The classic white paper has been around for almost one hundred years having originated in Great Britain in the early 20th century.
A white paper is a narrative essay that is intended to provide pre-sales educational and practical facts for business people who are seeking understanding of an issue, a solution for a business problem, or decision-making assistance.
Today, white papers are still extensively used to explain, argue, educate and promote government policies and programmes. In business to business marketing, it has established a significant successful track record.
If you need a little nudge towards embracing white papers, here are some reasons why you should developing them:
1. White papers are fantastic lead generation tools
White papers, when done right are able to generate good quality and quantity of leads. Some tips to getting a white paper right:
Identifying the right target audience
One white paper does not fit all. In another white papers are not generic lead generation tools that deliver all categories of leads.
The business audience has different interests and levels of technical competence in comparison to a technical audience. It may be more effective to deliver two separate white papers targeted to the particular audience.
Choosing a length that is appropriate for your audience.
Typically business audience or leads would consume a white paper that provides them necessary information to make an informed decision. However, it cannot be too long that it challenges their attention span. Technical decision makers, on the other hand, would require more detailed content that usually covers between eight (8) to 10 pages. A shorter and relatively succinct paper (6-8 pages) may be appropriate for the business decision maker.
Using only unbiased, factual content
Many decision makers respond more positively to documented facts that aid their decision making than to strong opinions or sales pitches. You should provide unbiased, factual content that is referenced, clearly explaining the challenge or issue, provide a thorough explanation of possible solutions or best practices, and describe likely outcomes or benefits.
Consider outsourcing white paper lead generation to a white paper writing expert
2. White paper helps your company to build trust and credibility in the industry
Companies use white papers to describe the technical features and benefits of their product or services. White papers also acts as a platform for companies to share their expert views in their industry. To help build trust and credibility, white papers should adopt an authoritative, insightful, demonstrative voice.
3. To establish a strong brand and position yourself as industry thinkers and counsel
A company that has published multiple white papers demonstrates that it understands the problems and challenges their customer faces and are able to position itself as an industry expert.
One last tip, a completed white paper will serve no purpose unless it’s marketed wisely and gets into the right hands.
To learn how TUV Sud packaged decades of industry experience and knowledge of its leading global domain experts in marketing white papers read the case study here.
To talk to us about how we can help you develop professionally written and marketed white paper for your company, contact us now. We look forward to working with you!