’re asking about this. Boom, there’s your topic. That’s how to come up with a relevant topic.
Neil Howman: I think that’s really important because, we have on occasion come across companies who are fantastic but are a little keen to start dictating to their potential customers what they should be, rather than a response of a real-time, real life issue that their customers are dealing with.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: It’s true.
Neil Howman: It’s a bit of a listening activity, really, rather than a dictating to act, too. I think.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah. Can I jump in on this piece just with one other bit? A lot of times we feel like we know what our customers and prospects need, and we do. That said, a great tool is to do a little, quick survey and it can be something as easy as, hey, quick 30 seconds, can I ask you what your top challenges on an email? It can be really one or two questions. For people who wanna get into it in depth, there’s a book, maybe you’ve seen this one, Neil, called Ask, by Ryan Levesque, puts out a whole series of tactics on how you can use this type of questionnaire to come back to, what does my customer really need to know about? It’s just another way to do it. We’ve done a couple with people where we’re like, hey, what’s your top challenge? You get answers back right away and sometimes you know what they are and sometimes you’re like, wow, I didn’t think about that.
Neil Howman: Absolutely, yeah. They can be put together really quickly as you say. Real simple surveys just to make sure that you’re thinking along the right lines, as well. Make sure that you’re really listening. Everything we do starts with a conversation and I would suggest before your White Paper together and you invest all that time and resources. Have a conversation with the people who account most, which are your customers and your prospects. I would then suggest that White Papers, in-depth, lengthy pieces of content, often, they take a lot of work. Get all the preparation in to start with. Do the research. Really make sure that you are understanding the issues exactly. Whether that is commissioning some research, which can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be, there are ways of doing it, make sure that you’ve really got your facts and figures right, all of that. It will make the actual writing, putting together of the White Paper a lot easier. Would you agree, Cindy? I think, at times, even from your consulting with your prospects.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Definitely. One way to do it is to talk to, either, a design engineer, a salesperson, someone who really knows that particular problem or technology the best. For me, that’s a great starting point is to sit down with them or just jump on a 10-minute call ’cause people are busy. They’re like, oh, I don’t wanna do a big thing. Hey, just jump on a 10-minute call with me and give me the top two important things about this technology or this process. Once you get that, you’re like, boom, I know what to do next.
Neil Howman: That’s the approach that we take when we sit down with White Papers, 10, 15-minute call, as you say. Sometimes, that design engineer can send over a few links and we can, then, carry on and do more research, as well. Once you have all your research in place, you understand what the topic is about, it’s very important that it is presented in a clear and logical way. There are many times you get a fantastically in-depth information but, they jump around from topic to topic. It’s very difficult to follow the logic of the narrative. It’s gotta have a narrative to it. You’ve gotta be able to follow it through.
What we would suggest is, when you have all your information collated, is to start breaking it down into chapters and then subheadings, and bullet points, just on a page, two pages maximum of what you’re gonna cover in each chapter and really, does it flow? Is it easy to follow, easy to understand? You might have the most incredible knowledge but, if people can’t get through this very dense text, it’s gonna be counterproductive, we would suggest. Let it have a very clear thing. One way to do that is to … One way to increase how engaging the content you’re putting over in your White Paper is to include graphics, relevant charts, relevant pieces of research put in an illustrative way.
That can really help break up the text and, yeah, engage the audience more. One important point, I think you’d agree with me Cindy, that if I have a fantastic piece of research which is easy to look schematic or graph, that becomes a piece of content on its own, doesn’t it? That is something else that you can use at a later date and we’ll come on to how we can then market this content but, I find that it really helps to see some really good illustrations and visuals.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: One thing to keep in mind is that people learn in different ways. We have visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. If we can incorporate those mediums into what we’re doing so the visual, obviously, we wanna have some blocked diagrams, especially if our end audience is in engineering. That can be really helpful to explain and spell it out quickly as you said, Neil. Auditory and the kinesthetic is really more about getting a feel for it, or if you can really have a little video and audio clip that you wanna reference in there as well. Maybe the White Paper, itself, is the piece with the information that’s written down and the drawings.
You maybe do a 15, 30 second or even longer clip with an expert on that. That lets you hit all the different learning styles and, in that White Paper, of course, you’re gonna tell them in the beginning what problem you’re gonna solve. Hey, if you’re interested in solving X, Y, Z, take a look at this. We’re gonna go over A, B, and C that do that. That’s a good way to organize it, as well.
Neil Howman: That’s a very important point about how people receive information. That ties into the easy to understand and the engaging aspect. If you can get that balance, then that can be a real plus point. I’m a little conscious of time. Thank you everyone, for taking time out to join us today. I wanna really move on to once you’ve created your White Paper. Then, what? You put a lot of time and effort into it. You, then, want that piece of content to work very hard for you. This, I suppose, goes to the heart of this Webinar, how you can use White Papers to drive sales.
You’ve done your creation of your White Paper, what are you gonna do now? Well, the first and very obvious thing is that you obviously promote it to the people you know and you promote to the people you don’t, or you don’t know yet. That’s the point. The first point of call is, obviously, to publicize this content on your social media platforms, on your website. You want to use all of your internal email communications with your database. Also, a great way of beginning to develop some buzz around your White Paper is, on your LinkedIn page, try and start a discussion group about certain aspects the White Paper covers.
What do you think about this? Who agrees with the conclusions we draw? Cindy, you have a lot of experience using LinkedIn and developing campaigns via LinkedIn and social media platforms. Anything you can share about how you can get that conversation started?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, for sure. You eluded to this earlier, once you have that White Paper it’s almost the pinnacle piece of a campaign if you will. You can take chunks and pieces of it and spin it out into literally 20, 40 different other pieces of content, whether that’s a LinkedIn article, a LinkedIn post, an email, another email, a Webinar. You get the idea where you can, no kidding, spin it out into 40 pieces. In each one of those snippets of it, one way to do it is to drive them back to that White Paper that you have and, if you wanna keep track of who’s reading it, that’s a really good idea, right?
You can give a piece of that and then, for the person who wants to read the whole White Paper, keep track of who’s reading it. If that’s in an email, like you mentioned, make sure your email system can track who clicked to the White Paper so that you know who did that.
Neil Howman: Cindy, you’d advocate being able to put your email address and then we’ll give you the whole White Paper?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: You can do that, too. Yeah. Make a sign-up sheet. So, hey you read the first chapter or you read the first page or, hey, you liked this infographic or diagram about it. If you’d like to read the whole thing, give us your email address in exchange for this White Paper. That’s what, of course, sales people want is to know who’s interested. That gave them a way to raise their hand to say, hey, I’m interested in this.
Neil Howman: In my experience, that is the start of the conversation. You have follow-up email campaigns which are then offering further pieces of interesting and useful content to deepen your engagement, potentially, with people who are wanting to learn more about your product solutions, et cetera. Email campaigns are certainly one of the things I think works really well with these.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: It can be also a call campaign. Anything can be happening in parallel with what the salespeople are doing anyway. This is a bit pre-sales but, if someone downloads something on a very technical topic or even not so technical, you can see that person’s a prospect because nobody else would download this. You could even just have someone in-house calling or sending a LinkedIn message. It could be an automated thing, but you can have someone picking up the phone and going, hey do you have any questions on that? If you do, we can answer them.
Neil Howman: Again, I think that probably ties into the more specific the topic of the White Paper and therefore the challenge that you are helping, the issue that you are helping someone solve, that you are talking about solving. When you get somebody wanting to download that, you know that they’ve at least come across the issue that you’re addressing somewhere along the line. It’s a good chance that they’re really very interested in what you are proposing and continue that conversation with them.
Of course, the other way then to really begin to get a lot of visibility is to try and engage with the trade publications. Now, the publications are obviously by their very nature, covering the world that we work in. They have substantial readership out there, a percentage of whom will probably have an interest in the sort of thing that you’re addressing. There are many trade publications who are willing to host and even promote White Papers. That usually comes into the commercial activity that they get involved in. There is often a cost involved there.
We have found that it’s very worthwhile engaging with trade publications on this level because the editor of that particular publication can take an interest in the content and suggest it further follow-up editorial opportunities from that. It’s a very often the case that they, oh, I read that White Paper. It was really interesting. We’re hosting it and can I have an interview with such and such to learn a bit more. We’re doing a feature coming up on the topic that your White Paper’s covered or something related to it.
Also, the other thing that you can do proactively as far as the trade press is concerned is, as Cindy was mentioning earlier, you can take elements of your White Paper and pitch it to that editor as the basis of future articles on a particular point.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: I had one like that this week.
Neil Howman: Exactly.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: We had put together a White Paper with the company that we work with. Actually, it was Broadcast Bridge, came back and said, hey, this is really interesting and ended up putting it out this week. We’re able to use that and promote it and that was really a happy day.
Neil Howman: You’ve just reminded me of another client I know who put out a White Paper and an editor of a publication just took a section of this and pretty much ran it as an article, as well, almost as was. We needed to repurpose it slightly but not an awful. There is a great advantage in doing that and, again, an endless possibility by engaging with the trade press. I guess, we now move on, really, to one of the things that we hear a lot of and one of the most important things. We talk to a lot of sales teams. We deal with marketing communications teams a lot. We speak to a lot of sales teams and they are often crying out for really, really good, well researched, well presented, in-depth pieces of content to use as part of their sales engagement, their presentations to potential prospects.
It’s a fantastic piece of engaging sales collateral for want of a better word. They are really happy when a really good White Paper is produced. It can be printed into hard copy, Pdf, and they use it as their sort of sales engagement. We’ve noticed that’s really appreciated by, hard done by sales teams around. Would that be fair, Cindy? I see a lot of guys saying, look I need something to give a hook to this particular-
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, I spent a lot of years selling equipment to TV stations and bringing in a suitcase with stuff and hooking it up and selling it. Anytime I could have some technical information about how this product worked or what the technology behind it or, I don’t know, sampling, just the different details. I love that. I totally needed. Yes, absolutely.
Neil Howman: Yeah, there was a slight look of … They were a bit down in the mouth if it was just a product sheet, which people can read for themselves. What the customers want or the prospects want is more in-depth information and knowledge-
Yeah, as a salesperson, whenever I could do something that isn’t a sales pitch, that’s being genuinely helpful, that’s really how I roll anyway. I know a lot of people like that. You wanna walk in with something useful because then you’re working together and you’re giving them something they need. Absolutely.
I think it’s worth mentioning, obviously, on this topic, case studies, as well because, you’re then getting, what you’ve done with a partner or customer. You’re getting the customer to talk for you and that is gold to a sales guy to say, look, don’t take my word for it… Here’s some proof, some proof of a customer using our technology and really finding it helped them solve their problem. I think the final thing we would suggest in this Webinar, as far as how you can drive sales, get your content to work harder for you is, you can take elements of your White Paper or case study and use it to base presentations on.
There’s increasing opportunities, speaking opportunities at trade shows around the world and conferences, where, again, attendees are hungry for knowledge. They’re hungry for answers. They want problems to be solved. We’ve had endless occasions where an element of a White Paper has been packaged and we can go to a conference and say, we’d really like to deliver a speech on this and the conference producers are really, really interested. They want real-world solutions to genuine problems people have. Cindy, would you go with that?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah, I think you nailed it on that. I don’t have a ton to add to that. We do have a question, though.
Neil Howman: Yeah, I was gonna say, questions. I see some questions coming.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah. One of the questions and it goes along with what you were just saying is really about the length of the White Paper. What’s your experience in the successful ones?
Neil Howman: Yes. It’s an interesting one because, of course, how complex is the topic? How complex is the issue? There’s nothing worse than just padding a White Paper but, in my experience a White Paper with, we’re touching on really engaging graphics, as well, that are obviously relevant to it. I would say between six and ten pages in my experience. I’ve seen longer ones which have held the attention. I’ve seen shorter ones which have done the job as well. Again, I think all the points we made earlier about what goes toward making a good White Paper is the most important thing. In my experience, about six to 10 pages, 10 pages is a very good maximum figure I would think.
Case studies tend to be a bit shorter, again, depending on the complexity. We had a client, once, who were working with eight other partners and asked us to do a case study for them. Eight other partners, obviously, it was a very substantial document but, again, the sales team couldn’t be happier when it was delivered.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: I think that there are sometimes smaller companies that feel like, oh, it’s so hard to put that together and it’s a lot to do. I wanted to just say, White Papers are great and, also, it can be that you can use sometimes to get effect a checklist and a guide where it can feel like a little bit easier in terms of putting that helpful content together.
Neil Howman: Absolutely. On this survey of the most effective content, checklist and guides were also very near the top. You have White Papers up there. White Papers, yes, they do take a lot of work but, if you’re gonna put that work in then, there’s a myriad of ways to really make it work for you once it’s created.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Nothing makes me sadder than to see someone’s awesome, amazing White Paper and they just sort of post it on their website and they’re done. Okay, we did our White Paper, we’re done and have not taken advantage of this awesome stuff that we’re busting out here. Really, if you’re gonna do a White Paper, be sure you go through all the different steps and then work it, a before sale, a post sale, put it to work.
Neil Howman: Absolutely. Do we have any more questions? Sorry, I haven’t been looking at the chat.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Yeah. Bring on your questions, what else do you have?
Neil Howman: If you have to go, it’s been great. Thank you so much for joining us. We’ve gone on a little bit long but, I hope it’s been helpful.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Fallon’s tracking who’s signed up. I know that there’s private messaging you can send into just the panellist, too. I’m not sure where we’re at, if we’ve hit our five yet but, if you wanna do a call with Neil afterwards, not a sales call but a call to finish up your tactics in terms of putting your next White Paper together, just put a yes and your email address in the chat box. Again, you can send it just to panellists if you don’t want everyone to see. For the first five of those, you get a bonus to where some of Neil’s colleagues are, obviously, professional writers who work specifically in this industry and the first five people who sign up for that, it may have already happened. I don’t know.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Also, get a special social media post to promote your White Paper. A lot of bonus there, it’s really good.
Neil Howman: I see a question from Bregt. Sorry to interrupt, Cindy. How technical should your White Paper be? Can it be high-level? I would … Thank you for the question, Bregt. Every White Paper is a different animal to an extent. Again, I would suggest that it would be … It’s dependent on its subject matter and dependent on the conversations you’ve been having with your potential target audience. If the White Paper is dealing with a topic that’s gonna be for the CTO of the company then, naturally, a more technical level of understanding. If it is really, the challenge you are trying to help a potential client, customer, prospect achieve is a little bit on a business model but, through a more efficient use of a technology or deployment of a solution. Then, I would suggest that it could be a slightly higher level thing.
I think it would be very dependent on the specific topic involved. If it is going to be very technical, just be sure of the audience that you’re going for. It’s usually the more specific, CTOs especially, the head engineers. You’ve always gotta be trying to speak the language of your target. Okay, I can take one more question. Yeah, do we need to change the toning of the content as per target audience while writing White Papers.
Well, thank you very much for that question. I think, in a way, what I’ve just said previously is probably applicable to that question, as well, in my opinion.
It’s an understanding of the people you’re trying to reach, always. If you are specifically doing something which is gonna play best with your sales team being able to use that and you’re talking to the CFO or somebody like that then, I think the tone is obviously gonna be different too, as I said, a more technical conversation with the CTO of the company, who is gonna have some buying influence on new technology, whatever.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Neil, can I jump in on that one?
Neil Howman: Yeah, please Cindy. Go ahead.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: One thing you can do is, in your White Paper, be sure that of course, you’re hitting, in sales speak I call it above the line and below the line issues. We’re gonna hit the budget and everything like that and how it’s gonna save time, save money. It needs to talk about that there. Then, the actual, how does integrate with this? How does the day-to-day applications work? How do I install it? Whatever those actual integration or application pieces, right? That White Paper might be the same and your messaging can hit different personas.
The messaging that you’re doing in LinkedIn, if you’re doing Facebook, email marketing, at a trade show, all those things, on the phone. We know, as salespeople, our messaging on the phone is different depending on the persona or type of person we’re talking to. Your promotion, if you will, of that White Paper, if you’re headed to a CTO is gonna talk about are you having X, Y, Z technical problem. Whereas, your promotion of that exact same White Paper that’s going to the CFO is maybe, did you find your staff is spending a lot of time on this and do you wanna help them be more efficient?
Your messaging can be different depending on the different persona. We can still all drive them to the same document if you will.
Neil Howman: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. I think this goes back to our initial point of having that conversation and really getting an understanding of the pain points of the people you’re talking to and that specific piece of content, that specific White Paper is looking to address. There’s always room to do more, which we’ll address perhaps another aspect of that customer’s concern or whatever it may be. I’m just looking through some of the other questions. Fred, thank you. Some of the best ways to distinguish your White Paper and stand out from the crowd.
Again, I would go back to some of the earlier points that we made, Fred, about really understanding the relevance of the issue that people are facing and do your research would be … You’ve really gotta be very honest with yourself. Do we have the expertise, understanding, and solution to help this particular problem? Cindy, would you agree with that? That’s in my experience, you’ve just gotta be very clear that you’ve got what it takes to help them.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Make sure the title of it actually addresses the problem or the technology specifically. It needs to talk about that and, when someone reads it goes, oh, I would wanna know that. If you’ve done any surveying or conversation with your customer and you heard someone say, gosh, I wish I could get a little bit more info about X then, you’re gonna have that in your White Paper title. That’s gonna help it stand out immediately, just so we’re really sure we’re using the language of the people that we’re talking to.
Neil Howman: This next question from Barbara, thank you, Barbara, as well for, it’s probably a bit more for Cindy, really. If you’ve got some time Cindy, sorry to keep bombarding you but, I think this plays very much … How would you recommend to proceed with prospects once the White Paper has been downloaded? This is totally your expertise. I know certain ways we’ve done that but, would you offer them a free trial, a demo, or do you suggest something else?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: If it’s okay, I’ve got a couple of samples that are cued up and we’ll put the links to them in the chat here. You can actually see some real-life examples of what we’re doing with opt-ins with actual customers right now and a sales funnel. I put that together, in case someone had this question. To answer your question, I think about the sales funnel. This is my sales funnel here. If we’re using the White Paper more at the top of the funnel to get people interested in us, just to know about us, then maybe think about your buyer’s journey. What happens next? What do they need to do next? Do they need to, I don’t know, get a data sheet? Do they need to, closer to the bottom of the funnel, get a demo? Do you have some software they can demo?
Eventually, do they need to talk to a salesperson or can they just buy right away? Pick two or three points in the buyer’s journey and then, you’re gonna line up everything with that. One successful one that we just put into the chat here, does just that. Hey, here’s a guide on this technology. Here’s a White Paper. Then, after they download it, we say, hey, would you like to download our trial? Here’s some more helpful info and would you like to download our trial? Hey, would you like to jump on this Webinar? Now, would you like to talk to a sales person? If that sounds like a reasonable buyer’s journey for you, put it together. Some people are gonna do something different and color outside the lines. It’s okay.
Put a path for ’em. If they take it awesome and, if not, you still have something in place that will help them along the way. Does that answer the question and, if you have more questions about that, you can put them in the chat. You’re welcome to hit us up later. We’ve got our contact info here in the chat box for you, as well.
Neil Howman: I noticed a couple of people did come to the conversation late. Email addresses and contact details, as Cindy said, are in that chat box and please feel free to continue the conversation after this Webinar has finished. We’ll be bringing it to site.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: I have a question.
Did you guys find this useful? Will you be using it? Were you able to fill it out during the Webinar? Just curious and if you have time to chat that in, great, or just let us know later. We’d love to know.
Neil Howman: Yeah, it’s just a handy guide to help you structure how you might approach this and, of course, just reminding you again that we’d be very happy to have further conversations. We can revisit the worksheet or talk about some other aspect of your strategy. Very happy to do that afterwards, you’ve got our contact details there. Maybe just one more, sorry, I saw one. Aditia, yeah that was a great question there. Is it a good idea to promote White Papers through a Webinar? Absolutely, I would say.
Cindy Zuelsdorf: You could, or the other way around. It depends what you feel is more, again, what your buyer’s journey like. It’s kind of a what’s an easier ask of the customer if that’s gonna be at the top of the funnel.
Neil Howman: It’s all to do with getting that piece of content you worked very hard to create, to get it to work. The more, the different ways that you can use that to maximize the amount of targets of people you wanna reach.
If you want to have a call with Neil to finish up your worksheet, I saw some people filled theirs in and we’ve got some comments saying you didn’t get ’em filled in yet, which makes sense ’cause we’re all talking and stuff. If you wanna have a 12-minute call with Neil that’s just a tactics call to get this filled in for you, put a yes in the chat and we’ll take note of it. You can chat it directly to the panellists or to everybody, either way. The bonus was, and I think it’s taken by now, the bonus is you get some writing, as well.
I’ll probably be following up in the next couple of days and we can … It doesn’t have to be before the holiday period. It can be after, it can be whenever you want. We’ll make that work. Can I thank Cindy very much?
Cindy Zuelsdorf: Thank you, Neil.
Neil Howman: Thank you, Fallon, for all the work behind the scenes and thank you, everyone, for making the time to join. I hope it’s been helpful. Please, let’s this be the beginning of the conversation. Let’s not end it here. You’ve got our contact details. It’d be great to engage with all of you further. If you have any questions, you wanna continue to look through the worksheet, talk a bit more about case studies, whatever it is, please drop us a line. Thank you very much indeed and see you soon.