Your content failed to convert because you didn’t make a big enough noise.

You’ve been working on your thought leadership content for a few weeks – interviewing your c-level execs for their insights, researching what the analysts are saying, planning the right structure for white paper, drafting and editing your copy within an inch of its life.

Finally comes the moment to hit ‘publish’…


You thought there would be a flurry of downloads, but nothing.

All that hard work, but nothing.

It’s a complete anti-climax.

Now you need to report on the ‘success’ of your campaign. Clearly your boss isn’t going to be impressed. And you’ve got that sick, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach of not knowing how to justify what went wrong.

But don’t worry because your campaign isn’t over yet.

Step 1: promote, promote, promote

Did you tell people about your white paper?

I know, stupid question. But you’d be surprised how many marketers I’ve come across who simply publish their white paper on a gated landing page and expect their audience to magically know to go and download it.

And even if you did promote your white paper, keep promoting your white paper.

I know a few authors and the thing they consistently say is the most important part of their book launch is the post launch promotion. It’s easy to get people excited about the ‘new shiny’, much harder to keep that excitement going – but you need to sustain the momentum.

Take another look at your promotional plan, specifically the ‘drive to’ content that you’re using to get people to your landing page where they can download the white paper:

🧁Social channels

🧁SEO (search engine optimisation)

🧁PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns

🧁Email marketing

🧁(if it’s newsworthy) PR (public relations)

Also, think about whether there are any smart tactics you can use to increase your exposure:

🧁Relevant hashtags

🧁National/international awareness days/weeks


🧁Tagging clients, prospects, journalists, analysts

🧁Asking colleagues or partners to share it with their networks

Step 2: change the format

One of the best things about long-form content, like white papers, guide and reports, is that it’s really easy to repurpose them into other formats, that tell your ‘story’ in a different way:

🧁An infographic to share all the key stats and facts

🧁A blog series to elaborate on some of the key themes

🧁An email nurture flow

🧁A webinar to present the insights shared

🧁A video of a subject matter expert sharing their insights

🧁A LinkedIn article that reaches your subject matter expert’s network

🧁Sharing key points or compelling ideas on social channels

Because these are great lead generation tactics, use the call-to-action to drive your audience towards the white paper where they can download it to find out more.

Step 3: one piece of content is never enough

Within sales it takes an average of 8 touchpoints to convert a lead. Your white paper is equal to one of those touch points, which means that for it to successfully convert your audience it needs to be part of something bigger.

Meaty assets, like white papers, guides and reports, are great for building campaigns around. Hopefully the above steps have shown you that it’s not too hard to do that. And the really exciting thing, is this technique of repurposing content to build campaigns can be applied to any content – even internal assets.

Take a sales proposal as an example:

🧁Pull out all the product/service detail to make a 1-pager for your sales collateral

🧁Break it down into a series of blog posts that hook into what’s topical in your industry at the moment

🧁With the client’s permission turn it into a case study, or use it generically as a use case

Now you have a whole new set of assets to repurpose into new content:

🧁Write a sales letter and send it with your 1-pager as a direct mail to your prospects

🧁Create a series of attention-grabbing emails that drive people to your blogs

🧁Turn that case study into an award submission

🧁Plug it into your PR machine to gain media coverage

And then repurpose these assets:

🧁Pull the testimonials out of the case study to use on your website, sales decks or company brochure

🧁Create a series of social updates that you can schedule on the platforms that are relevant to your business

From this single proposal you now have a quarter’s worth of valuable content, helping to grow awareness of your brand/company/products/services and generate leads for your pipeline.

And because everything was formed from a single piece of content:

🧁The messaging is consistent

🧁The positioning is consistent

🧁The purpose is consistent

And it’s this consistency that will help you to grow a strong brand in your marketplace.

Want to learn more about how to write great thought leadership content that gets you noticed?

🧁Download your white paper template.

🧁Learn more about content creation for lead generation.

🧁Read more about long-form content, like white papers.