Five simple steps to start the conversation (Step 3)

readability

We now know that if you find one emotionally compelling idea and adopt an easy-to-read style your content will be easier to understand.  This week we look at Step #3: Write concisely and to the point.

Step #3: Write concisely and to the point

When writing about complex technical subjects, you need to construct your sentences carefully.  Direct, simple sentences will help get your point across.  In fact, long sentences almost always have complex grammatical structures.  This puts a strain on the reader’s immediate memory.  The reader has to retain several parts of each sentence before he can combine them into a meaningful whole.

Here are a few tricks to help you keep concise and to the point:

Trick #1: Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

The average length of your sentences should be 20 words or fewer

Trick #2: Sentences should focus on one idea

Keep it simple. Cover only one idea per sentence and one theme per paragraph. Get to the point; don’t wander around first.  Find one emotionally compelling idea, as we discussed in the first post in the series.  Find it here.

Trick #3: Use the active voice

Use the active voice.  The passive voice tends to seem evasive:

The standards were breached.

Who breached the standards? As a reader, you might think: Is the writer trying to hide something from me? If you don’t want to appear to be hiding something, you should use active voice:

The refinery breached a water quality standard.

Conclusion

Keep you writing concise and to the point.  Keep sentences short and focused on one idea. Use the active voice.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp. 

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

 

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #4: Make it skim-able

Is your content just noise?

content marketing goals

Introduction

Content without goals is just noise.

Setting goals allows you to measure the success of your content strategy.  Defining goals means everyone on the team understands what the content is intended to achieve and how it will look when that happens.

High-level goals for strategic content marketing in the water industry can be to:

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Drive more traffic to your website.
  • Generate sales leads.
  • Convert more leads into customers.
  • Improve retention and drive upsell.

However, many content marketing plans fail to realize that goals change through the sales funnel.  There are different goals at each stage of the funnel.

content marketing goalsAt the top of the funnel, your goals should be about building awareness of your brand and your solutions.

In the middle, you allow prospects to evaluate whether your solution will indeed solve their problem.

And at the bottom of the funnel, your goals are fundamentally about converting leads into customers.

In this post, we look at possible goals for content marketing through the sales funnel.  Just be sure your goals link back to desired business outcomes.

 

 

Section 1: Goals at the top of the funnel

At the top of the sales funnel you are working to increase awareness of your brand, your solution.  Your prospects are cold.  They may not even know they have a problem much less that you hold the solution.

Therefore, at the top of the funnel your content should provide information to your prospects about a problem in the industry.  A problem with a currently-available solution that may not be quite as good as your solution.

Your actual product should not be touted at the top of the funnel.  Just the science and/or technology of your solution that sets it apart.

Thus, goals at the top of the funnel can be to:

  • Increase awareness
  • Increase engagement
  • Grow website traffic
  • Grow retargeting lists

Not all goals will apply to all situations.  And there may be other goals that suit your business.  Pick the ones that align with your business objectives.

Section 2: Goals in the middle of the funnel

In the middle of the funnel your prospect is evaluating solutions, seeing which solution will solve their problem.  You draw them into the middle of the funnel by offering content they want to download.  You are warming up the prospects and moving them into the funnel with offers.

Offers that must be downloaded.  This gives you the opportunity to collect email addresses.  You can then use email to further engage with the prospect.

Goals in the middle of the funnel may be to:

  • Grow email lists/leads
  • Grow retargeting lists
  • Initial Customer Acquisition

Goals in the middle are about warming up your prospects by allowing them to evaluate all the options.  Getting them to pick your solution happens in the bottom of the funnel.

Section 3: Goals at the bottom of the funnel

At the bottom of the funnel, your prospect is making the decision about your solution.

That means he’s paying more attention to what you offer.  He’s looking at different packages and options.  Your ultimate goal in the bottom of the funnel is to help that prospect make the final decision to purchase.

Goals in the bottom of the funnel are about:

  • Nurturing leads/customers
  • Maximizing immediate customer value
  • Increasing retention
  • Increasing buyer frequency
  • Growing retargeting lists

Again, choose goals that align with your business goals.

Conclusion

content marketing goalsSetting goals for your content marketing strategy is powerful.  Aligning content goals with business goals increases the efficiency and efficacy of you content investment.

Next week we’ll look at what types of content will help you reach your content marketing goals.

 

 

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

 

Five simple steps to start the conversation (Step 2)

readability

We saw in last week’s post that if you find one emotionally compelling idea it will be much easier to write clearly and concisely.  This week we look at Step #2: Use an easy-to-read style.

Step #2: Use an easy-to-read style

When you use an easy-to-read style, your reader can focus on your message rather than muddling through dense text.  These three tricks can help you develop that easy-to-read style.

Trick #1: Use personal pronouns

Using personal pronouns gives your writing a conversational tone.  Personal pronouns seem to connect the reader to the writer.  And that conversational tone helps your reader focus on your message rather than your language.

Just be sure that personal pronouns are right for the content.  It may not be appropriate in every situation.easy-to-read style

Trick #2: Avoid jargon

It’s easy to be drawn to words that are common in your industry. But are they common to your audience?  When writing for non-specialists and you have a choice between words, use the common, everyday word.

A couple further pointers on word choice:

  • Use positive words. Negatives like don’t in front of a verb can make some readers stumble.
  • Avoid long strings of nouns. Sentences with several nouns in a row can be difficult to navigate.
  • Use inclusive language. Unless your document is about men, don’t use only male pronouns (he, his).

Sometimes you may have to use a technical term, even when you’re writing for non-specialists. In that case, choose words that will help your readers.

Trick #3: Avoid padding with words like very, really, actually, or carefully

These words don’t serve any purpose.  Keep in simple, keep it easy to understand.

Conclusion

By adopting an easy-to-read style, you can start a conversation by engaging your audience.  Use personal pronouns, where appropriate.  Avoid jargon by choosing the right word. Avoid padding your text with words that serve no purpose.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp.

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #3: Keep it concise and to the point

A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps

content marketing plan

Introduction

Content is King!

Aren’t you sick of hearing that?  Unfortunately, it’s true…

If you want to generate leads and build thought leadership, you need to publish content.  But without a strategic content marketing plan, it could be difficult to reach your goals.

A robust content marketing strategy, on the other hand, shifts the focus of your content agenda.  It becomes a smart, coordinated approach rather than a mad dash.  An approach that delivers consistent business improvement.

The water industry sales funnel can be divided into three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Evaluation
  • Conversion

At each stage, you can nurture your prospects along by providing valuable content about the problem they are trying to solve.  And information about how your product, process, or service will solve that problem.

With a documented strategy, you can deliver quality content consistently.

So, let’s get started!

Just do it:       A strategic content marketing plan in 5 easy steps

Start the process with a brainstorming session.  In general, people involved in the planning process support the plan’s implementation, Include as many of the team as possible.  Top management to technical experts.  The sales team and the design team.

Step 1:          Goals through the sales funnel

The goals for your content marketing must be consistent with your company’s desired business outcomes.  You need to be able to document which business outcome you want to impact through your content creation.

Remember, content marketing builds trust.  Your company builds trust over time by providing quality information.  Make your content marketing count by defining goals that will impact the desired business outcomes.

In next week’s post, we will take a deep dive into:

  • how to establish goals for content marketing, and
  • how they change through the sales funnel.

Step 2:          Your audience through the sales funnel

In B2B marketing, the sales funnel is long and many people are involved in the decision-making process.  To target your content to the right audience, you will need to identify the key personas in each stage of the sales funnel.  Your content can then be crafted to provide value to each of them.content marketing plan

You also need to understand that your audience is not static or inflexible.  Changes in the market can alter your prospects’ attitudes:

  • Has there been a major weather event (i.e. flood, drought, storms)?
  • Has there been a major change in the regulatory framework?
  • Is a certain sector heading into ‘boom’ conditions?

Be sure to review your personas regularly to reflect these types of changes.

Step 3:          Content through the sales funnel

Now that you understand who your target audience is, as a person, you can start thinking about how to take it to the next level and forge a connection with them. Start a one-on-one conversation.

One way to approach this is to create a story around the desirable qualities and unique value proposition that only your business can provide.

These are your big ideas.  They become the themes in your content calendar.  A calendar that documents the purpose of all your content.  You then break done the big ideas into content-sized chunks.

In a later post in this series, we will look in greater detail at which content types work best at each stage in the sales funnel.

Step 4:          Metrics through the sales funnel

There’s a saying in marketing: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”.  content marketing planIf you want to be able to quantify the return on investment (ROI) in a content marketing campaign, you must be able to measure the response.

It is important to tie the metrics to the goals and objectives of your content marketing strategy.   You must also make sure that systems are in place to track the chosen metric.  Develop procedures to make sure all metrics are monitored and both positive and negative results addressed.

In the final post in this series we will align metrics to your goals and content as they change through the sales funnel.

Step 5:          Plan review through the sales funnel

Your strategic content marketing strategy is a living document.  You need to be reviewing the plan regularly to ensure it remains relevant.  Within the plan itself, specify review periods for all sections of the plan.  Review periods will be different for each section of the plan:

  • Goals – 5-yearly
  • Content Calendar – annually
  • Audience – annually and/or event-based
  • Metrics – quarterly

Give it power             Document your strategic content marketing plan

You pulled together a lot of information, going through this process. Now document it!  You will generate a powerful statement about your intentions.  About how content marketing will achieve your desired business outcomes.

A documented strategy helps you gain support from the executive team.  A plan keeps content producers strategically aligned.

Conclusion

Content is here to stay.  If your company wants to stay on the top pages of Google, it is going to have to use content marketing.  And effective content marketing is only possible with strategic planning.

Go through the process.  Document it.  Implement it.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

Five simple steps to start the conversation

readability

Introduction

Is your content ‘talking’ to your audience?

The whole point of marketing is to start a one-on-one conversation between two people.  Ultimately a conversation between your sales person and their business manager. one compelling idea

Your product is complex and technical.  That’s fine.  But if your content is hard to understand the conversation may never get started.  You need to simplify the language in your content to make your complex, technical product understandable.

In this series of posts, we look at how to simplify your writing using five simple steps.  But first we should understand how readability is assessed.

Readability: Flesch Kincaid (FK) Explained

The Flesch Kincaid readability assessment was developed to assess the difficulty of reading materials for upper elementary through secondary grades.  Although the FK test was developed to assess reading material for students, the FK score is basically about the readability of the text.  A scale based on a formula.

The FK (as it is known) looks at these factors in a piece of writing:

  • # of letters per word: more letters, more difficult to read.
  • # of words per sentence: more words, more difficult to read.
  • # of sentences per paragraph: more sentences, more difficult to read.
  • % passive sentences: more passive sentences, more difficult to read.

Word processing software can review documents and report on two FK parameters:

  • Flesch reading ease, and
  • FK grade level.

The Flesch reading ease assessment is reported as a percent and the higher the better.  And for persuasive content writing, a FK grade level score of 8 or less is best.

Although the FK score can help you improve the clarity of your writing, it does have drawbacks.  Of course, you should avoid jargon and technical terms as much as possible but sometimes it just can’t be helped.  Just be aware that your FK score may creep up if you rely too much on these less familiar and less used terms.

Remember, a bad readability score does mean reading will be difficulty.  But a good readability score does not in itself mean the writing was good.

 

Now on to Step #1 of 5 that will start you on your road to content that is easily understood.

Step #1: Find one emotionally compelling idea

The most powerful aid to clear, concise writing is to identify an emotionally compelling idea.  One that engages the reader or listener on two levels: emotionally and rationally.

It doesn’t have to be factual. But it does need to feel like it is or should be true. It must be so emotionally attractive the reader wants to believe it.one compelling idea

An emotionally compelling idea must generate a feeling of discovering something new and useful.  Something new to think about and share.

How to find that emotionally compelling idea.

There is no substitute for research.  You need to know the topic – your product – and its features and benefits. You need to know your audience and their needs.

It always helps to start with a brainstorming session.  Whether alone or with your team, think about all the features and benefits of your product.  If an emotionally compelling idea doesn’t jump off the page, which it most likely won’t, more research is required.

After further research into features/benefits and your audience’s needs, you then repeat the brainstorming activity.  Once you really understand the values and benefits, one benefit will stand out.  Turn that one benefit into an emotionally compelling idea.

Put that emotionally compelling idea right up front

First things first.  By putting your main message right up front, your reader is more likely to come away with at least that message.  You can help your reader by:

  • Stating the subject of an email in the subject line.
  • Including an executive summary with a white paper.
  • Stating the basic facts about a news item in the first sentence or two of a news release.

An introduction is also helpful, regardless of the length of your document.

Conclusion

Studies have shown that people like to know what they’re in for right from the start.  Put your emotionally compelling idea right up front.  In primary school, they taught us that when writing a report, you should:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them,
  • tell them,
  • then tell them what you told them.

It still applies today.  Put the emotionally compelling idea up front and draw your audience through to the call-to-action.

 

Do you have a white paper or case study that didn’t bring the return on investment you had hoped for?  Perhaps it needs a Readability Revamp. 

I am a water quality scientist with fantastic writing skills.  I offer a service that can improve your content’s ROI.  I take the text and bring the FK score down.  I improve the readability without “dumbing” it down. By increasing understanding, I help your readers take the action you desire.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

 CONTACT ME

 

Stay tuned next week for Step #2: Use an easy-to-read style

Is your SEO strategy letting you down?

content marketing SEO

Introduction

Is your SEO strategy letting you down?

A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy based on keywords may not get you to the first page of a Google anymore.  Search engines no longer focus on single keywords.  Instead, they try to work out the intent of the user.  And what content will answer the user’s question.

As search engines get more sophisticated, so should your SEO.  It is all about content now.  In fact, content is king! We’ve all heard it, right?

It this blog we’ll look at how developing and documenting a strategic content marketing plan can send you back to the top of the search list.

What happened that makes content marketing so important to SEO?

In traditional SEO, you would scatter identified keywords throughout your website and social media sites.  To get the attention of search engines, you would put keywords both in the text and it the meta data.

Then, in 2013, the game changed.  Google introduced a new search algorithm, Hummingbird, that is much better at guessing the user’s intent.  Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query.  The whole sentence or conversation or meaning is considered, rather than particular keywords.

The bottom line is that Hummingbird is looking for content.  These days, to stay at the top of the search results, you need to supply quality content and supply it consistently.

Why bother with a strategic content marketing plan?

Content marketing has proven benefits for the water industry.  The most often-cited benefits are:

  • Generating leads
  • Building brand awareness
  • Engaging with prospects

Strategic content marketing benefits the water industry in other ways as well.  Water and wastewater treatment plants are big-ticket items with long service lives.  A sale depends on connecting with multiple decision makers.  Content marketing can help progress leads through this sometimes long, sales funnel.content marketing SEO

The best way to ensure quality and consistency in your content is to have a plan.  A strategic content marketing plan.

A robust content marketing strategy shifts the focus of your content agenda.  Rather than a mad dash, it’s a smart, coordinated approach.  An approach that delivers consistent business improvement.  With a documented strategy, you can deliver quality content consistently.

A strategic content marketing plan:

  • Identifies goals for content marketing that align with desired business outcomes.
  • Describes your audience and how that audience changes through the sales funnel.
  • Contains a content calendar that uses topics and tactics to lead your audience where you want them to go.
  • Assigns metrics that will allow you to measure the success of your content marketing campaign.
  • Schedules regular plan reviews to ensure continued relevance.

If you document your plan it becomes even more powerful.  Use it to engage management, the sales team, the entire work force.

Conclusion

Search engines are now focusing on the user’s intent rather than on specific keywords.  To stay at the top of the search results you must supply quality content consistently.

In the coming weeks, we will look in more detail at how to develop a strategic content marketing plan.

 

Do you have trouble producing enough content to satisfy your audience?  Do you struggle producing white papers and case studies? Lack the time to write those blogs, that newsletter article?

I am an expert water quality scientist with experience in the water industry. I understand the science behind your solutions.  I can interpret the jargon.  I can explain complex ideas in simple terms and compel your prospects into action.

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

Does your water industry writer have these 5 key skills? (Final)

research skills

So far in this series we have seen the importance of writing well, water knowledge, understanding your prospects, and research skills.  This week, in the final post of the series we discuss Skill #5.

Skill #5:           Planning Skills

Writers have a dubious reputation when it comes to planning and project management.  You need a writer who can plan your content project and carry out that plan.  You need to know your content investment, which may be significant, will provide a good ROI.

You need to make sure that your efforts are focused on achieving business objectives.  It’s not about the content.  It’s about the business outcomes that the content can achieve.

What should be in the plan?

  • Goals: Ensure the content will align with your business goals.
  • Audience: Be clear about your target audience.
  • Content asset: Make sure the type of content is right for the target audience.
  • Call to action: Identify what you want the prospect to do after accessing the content.
  • Keywords: List keywords your target audience is searching for.
  • Research: Describe sources for further research
  • Overview: Outline a high-level overview of the content.
  • Review: Streamline the review process by identifying all reviewers in the plan.

Each content project must be planned, no matter how seemingly trivial.  You should find a writer that appreciates the importance of planning.  A writer who can help you plan and can then execute that plan.

Conclusion

We have explored 5 key skills your water industry writer should have:

  • Writing well. Able to convey complex scientific and technical information in clear concise language.
  • Water knowledge. Able to explain and illustrate large data sets using graphs, tables, conceptual diagrams, infographics.
  • Understands the water industry audience. Knows your prospects’ pain points and understands how your audience can change through the sales funnel.
  • Research skills. Able to find the evidence that proves your process and translate complex jargon into plain language.
  • Planning skills. Able to plan and execute the project effectively and efficiently.

If you want to build awareness of your products and services, you must publish quality content.  Of course, your company is full of talented people.  They all work hard in their core areas.  Pulling people out of productive roles to write content may not be cost effective.

In that case, hiring a freelance writer is the best option.  Finding a writer is easy.  Finding a good, much less an excellent one, is tough.

So, next time you’re looking for a freelance writer, be sure to check for the five skills we’ve looked at here.

 

To keep these key skills in mind, download and print the handy infographic:

5 Key Skills You Want in a Water Industry Writer

DOWNLOAD A FREE INFOGRAPHIC

 

Contact Water Copy for all your content writing requirements.

CONTACT ME

 

 

Have any idea who read your last white paper? You need metrics.

measure white paper success

Introduction

Who read your last white paper?

You’ve made a big investment in terms of time, money, and yes, your personal reputation on this white paper.  You told management a strategic white paper campaign would send your conversion rates soaring.measure white paper success

You’ve released the first white paper and are promoting it effectively (see this recent post on promoting white papers here).  Is it working?  Is the white paper achieving the goals set for it?  How can you tell?

Metrics.  Metrics are things you can count.  Things that measure the response to actions taken.  It has long been recognized that if you don’t measure it you can’t improve it.  That applies to many aspects of business.  Marketing is no exception.

In last week’s post, we discussed promoting your white paper.  This week we think about how to measure the effectiveness of the white paper campaign.  And how to measure the effectiveness of the promotions.

Metrics to use to tell if your white paper is a success

At each stage of the white paper promotion there is a metric you can measure.  There are metrics for:

  • Your landing page
  • Your website promotion
  • Your newsletter and email promotions
  • Your social media promotion.

Then we look at the key metrics in any marketing campaign: those that measure the Return on Investment (ROI).

The landing page

The landing page is a critical link in both the promotion of the white paper and in measuring success.  Key metrics to use:

Metric:              Downloads

  • The # of times a PDF of the white paper was downloaded from the landing page.
  • A key metric to track the reach of a white paper.

Metric:              Landing page bounce rate

  • The ratio of visitors who leave a landing page quickly, as though they weren’t interested.
  • To measure roughly how engaging a landing page is to visitors.

Metric:              Registrations

  • The # of visitors who filled in a form so they could view or download the white paper.
  • To count how many prospects a white paper generated.

Website promotions

You can check interest in, and the reach of, the white paper through these metrics:

Metric:              Clicks

  • The # of times anyone clicked on an ad for a white paper.
  • A way to measure interest in a white paper; used to calculate CTR (see next).

Metric:              Click Through Rate (CTR)

  • The total # of clicks divided by the total # of impressions for an ad.
  • To measure the effectiveness of a web banner or pay-per-click ad.

Metric:              Page views

  • The number of times a webpage with an HTML white paper was visited.
  • To measure the reach of a white paper formatted in HTML rather than PDF.

Metric:              Permalinks

  • The number of times the white paper was linked by other blogs.
  • To measure the reach of a white paper in the blogosphere.

Newsletter and email promotions

Newsletter and email promotions are extremely cost effective.  These metrics will help you measure the robustness of your email list and the effectiveness of the newsletter/email campaign.

Metric:              Email bounce rates

  • The # of undeliverable emails divided by the total # of emails sent.
  • To measure the quality of an email list.

Metric:              Opens

  • The # of people who opened an email for a white paper.
  • To calculate the open rate (see next).

Metric:              Open rate

  • The total # of opens divided by the total # of emails sent.
  • To measure the effectiveness of an email campaign for a white paper.

Social media promotions

The social media promotion is about building your brand, your thought leadership.  These metrics help you determine the reach of your social media campaign:

Metric:              Comments

  • The # of comments posted after a post about a white paper.
  • To measure the reach of the white paper content in the blogosphere.

Metric:              Likes

  • The # of times something was “liked” on social media.
  • To measure the reach of a white paper on social media; may not be relevant to sales.

Metric:              Reposts

  • The # of time a white paper was reposted or quoted in other blogs.
  • To measure the reach of a white paper content in the blogosphere.

Metric:              Retweets

  • The # of times a white paper was retweeted on Twitter.
  • To measure the reach of a white paper on social media; may not be relevant to sales.

Return on investment

This is where your reputation stands or falls.  These are the numbers that business owners and chief executives focus on.  Revenue and sales.  Metrics for determining the ROI of a white paper campaign are:

Metric:              Cost-per-lead

  • The total cost of a campaign divided by the # of leads generated.
  • To compare the cost effectiveness of various campaigns and tactics.

Metric:              Leads

  • The # of leads generated by the white paper, qualified by marketing, and passed on to sales.
  • A key metric to track the marketing ROI on a white paper campaign.

Metric:              Revenues

  • The amount of revenue resulting from sales to qualified leads generated by this white paper.
  • Probably the most important metric of all, and very persuasive if you can track it.

Metric:              Sales

  • The # of sales resulting from qualified leads generated by a white paper.
  • A key metric to track the results generated by a white paper campaign.

Conclusion

Whichever metric you decide to monitor, keep it up.  Gather data.  Try different headlines.  Optimize the landing page.  Learn what you audience responds to.  That is the power of metrics and it is pure gold.

 

A persuasive white paper uses simple language to explain complex technologies.  In this special report, you will discover the true value of a persuasive white paper.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE REPORT

 

 

 

Does your water industry writer have these 5 key skills? (Part 4)

research skills

Since we started looking at key skills for a water industry writer, we have looked at writing well, water knowledge and understanding your audience.  In this week’s post, we look at Skill #4.

Skill #4:           Research Skills

As we have gone through critical skills for writers there is one you may not have thought about. Research skills.  You need a writer able to find the background information that supports your solution.  In journal articles, in conference proceedings, in industry publications.  The information could be anywhere: blogs, on line resources.  Even on your competitor’s website.

You need that writer to be able to synthesize all that information.  Someone who can take complex ideas and explain them simply.

Your prospects don’t really want to know all the intricate details.  They do want to know that the technology is proven.  They want to have it explained clearly and simply.

A water industry writer needs to be able to find the evidence that proves your process.  Who stays abreast of the latest developments in the scientific literature.  Who can take complex ideas and explain them in clear and simple terms.

 

I love a good lit review!  I keep up with the latest in wastewater treatment, subscribe to newsletters, belong to industry associations.  No one else researches the problems you solve like I do.  Let me put my skills to work for you- contact me today!

Contact me to discuss your next content project.

CONTACT ME

 

And next week in the final post in this series Skill #5:       Planning Skills

6 Essential Promotions for a Successful White Paper

 Introduction

Is your white paper being read, shared?

If it isn’t, it might be that you haven’t been promoting it effectively.

Promoting your white paper is critical to its success.  As content marketing tactics go, white papers are a sizable investment.  You want to make sure it does its job.  That means promotion.promoting white paper success

It is important that the marketing team understands that the more effort they invest in promoting a white paper, the more likely it is that it will succeed.  There are six separate yet equal aspects to a successful white paper promotion.

It is important to think about promotion very early in the white paper process.  And to continue that process until the very end:

  • During white paper drafting.
  • Upon release on the white paper.
  • And for long after the white paper is released.

There are many more ways to promote your white paper but the six we discuss here are essential for a credible ROI.

6 Essential Promotions for White Paper Success

All six promotions are essential for white paper success.

  1. Website promotions

The obvious place to start to promote your white paper is on your website.  Feature the white paper prominently on the home page.  Place an action button prominently, linking to the white paper landing page.  Collect emails and names.

Your company blog is another channel on your website.  Post a blog about your white paper launch.  Post another one with a summary of the white paper.  That will either entice a prospect to download the whole thing or, if only the blog is read, will continue to build awareness of your brand.

You can also repurpose the white paper content into posts but that is a topic all in itself.  Stay tuned in coming weeks for a post about repurposing white paper content.

  1. Newsletter promotions

Newsletters are another obvious choice to promote a white paper.  Place an ‘ad’ in the sidebar of the first page of the newsletter.  Have a compelling button that again links to that all-important landing page.

You could write a small article that summarizes the white paper and place it in the newsletter.

It is also a good idea to arrange for it to be mentioned in your channel partners’ newsletters.

  1. Email promotions

Email is a cost-effective way of promoting your white paper.  You can:

  • E-mail it to your sales force to educate them in the key benefits.
  • E-mail it to your channel partners – your distributors and dealers.  They too will benefit from understanding all the features and benefits of the new product or service.
  • E-mail it to your house list of prospects and clients. Get it out there and get it shared.
  1. Social media promotions

Speaking of sharing, social media is another essential promotion for your white paper.  You need to tweet about it on Twitter.  You need to announce it to any appropriate LinkedIn groups.  Place links on all social media sites, linking back to the landing page on your website.

  1. External promotions

There is nothing wrong with the old favorites.  Press releases are still effective at spreading the word.  Go ahead, publish a press release about it.

  • Send the press release along with a copy of the white paper to journalists who cover your space.
  • Send the press release along with a copy of the white paper to bloggers who cover your space.

Don’t forget, there are sites where you can post your white paper for free.  Use all available channels.

  1. Internal and personal networking promotions

Promoted internally, white papers can educate your sales team.  That sales team is then better able to promote the white paper! Beautiful.

A slide deck and presentation based on white paper content is effective for educating and networking.  The same presentation given to the sales team can be presented at networking events, like association meetings, conferences, workshops.  All great places to promote the white paper.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to promote your next white paper, just remember to maintain the push.  You must promote for months to get full value out of your white paper.  Promote strongly right up to when the next white paper is released.

And remember: if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.  Next week we will look at how to measure the impact of your white paper promotion efforts.

 

 

A persuasive white paper uses simple language to explain complex technologies.  In this special report, you will discover the true value of a persuasive white paper.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE REPORT