A white paper is an influential, commanding, and comprehensive report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. Some may be more product-centric than others but overall the idea of a white paper is the same throughout specific business and marketing industries. All of them expound on a theory behind an idea, product, or new piece of technology. They all want to not only education their audience but persuade them at the same time. In a sense, they can be looked at as problem-solving guides. Although some white papers can be used to promote a product, they are not meant to be used as a product pitch. Your white paper should be filled with facts and evidence backing up your idea, theory, or product. In a perfect world, there are no minimum requirements for white papers but there are some boundaries on what is and isn’t considered a whitepaper of quality.
Length structure and style are a few features to focus on when writing a whitepaper. Your white paper should be heavily researched and well edited. Unlike blogs and eBooks which take a matter of hours to write, a white paper should take weeks for some. When writing a white paper, the main thing to focus on is what problems your customers may have and how to provide them with solutions later on in the paper. Don’t give the solutions at the beginning because what’s the point of them finishing your paper if you let the good part out at the beginning? Make sure you are trying to connect with your audience in the first paragraph in order to grab their attention. If you don’t, your reader won’t read past the first page. Capturing your audience is highly problematic in a technical document but essential. White papers are considered the academic papers of the marketing world.
To some, white papers are considered boring yet a necessity. They are a great resource for your sales team and build an unpreceded amount of credibility and trust with your readers. With all the useless things you find with a simple Google search, readers find it relieving that you offer some reliable content. A white paper is effective no matter what kind of business you have because it offers solutions to potential customer’s problems. It doesn’t try to sell, praise, or boast about your company or products. Because of the problem solving aspect of it, it urges your reader to take action and makes them even more curious about what you have to offer. The main purpose of a white paper is to promote that your solution is the best option for a particular problem. White papers walk a very thin boundary of being too technical for some. It is the writer’s responsibility to add some spice to this already bland subject while capturing the audience’s attention with a solution or theory that works for them. Overall, white papers are just another helpful tool that businesses should be using to stay relevant among their consumers and competition!