5 keys to writing successful healthcare whitepapers

By Dodge Communications (not verified) on August 1st, 2013

White papers are an effective tactic early in the sales cycle when focusing on generating interest from prospects. B2B marketers have increased white paper production as a result of heightened engagement among target audiences. This is a win-win situation for both companies and prospects, as white papers yield a high return on investment and serve to educate prospects without a hard sell. Specifically in healthcare, white papers are crucial in keeping up with the ever-changing industry landscape. But, what exactly makes white papers so effective in the sales process and what are prospects looking for? Here are five tips on how to write successful healthcare white papers.

Cater to your target audience. When writing a white paper, it is important to conduct adequate research on the target audience so the content will align with their specific needs and address issues they may face in the healthcare industry, thus engaging future prospects. For example, stage three meaningful use requirements are currently being set, so a company might want to explore an educational white paper that discusses the regulatory guidelines and how they will affect the industry structure for vendors.

Provide meaningful information that leads to a solution on a relevant problem or issue. After thorough research has been conducted on the target audience, it is important that the white paper offers information to help fix a problem the audience has been facing or allows them to learn something new and useful to incorporate in their organization. Use industry research and survey findings to back up claims made in the white paper. For example, our latest white paper “Hitting the Mark: Strategies for Effective B2B Healthcare Marketing Content Creation,” provides B2B healthcare marketers with in-depth information on how to produce effective content through drip marketing campaigns—a topic in which our audience showed interest prior to the creation of the white paper.

Do not make your white paper a sales pitch. The ultimate goal of a white paper is to move the prospect further down the sales cycle, but it should not be formatted as a sales pitch. Instead, a white paper should be an informative, non-biased piece on a challenge or industry trend that will provide guidance on how to tackle the issue or allow prospects to learn about implementing a new concept in their business. For example, the upcoming transition to ICD-10 is a topic that would be valuable to a healthcare IT audience. If your white papers aren’t presented as sales pitches and are well-written with high-level information, prospects will view your organization as a thought leader and be eager to receive more of your messages, allowing your material to rise above the noise in the market.

Incorporate graphics. Although healthcare is a serious topic, the white paper should not lack graphics and color. Photos, bolded text, pull quotes and graphs make the white paper less daunting to readers. Figures, graphs and statistics can better convey results and strengthen arguments. Given time constraints, many readers will skim through the white paper. Graphics offer the advantage of catching the reader’s eye, so be sure all graphics display strong content.

Leverage social media. As social media’s popularity in the B2B healthcare space continues to rise, a cost-effective way to promote a white paper while increasing your network of followers is through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Gone are the days of relying solely on pricey white paper syndication sites.

What have you found to be effective in creating B2B healthcare white papers? Share your tips here.