Effective White Paper – Influence the decision making of the customer
Defining White paper
White Paper, excellent marketing collateral that provides control over your chosen niche. The main focus of writing a white paper is to help the target audience that is interested in going deeper into the roots of your organization’s issues, policies, trends, and briefly explain causes, implications, and benefits.
What is the purpose of a white paper?
White papers are one of the most potent and productive tools used by companies, health insurance, government, and universities to attract new customers and hold on to the existing ones. The white paper engages them in a more in-depth dialogue with their brand and acknowledges an industry problem to propose their solution.
According to the B2B content marketing Benchmarks, budget, and trend report, white papers are among the top 4 most constructive types of collateral marketing preferred by 71% Companies. Content Marketers apply this potential tool to increase sales. But it requires a load of efforts, finance, time as well as resources to create it. So how to be sure to get a high return on your investment?
How to write a white paper?
Business is all about trust and loyalty, and to build advocates for your brand; it is mandatory to give your customer experience about it. For this show your readers that you are experienced, reliable, and adept in a given domain.
When potential customers search for information to get the answers to their questions and provide them with a quality white paper that helps, they will turn to you again in the future and help in the decision making processes.
The white paper can help boost the sales in an organization. The B2B technology survey by Ecoloshows, more than 50% of respondents, read a white paper before making a buying decision. Trust and experts in the field prefer white paper more while looking for the purchase.
Demandgen, 2017 content preferences survey found that more than 75% of survey respondents were ready to provide their personal information for a white paper. This ratio is more than for ebooks, research articles, case studies, analyst reports, testimonials, podcasts, surveys, or infographics.
Types of white paper
There are varieties of white papers businesses can publish, but it is categorized mainly as:
- Backgrounder, consisting of thorough information on a company’s product/ services or methodology and is explained with benefits.
- The problem-solving approach helps customers to get the solution to a problem that the industry is facing.
Format of a white paper
While writing content for a white paper, the findings and research should answer the query of your customer. Hence the outcome should bring the solution, which is supported by the evidence.
The reader’s journey and preferences in a white paper follow suit of the significant findings. So for the white paper format, always keep in mind throughout the route that the document should be smooth and understandable and include attractive heading for a natural conclusion. There are many examples, as well as templates available online.
Best practices for writing a stunning white paper
Don’t end with just ‘one.’
Research and development are time-consuming as well as expensive. The white paper consists of varieties of writing, design, editing, and research. Focus on modifying to meet multiple stakeholders’ information needs. The hard work of writing a whitepaper can turn into a video, a podcast, a webinar, or a presentation at an industry conference.
See this white paper example, Siemens – “Seizing the digitalization opportunity,” use this one as an insight paper. They have substantiated the concept of owner financing with examples and how they have helped clients in the real world.
Engage your target audience
White papers should solely look at a problem or issue, first and foremost, from the consumers’ point of view. It is essential to demonstrate clear value for the time your customer is investing while reading a white paper, the same way you put value in your product or service. Question Yourself: What are the problems that my customers face? Build white paper subtly so that your organization, your people, can answer those questions.
Check this white paper example of Autodesk on “Air, Fluid Flow, and Thermal Simulation of data centres” and incorporate creative images to engage their reader in a technical article.
Market the content
As we all know, to maximize the reach of our product/ services, we promote it, then why not your white papers? The intention to create white paper is to involve existing or potential customers and add value to the consumer’s decisions. Emails, banners, Facebook & Linkedin Ads, and Google AdWords platforms where you can promote it.
Lookout for professionals
To create something revolutionary, solely your input will not work, but you have to hire outside experts too. Quotes from external professionals are essential for two reasons;
- It adds more credibility to your white paper
- Your expert’s fan base will bring new audiences, thus exposing the white paper’s content to a greater reach.
Uber has sponsored “Fast-forwarding to a Future On-demand Urban Air transportation“ white paper and has included reviewers from NASA, MIT, and other organizations to support air transportation.
Be realistic and approach in actionable steps.
White papers address theory or a particular point of view, but readers are eagerly waiting for specific guidance they can solve. In addition to actionable steps, include a call to action. Make your relation better with your customer by involving them with your brand, cause, or candidate ( e.g., call me, email me, download this, etc.).
Amazon’s “AWS security incident response guide“ white paper provides actionable steps and helps readers understand the Incident response & user security choices on security goals.
Keep it longer but engaging.
The question that arises while writing a white paper is how long it should be?. The ideal length of a white paper depends on the company, but the only criteria to follow is to deliver the value a customer expects. Sometimes it can be five or might be 20 pages. Like any piece of content, the first 20 seconds is crucial to make it as engaging as possible. Hence, think of an eye-catching headline and continue to participate. Research shows that white paper and other types of long-form content, such as articles and video presentations, are often shared faster than a shorter one.
Make it “sticky.”
A white paper should be intellectually challenging, but should not be hectic for readers that leave them sore and disappointed. In the era where everything should be appealing, be cautious about relying on slang and acronyms to set down a reader’s mood. Try to give your reader an enjoyable experience, but don’t make the content dull & monotonous. For engaging ability, use language and headlines that invite the reader to become profound in your document.
“Current and New approaches to making the drug more affordable.“ Written by CVS health, it is the best way to build topic authority.
Change is the only constant.
The world is changing, and so do the businesses, and one thing all CEOs want to grapple with is a change in regulations, change in technology, change in how products are packaged, or distributed. It is crucial to involve the current scenario in your white paper, but it is essential to put the future context.
In the end, it’s all about the basics. Brainstorm and find the answer of five Ws and start the white paper to create what is most effective. Why your customer needs a white paper, how it will make progress, and convey your message to your customer and stakeholders, and how it reflects your organization’s brand. Make your organization more likeable and trustworthy and try finding ways for it.
Let your white paper represent what you are and what you want to be.