Forget the White Paper – Focus on the Change

Let them snack on your marketing content

Are you convinced that you need a white paper, because everybody has them? Don’t weld yourself to a single format for your story; think about other ways of telling it.

Jay Baer has an excellent post this week on Info-Snacks, based on the notion of “atomizing” content, in the words of Todd Defren of Shift Communications. (I suppose that makes this a post on a post on a post, doesn’t it?)

It’s another take on the Content Buffet, in which you tell the story of a single idea, a single change in your organization, through multiple vehicles: blog posts, social media, case studies, Web content, videos, and yes, white papers.

Does your marketing communications writer think in these terms? Instead of calling him up and saying, “We need you to write a white paper,” suppose you called him up and said, “Here’s the story we want to tell; what do you think are the best ways to do it?”

A versatile writer will suggest alternative formats for different parts of the story. Why shoehorn everything into a single paper, when you can appeal to different audiences with different formats? Your job isn’t to crank out a paper; your job is to give people valuable content and get them to follow you.

Can you rely on a writer for that? Or do you talk to your marketing agency?

photo credit: armigeress

Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”