Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Writing White Papers by Michael Stelzner - Sample Chapter

Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged
I've been a fan of white paper guru Michael Stelzner for several years now, having learned about him when I had to write my first white paper for a client 2 years ago, which was featured on a design firm web site that was changing its audience to reach the luxury market. It was a great success.

My online research took me to his book, "Writing White Papers..." and I have to say the book really helped me get organized, and I keep it handy today as a great resource. Michael is always at the cutting edge of new technology and has very helpful monthly newsletters. Unlike many social media marketers out there, he gets right to the point and is very succinct and easy to read. No scrolling copy that goes on forever and makes you wish you never logged on!

View the links in this post to view a video by Michael and also download a free chapter. You can also click on the book above to order it.

Here are some interesting factoids:

InformationWeek recently released a report titled, “Tech Marketing: Best Practices Research Series: White Papers: How to Maximize the Use of White Papers in Your B2B Marketing and Sales Process.” Yes, that is a mouthful, but so is the report. It full of great facts about the marketing power of white papers.

  • Viral nature: 93% of buyers pass‐along up to half of the white papers they read/download
  • What folks do AFTER reading: The first thing readers do is go to a search engine for more information (75.8%)
  • Can you trust them?: Only 40.7% if all white papers are deemed as trustworthy
  • How papers impact sales decisions: The role white papers play in the purchasing decision:
    • General education (76.3%)
    • Investigate technology in more detail (73.8%)
    • Learn about a vendor’s solution (68%)
  • Best white papers are here: Where do readers find the best white papers:
    • Vendor websites (50.8%)
    • Professional organization (43.4%)
    • Research firms (38%)
    • B2B sites and libraries (32.8%)
  • Suggested content: The best white papers should have:
    • A tight, to-the-point abstract (80%)
    • Minimal marketing (78.6%)
    • Use/Case studies (75.6%)
  • Other stuff: The perception of white paper content improves based on the reputation of the media source, so reported 78.9% AND if the vendor is known, 68% will trust the content, regardless if it is posted on a trusted media source

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