When your product or service is one that is relatively complex, your small business is forced to deal with a number of marketing challenges that have to do with selling something that is not very simple to comprehend. This challenge is primarily due to the fact that your product or service simply cannot be explained within a “first glance” context. In this, as well as a number of other instances, white papers can be an extremely effective marketing tool for educating your prospective and current clients about the benefits and merits of your products and services and explain them in further detail so that they can truly comprehend what is involved. Though whitepapers aren’t typically among the most exciting forms of marketing materials, they do have an important benefit to your marketing strategy that other, more “thrilling” forms of advertising simply cannot achieve. They provide credibility and validity to the claims that you make, to show that it’s not just bells and whistles, but value as well. White papers offer a very unique advantage to prospective clients through objective, factual information and analysis about business issues and solutions that they may be facing, as opposed to simply reading misleading marketing hype. Decision makers for a company are typically much more interested in what a well written whitepaper has to say than a brochure that simply lists product and service features and benefits. Even if the whitepaper is a bit on the dry side, and is longer than the brochure, an interested businessperson will typically feel that it is well worth the effort to find out what is really involved in your offer. A good quality whitepaper will typically contain business-case information as well as all of the most important technical material. When done properly, this whitepaper can be used for a number of different uses, which include: • Educating current and prospective clients before they speak with one of your salespeople. If your whitepaper is available on your website, then decision makers will frequently review it to see if the product or service is capable of meeting their needs before they actually contact a sales rep. An educated customer is much easier to sell to. • Generating new leads. One of the easiest ways to obtain contact information voluntarily from prospective customers is to have them register – that is, provide you with basic contact information – in order to be able to read the whitepaper. This allows you to gain information for direct mailers and other advertising, as well as to better understand your market with the little demographic information provided. • Reaching a wider audience. By distributing your whitepaper among information sites other than your own, you will reach prospects who may never have known about you otherwise. • Educating employees – both yours and theirs. Whitepapers can serve as a wonderful start to training and education of employees. Because they explain the products and services in a jargon-free, understandable way, it is a great way to begin learning about what your company offers, right down to the smallest detail. Therefore, as challenging as creating a high-quality whitepapers may be, it is also well worth the effort. Keep in mind that if you are unable to do it yourself, there are many professional writers out there who can create it for you. Consider the fee an investment into your overall marketing strategy. Robert Moment is an innovative small business coach and author of Invisible Profits: The Power of Exceptional Customer Service. Robert specializes in teaching small business owners “how to” actionable small business ideas and strategies that generate profitable results. Visit http://www.smallbusinessmarketingideasstrategies.com and sign-up for the FREE Small Business Marketing 5 day e-course.