White papers contribute to the thought leadership and credibility of a company and should be undertaken by any business that takes its marketing seriously.
When written well, white papers are an extremely powerful sales and marketing tool, with the emphasis on creating sales opportunities.
Don’t think that white papers are just for big companies, they are equally beneficial for small to medium enterprises.
Simply remember that the content of a white paper should describe a problem and objectively explain how it can be solved in a way that is easily understood.
Key 1: The reader of the white paper should be left in no doubt that your company has the expertise to solve the problem.
Key 2: The white paper must be educational, not self promoting.
Key 3: Give it a catchy title that will attract reader interest and then make sure the first couple of paragraphs maintain their interest so they will keep reading.
Key 4: Don’t focus on just your solution but cover all the solutions to the problem. By including all the pros and cons, you need to make sure that your solution is the one that has the best business benefits.
Key 5: Invest in creating good graphics and images. Ideally, they should be unique and help lead the reader through the white paper continually keeping them engaged so they want to read to the end. Have good descriptive captions so that even if they skip the words, the images will get your messages across.
Key 6: The branding on a white paper should not be too overt. Keep it subtle. You don’t want it to look like a sales brochure.
One of the most common reasons why companies haven’t written a white paper is that their engineers and technicians don’t have the creative flair nor the time it would take them to write one. That’s why I suggest someone who is not as close to the product or solution, such as a PR consultant, is given the job. Yes, they will need to spend some time with the specialists to tap into their expertise, but their time is extremely valuable and it’s about appointing the best person to do the writing.
If you have any questions or comments about writing a white paper please leave a comment below.
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