“I Can’t See Myself in Your White Paper” – 2 Quick Fixes

Your readers need to see themselves in the marketing content you publish. Otherwise, you’re a marketing manager just writing to hear yourself shout. You know those year-end letters you receive around the holidays from your friends and family members? The ones filled with all the valuable content and important details that pop into your Uncle […]

Show Your White Paper to an Industry Analyst

How many dozens of hours did you, your writer and your reviewers just pour into that white paper? One word from an analyst can pay big dividends. “There’s an industry analyst who knows our company and competitors very well,” said the marketing manager. “He’s pretty accessible, and he has the reputation for calling b.s. whenever […]

What Should and Shouldn’t Go into Your White Paper

What are you going to put into that white paper you’re planning? Don’t fill it with garbage or you’ll annoy your readers and lose their trust. It’s easy to confuse “we need to write a white paper” with “we need to tell more people about us.” Wise marketing managers are able to discriminate between these […]

“You tweetin’ to me? Huh?”*

Whom are you addressing in your tweets? Can they tell you’re tweeting to them? Try addressing your audience in your tweets and micro-posts. When people look at a column of your tweets, can they tell who the intended audience is? When they land on your Facebook page, can they scan your posts and figure out […]

“Did I Ever Tell You About the Time We…”

Good content should leave your readers wanting more. Really wanting more. What’s the best hook there is? Here’s a new challenge for your marketing communications writer: Come up with a teaser as good as “Did I ever tell you about the time we…” The ultimate hook… Last week I sent e-mail to an old friend, […]

“Who is the Audience for this Piece?”

Too much focus on your ideal reader is a good thing. It’s the marketing communications writer’s job to enforce that focus. My new client’s CTO is bright and busy, and he talks fast. I was on time for my appointment in his office to interview him on server virtualization, and before I’d gotten to my […]

The White Paper Outline Buffet: The Innovation White Paper

Part 4 in a series of white paper outlines, each with a different structure and focus. Here, an outline for a buckshot-in-the-air white paper that scares readers toward innovation. What do you think about scaring your prospects and customers a little bit? How do you feel about getting them off the dime to buy your […]

The White Paper Outline Buffet: The Revolutionary White Paper

Part 2 in a continuing series of white paper outlines, each with a different structure and focus. Here, an outline for white papers that guide readers through revolutionary change. This white paper outline is about The Revolution that your new ideas and technologies ignite in your customers’ organization. Suppose you want your prospects to: replace […]

The White Paper Outline Buffet: The Educational White Paper

Part 1 in a continuing series of white paper outlines, each with a different structure and focus. Here, an outline for white papers that educate readers on new technologies. If you’re writing a white paper for yourself, you can get away without writing an outline first, but if other people will approve the paper, you […]

What Are You Thinking About While You Read My White Paper?

Don’t you wish you could be inside your reader’s head as he reads your content? What text could you throw away? What text could you monetize? Active listening is difficult. In fact, it’s exhausting, especially if you’re new to it. Do you know people who practice active listening? You’d know if you did. They begin […]