Why B2Bs Are Ditching PDF White Papers for a Better Format

By Sean Filidis

Progressive B2B Brands are Ditching PDF White Papers for a Better Format

White papers play an important role in many B2B companies' content marketing strategies. They're often used to promote thought leadership ideas and present immediate solutions to readers.

A favorite among B2B companies, white papers are known to be one of the most effective marketing tools for generating leads, improving SEO, and strengthening brand awareness.

most effective b2b content marketingB2B Content Marketing Trends—North America: Content Marketing Institute


Although white papers are excellent for lead generation, they often fail to maintain reader interest and drive real content engagement.

At Foleon, we often like to point out that downloads ≠ engagement.

The problem is that white papers are usually published as static, non-responsive business PDFs, which are neither engaging nor mobile-friendly. In today’s content-laden world, traditional PDF white papers fail to hold readers’ attention.

That's why many forward-thinking companies now take a more creative approach to making white paper designs more attractive and entertaining. They’re ditching PDFs and turning to interactive PDF alternatives to create white papers that are visually immersive and keep people reading. 

Let’s take a look at some examples of companies that are changing the way they create content — from a pure focus on lead generation to more emphasis on genuine engagement.

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Betty Blocks

A disruptor

Betty Blocks is a leader in the realm of no-code application development. They operate in a space that contradicts the general idea of development through programming, and so educating the public on the concept of “no-code development” is essential to their success. 

As with any company active in a space people don’t know much about, Betty Blocks must actively inform readers about their products and services and the valuable insights they have to offer. This makes creating white papers a no-brainer.

Building a brand identity

Rather than focusing solely on the technical side of their business, Betty Blocks uses their interactive business white papers as an opportunity to create a strong brand identity that makes them memorable. 

An immersive reading experience

Creating white papers with Foleon allowed Betty Blocks to transform what would have been a dry and standard PDF white paper into an immersive reading experience.

By leveraging our customizable templates, they created an interactive experience that was on-brand and complemented the rest of their marketing collateral

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20% more leads

By taking an audience-first approach and focusing on the experience over simply gating their content upfront, they ended up generating 20% more leads than they had with their previous format.

And because their white papers are built with Foleon Docs, they can collect rich data on how users interact inside their white papers and thus continually improve their content.

Read Betty Blocks’ success story to find out how readers have reacted to their new white paper format.


Making payroll advice exciting

Let’s face it: Human resources and payroll management isn’t exactly the kind of stuff people want to spend hours researching at work.

It’s a complex topic that involves both legal, professional, situational, and literary know-how. But payroll services company Tentoo knows exactly what its readers are looking for: quick advice that is written in simple language and delivered in an engaging format.

Digestible content

This white paper, cleverly titled a Handbook for a Staff Handbook, does just that. Whereas many white papers can be at least 10 pages long, Tentoo breaks that mold and keeps everything to only 5 snackable pages. 

The navigation bar at the top makes it easier for readers to find what they're interested in while keeping them from feeling overwhelmed. The white paper’s added features provide a far more pleasant reading experience than a normal B2B PDF ever could. 

Smart CTAs

Unlike PDFs, this white paper also functions as a 2-way medium. It can connect readers with Tentoo’s team. A form on the last page allows readers to submit questions and comments.

Not only is this great for the reader, but Tentoo can collect content-specific feedback and optimize communications materials they produce down the road.

Generating leads 5x faster

Tentoo used to create PDF white papers. After adopting intelligent, immersive Foleon Docs, they started generating leads 5 times faster. With a form inside the content itself, rather than upfront on a landing page, they can also now link directly to their CRM and marketing automation tools. 

Read Tentoo’s success story to learn how they increased their lead generation with interactive white papers.

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As companies compete to attract customers with valuable content and demonstrate their knowledge and expertise, they must find ways to stand out and consistently deliver quality B2B white papers.

However, white papers no longer have to be dull PDF documents. As proven by the aforementioned examples, interactive white papers like those built with Foleon can transform your content experience into an immersive, informative, and engaging lead generation machine.

Want to make your white papers more effective and engaging? See how Foleon Docs stack up against PDFs.

Sean Filidis

Sean is a B2B content strategist specialized in streamlining customer journeys, creating sales and marketing alignment, and producing personalized content experiences that resonate with modern buyers. LinkedIn profile

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