Publishing white papers is a great way to showcase your in-house knowledge. Instead of distributing press releases many companies are opting to publish something of substance that can be archived and referred to for years to come. By producing an authoritative report or guide geared toward a particular issue or problem you can easily assert yourself as an expert in your industry; push aside your competition, and significantly stand out to your target audience.
An effective white paper starts with good business writing. It's important to know your subject matter inside and out. In-depth research is crucial to ensuring your white paper is unique and not a duplication of something already available. Noting valuable sources or expanding on established perspectives is perfectly legitimate. You need to understand what your reader has been exposed to and use common vernacular. Your white paper needs to address a concern or problem commonly known amongst your target audience.
The best way to get the word out about your white paper is by joining online communities, such as: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Scribd or Slideshare. There are lots of places online to connect to like-minded people. You'll need to spend some time listening to the conversations that are taking place amongst these networks and integrate yourself into existing dialogues. Answer questions, ask questions, share helpful links, and make yourself approachable. This network can help you with topics and subject matter; along with, distribution of your white paper.
Social networks have an incredibly proficient system for distributing informative or entertaining content. It has been said that all it takes is 7,500 committed, talented word of mouthers to seed a message with, so that every single Canadian would hear about it in 12 weeks (providing you had the right product & newsworthy message) This idea of Sean Moffitt, a Canadian author; along with, other multiple sources can easily be applied for Australian's as well. Both countries share approximately the same population and online behaviour.
This means that it's theoretically possible for your white paper to be read and discussed by a broad audience if you do your homework and research the topic while actively engaging with an influential online network.
It used to be that wide-spread publicity had to be paid for with fancy advertising and colourful commercials; however, when it comes to online the situation is very different. People want to identify with brands by learning more about the people who work behind the scenes. They want to understand what goes into a typical day and when new developments occur a fan of your brand will want to know about it. Back in the old days breakthroughs were kept in-house, and customers only heard about them when a product was already launched into the market. Now we have crowdsourcing and ways to involve the consumer with the process of creating, promoting and distributing products.
Things have changed since the advent of the information revolution and instead of an ad or press release telling a customer about a new product- it's more impactful to publish a behind-the-scenes expose showcasing all the elements that went into this new development. A white paper can keep people on the edge of their seat because they get a small glimpse into the developments of what awaits them.
Consumers are savvy and intelligent. They want to learn more about how products are made and what is involved in producing the products they buy. The science behind the product is an effective way to explain something new in a manner that demonstrates to the customer that you respect their intelligence enough not to merely explain your brand or product as a slogan.