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February 24, 2012   Posted by: Britty Wagner

B2B Lead Gen Tactics: Part 2: White Papers


Create white papers that capture and engage your target audience…this is every B2B companies goal. Lead Gen also known as lead generation a marketing process to pull in leads from your target audience.

White papers are utilized by many B2B companies to assist in their lead gen strategy. By using white papers, B2B companies may gain credibility and trust from their readers and target audience thus potentially converting them to buyers.

What Is A White Paper?

A white paper is a document that introduces a problem which the reader is looking to resolve. A white paper proposes a solution and makes a strong case as to why a specific solution is the best choice for resolving their problem. They may also introduce new concepts or how to resolve technical issues that your target audience faces. White papers are ranked one of the top lead gen strategies for B2B companies and marketers.

What’s In A Title? Quick Tips

  1. Keep It Short and Sweet. The most downloaded white papers had 20% fewer words than the least downloaded white papers.
  2. Incorporate keywords based on ideal readers.
  3. Titles may consist of a promise, benefit or a result the reader will achieve after reading. Make it unique, very specific and useful to your target audience.
  4. Use active verb such as; growing, enhancing, eliminating, etc. Implies a benefit the reader may achieve.
  5. Why? How does your reader benefit? Why should readers read your white paper? Such as; ‘How to Write a White Paper.’ This title states clearly that the reader will learn how to write a white paper.
  6. If you are listing your white paper online be sure to utilize a colon when adding a sub-title. Many online listings do not display sub-titles but with a colon in your title you may display both. Example; Storage OEMs: ‘Pull’ Lead Generation Method
  7. Job Titles in the white papers title is helpful when targeting a specific reader. Such as; ‘The Most Important Question Every HR Professional Should Ask New Hires’
  8. Patience is a virtue. Before naming your white paper begin writing your white paper and jot down ideas as you go.


Page One of Your White Paper

The first page of your white page should consist of four key ingredients;

  1. Identify the reader
  2. Summarize the challenge
  3. Summarize the solution
  4. State the goal


When composing your first page, be sure to be to the point plus do not give away the results or the conclusion of the white paper. Think of it as a movie trailer, simply giving tidbits to capture your target audience attention and leaving them wanting more. Plus do not place your company description and product or service information on the first page…this should be left for later.

To start simply identify the four key ingredients such as;

  1. Target reader: B2B companies and marketers dealing with complex sales. IT and tech industry.
  2. The Challenge: Website traffic is high but is not capturing the percentage of leads as intended and is seeking to convert more website traffic to leads.
  3. The Solution: Self-service quote system
  4. The Goal: To educate B2B companies on the advantages of the self-service quote system.


Once identified, elaborate on each but be sure to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Detailed information on solution
  • Description of features
  • Company introduction
  • How the solution works
  • Humor


Abstract or Not?

YES! Abstracts are utilized by over 80% of white paper writers. The abstract should be placed after the first page but before the core content. An abstract includes key points about the white paper but does not give the conclusion away. The abstract should provide enough early information to encourage the reader to go further into the white paper. The abstract may also be used via your website to prompt a visitor to download your white paper.

Follow our blog to be notified of ‘Part 2.1 of B2B Lead Gen Tactics: White Papers‘ in this series


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  1. […] White Papers: A white paper is a document that introduces a problem which the reader is looking to resolve. A […]