Leveraging Your White Paper for Better ROI

White papers are still a bedrock of marketing to IT and execs. And you can expand their value even more by repurposing their in-depth content.

  • Write trade journal articles. The paper and article won’t be identical; your white paper promotes your company and technology while a trade journal article is a vendor-neutral thought leadership piece. Build on your themes and conclusions in the white paper to present a technology class as the solution to a challenging customer problem.
  • Post blogs. Your white paper can generate a generous amount of postings that break out specific points. And linking to the white paper in each blog will improve your search rankings. 
  • Podcasts and videos: Use the white paper content to develop podcast and video scripts. You will need to change the formal written text into more colloquial language but the content and points will be there. You can have the subject matter expert record the podcasts and videos or write a script for a spokesperson to deliver.
  • Presentations. Create a slide presentation from the white paper content. Post it on SlideShare and use it in talks.
  • Social Media. Write statuses relating to the white paper and provide the link in Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Webinars. Produce a webinar around the white paper’s content. Use a download of the paper as the premium for signing up for the webinar.
  • Create an infographic. Design an infographic around the white paper content. Be sure to retain a narrative flow. 
  • Write an eBook. You can adapt a white paper into an eBook by taking the salient points, building chapters around them, and inserting visually compelling graphic content, video, exclusive content, and online resources. It is entirely possible (and a good idea) to create several eBooks out of a single in-depth white paper.

Infographics Confusion

By: DoodleDeMoon

I like infographics. I write content for them. They help people visualize processes and make connections.

UNLESS that infographic is absolute crap, consisting of golly-gee graphics that grab initial attention but communicate nothing. Not even factoids will save this foolish design since there is no context and no narrative thread.

The Content Marketing Institute wrote an excellent post about this problem and how to avoid it: “How to Keep Infographics from Ruining Your Visual Content: 8 Rules.”

  1. Don’t throw in everything plus the kitchen sink. You’ll just overwhelm your would-be viewers.
  2. The “info” part of “infographics” informs, and that means actual context and cohesive content.
  3. Only narrative flow can tell a story. Factoids don’t and neither do orphaned graphic elements.
  4. An infographic is part of a marketing campaign portfolio, not its flagship. Infographics are appetizers; clear explanations are the main course.
  5. Use a central image to tie the graphical elements together. Even then the central image should carry the primary informational message.
  6. Not every message is suited to an infographic. They’re hot right now because they draw attention but infographics are not always the best medium — or even a good one.
  7. Watch your facts and sources. Make sure the former are accurate and the latter are cited.
  8. Make the design highly visual, streamlined, clean, and in service to the message.

New Year’s Resolutions, or Not

I read an article by Eric T. Wagner in Forbes: “Smart Entrepreneurs Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions — They Do This Instead”

I stopped making resolutions years ago because I kept breaking them, me and 90% of my fellow Americans. But I do pray and meditate over my life and business and where I am going with them.

Wagner has an interesting approach to planning new growth and accomplishment with his 3-step plan:

Step 1 — Choose 3 Powerful Words As Focal Points. 3 words as your guiding themes through the new year.

Step 2 — Build Systems Around Those Words. Systematize strategy and tactics around the words.

Step 3 — The House Better Be Burning Down. Don’t allow yourself or others to interrupt your systems — unless the aforementioned house is indeed burning down.

I’m going to try this. My 3 words for my personal and professional lives are: Clarity, Energy, Finish. I’ll share with you how it goes and would be very interested to hear if any of you try it too.

Best Practices No Matter What Backup Method You’re Using

Any backup and recovery solution needs to have some elements in common. We’ll discuss those first and then talk about differing approaches to backup technology and their vendors.

  • Centralized backup or central backup service levels. Even at companies with multiple backup systems, at the least corporate IT should enforce backup and recovery service levels for every backup system under their control (which ideally is all of them). Centralized solutions are out there, but even if your company is sporting multiple systems corporate IT is ultimately responsible for data protection across the corporation, and should be using tools accordingly.
  • Continuous backup — sometimes. Most applications do not need continuous backup even if they’re mission-critical like Exchange. But Tier 1, high transaction applications definitely benefit from continuous backup. The solution should also offer fast and granular restore services, since what good is backup if you can’t restore on time or at the right point?
  • Backup and restore performance. Cloud backup is notorious for poor backup speeds but even on-premise backup might not have ideal restore rates. Any backup scenario will benefit from dedupe and compression before sending and fast ingestion from the storage target, plus WAN accelerators on the cloud backup side.
  • Compliance and governance. IT is used to retaining backups for compliance – even if the policy consists of “keep everything forever.” Hardly ideal, but at least the data is there. True compliance needs one or more of the following depending on the nature of the data and its regulatory or business priority: 1) Verified backup makes sure the backup has run, which should be standard to every one of your backup and recovery systems. 2) Encryption safeguards your data. Standards universally require encrypting the backup data stream, and some data types and regulated industries benefit from encrypting data-at-rest as well. 3) Access control for users and roles must be carefully managed.