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How to Promote White Papers without Advertising

Promote Your White Paper to Grow Your Audience

If you build it, they will not come. You must promote it!

Just writing a white paper and placing it on your website will not lead to views or downloads. You must actually promote it.

First, define your target audience (hopefully, you did this before you wrote the paper). Next, identify the best online channels to reach them. What e-newsletters does your target audience read? What blogs do the visit? Whom do they follow on twitter? To which associations do they belong?

After you define the audience and the channels, consider the following outreach options for low-cost channels to promote your white paper.

#1. Create a great landing page based on SEO strategies

Dedicated a single page on your website to promote the white paper. Highlight the key points of the white paper in the content on the page. Make it easy for visitors to download.

You can place the white paper behind a registration wall, where visitors do not get the document unless they provide their name and email address. MarketingSherpa research indicates you get a broader distribution if you do not require folks to register to get the document.

If you decide to offer free and anonymous downloads, you can still place a “contact us” form on the landing page to promote your services.

Make sure you use SEO tactics to maximize the organic potential of this page.

#2. Use the topic to get speaking engagements at meetings and conferences

Many organizations are always in search of good speakers. You can use a white paper as a topic to pitch a talk to potential industry meetings, which your target audience attends.

To find the best audience, reach out to your network. Ask your contacts to recommend any appropriate groups that are seeking speakers. If you have a national audience, look at national trade groups that offer speaking sessions.

Google key terms (related to your topic or target industry) along with a phrase such as “call for speakers.” Note: most associations select speakers a year or more in advance major meetings. To find relevant opportunities, include next year (such as 2018) in your search.

If you want to build a brand as a speaker, you can also contact speakers bureaus

#3. Offer your content as an article for industry association or industry publications

Identify industry associations with memberships matching your target audience.

Go to the website for each association and look for solicitations of articles in the association’s publications. You can also Google key terms (related to your topic) along with a phrase such as “guest articles” to find publications that speak to your topic and publish articles on your topic.

#4. Interview a leading “influential” in your industry

You can reach out to a top author or expert in your industry and ask to interview them on the topic.

You would then write a summary of that conversation and include it in your paper with a link to their website (or LinkedIn bio.) During the discussions, ask them about mentioning the white paper to their audience. Or, you can ghostwrite a blog post for them to post on their blog.

#5. Offer to write relevant posts (on the topic of your white paper) for leading industry blogs

Look for lead bloggers in your industry. To find these bloggers, you can search websites such as
You can also search on Google using search terms related to your services or target market along with keywords such as “guest author” or “write for us.”

#6. Look for strategic content partners

A strategic partner is a company that sells a related (non-competing product) to the same niche customer as your company. For example, if you are an accounting firm and provide tax services to mid-size companies, you might connect with a law firm that specializes in tax law.

You could offer them a spot in your white paper and offer to co-brand it. Each firm would then promote the white paper to their network. This way you double your exposure. If you don’t want to co-brand, you could just offer to interview a partner for a section (as in #5 above)

#7. Write “content snacks” for your LinkedIn posts and for Twitter

A “content snack” are small snippets of the blog post, with a link back to the initial blog. For example, if you write a very long blog post of 1,000+ words, you can write a smaller version to post on LinkedIn. Within that LinkedIn post, you can link to the blog post to explain a topic in greater detail. You can also write a series of Tweets with shortened links to the post.

#8. Send topical (information packed) emails to your in-house list

If you have an email list, you can share valuable content from your white paper to that list. In the email, place a link to the white paper’s landing page.

#9. Create a Slideshare presentation

Slideshare offers great SEO potential due to its domain authority, which means that Google thinks the website is very credible. You can create bullet point slides of the key points in your white paper and link to the download page on your website at the end of the slide

#10. Offer to be a guest on a webinar channel (or host your own)

You can use the same search tactics mentioned in #2 above. When you visit each website, determine if they sponsor webinars and if they use speakers.

If you need help creating a marketing plan for your white paper, please contact us.

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