A good content marketing strategy relies on a variety of content, but some brands shy away from long-form examples like guides and whitepapers. While these in-depth pieces can seem daunting, they represent an unrivalled opportunity to show expertise and build trust in your brand.
With a good copywriter onboard, there’s no reason why standard blog content cannot be taken a step further and turned into a comprehensive guide or whitepaper. The value to your audience will be rewarded with the opportunity to capture lead details, as well as demonstrate you are an expert in the field.
When a guide is the solution
Guides should look at a number of different ways a business could approach an issue to explore the best outcome in various scenarios. These will all have a how-to focus, working towards a specific goal, but with multiple outcomes to appeal to a wide audience. This will present your reader with a number of solutions that they can choose from to solve their problem.
Weighing up the effectiveness of multiple options in this way will demonstrate your business’ expertise in the topic. It will also help your audience to feel well-informed before making a decision, bringing extra value to them through you.
Writing an effective guide starts with selecting the right topic, which means working out what would interest your readers and has enough mileage. Research common pain points within your industry to establish which one will show your audience you can help them solve their problems.
Optimise your guide for search, so it ranks highly for relevant keywords and is easily discoverable to your target audience. This will help to boost your website’s entire standing, not just the profile of your guide.
Be sure to write your guide in an accessible manner, breaking down concepts and introducing the reader to any industry-specific jargon. Use subheadings and bullet points to make it even more easily digestible, as big chunks of text can be off putting. You may also want to add images or graphics for added interest too.
When to turn your content into a whitepaper
Creating a whitepaper means going one step further than a guide and taking a deeper dive into a topic. You can presume your audience has a certain amount of previous knowledge on the subject and you’re looking to provide a strong authoritative voice that they cannot get elsewhere.
Your typical audience for a whitepaper is likely to have more than a casual interest in your product or service. This means they’re a potential lead and your content represents a strong opportunity to convert them into a sale, so it has to represent your business to the best possible standard.
Do not be afraid to allow the tone of your whitepaper to be technical and to contain plenty of valuable data and statistics. That’s what this type of content requires, and by calling it a whitepaper you are setting the expectation for well-researched information.
Of course, you should refrain from making your writing boring or pretentious just for the sake of it. This does not mean you can’t find a good authoritative voice, however, that uses jargon to back up your point and show you understand the industry inside and out.