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About Janice King

  • I am an award-winning, freelance technical copywriter for global technology companies and custom content companies. Learn how you can hire me for your content marketing projects at www.writespark.com.

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Stephanie -- I appreciate the feedback and the additional resources you've shared. Definitely on target.

Hi Janice,
Thanks for sharing the term "information foraging" - it's such an apt description. Along those lines, a study conducted in early 2008 by the University College London found that "…there are signs that new forms of 'reading' are emerging as users 'power browse' horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins."

If marketers are wondering whether or not their prospects are willing to read longer papers, they only need to check out the research findings. In February 2009, InformationWeek Business Technology Network produced a report called "How to Maximize the Use of White Papers In Your B2B Marketing and Sales Process." They surveyed professional tech buyers (on both the business and technical side of the house) about their preferences for white paper length. 86% say to keep white papers under 10 pages, and 50% of those want them under 5 pages.

I encourage my clients to aim for a shorter length. If they have enough worthwhile ideas and information to fill more than 8 pages, I suggest producing a series of papers (or articles). There's no sense producing a paper that your audience has told you it doesn't want to read.

Best,
Stephanie

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