Is it just me or has 2017 flown by? It seems like only five minutes ago that I was writing a 2017 checklist and contemplating the year ahead.
Like many of you, 202 Communications is reviewing the past year and planning for 2018. One trend I’ve noticed is the significant increase in the amount of white papers, case studies, and user stories we have produced for our clients. I don’t believe this is a coincidence. We are in a highly competitive industry with a large number of companies vying for a limited number of customers. In the past, companies could generate enough interest and customer visibility in their products simply through traditional channels like advertising and product announcements. While visibility, of course, remains an important component in any company’s marketing mix, customers today want a deeper understanding of the available solutions before making any purchasing decisions.
This is where detailed content — such as white papers and case studies — can become an essential part of your overall sales and marketing offering. Your potential customers are looking for ways to solve their problems and achieve their objectives. If you are able to demonstrate that you have the solutions, the expertise, and a success story involving an existing customer, this will set you apart from your competitors.
Once you’ve produced a white paper, case study, or user story, you can use them in a variety of ways. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Get social: Publicize the content on your social media platforms and website. Make sure you collect the contact details of everyone who downloads a copy. With white papers, especially, encourage online discussions about the topic(s) being covered. For example, you can easily start a LinkedIn discussion group or create a short video to create more buzz surrounding your content.
- Print is not dead. Here’s why: Print hard copies and prepare PDFs of the content for your sales teams to leverage when speaking with prospects. This is the main request we receive when chatting with our clients’ sales teams. An informative case study or white paper is a major sales asset when presenting to a prospect.
- Hit up your e-mail followers: Include a brief summary of the content in any e-newsletters you produce. It is equally important to keep your current customers as up to date as your sales prospects.
- Check out industry pubs: Many industry publications are happy to host case studies and white papers if the content is particularly engaging. Establishing a close relationship with an editor may even lead to the publication producing an additional article in the future on your behalf.
If you would like to discuss how 202 Communications can help boost your marketing communications reach for 2018, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neil Howman, Managing Director