What’s the Difference Between an eBook and a Whitepaper?

When creating a content marketing plan for our clients, we often encourage the use of high-value downloads to drive quality website traffic and conversions to their website. These are normally produced in the form of eBooks or White Papers, and discuss key topics of interest for target persona types. 

When advising on what types of content to adopt, we often get asked, ‘but what’s the difference between an eBook and a White Paper?”

This post will help you to differentiate the two and will also discuss when an eBook or a White Paper is best used within construction marketing campaigns.

White Paper Marketing

– What are they?

A technical white paper is a more considered document. It might deal with emerging industry issues or an existing topic that you feel needs an injection of new thinking. Either way, it is likely to be longer than an eBook, putting the subject matter in context with wider industry or societal issues, and exploring it from multiple angles. By addressing a more complex topic, white papers help to represent construction businesses as thought leaders within the industry.

While, theoretically, a white paper can be anything you want it to be – the name confers certain expectations from the reader, and it’s wise to keep that in mind when planning one.

– Who are they for?

Aside from being used to drive your content marketing plan by addressing subjects of most relevance to your audience groups, white papers are typically written for experts with an existing high level of knowledge on your chosen subject.

– When are they used?

White papers can be used to position your construction business as leading industry experts to help targeted audiences to make educated buying decisions. White papers are typically used at a later point in the construction buying cycle, when prospects or past customers are already familiar with your construction company, products and services. They are already in your sales funnel and have a certain level predilection for buying from you. White papers therefore, provide that additional reassurance and evidence that they have made or are about to make the right choice with who to specify their product with.

eBook Marketing

– What are they?

eBooks can be any “attention-grabbing” pieces of work typically available in a downloadable document. As opposed to a White paper, eBook content is conventionally known to be more simple and conversational in tone, acting as a ‘practical guide’ or taking on a ‘how to’ approach to a certain subject. They’re used to demonstrate how a construction business is geared to deal with particular challenges faced by the reader. As opposed to a white paper, the overall topic choice is typically narrower.

– Who are they for?

Due to the fact that eBooks are typically more conversational in tone and take on a less technical subject matter, they’re usually written for non-experts within your field who are looking to gain more insights and educate themselves.

– When are they used?

eBooks are often used earlier on within the construction buying cycle, to convert the “unaware” into the “aware”. Typically, readers are not yet within your sales funnel or are within the early stages – so eBooks act as an enticer to demonstrate how you can support them with their every day requirements. eBooks are also notorious as a marketing tool for collecting email addresses and contact names to help those interested later down the line when they’re at ‘buying stage’.

As with all elements of Construction Marketing, time and resource is precious. Therefore when creating an eBook or White paper, always ensure you’re closely measuring the effectiveness of your work through the use of  tags – you can learn a little more about these here.

To find out more information on what content is right for your construction business, give us a call on 01908 671707, or download our eBook on White Paper Marketing.

James Necek

About James Necek

Passionate about the power of the written word, James has spent many years honing his skills and talent to deliver creative and technical content for various clients in the construction and automotive industries. Having recently joined the Pauley Creative team this year, it’s James’ role to ensure content is managed for our clients on a daily basis.

Leave a Reply