Whitepapers: Become a thought leader
Investing in whitepapers as part of your ongoing content marketing strategy can be an effective way of showing thought leadership in your chosen industry.
Like many commercial buzzwords and business jargon, 'thought leadership' can be a term thrown around without actually addressing what it means for an organisation and how it can be achieved.
Typically, thought leaders are companies that are an authority on the important issues that are most relevant to your target audiences, providing answers to the toughest questions and offering solutions to drive the market forward.
Whitepapers and thought leadership
So how can whitepapers help you to establish yourself as a thought leader? Well, they have a number of features that naturally lend themselves to boosting your industry reputation.
Whitepapers are authoritative reports or publications that tackle prominent issues in the sector in which you operate. They should help your readers to understand the topic, recognise significant problems, and – ultimately – offer solutions.
The key is to highlight issues that your goods and services can help to overcome, without being directly advertorial. This is important – simply plugging your company from the opening paragraph will quickly turn readers away.
Instead, whitepapers should be well researched, underpinned by solid statistics and data, and largely impartial (a brief rundown of your services at the end will suffice).
Obviously the primary benefit of whitepapers, as discussed above, is to identify yourself as a thought leader – but there are a number of other advantages.
Lead generation: Usually available as a downloadable file, whitepapers boost lead generation by encouraging interested parties to give up their contact information to gain access.
Sharable: Being able to share whitepapers across social media platforms means people and organisations can come across your work and site when they otherwise may not have.
Reviving old articles: Linking to your website's articles, blogs and news sections in whitepapers can give old copy a boost in hits . This is an excellent way of directing traffic to your website while they're flicking through the whitepaper.