What is a white paper?
A white paper is a report or guidebook written by professional persons that present facts, data, charts, and information regarding a subject which are not biased or favored by any particular party. It is written for readers so they can understand the issue or complex workings of an area and make decisions regarding the same. The purpose of the white paper is to help the reader understand a problem neutrally.
White paper in Business
After understanding what is white paper let’s get clear up what is it in business. A white paper in business is a document containing content in a long-form to inform the audience about trends, strategies, policies, outcomes, etc in various markets.It can be about a new technology or a new revolutionary product. White papers are not advertisements or opinion articles, they are based on facts and research done by experts and written by professionals.
It also differs from documents such as manual or sales pitch as it is not written for persuasion or instruction. Information is the sole purpose of the white papers. They are generally long-form documents compiled with lots of fact-checking and verification. For example, ‘Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation’ is a white paper published by Uber, a transportation company, which sees the future of transportation in a new way.
How to write a white paper for business
White paper in business is a carefully written document. It is advisable to take the help of experts and researchers while writing it. Also, every type of business requires a different type of white paper.
Here are some tips on how to write a white paper for business
1) Consider your audience
There are certain groups of people for whom you will write a white paper. Know about them before starting it. knowing about their language compatibility, interests, average income, social class, etc. considering all this will tell you what kind of language is needed to be used and what examples will clarify the issue in a better way.
2) Issues and problems
The reason behind the writing or commissioning a white paper has to be specific. That must be an issue or problem or opportunity that you can see and want to tell your vision on it. Take up reviews of experts and professionals on what information, data, or research are helpful to your content. It is always a good thing to remove unnecessary information. Keep examples unbiased and steady.
3) Show them your expertise
The white paper is not an advertisement or a sales pitch. So, don’t worry about your products or services but focus on contemplating problems or issues in the industry. It will show your expertise in the market. Also, your conclusions will benefit the market and society in general.
4) Tell a story
Every writing is about telling a story about something. The white paper tells readers about a problem or issue in the market and contemplates it. The compiler needs to use simple language, no matter how complex the idea is. That doesn’t mean you can use casual language, it still needs to be professional and formal. A better way is to use visuals instead of giving a paragraph about technicalities. By telling a story, you will be able to hold the reader till the end of the document where your ground-breaking conclusion is waiting for them.
5) Outlining and revising
Always start with an outline. Consider things you want to add and write tentative headings. Once you finalize it, start writing and expanding on them in simple and lucid languages. Write your first draft without worrying about the final look or feel. Once it is done you can go back and revise everything from language to examples to suit your readers and market.
Format of a business white paper
- Issues and problems
- Ways of tackling/using problems for the betterment of the industry
- Your solution or vision
Examples of great white papers
Click on the title to see the paper-