The Role of Telemarketing as a Part of Your Distribution Strategy
Writing a white paper is a significant undertaking. You need to be sure it solves a problem or answers a question that is considered critical to your target audience, your content needs to be well executed and your images need to stand out. However, if one of your main goals in writing the white paper is lead generation then you have to think beyond just the content to your distribution strategy.
As discussed by Paul Mosenson in his article entitled, “17 Ways to Promote Your White Paper for Lead Generation,” creating a white paper is only one part of the process. The other is distribution. Your strategy for completing a white paper must include a distribution strategy that clearly demonstrates an increase in sales leads.
Mosenson describes the importance of strategic distribution of white papers. He focuses on 17 ways that a white paper can be published and promoted, but he neglects to mention one of the most effective and trusted forms of content distribution: telemarketing. Telemarketing remains a powerful tool for lead generation and presents unique benefits to your marketing plan.
In this article, you’ll read a few of Mosenson’s key ideas for promoting your white paper, followed by a few reasons why you’ll want to include telemarketing in your distribution plan.
First, however, you may be wondering why you need a distribution plan at all. If a customer wants the kind of technical information contained in a white paper, won’t they simply search online or find it on your website?
While you can produce white papers and make them available on your website, this is a tactic that will provide information to those coming to your site to look for it, but it won’t do as much for lead generation. White papers are a useful way to build your reputation as an expert in your field, as well as simply building name and brand recognition. When your potential customers have a problem or a question, you want them to think of you first. White papers are an essential part of building that relationship.
Examples of White Paper Distribution Methods
There are a few ways to distribute white papers for lead generation that are popular right now, but choosing what’s trending may not be the best fit for your particular product or service. Choose a combination of distribution methods that are a good strategic choice for your company:
Email newsletters: The popularity of social media led many in B2B sales to believe that email marketing was waning. Instead, people are using email more than ever. Rather than waiting to sit down at a desktop to log into email, smartphones make it possible for people to check email anywhere, from waiting in line at the grocery store to those few minutes before a meeting at work starts. Sharing a white paper through email also provides great data for analysis to refine your methods. You can determine what kinds of emails get opened depending on wording, graphics, timing and even color scheme.
Social media: Social media is a low-cost method for distribution, but it takes a savvy marketer to successfully reach a target audience. Thankfully, you can experiment with presenting your white paper in a variety of formats and time of day to see what kind of combination receives the most attention. Be sure to choose the social media platforms that naturally fit with your target audience. For instance, hanging out on Facebook pushing white papers isn’t the best choice for a B2B company; you should be focused on LinkedIn instead.
Paid search: If you’ve developed a white paper that you believe uniquely addresses a problem plaguing those in your industry, you may want to be particularly proactive about getting it in front of your target audience. Paid search can be cost effective if it reliably produces qualified leads for your sales team.
Sharing: It’s harder to impact sharing, because it’s up to your audience to decide whether they want to include your white paper on their social media page or on their blog. It may work well to offer an incentive for sharing, like a promotional giveaway, or you may simply want to include an invitation to share the post on your own social media site.
Telemarketing: Like some of the more traditional forms of marketing (i.e. direct mail or television advertising), telemarketing may be overlooked. It is more likely to be a part of your strategy when your marketing team is excited about digital forms of distribution. Telemarketing, though, remains an asset in marketing plans that provide benefits that may not be achieved by digital methods:
- Telemarketing is active and immediate, not passive. Much of the digital activity used in white paper promotion is passive. You post your content on your social media site and then hope that it gets attention. By contrast, when you use telemarketing, you receive information right away from potential buyers. You can learn about whether they read your white paper and if they found it helpful.
- Telemarketing is a perfect partner for digital marketing methods. Telemarketing is a balance for the benefits of social media. While it’s convenient to post a white paper on social media, a telemarketing call provides immediate feedback about whether the content was useful and what type and format of content your potential buyer prefers.
- Telemarketing helps you identify decision-makers. You may have hundreds or even thousands of followers on your social media, but it’s easy to assume those followers are potential buyers, without any confirmation that they are. When you include telemarketing in your white paper distribution plan, you can find out whether your contact is even your target audience. Telemarketing helps you identify the various decision-makers and stakeholders at any organization to ensure that you are distributing your white papers to the right people. Furthermore, talking to these people helps you understand their decision-making process, time line and budget (all in one call).
These are just a few of the many reasons why telemarketing remains a critical part of any successful distribution plan for white papers. White papers are complex, requiring a high level of technical skill to complete. Once the work of creation is done, be sure that your white paper is working hard to generate sales for your company.
If you recently developed a white paper, and/or are planning to produce one, you should also read our recent white paper “Survey Reveals – Missed Sales Opportunities Through White Paper Distribution” to see how crucial it is that you produce your content in the type of formats your audience prefers to read.
To learn more about how telemarketing can drive lead generation for your company, contact Blue Valley Telemarketing.