Researching White Papers

I think it is appropriate that I write about white papers as we are currently in the process of reviewing all of our documentation. White papers being that ubiquitous source of B2B information that magically inspires the reader to pick up the phone and order your product or service.

But I digress, what I really want to talk about is how you research your white papers. Two particular topics come to my mind when I think of research:

1. How do you decide upon a topic for your whitepaper and,
2. How do you research your topic once it is decided upon.

This brings me to my main point: interviews, interviews and more interviews. For the first point, talk to current customers about the content they find valuable. Talk to prospects about the content that worked and did not work.

For the second point, interviews are much more fun and interactive than doing all your research on Google. As a general rule, primary research is always more effective than secondary research. Quotes from experts in the field can really drive the point of a white paper home to the reader.

How do you decide upon your topics? And, once decided, how do you research those topics?

[tags] white papers, research, B2B [/tags]

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