The significance of a whitepaper varies highly from one industry to another, which makes it a little confusing for marketers who are willing to create one for their business.
As far as the old-school definition is concerned, the whitepaper descends directly from politics which refers to a legislative document that explains and supports a definite political solution.
A whitepaper has several usages and serves a good number of businesses to build trust and establish authority among the potential customers.
Keep reading to know more about whitepapers and how to write one.
A whitepaper is a document used by companies to educate relevant audiences about a problem and provide a comprehensive solution. It indirectly emphasises and promotes the features of a product or service that a company offers or is planning to offer.
White Papers were primarily used to represent government policies and legislation and estimate public reaction. The term “white papers” originated in England when government papers started getting enciphered by colour to indicate its purpose of distribution, and the colour white was specifically designated for public access.
White papers are generally used in politics, business, and technical fields to impart education among the readers and help them formulate proper decisions.
How to Write a Whitepaper?
An excellent whitepaper must be well-researched to make the audience feel that they have grasped some vital information. Here are a few steps to write a whitepaper.
1. Identify and Understand Your Audience
The primary purpose of whitepapers is to define a problem and explain how your product and services would provide a solution to your potential customers. Thus, it is essential to properly understand your audience’s needs and concerns to decide which issue or topic you should address.
If you have an in-depth grasp of what your audiences want, it will help you establish the voice or tonality you should use. Besides, it would also help you conclude if the statistics and figures you are presenting are relevant to the specific audience you’re targeting to reach.
2. Do Your Research
Whitepapers are supposed to provide unique detail to your audience that they can not find anywhere else. To provide them with accurate facts and statistics, you need to conduct different surveys, go through various case studies, journals, research papers, other whitepapers and interpret your findings.
If you are a small business and don’t have enough resources to conduct market experiments, you can always refer to data published on government websites. Remember to mention the sources and perform a fact check before writing the whitepapers.
3. Create an Outline For Your Whitepaper
Whitepapers are long-form, and therefore it is advisable to set the flow of your content in order to organise the information correctly. Here is the format that would help you create your whitepaper outline –
- Abstract or Summary
- Takeaway or Conclusion
Plan out what you would mention under each sub-section. The best way to present your content is to first explain the problem, then provide a suitable solution, and lastly, provide data and statistics to support your explanation.
4. Write Your Whitepaper
Once you have put together your outline, the next step is to write down the final whitepaper. One thing to consider is that the content, especially the introductory part, should be catchy enough to grab your audience’s attention.
The main focus should be on providing a solution, so form your sentences carefully to avoid making it sound like you are pitching your products and services. But, you could definitely mention the relevant product offerings as a solution.
White papers should wholly avoid promotions because they are not meant for advertising your brand. The best way to add considerable value to your writing is by providing plenty of useful and valuable facts to the audience, even if they don’t convert into your customers.
5. Proofread and Edit
Go through your draft once more and see what needs to be rectified or altered to make it read better. Also, check if you have missed out on any particulars and figures.
You can also engage your co-workers or friends as proofreaders to ensure that your paper is as interesting and informative as possible. For more perfection, you can also read your draft aloud so that there are no run-on sentences or awkward phrases. You must proofread to identify the mistakes you have overlooked while writing.
6. Tips to Write a Whitepaper that Converts
Now that you are clear about writing a whitepaper, let’s see some tips to make it professional and engaging.
- Do not promote your product and services directly
- Choose an easy to read font style and size
- Design a compelling cover page
- Select an attractive template
- Use infographics and images to make it interesting
- Create a table of content
- Use aesthetic colours
- Represent the data and statistics in graphs and charts
- Mention your brand name and logo
- Take the help of typing assistant software to avoid grammatical errors.
Whitepapers are one of the essential tools for generating trustworthiness among audiences, and it is a fact that customers usually respond much better to such informative write-ups than advertisements. So, make sure that your whitepaper is adequately organised and well crafted to grow your readers’ interest in your products and services.