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5 Big Benefits White Papers Offer Technology Marketers

by | Sep 26, 2022 | Lead Generation, White Papers | 0 comments

5 Big Benefits White Papers Offer Technology Marketers

For years, technology buyers have consistently named white papers among the content they find most helpful and influential when researching a purchasing decision. And while the technology marketer’s content arsenal has expanded significantly over the last fifteen years or so, white papers remain among the most sought-after, most influential, and most shared of all the weapons in that arsenal.

Why do they remain so effective? Let’s look at five significant benefits white papers offer technology marketers and their prospects.

1. White papers offer business buyers what they crave

Business decision-makers are information seekers.

They need detailed information to make informed decisions. Especially purchasing decisions. They need real solutions to real problems, but generally lack the time to figure out which solution is best. Often, they don’t fully understand their problem when they begin their search for knowledge.

That’s why they seek out white papers.

White papers show readers how to solve their problems. They thoroughly explore the problem at hand—show readers exactly what they’re up against. Then they make an open-and-shut case for the best solution: yours.

What’s more, white papers provide all that in one handy, familiar package. They give busy decision-makers an all-in-one resource that’s easy to reference, review, and share with colleagues.

2. White papers evade your prospects’ anti-marketing defenses

If properly written, white papers are a form of “stealth marketing.” They fly under your prospects’ anti-marketing radar. This is critical if you’re marketing to engineers and other highly skeptical audiences.

How do you achieve this feat? Start your white paper by focusing solely on your prospect’s problem. Only after you’ve thoroughly addressed the nature of the problem and why existing solutions are no longer adequate do you introduce your new, better solution and, eventually, your company.

The emphasis of your white paper must be education, not promotion.

Yes, your readers know your white paper is promotional. In general, however, as long as you supply them with solid information they can use to make good decisions along with sound logic that helps them justify those decisions, most prospects will be willing to ignore a certain amount of bias.

By giving your prospects information they badly need in a form that doesn’t overtly promote your product or service, you’ll significantly reduce their skepticism and resistance.

3. White papers let you “set the specs” for your prospects

A good way to avoid specific mention of your offering—while still extolling its virtues—is to describe its innovations as the emergence of a new class of solutions.

You describe this new solution class in a generic way. Your white paper, then, defines the specification for the solution class. Next, you make a strong case for the superiority of this new solution class over existing solutions. Only after doing so do you introduce your own, specific solution as a member of that class, usually by way of examples.

In this way, you’re not simply throwing your hat into an already crowded ring. You’re sweeping away all other solutions, removing them from consideration.

Plus you’re giving white paper readers exactly what they want: a blueprint, or a roadmap to follow, for solving their problem in the best possible way.

It doesn’t matter if yours, for the moment, is the only solution in the class. What matters is that you get to set the specs for this new class. If your prospects are convinced, they’ll use your specs in their evaluation. The competition doesn’t meet the specification. So, they’ll be eliminated, and you’ll get the business.

4. White papers build credibility

Well-written white papers thrive on logic, not hype and emotion. They educate your prospects, giving them something of real value to think about. They truly help your customers solve their problems.

In doing so, they demonstrate your company’s expertise and position you as a thought leader. And since you back up your claims with facts and logic, you appear forthcoming and truthful.

This dual perception of expertise and truthfulness created by your white paper has a “halo” effect. It makes everything you say more credible.

5. White papers build trust and loyalty

By first giving your prospects solid information they can use before you try to sell them something, you position your firm as a helpful, generous advisor.

You’re no longer just another vendor. You’re a guide. You’re helping your prospects understand what they need, not just what you have to offer.

You’re also creating a feeling of indebtedness in your prospect.

You’ve given your prospects something helpful, something valuable. They feel the need to repay you in some way. This is what Robert Cialdini, in his landmark book Influence, calls the Rule of Reciprocity.1 People just naturally want to return a favor. In fact, they feel a real need to return your favor.

All these factors build the prospect’s confidence in your company. When it comes time to buy, prospects generally favor vendors they trust, and they tend to trust vendors who have already given them value.

Takeaway Points

White papers that offer value to prospects also offer tangible benefits to the technology marketers who publish them. Five of the biggest benefits white papers offer tech marketers are the following:

  1. White papers offer business buyers what they crave.
  2. White papers evade your prospects’ anti-marketing defenses.
  3. White papers let you “set the specs” for your prospects.
  4. White papers build credibility.
  5. White papers build trust and loyalty.

Next Steps

Need some help pulling together a new lead-gen white paper? Email CopyEngineer at info@copyengineer.com.

References

1 Cialdini, Robert B., Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, William Morrow & Co., 1984, 1993.

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