By Kevin Gault
You can use a blog to trumpet your opinions, write reviews of events and keep a personal—and very public—diary. Blogs can also tell readers about your latest, greatest white paper—if you know how to do it right.
Want a tip? Whet your readers’ appetites. “A blog can be used to build anticipation,” says Denise Wakeman, an online marketing advisor who specializes in business blogging and is founder of the Biz Tips Blog. “By writing blog posts before your white paper is even published, you can start exploring the theme of the paper in your blogs. This is a great way to start putting the thought into your readers’ minds that your white paper is coming.”
A blog is all about writing, right? But Denise says graphics that catch the reader’s eye—and are properly placed—are important too: “You have to make sure that there’s some kind of visual image on the blog that advertises your white paper and directs the reader to download it. Put the image in a sidebar or other prominent place, preferably at the top of the right or left column so people see it first thing.”
When your well-crafted white paper is published, Denise advises, tell the world about it on your blog. In a series of blog posts, highlight key elements of the paper so readers get a taste of the content and want more.
It’s a mistake to assume that readers know how to download your paper. Denise recommends that in clear, direct terms, tell them what to do. “The one thing that I often see missing in blog posts is the call to action,” she says. “Marketers sometimes think that everyone knows how to download a document, but that’s not true. You’ve got to have a link that says, ‘Click here to download the white paper’ and make it as simple as possible for your readers to do.”
Denise says that because blogging is a personal form of communication, many bloggers tend to provide fluff. She advocates giving readers valuable chunks of information in your blogs that will make readers want to register on your landing page to get more value from your entire white paper.
And one last tip: Don’t view your blogging marketing effort as a one-shot deal. “Remember that marketing is an ongoing process,” Denise advises. “You can’t publish your white paper, write a few blog posts and forget about it—you want the paper to continue to generate leads for you. If you’re writing a blog about something that relates to the content of your white paper, reference the paper. It’s an ongoing reminder to readers that your white paper is available.”
So capture your readers’ interest by blogging about your white paper before it’s published. Use eye-catching, well-placed graphics. Provide valuable information, not fluff, and don’t forget your call to action. Follow Denise’s advice and your blog will become a marketing tool that gets results.