I regularly follow a number of marketing, copywriting and Information Technology blogs, including Jonathan Kantor’s ‘White Paper Pundit’. He’s got an interesting take on white papers in this short attention span ‘web 2.0’ world, and I’ve learned a lot from his writings and training offerings.
A recent post of Jonathan’s piqued my interest.
It was titled: “How to Feature a White Paper on YouTube” and I encourage you to read it first – because this post’s a response to his! (Dec 2016 update: the site appear to be no longer online, alas.)
I intend to write about two things today:
a) Intermec’s video white paper on YouTube.
b) Intermec’s downloadable pdf white paper with embedded streaming video.
OK. First up is that YouTube Video White Paper – Smart Phones Tough Enough For Work?
Jonathan’s post described the use of video white papers and other multimedia informational marketing activities as, “freeing your content“. He used a company called Intermec, a supply chain technology provider, as an example.
I watched part 1 of their video white paper on YouTube and agree with him that it’s a well-planned and professional production.
By discreetly showing their own product being subjected to a whole raft of tests – vibration, drop, tumble and electrostatic discharge – and also explaining the significance of each of these to their customers, Intermec were sending a very subtle but powerful message about the degree of engineering and testing that goes into making rugged and reliable hand held mobile computers (their cs40) or smart phones.
In fact, I was impressed enough to leave a comment.
My comment refered to two things:
1) It’s easy to forget that the description box below each video hides additional space for providing information. But you have to click on the down arrows to see them. That’s why I’d prefer to have their url for the cs40 landing page (or for the white paper download page) more immediately visible.
2) If you go to Intermec’s cs40 landing page there is lots of product information, including additional videos, but not the white paper itself. Intermec have a separate url for it that requires registration.
That’s fine (I registered for it) but I think it would be worth split-testing one versus two urls within the YouTube description box. The idea behind having just one url is to encourage the user to go direct to the landing page and then present the white paper sign up box when they arrive.
And now for Intermec’s downloadable pdf white paper with embedded streaming video.
(The url’s available in the YouTube video comments section.)
Here are three things I really liked about this white paper:
Just 7 pages of vendor-independent and educational marketing information.
Effective use of sub-heads for skim readers.
An informative and controversial headline….with a sub headline that sets up the white paper’s theme.
Intermec have embedded four links within this white paper to video clips that help explain and qualify the text. I like this approach because:
a) it again reinforces their authority status within the industry.
b) the videos are educational and well done.
The downside for me was that they took too long to load.
I’m talking 3 to 4 minutes before the actual streaming begins. It might be because I’m in Japan and their servers are US-based but I doubt it, as other video material streams just fine from US, UK and Europe.
If the video clips started streaming within 10 seconds or less this technique could be very effective in gaining ‘mind share’ and engaging with prospects.
In conclusion, Intermec are to be commended on their creative use of videos and text-based content (web content pages, landing pages and downloadable white papers). I expect we’ll see an increase in the number of multimedia white papers as streaming technologies mature and effective broadband availability becomes commonplace.
– Mark ‘white paper writer’ McClure