With the proliferation of white papers over the past ten years, there have been a number of commercial sectors that previously had used them in a limited role, and are now taking a second look with this medium.
What constitutes a good potential market for white papers? Any industry or sector that has a complex solution strategy that requires in-depth education as part of the pre-sale, lead generation process. Three that comes to mind include:
- Social Media Consulting Services - As Social Media proliferates into a mainstream online marketing vehicle, companies are realizing that updating their social media properties takes a lot of time. The concept of the old "PR Firm" is transitioning into the new "Social Media Marketing Firm" that will update your social media properties and propagate your online social media presence. Since these strategies vary from firm to firm, client to client, or sector to sector, publishing white papers for each targeted market segment is the perfect strategy to educate prospective customers as to how a social media firm operates and the advantages for prospective customers.
- Financial Markets - Finance is a broad topic encompassing everything from commercial and investment banking, investment strategies, market and financial analysis, securities, and even online solutions for fraud-prevention (and many more). Each topic comprises complex processes, procedures, workflows, and formulas that are ideally suited for the white paper medium.
Explaining these using only text would be a mistake. A much better strategy would be an extensive use of charts, graphs, and workflow illustrations that are core principles of a good white paper designed to grab reader attention.
- Support Services - The plethora of online sites specializing in help and support services for home improvement, healthcare, and 'how-to' services is ideal for white paper marketing. Not only is the use of white papers perfect for new users that require the knowledge of navigating and using online resources within the site, but it also is the perfect medium for participating vendors to tout their services.
Just as the site charges a fee for display advertising, charging an additional fee for vendors to post their own white papers explaining their service advantages would become an additional and lucrative revenue stream for the marketer. Sites such as Angie's List come to mind.
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