Whether you intend to drive more leads or position yourself as a thought leader, creating a top-notch whitepaper doesn’t come easy – especially when everyone is vying to take center-stage amidst all the content clutter. Regardless of the end goal, the only way to distinguish a great whitepaper from the sea of mediocrity is to determine how well it resonates with the buyers’ problems.
Know that your whitepaper is a lot more than just an in-depth guide and can often come across as a boring sales pitch if not presented the right way.  Tweet This! Hence, ensure that you’re only offering genuine help rather than driving away customers with annoying advertisements.
1. BLASTING YOUR LEADS WITH SALES MESSAGES
Just because someone has downloaded your whitepaper doesn’t mean you can take that as a green signal to freely sales call them. That is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Don’t call the IT pros just five minutes after they’ve downloaded your whitepaper as this will only kill your chances of driving ROI.
What you should be doing instead is be more transparent about the process on your landing page, by informing the customers about the contents of the whitepaper and how it can help solve their pain points.
2. NOT DOING ADEQUATE RESEARCH
How can the reader know you are trustworthy if you aren’t backing up your claims? Marketers consider a whitepaper to be the no.1 influential content that can impact a buyer’s critical decisions. Consequently, a poorly researched whitepaper will be of no value to the readers. Your whitepaper must include statistics as well as infographics that are supported by legitimate research findings.
If you’re unsure of where to start with your research here are a few tips –
• Dig into industry research reports as they are backed by legitimate data. Take references from research groups such as Hubspot, Forrester or any other professional organization that produces original research.
• Alternatively, you can also check out other related whitepaper from the same industry for references.
For your whitepaper to drive more leads and achieve its intended effect, it’s important to showcase your content as a legitimate source of valuable insights that the readers can benefit from.
3. NOT GETTING THROUGH WITH THE PROMOTION
When it comes to promoting your whitepaper, it’s best to leverage a few different distribution services at once and see which one performs the best. A lot of marketers work really hard to create their whitepaper but suck at promoting them the right way. They simply post them on their own websites and hope that the leads will come through. If only that worked.
Here are a few ways that you can target your audiences and get them interested in your whitepaper
• Direct those readers from your blog to your whitepaper's opt-in form.
• Create a whitepaper “cheat sheet” and make the sales team hand it out to leads.
• Leverage Slideshare to turn your whitepaper into an engaging presentation. If you’re looking to connect with potential clients and target audiences who prefer better visuals, then Slideshare’s the place for you.
• Bring targeted leads to your whitepaper via LinkedIn. Let’s not forget how powerful LinkedIn is for its worldwide influence. With LinkedIn’s advanced targeted features you can have your ads displayed in front of the right audience.
• Get your industry’s top bloggers to talk about your whitepaper to drive more leads.
Based on the kinds of topics, your target audience, and your end goal, you should specialize in targeting your niche business area. Take help from distribution services such as Bit Pipe, Information Week, and CIO whitepapers, etc as they can help in casting a wider net and expose you to a bigger range of audience interests.