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7 delightful ways whitepapers can supercharge your Digital Marketing and PR

Research whitepapers are too often thought of as stand-alone lead generation tools.

But done properly, they can be much more than that. You can think of a whitepaper as the cornerstone in a bigger digital strategy - and should try to be as integrated as possible in building strategies that’ll engage your audiences and build pipeline with the new and interesting data you’ve invested in.

This needn’t be too difficult, though. There are loads of simple tactics you can employ to get the most out of them - here we’ve run down seven of the most effective:

1. Get national news coverage

The first goal of a new piece of research is to grab headlines - but the story doesn’t end there.

Too often, agencies will split responsibility on a data project and stop talking to each other. One part will generate PR coverage, and another will build the whitepaper.

But both of these elements of your strategy are interdependent. If you optimise your campaign properly, your coverage can have a huge impact on the SEO performance of your whitepaper - especially if it’s hosted on a landing page (see below).

TOP TIP: To stand as good a chance as possible with getting the attention of nationals, ensure that your whitepaper touches on as many verticals as possible. If a national writer recognises the value of the whitepaper, then they’re more likely to cover.

2. Engage the trade press

A whitepaper is essentially a detailed, informational report on a specific topic you hold expertise in. Whether this speaks to the wider industry that your company operates in, or a niche vertical, it is important to keep your key press happy.

Whilst getting coverage in trades may not be seen as being as glamorous as the nationals, it often delivers far better quality leads - because the audience will be much more relevant.

It’s not unusual to see a higher number of qualified leads coming from coverage in trade press than the nationals.

TOP TIP: It is always a great idea to share your trade coverage across your Linkedin channel, as the people in your network are likely to recognise the outlets.

3. Organic social posts

Brands have tended to steer clear of organic social content since Facebook started cutting down organic reach.

But there are times when you should still consider it - and LinkedIn is one of them. You can still get pretty good levels of organic reach on LinkedIn - and the people following your business page are likely to be super relevant audiences.

With a whitepaper, you’ve got loads of interesting data points, design elements and pull-quotes that are perfect for social sharing as they add new knowledge and value.

If you have access to a designer, you could even create new custom elements like carousel posts and animations to really bring your stats to life.

All of this engaging content will make readers far more likely to click through to read more on your website, and gradually build up your sales funnel.

4. Paid Social

Paid social should be a key pillar of any new data or whitepaper project.

Many brands often separate their paid social activity from their ‘earned’ PR activity, like data - but an integrated approach will help you make the most of your content by putting it in front of the perfect people.

Paid social allows you to break through to an entirely different audience from your PR and organic activity, to speak to those of who may not be following your channels but still have an interest in your industry.

It’s important to think about how you’re going to structure your campaign. As the first-wave activity at the very top of the funnel should be super-engaging video content.

You can then set up retargeting of people who watched the video, encouraging them to click through.

If you really want to supercharge your campaign, you can also retarget website visitors with the same click-through content.

Here’s a visualisation of how you can think about the process:

Sales Funnel Infographic

5. Partnerships

Another great way to introduce your brand to new audiences is to work with a partner to publish your paper.

Industry bodies are a great option here - as are other businesses who work in a complimentary field. You can quote their top thought leaders and invite them to contribute analysis to the data.

This will allow both of your audiences to cross-pollinate and help you grow. It’ll also mean your landing page gets good quality backlinks from a relevant, high-authority partner site, which is great for SEO.


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6. On-Site Sales Funnel

As we’ve already seen, creating a whitepaper will mean you get loads of great, new, interesting content for your social channels.

But a truly integrated strategy should be taking advantage of your stats and data in as many ways as possible - and driving new prospects through the sales funnel is something whitepapers are brilliant for.

Once audiences have clicked through to your landing page from search or social, you should be encouraging them to download your paper.

The way most companies do this is through a gated download - where visitors get the whitepaper in exchange for an email address.

From here you’ve got a much more direct way to talk to them and follow up with other interesting or insightful content.

7. Landing page SEO

For every whitepaper you produce, you should create a bespoke landing page that gives the visitor a taste of the content in the whitepaper but also entices them to read on.

By creating the landing page, you’ll naturally include keywords from within your whitepaper and from around the wider industry. It also gives the media something to link to if they are covering your top data lines.

This combination of relevant on-page keywords, and high-quality backlinks from media websites, adds up to a dynamite SEO profile that’ll help boost traffic from search.

TOP TIP: Use the landing page when publicising the whitepaper across all channels both on the website and social as part of your integrated approach.

Hopefully the above will give you an idea of how to maximise your whitepaper. But, of course, reading about it and actually doing it are often two very different things, so if you would like some advice on how best to do this for your platform, get in touch through [email protected] or drop us a DM on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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