Yes, white papers are the practical 1-1/2-inch heeled shoes of B2B content marketing. Unlike webinars, online videos and podcasts – the Christian Louboutin or Manolo Blahnik stilettos of the content marketing universe – the white paper as a marketing tactic doesn’t get nearly as much attention from the industry’s superstars as it deserves.
Too bad, especially considering that 88% of business executives responding to a recent DemandGen Content Preferences Survey Report say the white paper tops the list of content types that buyers use to research a business topic or solution.
This isn’t to say that white papers are completely ignored and kept in the back of the marketing tactic closet only to be dragged out occasionally, like low heels with below-the-knee, bosom-covering floral dresses at a Sunday morning church service. Smart B2Bers know that white papers are effective marketing tools. In fact:
- Marketers plan to increase their use of white papers in 2012 by 19%, according to a B2B Content Marketing survey from the fine folks at the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
- 73% of B2B marketers responding to a B2B Content Marketing Trends survey by Holger Schulze, owner of the 35,000-member B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, reported that white papers are the second-most effective content marketing tactic after case studies.
I understand that writing white papers will never generate the sort of marketing world celebrity brought on by a pair of fabulous red patent 5-inch spikes disguised as a free webinar. I’m OK with this and happy to wear my flip-flops (I do live in Florida, after all) in exchange for a decent white paper paycheck that allows me to enjoy a nice glass tempranillo several times a week. I just hope the folks who do wear the trademark-protected red sole shoes of Louboutin don’t forget about the unglamorous workhorses of the content marketing mix when it’s time to build next year’s marketing budget.
Photo of Christian Louboutin Sexy Peep-Toe Pumps is from www.outletredbottomshoes.com.