The definition of “white paper” can vary from person to person, company to company, industry to industry. In short, a white paper is an authoritative report or guide that solves a reader’s problem, answers their question, or helps them make a decision. A white paper is also a lead generation tool.
In the realm of what our company does, a white paper is an educational, informative and highly valuable document that requires something of the reader. That is, the reader must give you something in order to download the document. Typically, the reader will be required to submit a form with their information before they can view the white paper.
As a company, you want to know more about your readers. You may want their email address, phone number, profession, or something else. Depending on your company’s goals, you want different things and will set the downloading requirements based on that. Not only do you get insight as to who your readers are, but you get leads. Bonus!
It almost goes without saying that a white paper needs to be attractive enough for people to give up some information for it. Give your readers value and they’ll return the favor.
A white paper should:
- Solve a real problem
- Provide details, or step-by-step instructions, on how to solve the problem
- Answer a common question
Here are a few white paper topics you can test out:
- “How to” guides
- “Best of” lists
- “Top 10” lists
- Industry secrets revealed
- Expert tips and tricks
- Cheat sheets and presentation notes
Sneak a peek at our blogs for more topics and titles..
Always back up your argument, ideas or knowledge with valid facts, statistics, credible reports and quotes from industry experts.
Now, you may ask, “How is a white paper different from a blog post?” Aside from a white paper requiring a form submission from your reader, white papers are generally lengthier documents (the “norm” no less than five pages) and more instructive. They should be perceived as more valuable and more insightful.
White papers offer a benefit that blog posts cannot – they are highly effective lead generation tools.
Did we answer your question, “What is a white paper?” This article offers a brief overview of what a white paper means to our company. We welcome your thoughts, tips or suggestions!
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