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Every marketing channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. A new report suggests that while email maintains several critical features that drive its value, white papers prove two times more effective at driving audience conversions.

In fact, white paper conversion performance outpaces email, even though both mediums see roughly the same rate of consumption among B2B buyers, according to a new Eccolo Media study.

White paper content is one of three forms of information that more than half of B2B buyers examine when researching a purchase. Email and data sheets enjoy a majority usage, although one-third of buyers consider white papers to rank among their top five assets in terms of purchase influence.

To a large extent, these benefits are inherent to the longer form of white paper content. Emails and social content are brief and focus on making a quick impact, while white paper content can break down complex subject matter and concepts—particularly when it comes to providing context and explanation for data-driven insights.

Consider the HookLogic white paper “Converting the CPG Online Shopper.” In breaking down how consumer behavior has changed regarding online shopping compared to in-store activity, the paper used data spanning 10 million transactions and $1.2 billion in sales.

“HookLogic began working with U.K. grocery store chains like Asda to support online shopping,” MediaPost reports. “Now the company will bring what it learned to the U.S. to help more CPG manufacturers build a strategy that encompasses cross-category marketing.”

However, breaking down such innovative approaches can’t be done in a limited space. White paper content offers a constraint-free outlet for going deep into strategy and making a case to prospective buyers. This content functions like a well-developed sales pitch, educating the reader and offering the insights necessary to push a prospect toward conversion.

Meanwhile, this white paper content makes use of the data-driven insights that good analytics technology offers. As a result, white paper content can derive greater value from the data spending that companies already invest in. The insights derived become more valuable when interpreted for the prospective buyer, and the white papers can join the rest of a brand’s promotional literature.

This article originally appeared on Skyword.
Content Marketing Summit 2015

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