Studies show that self-educating buyers regularly download white papers and eBooks as part of their pre-purchase research. They’ll gladly trade an email address for good information that helps them make a buying decision or just makes them smarter. But far too many companies today are making a huge mistake with their white papers and ebooks. They aren’t living up to their end of the bargain. Instead of providing truly useful information, they create thinly veiled sales pitches. So today, allow me to offer up 6 tips to help you create more effective white papers and eBooks that will generate downloads and convert invisible buyers into visible customers ready to succumb to your social selling campaign.
Make It Sexy
Boring is easy to ignore, even if it is the first result in Google. You’re fighting for the most precious resource in the world — attention. So if you have a great story to tell or incredibly useful information, dress it up in something sexy and take it out for a night on the web. Make the prospect think that your content is worth filling out the web form to obtain.
Educate and Inform
If your reader wanted to be sold they’d call a sales person. When you offer a free white paper or eBook, you’ are promising to trade useful information for identifiable information — an email address. Nothing stops a sale faster than disappointing a prospect with bait and switch content marketing. Sure you’ve gained a new lead but at what price?
Save The Bullshit For The Ranch
Just give people facts and verifiable information versus conjecture and your latest and greatest sales spin. White Paper and eBook readers are in an analytical mindset when they consume your content. They’re not reading for their entertainment. They have a knowledge goal and they think (because you made it all sexy) that your content will answer some question they have right now. So don’t give them your opinion… that doesn’t help them. Instead, use evidence based selling to make your point, educate them and set the stage for a conversion.
Treat It Like a Breadcrumb
Your White Papers and eBooks should always lead to the next piece of content. They’re breadcrumbs — and just like Hansel and Gretel dropped breadcrumbs to mark the way home, you too should use breadcrumb marketing to lead your prospect to your home base.
Don’t Follow Up
Make yourself available if you’re needed. The worst thing you can do is instantly follow up with someone that has downloaded your latest eBook. It screams lead gen! Social Selling is more elegant than that… be patient, let the reader know that your company has lots of other information and you’re happy to help them find anything they need.
Don’t Hide Your Book Under a Bush
Let it shine, let it shine. Get the word out. Look for opportunities to guest post on relevant blogs and websites. Buy a Facebook ad or two. Send an email, talk about it on social networks and maybe even call a few folks that you know would really enjoy and benefit from the information. Creating a White Paper or eBook takes a lot of effort and if you’ve created something that is truly helpful, people will thank you for alerting them to it.
Done correctly, white papers and eBooks can be key tools in your Painless Prospecting efforts. So use them correctly and enjoy creating better qualified leads that convert more easily and at a higher ratio.
To learn more about increasing leads and conversions with social selling, check out out inexpensive online social selling courses or schedule a time to chat about our powerful social selling workshops.