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White Papers

What is a „White Paper“?

The term White Paper has evolved from the original White Book (White Paper), which was used in politics in order to provide concrete points of view and clarifications on political issuesA common example is the British White Paper (often referred to as the Churchill White Paper) dating back to 1922, which addressed the political conflict in Palestine. Meanwhile, the White Paper has established itself above all as an instrument of B2B marketing, especially in the case of technology companies, which convey knowledge about innovations and developments to an interested readership.

Why should you write a White Paper?

A white paper is usually created for one of three reasons, which may also be combined. A professional white paper by an expert copywriter can achieve all three goals at the same time.

Lead Generation: The most common use of a white paper is for lead generation campaigns. Many companies use their corporate website to create a landing page for the white paper and then generate traffic from both their homepage, but also through targeted advertising campaigns, such as from LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, as well as Google Adwords to that white paper landing page.

Many technology companies use White Papers to provide interested readers with more information about a specific technology or type of software, while also introducing their own solution in the process. If you want to learn more about how to use whitepapers for lead generation in B2B marketing, then register now for this free webinar “White Papers for B2B Lead Generation”.

Thought Leadership:Many companies write white papers on concepts and developments that affect the future of an industry or technology. They pursues the goal of the so-called “Thought Leadership” – the company wants to be perceived as a thought leader, as particularly innovative and competent by their target market. This is intended to persuade existing customers to stay with the company as well as to attract new prospects to opt for the innovative company as a future partner. This type of white paper can also be easily converted into articles for industry magazines or journals.

Close Sales: White papers can also be used in a later phase of the customer journey; as a “souvenir” or a follow-up to a customer meeting. Especially in the case of more complex or cost-intensive acquisitions, the customer’s information requirements are very high. Personal advice on the ground can create the confidence you need, while an additional white paper may speed up the purchase decision, and ensure that you as a supplier get the deal. Note that such a white paper should be different in content and tone from an informative white paper at the beginning of the customer journey.

>>> Do you need a professional white paper created for your company? Please contact me now for a non-binding offer.

How long should a White Paper be?

While the ideal length depends of course on the respective topic and target audience, the typical length for a white paper is generally 10-15 pages. Please note, that these pages include not just the text but also images, diagrams and possible sources. In text length this corresponds to a word count for white papers between 1.500 to 2.500 words.

What is the tone of a professional White Papers?

Naturally this depends on your target group. The tone of a white paper should, however, be very factual and formal, since this helps you to convey knowledge and position yourself as an expert. This is why the tone should rather resemble the style of an academic paper than a marketing brochure.
But that doesn’t mean that you should bore your readers! Be sure to pay attention to short sentences, refrain from using any unnecessary jargon or terms (and, if necessary, explain them!). Give lots of practical examples to show the relevance of the paper’s topic.

What is the structure of a White Paper?

The most common type of white paper is a classic problem-solving whitepaper that has the following structure:
a) Title
b) Abstract
c) Introduction
d) Challenge
e) High Level Solution
f) Our solution
g) The Customer’s benefits
h) Summary
i) Call-to-Action

>>> Do you need a professional white paper created for your company? Please contact me now for a non-binding offer.

What else has to be considered?

  • The White Paper Is Not a Sales Pitch: Keep in mind that the white paper should not be a marketing brochure or sales pitch. The White Paper is an informative, educational content, which is primarily used to teach your reader essential knowledge. The sales effect of White Papers does not come from saying how great you are, but from demonstrating your expertise by providing high quality content.
  • Multiple Feedback Rounds: What applies to all elements of content marketing is especially important for white papers. You want to convey knowledge, so it has to be checked multiple times. In a white paper, you often collect the expertise of several expertise inside your company. Therefore, the white paper should be read at least once by all these experts. Of course, grammar and spelling must also be checked.
  • Landing Page: Make your finished white paper accessible exclusively via a landing page, where interested parties must leave their contact data to gain access to the white paper. This is how you use White Papers to generate leads. Use Google Analytics to determine the conversion rate of the landing page.