16 Aug White Papers
A white paper is a useful product and publication to highlight a company’s expertise, as well as a valuable tool for marketing purposes.
What is a White Paper?
A white paper is an authoritative document intended to fully inform the reader on a particular topic. It combines expert knowledge and data research into a document that argues for a specific solution or recommendation.
A white paper allows the reader to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
White papers are data driven, text-heavy business documents. Due to the large amount of data and research required, white papers are deep reads and tend to have a formal tone.
Uses and Value
Businesses create white papers both to record expertise and to market themselves.
White papers are generally written for an audience outside of the business. Therefore, they are a tool to attract readers to the company by offering top-quality, company and industry knowledge. However, a white paper is a not a sales pitch. It sells the company by highlighting the internal expertise and valuable service or product recommendations.
Choosing the Right Topic
Choosing the right topic is essential to having a white paper read.
There are three major factors:
- The Audience
As with any business writing, the intended audience must be the first consideration. The white paper must be written with a target reader in mind. The audience may be long-time customers familiar with the industry or prospective buyers who are entirely new to the field.
Search efforts are initiated to find the reader’s pain points or major problems.
A white paper should match and highlight the company’s expertise.
The document should provide a complete analysis, including external research and internal knowledge. The business’s own know-how provides the platform for the content that is included in the white paper.
- Problem-Based and Solution-Based
White papers should identify and address a particular problem. The problem should be relevant and timely. The document may also focus on issues such as common dilemmas, new trends, changing techniques, or industry comparisons.
A white paper must have a proposed solution or recommendation to answer the problem. This solution is based on a thorough examination of the problem and potential solutions.
The selected topic must be comprehensively researched. Information can be pulled from online references, industry resources, and internal company documents.
Of course, all resources must come from authoritative sites. In order to write a valuable document, all research materials, data and facts must be received from credible and reliable sources.
White Paper Format
White papers generally follow a standard document format. The content order may seem similar to other business reports, but there is one major difference:
A white paper places the conclusion at the end.
Many business communications, such as technical reports or proposals, place the main conclusion at the beginning of the document.
In a white paper, the content and research inform the reader and increases his or her understanding of the problem throughout the document.
The final section provides the ‘Ta-da!’ moment where the reader now receives the solution which is supported by the evidence shown and explained in the document.
Bart Rice, Copywriter 720-336-8344