I just read an interesting post by Stephanie Tilton at Savvy B2B Marketing titled IT Pros Don’t Want to Register for Your White Paper. It dovetails into a recent post I wrote about the decreasing value of white papers as they become more ubiquitous. White papers still remain popular because they are a great source of information, they are just becoming less powerful as a lead conversion tool. As you read the article summary, ask yourself if price papers could augment white papers for B2B lead conversion.
Stephanie interviewed Jay Hallberg, VP of Marketing of Spiceworks. Spiceworks surveyed some of their 800,000 Small-Medium Business Information Technology users and found the following:
- 75% don’t sign up for white papers that require registration.
- Those that do share their information obviously don’t mind doing so, but they DO mind a pesky vendor that calls them 10 times over the next 30 days.
- IT pros want to reach out to the vendor on their terms via their preferred channel, e.g. phone, email, or chat.
For those vendors that persist in using white papers as a lead generation tool, the article suggests:
- Write objective, educational papers, not product pitches.
- Show your expertise.
- Let people comment on your white papers, provide feedback, and rate them. This will help you produce better material of more value to the prospect.
- Integrate social media and let your authors and product experts have a conversation with prospects. In other words, create a conversation as opposed to using white papers as a way to bait and hook people. The white paper should be part of an integrated approach that helps start a conversation, move it along, or close it.
As resistance to white paper registration increases, it will be interesting to see how B2B marketers adapt to boost lead conversion.