Your white paper title is the most important part of your white paper. It’s the first thing that folks will see and, if done right, it will intrigue them to actually give you their email address and read your paper. A good white paper title will take your potential clients biggest problem and map out a journey to their solution. I have lots of places to go when looking for inspiration for a white paper title for myself or my clients. Today I’ll give you my top 5.
1) The White Paper Title Formula
Typically I will start my white papers out with a simple formula as follows:
*number* ways to *do something*, such as “5 Ways to Increase Your Energy”
This is a super effective formula and a tried and true method of creating a white paper title that will entice your readers to give you their email so you can solve all their problems.
If you want to get really fancy you can use an advanced version of the formula as follows:
*number* ways to *do something* in *some timeframe*, such as “5 Ways to Increase Your Energy in 1 Week”
Adding the timeframe at the end will allow people a glimpse into the future of their new “problem free” life and also implies that the steps within your magical white paper must be easy if they can resolve this problem within a week or a month.
2) Magazine Covers
If my formula above still leaves you without inspiration, get up from your desk and go grocery shopping so you can check out the magazine covers in the checkout isle. The copywriters for these huge magazines are the highest paid in the world, so you should totally steal from them. They are highly skilled at convincing you to pick up the latest issue of Cosmo or Shape as it will have the secrets that will drastically improve your life. There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to be inspired by their brilliantly crafted words to punch up your white paper title. If you don’t have time to go to the store just head over to magazines.com.
My quick check of magazines.com today provided a myriad of different options. You will notice a few of them even use the formula I outlined above. Some of my favorites that provide perfect inspiration for a white paper.
- 14 ways to make your skin ageless
- 50 hot beauty tips
- Grow Your Confidence – The nice person’s guide to getting what you want
- The FUN Slim-Down secret
3) HubSpot’s Super Amazing Blog Title Infographic
Time and again when I’m just WRACKING my over-marketed brain for a title on a white paper, I hit my favorite shortcut that points to this great “74 Clever Blog Post Title Templates That Work” infographic.
Of course it says for blog posts, but of course it works for white paper title too. Quick and easy fill in the blank form, and don’t be surprised but most of them coincide with the white paper title formula discussed in item 1.
4) Words That Sell
I prefer electronic versions of everything, including my reading material, but I do have one book that sits right next to me during work hours, and that is my copy of “Words That Sell.” If I am struggling with writing powerful, catchy titles, this thesaurus is my go-to for ideas. Made for those of us in the business copywriting industry, it includes thousands of catchy words and phrases that will turbo up your white paper titles from boring to MIND-BLOWING!
- A few of my favorites from the book:
- Don’t make these ___ mistakes when you _____.
- Maximize your _____________.
- ____ things they never tell you about _____.
5) Free Account at BuzzSumo
Ever heard of BuzzSumo? It’s a helpful search tool that tracks all the content that has been shared on social media sites and ranks them based on their popularity. It’s easy to use, you simply type in your topic or keywords and the free version will produce the most shared articles on the web and how many SHARES each article got on FB, LinkedIN, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
A quick example: A search of “healthy eating” on BuzzSumo returned the following articles that have been shared THOUSANDS of times:
- Full 14 Day Flat Belly Healthy Eating Meal Plan
- 16 Rules to Eat Healthy Without Starving
- 13 Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks For Health Eating on the Go
Now, of course, I’m not advocating you plagiarize any of these articles or titles, but these will simply give you some really great ideas on the best most compelling offer for your white paper title.
A final note before I let you to go write your titles, I would highly recommend being prepared to split test white paper titles. Keep your content the same but test the titles and covers on your optin box. You will be surprised that typically one title will do much better than another. It can be easy to get overwhelmed when given the task to split test, so I recommend doing one split test initially and calling that good until you’re ready to dedicate time to improving your conversion rate.
Remember, it’s important to back up your title with engaging, actionable and valuable content. Hence we will discuss the one two punch of content to turn leads into clients in my next blog post.
A quick reminder for those folks that didn’t see my previous blog post: White Paper Marketing – The Secret Formula. You’ll want to check that out.