I attended the Marketing Sherpa Demand Generation Summit, and listened to an interesting presentation from Mike Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers. He mentioned the "3-30-3" rule of whitepapers, which I thought you would find interesting and useful.
The 3-30-3 Rule for Whitepapers:
1) You have 3 seconds to grab your readers attention. This is related to the ad they are looking at or the organic search result. You only have a couple seconds to grab their attention and get them to click on your ad or link so they become interested in your paper.
2) You have 30 seconds to engage your reader. Once they have clicked, you need to engage them with a summary of the paper either to get them to read the whitepaper or to get them to download it.
3) You have 3 minutes for your prospect to read the paper. No matter how amazing your content is, people are busy and tend to skim them. Don't make the content too dense. It is better to simplify the content and offer an additional whitepaper, than to include too much information in one whitepaper.
Do you use whitepapers in your marketing? What tips do you have to share? Leave a comment below.
Originally published Oct 22, 2007 12:15:00 PM, updated March 21 2013