Entries Tagged 'White Papers' ↓

White Papers Aren’t Just For the Big Boys

Why you shouldn’t call them White PapersWhite Paperd

Most people associate White Papers with large corporations that do all sorts of complex things.

The name has connotations of prestige, highbrow concepts and power, but that doesn’t mean they are reserved for the companies that call glistening city tower blocks home.

White Papers are marketing tools that are used to help potential customers resolve challenges they are facing. Of course the solution they offer will just happen to be a product or service offered by the company that produced the White Paper – fancy that.

Whether you write your White Paper in house or hire in the services of a professional copywriter or editor to help you, there are several things it must do (or in some cases, must not do).

1. Information

The whole premise of the humble White Paper is to provide the information your potential customers need. So if you’re struggling to think of something to write about as yourself:

  • What problems are your customers facing?
  • Are these things you can help them with?
  • What advice can you give that will help them?

Once you have the answers to these questions you can start planning your document.

2. No sales

As tempting as it may be your White Paper is not and should not be a thinly veiled advert.

The main element in any sales process is trust. When face to face its easy to get a sense of whether you trust someone or not, but in an online world it’s not so easy. To convince the reader they can trust you, it’s essential that you offer advice and information. Any whiff of sales and they’ll be off so don’t blow it.

3. Conversation

More often than not White Papers are written in over complicated English with loads of big words, complex jargon and ridiculously convoluted sentences.

Write yours in a conversational style that speaks the language of your reader. Break it up into short paragraphs with plenty of sub headings to give an outline of what it covers.

Some of you are probably frowning as you are reading this, but a conversational style is far more effective than formal corporate speak because it generates a friendly approach that makes you come across as being genuine, approachable and helpful.

4. Proof

If you are making claims it’s essential you back them up with relevant facts and figures from reliable sources (that should also be cited within the document).

A White Paper without substantiating evidence will come across as woolly.

5. Good looking

Getting a professional designer on board is as important as a professional writer. Your finished document has to look the bee’s knees so make sure you don’t fall at the final hurdle by using a homemade PowerPoint cover with clip art images.

6. Title

As with everything a catchy title is essential and another tip is to ditch the name ‘White Paper’. Go for something that is more likely to appeal to your readers such as ‘A Special Report on…’

7. Promote

Finally, once it’s written and ready to go, promote it like fury.

Place it on your website, promote it through your social media channels, email marketing and newsletters. After all, if you don’t tell people about it, how are they going to know it exists?

White Papers – or whatever you want to call yours – can help any business regardless of size or sector.

Have you used them successfully in your business?

If so, leave a comment below and tell us how and why you used one.



Stop Wasting Your White Papers

The humble white paper is a great way to help people make decisions.white papers

If you’re unsure what a white paper is, basically, it’s a document that describes a problem and shows the reader how to resolve it:

•    It begins by discussing a challenge experienced by its readers
•    Gives a compelling case as to why you should use a particular approach to solve the problem

I guess you could say they are a cross between a brochure highlighting the consumer benefits of a particular product or service and an educational magazine article, therefore conveying technical information within a marketing format.

But happens once they’re published?

The information within them is valuable marketing collateral so it seems a waste to allow it to gather dust.

Make the most of your white papers

White papers can be anything from 6 to 50 pages in length; that’s a lot of information.

Whether you publish them online or produce them as print materials, there is a way to get a bit more mileage out of them.
One such way is to repurpose the content for your corporate blog. After all, how many times have you found yourself scrabbling round for blog posts?

There are only so many times you can pester your subject matter experts within your company to write something for you. Plus, (no disrespect to the technical bods) their writing tends to be too complex for your blog readership who are looking for short posts packed with easily digestible information.

Whether you have the time and expertise within your own company to do this, or you hire in an outside copywriter, a single white paper can create a series of interesting posts.

All you have to do is:

•    Re-write the content with your new readership in mind
•    Devise a way of splitting the content down into individual sections (a 15-20 page white paper should generate about 7 blog posts)
•    Find new ways of presenting the information (e.g. info graphics as well as text)

Before you know it, you’ll have generated a whole new series of marketing collateral.

In this way, a single white paper that would normally have been forgotten about can be converted into fresh, vibrant content that will reach out to a whole new market whilst providing you with an endless stream of blog posts.