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BizReport : Research archives : April 05, 2007

White papers: Content that works

Marketers wanting to better connect with customers should look into content. That is the word from a new KnowledgeStorm and Marketing Sherpa study. According to researchers, 71% of technology buyers look to white papers first for information.

by Kristina Knight

Not only are consumers reading white papers, they are passing them on to other consumers. 57% of respondents say they pass along 1 out of every 2 white papers they read. Just how many white papers are being consumed by potential buyers? 85% of study respondents say they read at least three different content pieces before making a decision.

As a marketer, it is obvious that including white papers and objective research into the products will not only benefit the consumer, but also the marketing program. But, the content has to be done right. What should a white paper include?

Objective analysis of the product, detailed instruction and informative content are the most important things to include in a marketing white paper. Remember when writing, that white papers are not one-size-fits-all. Different white papers should be written for different groups - professionals, at-home users, home-office users - in order to get the maximum benefit from the paper. Finally, write in the language of the consumer. IT professionals, business professionals and other users will respond to content in different ways, even though the product is the same.

Other sources of content that are seen as consumer-relevant include blogs, podcasts and webcasts.

Tags: online content, website content, white papers

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  • Kristina - This is a great study.

    I live and breath white papers (and blog about them).

    I am encouraged to see the pass around or viral factor for white papers is so high.




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