White Papers & White Paper Marketing
Are you an expert, or have a specialised service or product? Why not write a white paper? It is very similar to an e-book but is considered more authoritative. It’s the perfect sales tool to extol your expertise or product uniqueness.
We assist in its compilation, design and publishing, and if required, can even write if for you.
In the Commonwealth of Nations, “white paper” is an informal name for a parliamentary paper; in the United Kingdom these are issued as “Command papers”. White papers are issued by the government, and lay out policy, or proposed action, on a topic of current concern. Although a white paper may on occasions need consultation as to the details of new legislation, it does signify a clear intention on the part of a government to pass new a law.
More recently, the term white paper has also come to refer to documents that argue non-governmental positions as well. For example, many white papers today espouse the benefits of particular technologies and products. These types of white papers are almost always marketing communications documents, and are designed to promote a specific company’s solutions or products as it relates to the issue or topic examined. As a marketing tool, it is important to note that these papers will always highlight information favourable to the company authoring or sponsoring the paper while minimizing any negative aspects related to the company’s involvement with the issue, product or technology. Today the commercial white paper is the most common type of white paper. Such white papers are used to collect leads, establish thought leadership or close sales - this is quite different from the original use of white papers.
White paper production
Because of their persuasive nature, white papers should be carefully crafted to avoid the perception of salesmanship. This can be easily accomplished by inserting key educational content that is relevant to the intended readers. White papers should begin by focusing on the needs of readers, rather than the specific solution suggested by the paper’s sponsor. The book Writing White Papers explains, “Leading with problems or needs early in your white paper is a very powerful method to gain the interest of your readers.”
Typical content for a white paper might include:
- Problem Development
- Historical Overviews
- A Generic Introduction to the Solution
- What to Look for in an Ideal Solution
We hope you found this information useful. We would like to remind you that this subject is best served, and more effective as part of a complete marketing plan or strategy, rather than in isolation. For further expert advice please contact us to discuss your requirements or post a question in our blog.
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