In the world of B2B, content is king. But marketers often struggle keeping up with the sheer volume of content necessary to create thought leadership, attract visitors and gain authority on their targeted areas of expertise. When we speak of content, we often are referring to web content, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, webinars and social media content. In an ideal world, one idea should be re-purposed into multiple media outlets. Today, we’ll discuss how to create whitepapers from blog posts.
The purpose of your blog is to educate, express opnions, highlight thought leadership and communicate ideas. Less rigid than static website pages, and less authoritative than a whitepaper, blog posts may seem a far cry from an effective whitepaper.
Whitepapers should have educational aspects akin to a magazine article, but also the persuasive and authoritative qualities of a corporate brochure. Its structure should focus on a problem/solution format (not to be confused with a case study, which is a specific business example of a problem/solution). Whitepapers can offer references for statistics or scientific information, but often provides some form of persuasive offer for the writer of the whitepaper.
First, we need to consider the actual structure of a whitepaper. This consists of a headline, intro, presentation of the problem(s), discussion and explanation of the solution(s), and a persuasive section that contains a description of your business and how it can help the reader solve the problems discussed in the whitepaper.
So, just how do you create a whitepaper from your blog posts?
Look at your existing blog posts for ones that follow the problem/solution format. Make a list of all these topics. Then, categorize these posts by similar subject, industry or niche. Choose one of these categories and list all the problems on the subject, and their corresponding solutions.
Now, let’s look specifically at the problems you have outlined. While focusing on the problems section, write an introduction that provides an overview of what problems will be discussed and solved in the paper. This section should be brief, concise, but clear.
After that, expand upon each of the problems, and provide extended descriptions of each problems. Once the problems are fleshed out, you should write a small summation that invites the reader to press on as the solutions can be found subsequently.
Next, consider each of the solutions, and modify as needed from your blog posts to complement the problems in the previous section of the whitepaper. These solutions should be preceded by a headline and intro for the solutions section.
At the end of your solutions section should be a conclusion, reflecting why the reader started the paper in the first place. It is also a useful segue to mention that this problem/solution scenario can be solved by your company’s products or services, should the reader seek additional assistance. This will naturally lead into the persuasive section of the whitepaper that discussed more about your company and the solutions you provide. Make sure to include a linked call to action.
After all these sections have been completed, you can then go back and fill in the introduction and headline for your whitepaper. Doing this section last gives you the best context for writing the all important facets for the beginning of the document. Make sure this introduction is compelling and enticing, without giving too much of the body of the paper away.
Once all components are complete, go back and read through the entire document to be sure the elements flow freely from one section to the next. This will be your final check before finishing your whitepaper.
Your whitepapers can, in turn, draw your audience back to your blog. Whether its a method to get new subscribers (free whitepaper in exchange for your email address), breathe life into old blog posts, increase traffic to your blog, or attract backlinks, whitepapers can be an effective lure to drive eyes to your blog.
Whitepapers are also beneficial to a business on its own by spreading expertise, generating leads by pointing to your website, and selling your products and services by establishing your leadership on the solution.
Have you created whitepapers from your blog posts? What suggestions do you have to others?