Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sell more software with
whitepapers and eBooks

All companies that do business on the Internet need to use whitepapers and eBooks to boost their sales. So say Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman in their excellent book "Content Rules."

eBooks and whitepapers allow organizations to turn their knowledge and experience into something that is valuable to prospects - and something that can turn them into customers.

Educating software buyers

Many software developers need to educate their prospects before they can turn them into customers. Whitepapers and eBooks are vehicles that can accomplish this task. These two types of content can convince each of the decision-makers in your prospect's company or home that you offer a valuable solution to their problem.

If you compete mainly on price, Handley and Chapman explain, then eBooks and whitepapers might not be useful for your company. The more you portray your software as a commodity, the less value these two forms of content have.

Many of us in the software development industry use the terms "whitepaper" and "eBook" interchangeably. Here's how the authors describe these similar vehicles for presenting content -

eBooks

An eBook is an electronic book that can be downloaded and printed, or read on your computer, tablet, or smartPhone screen. Unlike whitepapers, eBooks can have any style or mood that you choose, from whimsical to serious. eBooks can be fun to read, and easy to scan. Your eBooks should have images, photos, and illustrations of every kind. According to Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, eBooks are a conversation among equals, versus whitepapers which are written by so-called experts.

Whitepapers

A whitepaper is a report that gives prospects and customers information that can help them make the decision to purchase your software. Whitepapers are also called research reports or technical briefs. As a general rule, reading whitepapers is work. They're supposed to be serious. They're rich in text, with the odd illustration to break up the text.

Selling more software

eBooks and whitepapers can drive traffic to your website, and increase your software sales. Be sure you're writing them regularly. It's good software marketing.

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