As another year approaches, I’m seeing insurance and financial marketers already hard at work, busily calculating where to exhaust their marketing dollars. Increasing lead generation for their sales teams, reducing attrition rates, and the rolling out new products and services are typically top of mind when looking at the year ahead. And in what continues to be a highly competitive industry, figuring out where to allocate those marketing dollars to deliver the most bang for the buck can be a challenge.
However, if success in content marketing has taught savvy marketers anything over the past few years, it’s that nothing connects with customers and prospects better than compelling content that educates and informs—without all the push. As such, content marketing (specifically the use of white papers), continues to be a strategic part of their marketing arsenal, resonating with key decision makers and influencers as a strong thought leadership tool in the B2B world of insurance and finance.
According to a recent study by Eccolo Media, white papers continue to remain the unchallenged king of content marketing with their unique ability to provide the kind of useful information about your services, thought processes, and/or methodology, vastly improving acquisition rates. And because white papers present a logical argument backed by facts, they create interest and a need without all the hard sell.
It’s through thought leadership and education that white papers have become a credible source of information that your clients and prospects will reach for when they’re ready to make business decisions. And once marketers get past the initial investment, they find that white papers are quite cost effective when you factor in their multipurpose abilities and how often they get passed around. For example did you know that:
- 57 percent of IT purchase decision makers say that a white paper influenced at least one buying decision in a yearlong cycle1
- 36 percent of white paper downloads are passed along to a direct supervisor
- 69 percent of prospects who download whitepapers from websites will pass it along to colleagues
With this kind of traction, white papers can be a new lead generation superstar for your sales team in:
Website downloads: Through online distribution, prospects can have easy access to in-depth information about how your company is going to solve their problems. This increases traffic to your website while introducing prospects in your industry to what you have to offer.
Requests for more information: By presenting an industry problem and introducing an actionable solution, readers of your white paper have all the information they need to make direct requests either by phone or email, putting them in touch with your sales team.
Online leads: As readers download your particular white paper, they’ve obviously found something of interest relating to their needs. Using the information collected from these direct leads provides your sales team with the opportunity to fine-tune their presentations before contacting a lead for a more strategic approach.
As insurance and financial marketers begin to establish goals for the New Year, no doubt they’ll be looking to white papers generate new leads, nurture existing leads, support sales efforts, and position themselves as true thought leaders.
1MarketingSherpa, “How to Invent & Promote White Papers That Fortune 500 Prospects Find Irresistible.”