What to write white papers about? With these topics you are never wrong

No question: Whitepapers are indispensable in B2B marketing. We explained why in our previous blog post. But which topics are suitable for a successful whitepaper? What is worth talking about? We’re sorry, but: we don’t have the perfect whitepaper topic for you here – but we do have lots of tips on how to find it for your individual target audience.

 

Use your industry expertise

As a B2B company, chances are that you are well versed in a particular subject area – your industry. Even if you are not aware of it, this means valuable and relevant knowledge for your audience! Not every decision-maker already knows as much as you do. Support these people and share your knowledge on key industry issues, trends or developments. Especially relevant: How do you, as a practically implementing company, assess the importance of these topics? Where do you see stumbling blocks – and how do your customers avoid them elegantly? These are all questions to which B2B decision-makers would like to have an experienced and as objective answer as possible.

It is also helpful to share your own experiences with your target audience. We all make mistakes – but not everyone has to make every mistake themselves. Why not share your best tips and tricks for avoiding them in your next white paper? Or focus directly on your personal best practices. As long as practical application and added value remain central, there is no reason why you shouldn’t include your product in them. Maybe you are writing such a solution-oriented white paper for your existing customers? 

Deliver new insights with whitepapers 

As an industry expert, you also have the opportunity to publish surveys and studies. Provide interesting insights into your target industry and draw an industry comparison. This way your contacts can locate themselves. Make sure, however, that you conduct your studies professionally. Otherwise the damage will be greater than a possible profit. 

Most likely, your research and development department also regularly develops new (scientific) findings. Although these are often very specific, it may be worthwhile to work on and publish individual topics for your customers, not just the scientific community. The perception as an industry expert is thus assured! 

Whitepaper Source Customer Service

When it comes to potential pitfalls, there is also another source of information: Your customer service. This is where a lot of questions and problems come up every day. Your colleagues in the service department can certainly tell you about some topics that come up time and again. So kill two birds with one stone: Thanks to your white paper, your customers have access to instant online help. And your customer service will be happy to receive fewer inquiries. Your far-sighted approach also contributes to customer satisfaction – because if problems arise, you can provide immediate and detailed help so that dissatisfaction does not arise in the first place. 

 

Provide guidance for improvement

In general: Helping people to help themselves is a wonderful topic for your whitepaper! Empower your users with how-to’s and instructions to solve other industry issues themselves. Especially entertaining whitepapers with a strong focus on implementation are met with great interest. So share your knowledge and expertise without shyness! Your audience will appreciate it. 

The beginning of the sales funnel is also becoming increasingly important. This is because fewer and fewer B2B decision-makers want to talk to a sales representative as early as the research and information phase. Instead, they use content that they can find online and compile independently. Informative documents and decision-making aids are practical text genres for this. Customer studies are also read with pleasure to get a concrete impression of your work. And it pays off: about half of all decision-makers consume between 3 and 5 different types of content before they contact sales. Another quarter reads even more. (Source: DemandGen: 2020 Content Preferences Report) 

Also important: Give orientation in the jungle of products and suppliers. Explain as objectively as possible how the various alternatives differ and for whom they are best suited. Depending on the offer, comparative tables are a worthwhile way of presenting them. However, please do not develop an advertising brochure as a whitepaper! This misses the point of the text type. If, on the other hand, you offer a serious decision-making aid, the readers will appreciate it. 

 

Your perfect whitepaper

There are endless exciting topics for whitepapers in B2B. Depending on your audience and current needs, there are different formats for every taste. In any case, we wish you every success in creating your perfect whitepaper!

Author: Mareike Schindler

28 May 2020

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