Is Your White Paper a Y.A.W.N.E.R.?

This post was written by John White on Fri, 02 Oct 2009 10:46:50 +0000
Posted Under: ideal reader,technical article,tell your story,value in content

Yawning for a white paper

Yawning for a white paper

Your white papers are good incentive content. If you think nobody’s reading them, maybe it’s because the ideal readers cannot find them.

It’s hard not to feel good about having a white paper to give prospects, even harder when you have an entire library of them. If well done, they demonstrate the willingness to align your products with real-world problems and the internal discipline to build/publish a body of knowledge about your technology.

But does anybody read your white papers? Are they useful?

A former colleague posts in a security bloggers forum on LinkedIn and recently wrote me:

We have a new term in usage here in my group: “YAWNER”.

white paper

I think he’s exaggerating. I think the greater danger lies in people not being able to find your white papers; take care of that first. If people can find your white papers, eventually they will read them, if only to decide, “No, this isn’t what I’m looking for,” and keep looking for the answer in some other paper.

Of course, your job as marketing manager is to ensure you’ve hired a marketing communications writer who has told your story well – whether it involves customer interviews or a technical white paper – and that it looks like valuable content to your ideal readers.

Meanwhile, your organization has used the white paper to get information out of its collective head and into print, and there’s value inherent to that.

Stop yawning and keep the valuable content moving.

John White of venTAJA Marketing posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.

photo credit: Jambako the Jaguar

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