Even after the pandemic, most companies in B2B business want to expand their digital sales channels. White papers are the perfect door openers, but also much more.
These figures say it all: before the pandemic, not even half of B2B business leaders felt that digital sales were equally or more important to them than direct sales. During the pandemic, the share increased to more than two thirds. Now, with the foreseeable end of the Corona crisis, we want to 80 per cent further intensify their digital sales channels. It almost seems as if they have become addicted to it in the lock-down.
However, selling digitally means, as we all know: 57 per cent of the decision-making processes have already taken place before the decision-makers contact a sales representative for the first time. To address customers under such conditions, sellers therefore need one thing first: data.
We don't have to explain to you how the associated deal works. Content against data is a business model that has long been standard in the advertising world and one of the best methods of lead generation. The question of what and how much data a user might give away seems less trivial. For a newsletter? For premium content that would otherwise remain inaccessible? For a competition? And if so, what should there be to win: a test drive with a Tesla or the Tesla itself?
A Rolls Royce for the Lead Generation
The classic answer to such questions is: It depends on the specific case. Nevertheless, we dare to come out of the woodwork here and claim: If it is about Lead Generation In B2B business, there is much to suggest that the white paper is the Rolls Royce of advertising formats. And we don't mean the price.
Rather, it's the performance capacity. Especially in B2B business, the questions that the customer wants to solve with the help of (hopefully your) content are complex. If they weren't, he wouldn't look for a solution, but would act immediately.
But complex issues need space and a correspondingly unagitated medium. Quick, simple answers to difficult questions - that goes wrong in nine out of ten cases, at least. Which is why, even in the consumer world, hardly anyone falls for pop-ups that promise how you can earn millions from home with ten minutes of work per day.
A professionally produced white paper is as far away from the suspicion of such unseriousness as possible. Because it provides: factual knowledge, logically and comprehensibly presented, examples that your customer can use to see whether the solution you offer can be of help to him or not, expert opinions, professional trends. This is so far removed from classic advertising that some advertisers fail time and again to produce good white papers.
But the efficiency of a successful white paper is fantastic. For example, engineers who are working on a concrete problem see white papers on 85 per cent as helpful on. And to get the information and insights they find in it, they are also willing to share their data. In the following order, by the way: email, first name, company name, family name. More than two-thirds are willing to give up this information in exchange for a white paper. For the e-mail address alone, the figure is as high as 84 percent. This is a huge lever for building customer contacts.
But white papers can do more. Due to their depth, they are a medium that often goes beyond the function of a mere door opener to the potential customer in business in the B2B sector. They are among the most intensively used media when it comes to information in the run-up to a purchase decision.
53 percent of users stay with a white paper for more than ten minutes, 25 per cent even for more than twenty minutes. By comparison, 44 per cent of promotional videos are gone within the first five minutes. White papers are also unbeatable in the middle phase of decision-making, when the customer has already narrowed down his options to one or a few offers and wants to verify them. White papers are also used most frequently for this of all information formats - in addition to Podcasts. But that's for another time.