Your marketing department may produce dozens of new white papers each year, but how often do you refresh an existing one?
For many technology marketers, once a white paper is written and posted it's instantly forgotten. Yet many older white papers can deliver renewed value to your promotional efforts with less expense, time, and effort than producing a new one.
Use these criteria to determine whether a white paper is a good candidate for a refresh:
- Continues to attract a large number of sales leads or downloads. These papers offer proven performance that you'll want to sustain.
- Promotes a major product or service that will continue to be sold by your company. Why reinvent the wheel with a new paper when you can revive an existing content asset?
- Was written more than a year ago. The media company UBM Tech found in a survey that 63 percent of IT buyers will only consider information useful if it's less than 18 months old.* For some products or marketing situations, your renewal cycle may have an even shorter timeframe.
- Updated product details, new case studies etc. are readily available or can be quickly found or developed.
Of course, you may find some white papers that are so dated it's better to simply replace them with a new paper, e-book, or other content to meet your marketing goals. In this case, your evaluation effort won't be wasted because you will identify content that is actually hindering your marketing efforts and should be removed.
How a Copywriter Can Help
When you have identified a white paper that's ready for renewal, a good copywriter can help you determine the specific changes and new information needed. If you go back to the writer who wrote the original document, the revisions will be easier and faster to complete than would be possible for a writer who is seeing this for the first time.
In any case, refreshing a white paper--or any other marketing content--can be a cost-effective project that expands the return on your original marketing investment and extends it well into the future.
What are your criteria for refreshing a white paper or other marketing content? Do you have tips about doing so successfully?