Your white papers are often seen as the sober Grandaddy of marketing materials. Usually produced by the big hitters, they are frequently dense, wordy, dull affairs that look good, but no one wants to read.
All too often, once published, they are left to fester in a digital vault somewhere never to be thought of again.
A shameful waste of time, money and information.
It’s time to liberate your captive white papers and release their content back into the wild.
Unleash your white papers’ content
Wikipedia’s definition of white paper is:
“A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.”
The purpose of having and maintaining a content-rich blog is to provide potential customers with answers to their questions and help them learn about your product and services.
Do you see the overlap?
Although in different formats, your white papers and blogs’ content is essentially there to do the same job.
That’s why you should be getting the most from your white papers.
Transforming your white paper content
Several of my larger clients have already discovered the benefits of this type of content transformation.
The system works like this:
- My client identifies an old white paper that has potential
- The white paper is passed to me
- We discuss the makeup of the new audience and the angle from which the information is to be presented
- After studying the white paper in detail, I provide an outline of the individual articles I can create
- I undertake additional research (independent and interviews with subject matter experts) to update and/or elaborate the content
- I come up with an eye-catching headline and create the posts
- Once signed off, the client now has a series of blog posts that explore a single issue that they can publish on their blog
It works like a dream and gives my client an additional stream of high-quality content over and above that produced in-house (or that I am commissioned to produce).
New eyes, new style
Before you run off and start cutting and pasting your white papers, it’s important to remember the audience to whom you are addressing.
The original audience is very different from the people that read your blog. The initial style was probably very formal, something that doesn’t go down well with blog readers.
The idea behind blogs is to produce an easy and informative read on a specific subject. To that end, it should be written in a natural style (that mimic spoken English) that is easy to understand. To do that you have to be flexible with some of the rules of grammar.
Far from ‘dumbing down’ the content, the reason behind this is that you’re transforming something that would have been a 30 minute plus read into a quick five-minute browse. That’s why you can’t afford any jargon or waffle to sneak in.
This content repurposing is a valuable part of your marketing. It helps you generate a continuous stream of high-quality, highly relevant content that will keep your existing customers informed and convince potential clients to sign up.
Keep the wheels of your content strategy turning. Convert your white papers and keep your valuable information alive.
Sally Ormond converts white papers to exciting, relevant and concise blog posts for a range of international companies. Find out how she can help you by calling +44(0)1449 779605.