How to Create White Papers
- The best titles offer to address your audience’s problem. Titles that are company ads will never get posted to resource sites.
- Cut the Cute. Cute doesn’t register on search engines or in subject lines. This is a paper by professionals for professionals. Consider what keywords might be needed. Be clear.
- Be unique, but be smart. Go ahead and appeal to their emotions, tap into their mindset and challenge them to action. Just don’t, whatever you do, confuse them.
|The Good||The Just Plain Ugly|
|What Hackers Know That You Don’t||Business Challenges of Large-Scale, Integrated Database Amalgamation|
|8 Simple Ways to Satisfy Online Customers||Industry Trends of MidMarket Real-Time Enterprises|
|Starting from Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Your Website||Whizzbang: The Most Innovative Product on the Market from Gidget Enterprises|
This is where you lay out what your paper will cover. Inside this paper, for instance, you will find a discussion of:
- Key layout sections that should be included in a Great White Paper
- Tips on planning content that will improve your white paper’s success
- The pros and cons of using an in-house writer vs. a freelance writer
Define A Problem & Explain the Background
All over the country, many companies are having the same big idea – we will write a Great White Paper and sales will go up. This is smart planning. In a recent survey, 60% of respondents said they downloaded 5 or more white papers in the last 3 months. Yet companies can often find it confusing to know what to include and what to avoid.
From the same survey, here are two key issues to consider when planning your content:
- The top 3 reasons why respondents read white papers were:
o To find a solution for a problem
o To keep up with new/emerging markets or technologies
o To obtain preliminary information about products and vendors
- Respondents were disappointed with white papers that:
o Did not a solve a problem
o Were too long and product-oriented
o Led with misleading titles
Remember that audiences do not want to waste time. Real-life examples and statistics will be more effective than generic statements. Clean layouts, bullet points, charts & graphics will also help your white paper stand out from the pack.
Detail Possible Solutions
Every Great White Paper needs to consider all the angles of your audience’s problem. If your company wants an effective white paper written, for example, there are two solutions available:
- Use an in-house writer or skilled employee
- Hire a freelance writer
Explain Benefits & Disadvantages
Both of the above approaches have their own peculiar pros and cons. Here they are for comparison:
|Already on Company Books – Less Paperwork||Not their Primary Job Training|
|Inside Knowledge of Industry||Too Close to Subject to Analyze All Angles|
|Easy to Visit for Consultation & Editing||Busy with Other Projects|
|Outsider’s Perspective on a Company||Needs Time to Collect Information|
|Unafraid to Ask Stupid Questions||May Ask Very Stupid Questions|
|Can Focus Solely on Your Project||Requires Contract & Timeframe|
Whether you choose an in-house writer or a freelance writer for the job, a Great White Paper is a highly effective marketing tool. Short, informative and to the point, these papers can establish you as an expert in your field and a person of trust. If you have solved a customer’s problem or provided them with helpful information, you have done your job.
Call to Action
Always include a call to action for potential customers.
Readers of this paper, for instance, might like to consult the accompanying tip sheet, Secrets of the Great White Paper. It lays out further strategies on finding topics, striking the right tone and targeting audiences.