Tips on how to incorporate call to action in your white paper

By creating and distributing a white paper you educate and inform your target audience. However, there is also a goal that you are trying to meet. What is that goal? Do you want you readers to buy your product? Do you want them to sign up for a seminar? How can you persuade your customers and prospects to take action? Do you call out a specific action that your prospect has to take after reading your white paper? We have invited White Paper Experts to shed light on the following question: What is the best way to incorporate call to action in a white paper? Read on to get their insights.

Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing Workbook

We are very excited to bring to you Velocity’s latest eBook: The B2B Content Marketing Workbook -Thought Leadership for B2B Lead Generation and Beyond. Velocity’s latest eBook not only has a great overview on strategic B2B content marketing but also a very slick design.

Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing WorkBook covers these topics.

  • What is Content Marketing
  • Why you need to get good at  Content Marketing
  • Why you’re perfectly placed to do it really, really well
  • How to pick a topic prospects care about
  • What ‘good’ B2B Content Marketing looks like — lots of examples

We have invited Doug Kessler, the author of B2B Content Marketing WorkBook to discuss his eBook. Doug Kessler is the Creative Director and co-founder of Velocity, the London-based B2B marketing agency specializing in technology markets.  He started his career at Ogilvy & Mather New York on consumer accounts but quickly migrated to B2B, where his heart lies.

Doug Kessler

Blog Velocity-B2B Marketing Twitter DougKessler

Ambal Balakrishnan: Doug, it is a great pleasure to discuss your B2B Content Marketing WorkBook. What prompted you to embark on writing this eBook?
Doug Kessler: At Velocity, we believe that content marketing is the single most powerful weapon in the B2B marketing arsenal.  But we don’t see it well-executed very often.  The eBook is a quick, approachable way to introduce people to the principles and practices of content marketing.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Please walk us through the eBook writing life-cycle. How did it evolve and its journey from concept to launch?
Doug Kessler: It was quite quick, really.  I wrote it in a few hours (we live this stuff), had colleagues review it and comment, then gave it to Stuart Rothwell, one of our designers.  He did a great job making it friendly and easy to read.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Who is your eBook addressed towards?
Doug Kessler: It’s aimed at business-to-business marketers (though the ideas work in consumer marketing as well).  I was picturing a less experienced marketer but I hope there’s some value in it for more experienced people too.

Ambal Balakrishnan: How is B2B Content Marketing different from B2C?
Doug Kessler: B2B is about convincing someone to do something with rational argument.  B2C is often about appealing to people’s emotions.  I like building a case, in the same way as a lawyer does.  Of course, this also involves emotion, but you need a strong, rational argument. When I was in the consumer world, I never felt so good about executing strategies that essentially boiled down to ‘Be a good mother, use this fabric softener.’  It wasn’t so much a moral objection – just a bit embarrassing!

Ambal Balakrishnan: What is one change you recommend to B2B firms to do better in their Content Marketing initiatives?
Doug Kessler: Sounds obvious, but work hard to deliver real value to your audience.  The triple goal is to make them go out of their way to get the piece, to ‘consume’ it to the very end, and to recommend it to others.  That’s a tough challenge.  You can only meet it by putting yourself in the audience’s shoes and thinking hard about what information or insight they need to do their job better.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Give us few examples of businesses that are great at B2B Content Marketing?
Doug Kessler: Marketo is really good at it.  IBM and Cisco are massive (and pretty slick) content publishing machines.  Salesforce is excellent.  And one of our clients, ShipServ, really gets it too.  They’re tiny compared to the big boys mentioned here but they use Content Marketing really effectively (shameless brag: we just got shortlisted for a New Media Age Effectiveness Award for our work with them).

Ambal Balakrishnan: What are the 3 key lessons you want readers to take away from your eBook?
Doug Kessler: 1) Content Marketing is the most important thing you can do as a B2B marketer. 2) Harvest the expertise you have in-house and package it up with confidence. 3) Don’t just stick it on a shelf. Market the hell out of it (measuring all the way).

Ambal Balakrishnan: What one “get started on right way” change do you recommend to the reader of your eBook?
Doug Kessler: Look at your current content archive, decide what’s under-exploited and correct that. Re-package a boring white paper into a sexy eBook.  Stick it on SlideShare and ‘pimp’ it across the relevant social media groups (and Twitter).

Ambal Balakrishnan: Doug, thanks for taking the time to discuss Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing WorkBook and sharing your insights with us.
Doug Kessler: Thanks Ambal.

Download Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing Workbook here. Also check out Doug Kessler’s Using Twitter in B2B Marketing and Going social in B2B: seven automatic actions for every piece of content.

Over to you…
What is the one lesson from Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing WorkBook you will put to use in your Content Marketing?

Rebels Brown’s eBook on Positioning – It’s Not About You Anymore

We are very excited to bring to you Rebel Brown’s Positioning eBook It’s Not About You Anymore. Rebel Brown is a go-to-market strategist and Spin Doctor specializing in start ups, turnarounds and start-arounds in the high technology arena. She has helped to define, position and launch over 75 individual products and companies since she began consulting 20 years ago. Her clients who are technology vendors and venture firms leverage her strategic marketing and go-to-market expertise. She identifies and transforms differentiation – customer’s crown jewels – into compelling, customer-centric value that sells. Her business is PeopleWhoKnow. Rebel’s Blog is Phoenix Rising. Rebel’s Twitter handle is RebelBrown

3 great ideas in Rebel’s eBook It’s Not About You Anymore

  • Great positioning tells a compelling, attention-grabbing story – a story that resonates with your audience and will attract prospects and customers to your door, and keep them coming back.
  • Build your positioning using three pivot points(key areas that answer the Who, What, Why and How of any story) and then provide the evidence within each area that best addresses a specific customer scenario.
  • Be prepared to change your positioning as your company evolves.

We have invited Rebel Brown to discuss her eBook It’s Not About You Anymore

Ambal Balakrishnan: Rebel, it is a great pleasure to discuss your latest positioning eBook. Thanx for finding time out of your very busy schedule to provide your valuable insights to our readers. What prompted this eBook?
Rebel Brown: This eBook is an overview of the thought processes I use with clients to create positioning strategies and stories.  It’s also the first step toward a book of the same name that goes into more depth on how to identify true value, evidence that value in compelling ways and spin customer-centric stories that compel our audiences to action.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Who is the audience for your eBook?
Rebel Brown: Positioning is one of the most important things any company can do – perhaps the most important.  Anyone in customer-facing position – from sales to marketing to service – executive management, middle management, product management and even engineering can benefit from this eBook. The eBook is written with technology vendors as a focus – but the lessons can be applied to companies in any industry and of any size – from startups to SMBs to full blown enterprises.

Ambal Balakrishnan: What’s your view on how positioning is done today?
Rebel Brown: That’s a whole book, Ambal 🙂 Seriously, my goal with It’s Not About You Anymore is to teach people how to think about positioning in a more strategic, and much more customer-centric way. We spend too much time discussing positioning internally, and not enough time actively listening to our customers, prospects, partners and the market. We also tend to focus on ‘feeds ns speeds’ and chest thumping claims – instead of telling stories about our customers, their business results and their perspectives. This eBook helps readers focus on their audience and what matters to them.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Why do you think companies haven’t changed the way they position themselves?
Rebel Brown: People and companies get locked into ways of thinking, ‘the way we’ve always done it’ mode.  We also assume that our audience’s are on the same page as we are. We spend our lives focused on our business and the products we deliver to our markets. So it’s natural to focus on what we know, what we believe, what’s comfortable for us. The challenge is that what we ‘know’ often isn’t what our audience believes or cares about.  That’s where the positioning disconnect begins.

Ambal Balakrishnan: What are the 3 key lessons you want readers to take away from your eBook?
Rebel Brown:
I think a reader’s takeaway depends on their own personal perspectives – as with any audience.  That said, there are a few key areas of focus that I think are important, all of which are around the concept of customer and market-centric positioning.

  • Identifying our true value  – through the eyes of our customers
  • Describing our value – 3 Pivot Points of Positioning
  • Spinning stories that touch our audience

Ambal Balakrishnan: What one change would you recommend to a reader of your eBook ‘It’s Not About You Anymore’?
Rebel Brown: Listen to your audience and try to minimize your own opinions.  You may be the subject matter expert – but your audience makes the rules – their perception wins every day. Get out and talk to your believers, your doubters and even your naysayers. They will teach you more about who you are, and the distinct value you bring, than hours of internal debate.

Ambal Balakrishnan: Rebel, thanks for taking the time to discuss your eBook and sharing your insights about positioning in your eBook.
Rebel Brown: Thanks Ambal.

To learn more about customer-centric positioning – Download the FREE eBook

Over to you…

What are the 3 pivot points for your positioning?

How do you tell your message in stories that resonated with your customer?

White Papers – List of Lists – Part 2

This is the third installment of white paper lists for the month of June. The earlier posts on this subject were White Papers – List of “How To” Blog Posts and White Papers – List of Lists – Part 1.

I pulled together a list of lists on white papers. There is a treasure trove of information in these lists on how to write and market white papers. I separated the list into three sections:

  • List of Lists on writing white papers (published last week)
  • List of Lists on marketing white papers (published today)
  • List of Lists on assorted topics related to white papers (will be published later this month)

Buckle up for a fantastic ride!

Blog Posts on Marketing White Papers
3 Worthy White Paper Marketing Tips
A white paper is not an ad. It is a great marketing tool that can deliver qualified leads. Michael Stelzner summarizes Larry Chase’s ideas in his blog post Three Worthy White Paper Marketing Tips.

3 Ways to Make Sure Prospects Find Your White Papers
How do you maximize the visibility of your white papers? Stephanie Tilton shares three proven steps you can take to increase the likelihood that prospects will find and read your papers in her blog post 3 Ways to Make Sure Prospects Find Your White Papers.

4 Ways to Make PDFs Search Engine Friendly
A properly formatted PDF file can actually come up very high on search engine results and translate into more exposure for your white paper. Michael Stelzner shares tips on 4 Ways to Make PDFs Search Engine Friendly.

5 Steps to a White Paper that Pulls in the Perfect Prospect
Many companies fail to connect with the right prospects through their white paper because they commit one or more critical white paper mistakes. Stephanie Tilton gives five key steps that will help you take your white papers to the next level in her eBook 5 Steps to a White Paper that Pulls in the Perfect Prospect.

5 Quick Tips For Using a White Paper Effectively in Your Marketing
Bruce Carlson shares ideas for using a white paper in your non-tech small business or independent practice in his article 5 Quick Tips For Using a White Paper Effectively in Your Marketing.

5 Reasons White Papers Are Marketing Super Weapons
Are you seriously considering adding white papers to your mix of marketing tools? Michael Stelzner explains why in his blog post 5 Reasons White Papers Are Marketing Super Weapons.