The distribution plan for your white paper is almost as important as the white paper itself.
After all, the whole purpose of a white paper is persuasion and that can't happen unless you get your white paper in the hands of the right people.
Including a white paper link on your website is fine, but let's be honest – no one is going to scour the Internet to look for your white papers and most of the visitors to your site won't even notice your white paper is there.
An effective white paper distribution plan is proactive. Instead of waiting for readers to find you, you need to go out and find them. Here's how to do it.
Traditional Distribution Channels
- Prospects – White papers have historically been distributed to sales prospects as marketing tools. Just keep in mind that white papers are only effective during the early stages of the sales cycle.
- Existing Customers – If your white paper discusses an improvement of an existing product or something that might be of interest to previous customers, consider a targeted mailing to existing customers who are likely to make a repeat purchase.
- Influential Contacts – Influential contacts are the highest value targets in white paper distribution. Leverage pre-existing relationships to get your white papers in the hands of people whose opinions matter to clusters of prospects.
Online Distribution Channels
- Social Media – Social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook offer tremendous opportunities for white paper distribution. Diligently recruit a solid network of followers and send them the link to white papers on your website.
- Industry Blogs – Most industries have blogs and other online outlets with industry-related content. If you can't promote your white paper on the blog for free, purchase advertising on the blog (it's cheap) with a link to your white papers.
- Forums – Online forums are places where people congregate around specific topics. Identify trade forums with communities who go nuts for your white paper topics and become a forum participant – but make sure to include links to your white papers in your posts.