White papers. We’ve heard about them, but do we really know what they are and how they fit into your marketing mix?
A white paper is an in-depth authoritative and persuasive document that focuses on one topic and presents a problem and provides a solution. A white paper is not a direct pitch for your product or service; instead a white paper uses facts and evidence to show how your product or service offers a solution to a problem or challenge faced by your customers or clients. A white paper is positioned as a problem-solving guide and is usually made available via an email campaign, allowing your company to capture leads for future appointments or sales.
A white paper is different from a blog post or an eBook, each of which can be researched and written in a few hours to a few weeks, a well-written white paper is more like an academic paper that includes a solid body of research and fully documented references. A white paper shows expertise in the chosen topic, is written in a very serious tone, and are meant to help you and your company build credibility and trust with the readers, most of whom are further into the buying cycle.
When you hire a professional copywriter to produce a white paper for you and your company, the copywriter should first consult with you to find out your goals for your white paper and the preliminary information that will be required to write the copy for your white paper. Your copywriter will also work with a professional graphic designer to ensure standardized components for your white paper such as page layout, images, fonts, and colors.
- Your white paper will be a minimum of six pages in length, and usually between 20-30 pages long. Included in the page count will be the illustrations, charts, and references.
- The final draft of your white paper will also include a table of contents, a short executive summary, an introduction, a chapter that outlines the problem faced by your customers or clients, a chapter that defines one or more relevant solutions, a chapter that highlights a company that used the recommended solution to get results, and a conclusion.
- Your final white paper will be 8.5X11 in a portrait layout PDF that can easily be downloaded from an email or printed and mailed or presented in hardcopy.
You should expect the generation of a white paper to take at least a month from initial consultation to final draft. Your next step will then be to design an email and social media marketing campaign to give your white paper the greatest exposure.
A white paper is an important element of your overall marketing strategy. The professional team at Writing It Right For You looks forward to working with you to write a white paper for you and your company. Contact us here.