Listen up businesses! The white paper is here to stay and it’s only getting more important. Or so says a brand new study by Eccolo Media.
I covered the main take-home message of their last report earlier this year. But this new study has some amazing findings covering everything from the influence of white papers compared to other marketing tools, how they are shared, their ideal length and when they are used in the purchase cycle.
I outline the key findings below.
- White papers yield powerful influence: 84% of businesses find white papers either moderately or extremely influential in their purchasing decisions. Only 1% of respondents thought white papers were not influential.
- White papers are the most viral form of marketing collateral: White papers are the most commonly shared form of marketing collateral, with 89% of respondents passing them along to others. In addition, white papers were the most viral marketing collateral with nearly one in three respondents sharing them with three or more people.
- Decision-makers are consuming more white papers: According to survey respondents, 77% of business decision makers are reading white papers and 2009, up from 68% 2008.
- Larger businesses rely on white papers more than others: Decision-makers at larger companies (85%) are much more likely to read a white paper than those working in smaller companies (64%).
- Delivering white papers in audio or visual formats may be worth pursuit: Regarding the format of a white paper, the study examined whether audio or webinar formats of what paper presentations are preferable. 29% said that they prefer to have a white paper consumed in a webinar and 24% said they’d be interested in listening to a white paper podcast.
- The preferred length of a white paper is 6 to 10 pages: According to the study, readers prefer white papers with an average length of 6 to 10 pages.
- White papers yield the most strength early in the sales cycle: Regarding the sales cycle, white papers were most effective in the presales process, with 80% reporting. However, white papers also were the leading form of collateral at all other stages of the sales process.
- Quality writing influences the perceived value of white papers: 51% of respondents felt that high-quality writing is either very important or extremely influential.
What are your thoughts about white papers and this report? Clearly this study shows white papers are here to stay.Receive email updates when new articles are posted.