White Papers and Case Studies: A Summary
At Wellspring Concepts, I write white papers and case studies for green technology and higher education clients, as well as for other select sectors. White papers and case studies are at the top of the content food chain, and are virtually obligatory for B2B companies in industries where products or services are scrutinized with great care due to their price, complexity, or both.
According to a 2015 study of content marketers, 68 percent of B2B organizations use white papers; 73 percent use case studies.1
A 2016 report surveyed 208 buyers of B2B products and found that 82 percent of respondents had used white papers in their decision making process in the prior 12 months; 73 percent had used case studies.2
The same report found that white papers (72 percent) and case studies (69 percent) were deemed among the most valuable content used in the buyers’ decision-making process, topped only by third party/analyst reports (77 percent).
Thus, your ability to succeed in a competitive market can be hamstrung by the lack of high quality, top shelf information that a professionally written white paper or case study can provide. Failure to create white papers or case studies to support your products can put you at a further disadvantage if your rivals are providing them to potential customers.
- Compared to 2015 amounts, 76 percent of B2B respondents said they intend to create more content in 2016.1
Moreover, white papers and case studies are not only read, they are shared, which extends their longevity and effectiveness.
- White papers and case studies top the list of content that buyers were most likely to share with colleagues (79 percent). Case studies were shared by 66 percent of respondents. 2
Besides demonstrating the superiority of your company or product to skeptical purchasing managers and demonstrating thought leadership in your sector, white papers in particular can be repurposed to create new content. If you are a content manager faced with overwhelming demand for material, a white paper is a motherlode that can be mined for other channels like blogs, social media, placed articles, and more.
1 2015 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs.
2 2016 Content Preferences Survey Report: DemandGen Report