Publishing a new white paper is a lot like publishing a new book — you need to do a lot of marketing ahead of time. Marketing beforehand can help create a lot of buzz and get people to line up to read it as soon as it is published.
But unlike marketing a book, you don’t have to market your white paper for months before you publish. If you start your marketing push a week or two before you plan to publish, you should have plenty of time to generate excitement and prepare to engage your readers.
The tips below will help you prepare for the big launch:
1. Have a distribution plan at the ready
Before you launch a white paper, you need to have a plan. You shouldn’t just publish on a random day when it’s ready. You need to make a plan and set a publish date ahead of time and stick to it.
Have your white paper ready at least a week or two in advance. Make sure it is proofread, edited, reviewed, designed, etc. This will ensure that when the day comes you won’t encounter any problems. You won’t need to postpone the publishing date, clean up any errors or oversights, or go through the stress of publishing your paper in a last-minute rush.
2. Create a landing page
Don’t wait for the white paper to publish to go live with your landing page. Rather, it’s good to publish your landing page about two weeks ahead of time. The aim of the landing page is to get the reader to provide contact details. It should be short and persuasive. This study by Website Magazine shows that 80 percent of the visitors to a blog are new visits, while only 20 percent are repeat visits. Which means that most of the people who visit your blog on a certain day will probably never visit it again, and they might never find or read your white paper. But if you publish your white paper landing page in advance and collect email addresses, you will make sure that your white paper gets read by more people.
The call to action for the pre-landing page should let readers know that if they register with their names and email addresses, the white paper will be sent to them as soon as it’s published. Using this technique will help ensure that you have a list of readers waiting to read your paper.
After the paper has been published, you can tweak the call-to-action to reflect the immediate gratification: “Register below to download the white paper now!”
3. Write a series of relevant posts to support and promote the paper
Attract traffic to your blog in preparation for your white paper launch by writing a series of relevant blog posts.
At the end of each post, have a call-to-action that informs the reader about your upcoming white paper and links to the landing page. This will increase landing page traffic and encourage more people to sign up to read the white paper.
For example, if you’re publishing a white paper on inbound marketing, write a series of four to six posts over two weeks covering related topics. For example, you could include an article on tips for writing blog posts, or one on using social media to generate buzz and interest. Some of the content you use in your blog posts can even be excerpted from the white paper itself. At the end of every post, be sure to include a link to your landing page and a call-to-action that asks the reader to register.
4. Write guest posts
Writing guest posts on popular blogs can be another fantastic way to help launch a new white paper. If you want this strategy to work, make sure you target blogs that focus on the same niche or topic as the one your white paper covers.
For example, if your white paper is on a technology-related topic, you can write a post for submission to popular tech blogs such as VentureBeat, Webware, and GigaOM. Just as with posts on your own blog, don’t forget to include a call-to-action and a link to your white paper to increase your landing page traffic and drive registration.
You will want to try to get some of these posts to publish before your white paper goes live and some on the same day on which your white paper is published. This can help boost your readership both before and on your launch day. This may require you to work with blog editors well in advance of launch, to make sure they can accommodate your launch schedule, but doing so can be highly beneficial, especially if you have specific days in mind for your guest posts to be published.
Writing all these posts will also have some long-term benefits — it will help establish you and your company as an expert on the subject and convince readers that they will find your white paper to be helpful.
5. Get reviews
One amazing way to gain traction for your white paper is to get people to review it. If you know an expert on the subject or someone who has a popular blog in the same niche, make a preview copy available and ask them if they would write a review and post it on their blog. The association with an established expert or thought leader can significantly increase your white paper’s credibility.
If your connections are too busy to write a full review, ask them if they would be willing to read it and provide a short, four- or five-line blurb. You can add these short reviews to your landing page, which can help make it more persuasive and add additional legitimacy for your work.
6. Invite experts to guest post
Publishing guest posts on your blog, written by experts on the same subject as your white paper, can help drive a lot of relevant traffic to your website. Posts from experts can help attract users to your blog who might be interested in reading your white paper.
Experts usually have a following on the internet who read their newsletters, tweets, social bookmarks, etc. When they write posts on topics they specialize in for your blog and share them, their followers will visit your website, read the post and notice your white paper. If it interests them, they will download it or sign up to receive it when it’s available.
7. Email it to your subscribers
Having a long list of newsletter subscribers can make it really easy to launch a new white paper. You can inform your newsletter readers about your paper a week or two before you launch it. You can let them know about the pre-publishing landing page and ask them to sign up if they are interested.
You can also send them an email on the day your white paper gets published and ask them to download the paper by visiting the landing page. If you already have their contact details, you can send them a direct link to the PDF.
These are a few ways to optimize the launch of your new white paper. If you want to launch with a bang, getting hundreds of people to read your paper as soon as it’s published, make sure you follow these tips.
How do you launch new white papers? Have you got any tips you would like to share? Please leave your comments below.