White Papers – List of Lists – Part 1

This is the second installment of white paper lists for the month of June. The first installment was White Papers – List of “How To” Blog Posts. I have put 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 today)
  • List of Lists on marketing white papers (will be published later this month)
  • List of Lists on assorted topics related to white papers (will be published later this month)

Speaking of white papers, White Paper Guru Michael Stelzner is holding an exclusive hands-on event designed to equip you with everything you need to know to create and market compelling white papers – White Paper Boot Camp in San Diego on Aug 7, 2009. Do not miss this great opportunity to learn how to create and market white papers from the Guru himself. Register today and reserve your seat.

List of Lists on writing white papers

1 Unusual Way to Find White Paper Content
Michael Stelzner says that coming up with great content is half the battle in completing a white paper and recommends that you simply pick up the phone and talk to an expert. Read his blog post on 1 Unusual Way to Find White Paper Content.

3 Simple Title Tweaks That Can Help White Paper Marketers Drive More Leads
You have created the perfect white paper.  But you can’t drive leads or close sales if your target market doesn’t notice it. Kate Headen advises that grabbing your prospect’s attention is as easy as spending some focused energy on your title. Read her blog post 3 Simple Title Tweaks That Can Help White Paper Marketers Drive More Leads.

3 Tips When Writing Benefits
When writing to persuade, some of the most powerful statements are benefits. These single sentences address the selfish desires of every reader’s question, “What’s in it for me?” Michael Stelzner shares tips to help you write your benefit statements in his blog post 3 Tips When Writing Benefits.

3 Ways to Appeal to Readers & Skimmers
Graham Strong shares his insights on how to make it easier for skimmers to pick out the main points in your white paper. Read his blog post 3 Ways to Appeal to Readers & Skimmers.

3 Red Flags That Your Writing is Losing People
How to tell if your work has bumps that are preventing reader’s from reaching the end? Read Michael Stelzner’s Three Red Flags That Your Writing is Losing People.

3 Tips for Writing Headlines
A good headline means success or failure for your white paper, blog entry or any other form of writing. Get Michael Stelzner’s insights from his blog post 3 Tips for Writing Headlines.

4 Tips to Add Personality to Your Writing
How can you spice up your writing? Michael Stelzner shares some proven ideas in his blog post 4 Tips to Add Personality to Your Writing.

5 ways to develop an objective, informative white paper
White papers too often fall short of their fundamental purpose of informing their audience with useful, in—depth information, and instead simply promote a company’s offerings and tout the solution’s benefits. Read Hoffman Marcom’s The top five ways to develop an objective, informative white paper.

5 Steps to a Great White Paper Introduction
“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” This is certainly the case with your white paper introduction. Jonathan Kantor’s shares his ideas on how to improve your white paper introductions that will garner greater reader affinity and effectiveness. Read his blog post 5 Steps to a Great White Paper Introduction.

5 Tips to Best Utilize your Sidebar White Space
How can you best utilize sidebar space to gain maximum reader attention for your key white paper messages? Read Jonathan Kantor’s blog post 5 Tips to Best Utilize your Sidebar White Space.

5 Tips for Better White Papers
High tech buyers see white papers as very influential on the buying decision. Read Alison Harrison’s article 5 Tips for Better White Papers to explore ways to improve white papers to catch the attention of those buyers.

5 White Paper Size Reduction Strategies
Which sections in your white paper draft make the most sense to reduce or eliminate without sacrificing the impact and marketability of your white paper? Read Jonathan Kantor’s blog post 5 White Paper Size Reduction Strategies.

6 Tips When Using Executive Summaries
How do you create an executive summary or an abstract. Read Michael Stelzner’s and Jonathan Kantor’s insights – 6 Tips When Using Executive Summaries.

7 Important Distinctions When Writing To Businesses
Understand the challenges of the business audience and you will increase your success when communicating to them in writing. Read Michael Stelzner’s and Bob Bly’s thoughts on how to communicate with your business audience – 7 Important Distinctions When Writing To Businesses.

10 Ways to Make Your Words Captivate
Whether you write blogs, ad copy or white papers, Michael Stelzner’s ideas will help your words grab and maintain the attention of any reader. Read his blog post on 10 Ways to Make Your Words Captivate.

10 Tips on Writing White Papers Darren Barefoot
Read Darren Barefoot’s Ten Tips on Writing White Papers for improving your white papers writing and marketing effort.

10 Words to Avoid in Your Writing
Some words spark interest and draw in readers. Other words send people running for the hills. Michael Stelzner gives the most overused words in white papers in his blog post 10 Words to Avoid in Your Writing.

10 Days to a Better White paper
Jim  Lodico has great thoughts in his series of blog posts Writing for both the Quick Read and Close Read, The Call to Action, Writing the Draft, The Power of Prewriting, Research and the Power of the Third Party Source, The Importance of Your Target Audience, Choosing a Winning Topic and Define Your Objectives.

11 Tips for Writing a Really, Really Bad White Paper
How to write a white paper that scares Google away, annoys your readers and doesn’t create any leads? Read Amanda Arthur’s article 11 Tips for Writing a Really, Really Bad White Paper

Over to you….

What is the one tip you will put to use in creating white papers?

Tips on how to write a better Case Study

Case studies are the perfect marketing tool. The best way to convey your marketing message is through the voice of a successful and happy customer. We have invited Case Study Experts to shed light on the following question: If you could give our readers one tip on how to write a better case study, what would that be? Read on to get their insights.

Recommended Resources from Experts on Case Studies




Casey Hibbard

Blog Stories That Sell Twitter Casey_Hibbard

“Always write for your audience”

Casey Hibbard’s Bio

Casey Hibbard is the founder and principal of Compelling Cases, Inc. Over the past decade, she has created and managed nearly 500 customer stories for dozens of companies, including Level 3, USA.NET, Jobfox, Qwest, Great-West Healthcare, Vocus and Verio. She is the author of the first published book on the topic of customer case studies, Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset.

Casey Hibbard’s Tip

The best case studies will create an “aha” for your prospects. To do that, stay absolutely focused on the audience. From the questions you ask to customer quotes to the headline, everything should be focused on the messages you want your specific audience to know.

Define your audience on an organizational and individual level. For example, your audience might be a director of HR at a small to midsize manufacturing company. Or maybe it’s the senior systems architect of a large healthcare company. What one type of prospect wants to know is different from another. Always write for the audience.

Casey Hibbard Recommends

Cindy King

Blog CindyKing Twitter CindyKing

“Remember the international reach of your case studies”

Cindy King’s Bio

Cindy King is a Cross-Cultural Marketer & International Sales Specialist based in France.  She uses her dual background in sales & marketing, in international business development, to help businesses improve their international sales conversion. She is also adept at content marketing, international web marketing and social media marketing.

Cindy King’s Tip

Remember the international reach of your case studies.  Case studies are used to reach clients through: Content marketing plans, Social media marketing campaigns, Web marketing. When case studies are used online these case studies reach international readers too.  If you want to avoid pushing away these international readers you should give a little thought into how you write your case studies. For example:

  • Write with extreme clarity to make comprehension easy for non-native English speakers too
  • Be sure to explain the process outlined in the story in a way that is easy to understand for people who live elsewhere

This way your case study will appeal to a broader audience. If you want to be proactive in developing these international markets you can even use case studies within an international lead generation strategy.  This is where you use country and industry specific case studies to connect with foreign customers in a strategy of international business development. To write better case studies within an international lead generation strategy you need to get your strategy right before you start. 

Cindy King Recommends

Michele Linn

Blog Savvy B2B Marketing Twitter MicheleLinn

“Know your audience”

Michele Linn’s Bio

Michele Linn is a freelance marketing writer specializing creating buyer-focused B2B marketing content, such as white papers, research reports, feature articles and case studies.  Her business is devoted to making the job of B2B marketers easier by producing effective content and providing insights on how they can market it. Her website is Linn Communications.

Michele Linn’s Tip

Know your audience! Every case study should be targeted at one specific audience; a one-size fits all approach is not effective.  Understanding your audience can impact who you will interview, what questions you will ask, what facts you will focus on, what format you will use and how you will promote your case study. For instance, if you are targeting your case study at an executive decision-maker, you need to interview a person who is in the same role, write the story using terms this person understands and focus on details that are relevant to this person, such as ROI or the cost of implementation.  This would be an entirely different story than one targeted at technical users who may want a more detailed explanation of how the tool works.

Michele Linn Recommends

Stephanie Tilton

Blog Savvy B2B Marketing Twitter StephanieTilton

 “Break out of the one-size-fits-all mindset”

Stephanie Tilton’s Bio

Stephanie Tilton is an expert case study and white paper writer who helps B2B companies advance the sales cycle by engaging prospects and customers. Harnessing her unique blend of technical knowledge, marketing savvy, and writing skills, Stephanie has crafted nearly 100 case studies and white papers for leading brands such as Akamai Technologies, EMC, Macromedia, Novell, SAP, and Symantec. Her website is Tenton Marketing.

Stephanie Tilton’s Tip

According to MarketingSherpa, less than 38% of B2B marketers say they tailor their content to specific stages of the buying cycle.[Source: MarketingSherpa’s 2008-2009 Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide]. That fact is clear when it comes to case studies. The majority of companies produce one-size-fits-all versions of these powerful marketing tools.

Unfortunately, the standard “problem-solution-results” case-study formula doesn’t resonate with every person involved in the buying process. For example, technical evaluators making a short list of possible solutions want different details than business users who are just starting to explore options. The most effective approach is to align case studies with the buying process and each prospect’s role in that process.

Continue to produce case studies that help prospects visualize how the solution will help them overcome business challenges or achieve their goals. But don’t forget to offer stories that address common objections early in the buying cycle. And make sure you satisfy the needs of technical evaluators, who want to read lessons learned by customers that have already implemented the solution.

Stephanie Tilton Recommends

Best of Content Marketing Blogs – May 09

There are thousands of posts being published on various blogs every month. With our busy schedules, it sometimes proves difficult to keep track of them all. We scan quickly our RSS readers then move on to other tasks, wondering if we’ve missed some gems along the way. It’s in this spirit that we’ve put together a recap of the best of Content Marketing blogs! Here we’ve chosen 5 not-to-be-missed blog posts that contains great thinking. Ready?

Anti-Starbucks filmmakers hijack the coffee company’s own Twitter marketing campaign

Do you still wonder if social media can have a real influence on your business? Simon Owens portrays on Bloggasm the story of Robert Greenwald, who held anti-Starbucks campaigns on Twitter and succeeded in hijacking their social media campaigns. We mentioned a few times that we were experiencing a shift of power from corporations towards the public and individuals – this post by Owens will tell you how it happens. Great read!

The Content Marketing Two-Step Trap

Patsi Krakoff explains here two common mistakes content marketers might fall into, and I quote:

  1. If you write to educate and entertain, people may love you for it, but so what? They read, say “hmmm!”, then click away, and it’s bye-bye. Gone. Where’s the money in that?
  2. If you write to persuade people to hire you or buy from you, then you risk turning them off with sleazy sales copywriting techniques. You may make a few sales, but readers won’t subscribe and they won’t come back.

Does it feel like this might be a trap you fell into? Check out her post and learn how to avoid this fate!

Marketo Sales Insights – A 6th-Sense Advantage for Sales Effectiveness

Lead generation is one of the main leitmotiv of B2B interactions, but is also extremely hard to harness and measure. Ardath Albee presents great thoughts on a product called Sales Insight, which “enables sales to work more collaboratively with marketing in a natural and real-time manner.” That definitely got us curious!

Amusement Park + Content Marketing + DINU = Hogwarts

Content marketing as an amusement park? Or as Harry Potter? That might seem a far stretch, but come to think of it, the author has an interesting point – content marketing strategies don’t have to be applied only to your writings. It goes well beyond that. Inspiring post (that also makes really good use of an editorial calendar!)

Why You Need to Publish a Custom Book: Q & A with Eloqua’s Steven Woods

Joe Pulizzi mentions that writing a book “that positions you as a trusted expert in your field.” In that spirit, he interviews in this post author Steven Woods, who just released a book called Digital Body Language, about the purpose, process and promotion that comes with writing a book. It was very nice to read about an insider’s perspective.

Did we miss out on something? Did you enjoy this recap? Comments are open! Also, you can subscribe to this blog for free – we offer both email and RSS subscriptions!

9 Ways People Respond to Your Content Online by Rajesh Setty – A review

We’ve been talking about Content Marketing for some time now, providing you with what we hope are insightful thoughts and advices on building great content. We haven’t approached yet how to measure if your content strategy is proving to be successful or not and thought it was time to do so! Indeed, producing meaningful posts is one thing, but if you can’t engage your audience, you’re wasting both your time and your reader’s time and money. So how can you determine the level of engagement you’re getting from your readers?

Rajesh Setty is a prominent entrepreneur and blogger. If you haven’t had a look at his LifeBeyondCode blog yet, please do! Rajesh has produced a very interesting article last week on Lateral Action called 9 Ways People Respond to Your Content Online. This struck us as a fantastic way to determine how readers are engaging with your content. As you can see from the image above, Rajesh pinpoints 9 elements that describes how readers interact with a piece of writing – it starts with content seen as spam up to content so good you want to subscribe. Simple scale, high impact.

How does your content measure up next to these steps? If most of your content can be classified as high value, congratulations! You’re doing a great job and keep going! If you get very little feedback from your readers, this could mean you create very little engagement with your content. How can you know for sure?

  • No one comments on your blog, though you do get visitors.
  • Your feedburner stats are desperately low.
  • You can’t seem to be able to generate discussions or reactions from other blogs or sources.
  • Your Alexa ranking is decreasing.

These are all elements that could let you think you are not successful at creating content that engages your audience. A great way to remedy to this situation is to ask your readers how you can improve your content. Have a look at Uservoice, a website that enables people to leave feedback and suggestions on your site. You can set up a free profile for people to use. By the way, we would love to know how we can improve this blog. You can share your thoughts on our own Uservoice page, by email or through comments. As Rajesh pointed out, “learn from the feedback and incorporate this learning into your next article.” That’s exactly what we’re intending to do!