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This Is How You Use White Paper For Your Marketing

White papers can bring you many new leads in inbound marketing – if you use them correctly. In this article, we give you an all-round view of the topic and explain how you can use white papers specifically for your marketing.

What is a white paper?

The definition of a white paper is relatively simple. Basically, a white paper is a document (usually a PDF online) that provides the answer to a specific question. The user will find solutions, inspiration and answers to problems here, mostly in a short and clear form.

The invention is not really new: as early as the beginning of the 20th century, British government officials packed shortened legal texts in a white envelope to distinguish them from the long laws in blue envelopes. This also explains an essential characteristic of these white papers: although they are often longer than two pages, they rarely have more than 15 pages.

White papers also contain higher quality specialist information on a specific topic than e.g. B. Online articles or blog entries. They deal more deeply with a topic and convey strategies, technical explanations or use cases that are otherwise difficult or impossible to find.

White Papers in Marketing

In marketing, many companies make white papers available for free online download . Mostly it is a PDF. Users can have this PDF sent to them by email, for example. In return, you must provide an email address. In this way, the company generates so-called leads , i.e. contacts who appear to be interested in a topic.

In connection with content marketing measures and search engine optimization, a brand can identify interested users in this way and later send them further, suitable content or offers ( lead nurturing ).

Examples of good online white papers

  • Siemens exclusive area
  • GDPR white paper
  • B2C white paper on investing

4 reasons why white papers work so well

  • Whitepaper downloads stand for depth and quality of content . In return, users are willing to provide their contact information. Therefore, the PDFs are ideal for lead generation.
  • The content of a white paper solves users’ problems . Anyone who deals intensively with a topic wants all the high-quality information about it. This is what white papers can offer and thus meet user expectations.
  • Companies and brands can use white papers to position themselves as thought leaders and strengthen their credibility.
  • Good content is gladly shared. Tip: Position a logo in the document to build brand awareness.

Also Read: Marketing On A Budget: Tips That Really Anyone Can Implement

This is how you build good white papers

A white paper should have at least two pages to provide enough space for information. There really isn’t a white paper template: it’s up to you how you want to structure and set up the pages.

If you want to generate leads with a white paper or simply provide users or customers with more in-depth information, research is an important step in the creation process. White papers should either offer curated information or – even better – specially collected information, for example in the form of studies. You should also invest time in the layout. After all, you don’t want to scare off your future customers.

In 8 steps to the first white paper

We recommend that you always go through the following eight steps when building a white paper. This is how you ensure that nothing gets lost or mistakes occur along the way:

  • Identification of the topic: What topic should the white paper have? Is it more of a niche topic or a broad evergreen topic?
  • Create target groups: You can use the target group or a buyer persona to find out how you should align the language, the layout and the topic.
  • Topic research: Use researched and self-collected data to add value to the whitepaper.
  • Content development: Make sure that the content fits the target group and offers added value.
  • Structure of the white paper: The document can look like this: attractive cover, overview of the topic, introductory summary, introduction to the topic, further background information on the topic, possible solutions, examples of possible solutions, summary.
  • Design and white paper format: The layout should match the corporate design. A logo is okay, but readers don’t want to see direct advertising. Which format you choose is up to you. A DIN A4 format as PDF is recommended.
  • Release and control: Is there information that you still have to release? Do you need an editor? Check all your content again and make sure that you correctly state all sources.
  • Whitepaper Marketing: Your whitepaper wants to be seen! Position it prominently on your own website as a whitepaper download, in newsletters, social media, ads, blogs and forums.

White paper created? Here’s how to proceed

Once you have invested the time in a high-quality and timeless white paper, you can use it again and again for your marketing. As a marketing tool, the documents are currently unbeaten. Especially in lead generation and content marketing, they have a right to exist in every strategy. But the content can also be used for social media. You can get more information here:

Use whitepaper for lead generation

Interesting content that solves user problems? This is ideal for collecting contacts and prospects.

  • In our article on lead generation , we show you how to get customers to trade their email address for information. A first tip: The content should match the phases in the sales funnel.
  • You then develop the leads generated via the white paper. You can find out more about this in our article on lead nurturing.
  • So that you do not lose track of this process, it is also worth introducing lead scoring. How this works and which examples you can use as a guide is explained in the relevant article.

Implement white paper marketing

White papers are a central tool of content marketing. They work in particular in combination with so-called content hubs.

  • In our article on the topic, you will learn why content hubs can be a good idea for your marketing.
  • However, so that you do not send customers on a wild journey through your content, it is worth creating a customer journey map . Never heard? No problem! Our article on the subject explains what it is and how it relates to whitepapers and other content.

White paper for LinkedIn and other social networks

Of course, your content doesn’t just have to stay on the website. LinkedIn in particular is an ideal place for high-quality PDFs. You can even generate leads with LinkedIn Ads and offer white papers about them.

However, content and ads should also fit together. A problem that exists in many companies. Our article on social advertisements gives you more insight into the topic.


You now know why white papers are such a valuable tool in inbound marketing. It is true that the effort is often greater and the research more complex than with blog articles. However, they bring you and your marketing much more. With white papers you can generate good leads for a long time and position your brand as an expert. For this reason, they are now an integral part of the strategy for many companies.

Also Read: The 11 Commandments Of Performance Marketing

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