White Paper Marketing Tips You Need to Know for 2024

Create more engaging content

Long before we called content marketing “content marketing,” companies were leveraging white papers to generate and nurture leads.

While many new types of content offers have emerged over the past few years, white papers have lost none of their value. Audiences want access to expert advice, and they’re often willing to hand over contact information to get it.

Today, your ability to reap value from white paper driven leads is greater than ever, especially if you view these publications as starting points in your relationships with new prospects and customers.

Is your white paper strategy set up to create and nurture these quality relationships? The following three questions will help you answer that question — and eventually secure a higher, more consistent ROI.

Check out the White Paper Marketing Tips You Need to Know for 2023.

The tips in this article are based on new HTML-5 interactive white papers. If you’re not familiar with them, we recommend checking out how you can create interactive white papers

1. Are you welcoming readers or putting barriers in their way?

welcome readers white paper

The most popular way to capture leads with your white papers is by gating them, asking readers to enter some contact information before they get access. This can be an effective strategy, but there are also pitfalls to watch out for.

A form, especially one that is unnecessarily long, can deter potential leads from engaging with your content. This is what marketers call friction. In a best-case scenario, the sales process slows down. In the worst case, you’ll lose potential leads entirely.

Gauging your audience’s appetite for forms through testing is essential. If you see lots of traffic on your landing pages but very few conversions, the form could very well be the culprit. In that case, you want to have another option for visitors.

Use social login for your white paper

A significant advantage of using interactive white papers (instead of PDFs) is that you can use social integrations with sites like LinkedIn. Visitors can access your white paper with just one click, and you gain even more information than you would have captured with a form. Another benefit here is that you can be sure the information isn’t fake.

Mid-gate your white paper

Another option that’s increasing in popularity is mid-gating. Make the first few pages of your white paper open access so your readers get a taste of what you’re offering, and then gate the rest. This also has the effect of increasing the quality of your leads because readers will only sign up if what they’ve already read resonates with them.

Add a skip option to your white paper mid-gate

You can also use a form to gate your white paper but include a “skip it” option. You’ll still collect details from visitors with a high degree of interest, but you’ll avoid turning away those unwilling to part with their information.

Think about retargeting white paper traffic

If you choose not to gate your content, interactive white papers still allow you to embed retargeting pixels so you can engage with readers later using relevant offers on other channels.

The bottom line is that you should test prospects’ willingness to share their contact information and change your tactics accordingly. You want to gather data but still make it easy for them to engage with you through your white paper.

2. Personalize your white paper for your readers

personalize your white paper for your readers

You’ll find that when you personalize white papers, your leads will spend more time engaging with your content (22%, on average) and are more likely to share it on social media.

When prospects fill out a form or log in with their LinkedIn profiles, they provide you with all the details you need to personalize their reading experience. Don’t pass up that opportunity.

In addition to addressing visitors by name, you can make strategic editorial choices based on information such as their geographic region or their industry. One way to utilize this information is by filtering your publications so people with a particular profile only see particular pages of your white paper.

Personalization is a powerful way to increase engagement. Many major brands use it to create tailored experiences on their websites — and with interactive white papers, you can use it as well.

3. What are you doing after prospects read your white paper?

white paper tips after reading

From the moment a prospect requests your white paper, they begin a relationship with your brand. At least, that’s how it should work. Too many companies treat a white paper download as an ending, not a beginning.

How you follow up with a lead determines whether or not a relationship develops. If you do it right, you’ll guide him or her further into the funnel and, eventually, take some profitable action.

With traditional PDF white papers, the most you can do is move them to a drip campaign. But with digital white papers, you can decide how to follow up based on how they’ve interacted with your content.

You might use a pixel, for example, to retarget certain readers that spent time on a particular page with a relevant offer on Facebook. If they used their LinkedIn account to access your white paper, you might choose to connect with them there.

By analyzing data from your interactive white paper using our Google Analytics integration, you’ll get an idea of how your readers interacted with your content and, therefore, how aggressively you should follow up. You can see which users were highly engaged and might warrant immediate direct contact with your sales team.

Look at the pages on which users spent the most time and which specific links they clicked. Did a user watch an embedded video all the way to the end? All of this information can inform your nurture strategy.


White papers hold more potential value for marketers than ever. They can introduce you to the prospects you’re most interested in meeting. If you deliver an experience that is both useful and memorable, those introductions will lead to quality customer relationships.

Examining your white paper strategy with the questions we introduce here is the first step to boosting ROI, generating more leads, and building better customer relationships.

You might also like:


What is white paper marketing?
White paper marketing is a strategy where businesses produce and distribute white papers — authoritative reports or guides — to inform their target audience about complex issues or solutions and promote their expertise.

How effective is white paper marketing in lead generation?
White papers are highly effective in lead generation as they offer valuable insights, attracting potential customers who seek in-depth information on specific topics.

What are the key elements of a successful white paper in marketing?
Key elements include a compelling topic, well-researched and authoritative content, a clear structure, professional design, and a call-to-action.

How can businesses distribute their white papers for maximum impact?
Businesses can distribute white papers through their website, email newsletters, social media, industry forums, and by partnering with other organizations for wider reach.

What role does SEO play in white paper marketing?
SEO can enhance the online visibility of white papers, making them easier to find by target audiences through search engines.

Can white paper marketing be used to establish thought leadership?
Absolutely, white papers are an excellent tool for establishing thought leadership by showcasing a company’s expertise, insights, and innovative approaches in their field.

How does white paper marketing differ from other content marketing strategies?
White paper marketing focuses on providing in-depth, research-based content on specific topics, targeting a more informed and professional audience compared to other content types.

What industries benefit most from white paper marketing?
Industries such as technology, finance, healthcare, and consulting, where complex solutions and detailed information are integral, benefit greatly from white paper marketing.

How can businesses measure the success of their white paper marketing?
Success can be measured by tracking downloads, leads generated, engagement on social media, and the paper’s influence on sales or business inquiries.

What are the challenges in creating effective white papers for marketing?
Challenges include ensuring high-quality research and writing, selecting relevant topics, maintaining reader engagement, and effectively promoting the white paper to the right audience.

How long should a white paper be for effective marketing?
The length can vary, but typically, a white paper should be detailed enough to cover a topic comprehensively, usually ranging from 6 to 50 pages, depending on the subject complexity.

Can white papers be used for both B2B and B2C marketing?
While more common in B2B marketing due to their detailed and technical nature, white papers can also be effective in B2C contexts, especially for complex or high-value consumer products.

What is the ideal structure of a marketing white paper?
An ideal structure includes an introduction outlining the issue, a body discussing solutions and data, and a conclusion with a clear call-to-action, all presented in a logical, easy-to-follow format.

How can visual elements enhance a white paper in marketing?
Visual elements like charts, graphs, and infographics can make the content more engaging and help in explaining complex information more effectively.

What strategies can be used to promote a white paper on social media?
On social media, highlight key findings, use compelling graphics, create teaser content, and consider paid advertising to target specific professional groups or interests.

Can white papers be repurposed into other content forms for marketing?
Yes, white papers can be repurposed into blog posts, infographics, webinars, or a series of social media posts to maximize the content’s reach and lifespan.

What makes a white paper credible and authoritative for marketing purposes?
Credibility comes from thorough research, expert insights, accurate data, a professional tone, and clear, unbiased presentation of information.

How can businesses ensure their white paper resonates with their target audience?
Understand the audience’s challenges and interests, use language that speaks to them, and address their pain points or questions comprehensively in the white paper.

What is the importance of a call-to-action in a white paper?
A call-to-action is vital to guide readers on what to do next, whether it’s contacting the company for more information, signing up for a service, or accessing additional resources.

How does the distribution channel impact the success of white paper marketing?
The choice of distribution channels (such as the company website, email campaigns, industry forums, or social media platforms) can significantly impact the reach and effectiveness of the white paper, making it crucial to select channels where the target audience is most active.

Author bio

Ritesh SheombarRitesh is a digital marketing manager with years of experience in driving growth. He’s currently the director of inbound marketing at Foleon. You can find more about him on his LinkedIn profile.

Master the Art of Video Marketing

AI-Powered Tools to Ideate, Optimize, and Amplify!

  • Spark Creativity: Unleash the most effective video ideas, scripts, and engaging hooks with our AI Generators.
  • Optimize Instantly: Elevate your YouTube presence by optimizing video Titles, Descriptions, and Tags in seconds.
  • Amplify Your Reach: Effortlessly craft social media, email, and ad copy to maximize your video’s impact.