Whitepapers and case studies are two useful content marketing types that you shouldn’t overlook in your sales strategy.
These particular tools can contribute to more effective and efficient lead generation and shorter selling cycles.
There are some reasons why it’s important to include these tools in your sales strategy.
As Roanne Neuwirth writing for Content Marketing Institute says:
First, let’s understand why the white paper has staying power.
The best examples include:
- Rich, substantive content that educates, not sells
- New ideas that prompt and provoke innovative thinking
- A clearly communicated point of view on issues that are highly relevant and timely
- Statistically sound data and well-researched findings
Whitepapers Deliver Educational Depth
The primary role of a white paper is to present a well-researched, statically-driven perspective and educate your audience on a particular topic. Though not intended for hard selling, it allows you to project expertise and credibility while presenting information of critical value to your audience.
Roanne references Rob Leavitt, Director of Thought Leadership at PTC, in her earlier article where he states,
“There is no substitute for well-researched, well-thought-through points of view on issues that really matter to your customers. If you don’t take the time to do that, it doesn’t matter what format you are using. It just won’t be effective.”
The depth of analysis and information in a white paper far exceeds that of a typical article or blog post. In complex buying decisions or industries, your ability to educate buyers before initial contact can powerfully influence your conversion opportunity.
Case Studies Offer Proof
Case studies play a slightly different content marketing role. They provide evidence of the effectiveness of your solutions.
In a case study, you explain the problems, circumstances and goals of a prospect. Then, you define the strategy and solution recommended by your company to help resolve the problem.
Executing in-depth case studies that illustrate different problems allows your examples to resonate with many potential customers. Case studies tell a story that often influences a buyer more than a description of your solution and benefits on a website.
It also gives you the opportunity, if you use a content syndication partner or your gated content, to gather contact details of your interested parties who have a direct influence on the buying company’s decision-making process.
High-Value, Relevant Content
The more customised and relevant your content is for a particular audience, the greater your lead generation potential.
In relation to other content formats, whitepapers and case studies both enable highly targeted and relevant content delivery.
With both white papers and in-depth case studies, you can involve your existing clients in content development.
Get feedback and insights on their experiences and perspectives.
These ideas help with organising and creating content that appeals to buyers in similar situations.
Distributing the content to the right prospect matches is the final piece of the puzzle.
Involving satisfied clients helps turn a case study into a powerful endorsement of your company and solution.
Your Case for Differentiation
The Internet is overloaded with information, and buyers often get overwhelmed trying to sift through it all.
Virtually every company in your industry is posting content to their blogs and sharing articles seeking to highlight key benefits of their offerings.
Whitepapers and case studies are both useful in better addressing your points of differentiation.
The picture is often clearer for readers struggling to separate competing lists of solution features and benefits.
Your audience is not interested in learning about what your latest solution does; they want to know what it can do for them.
There is an old saying in sales – Nobody wants to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole, originally coined by Harvard marketing professor Theodore Levitt.
With these content forms, you can outline your unique values and the tools you use to garner loyalty.
Appealing to the emotional needs of your audience with compelling storytelling is powerful in lead generation.
Recognise the powerful and unique influence of whitepapers and case studies in your sales strategy.
These tools offer clear benefits about other content marketing formats, while also giving you the opportunity to connect with potential prospects early in the buying cycle. Project your expertise, deliver relevant information and spell out your value proposition.