How to Create a White Paper
November 23, 2018
HOW TO WRITE A WHITE PAPER
The white paper is a short book (10-30 pages), which describes the solution to a specific problem of the target audience. White papers are one of the most effective varieties of content marketing and advertising, applicable to almost any business. Such a document is always created on a relevant topic for the reader, solves some problematic issue, talks about errors, and so on.
THE FEATURES OF GOOD WHITE PAPERS
A good white paper captures the attention of the reader from the first page. It must be written for the target audience. It sets the direction for solving specific problems of specific people. You need to write about advice and solutions that people should perform and immediately see the result. At the same time, such book must be written to promote the company, and therefore it is necessary to inform that things will go faster and more correctly with the help of professionals.
A good white paper does not advertise but informs, while it has clear benefits for customers and for solving their problems. Up to the last page, neither the product nor the company name is mentioned.
First of all, it must be an educational product. A good white paper will be able to attract customers, increase sales, and improve the image of the company. The text should not be speculation (only the facts). Therefore, reviews from consumers are not used here. However, the opinions of experts are permissible.
WHITE PAPER SUBJECTS
You can choose almost any topic for writing your white paper. The main thing is to make the material as informative and useful as possible. It is better to choose a narrow theme since it is easier to describe it as fully as possible.
Your speech should be simple and accessible, the reader should not have any misunderstandings, and you should be guided by the target audience. That is, if the book is oriented toward specialists, professional language must be used in it. If the document is created for consumers, it is worth using simple language without saturating with unnecessary terms.
To write a white paper use:
- formal language and form of narration;
- lists with key points and their brief descriptions;
- tables and graphs, they can add objectivity and clarity when comparing characteristics and properties;
- headings and subheadings, they make the text structured and easier to read;
- bold type to highlight important information;
- quotes and the expert opinion.
The structure of a white paper does not differ from the structure of any book and consists of:
- Table of contents.
- Introduction (not more than two pages). Here you need to show the problem, schematically describe its structure, and define the goal.
- The body of the text. It reveals the essence of the problem and offers options for its solution, examples of the application of these solutions in practice. The main part of the largest, it is desirable to give it a clear structure.
- Conclusions and information about the company.
- Call to action.
TIPS FOR WRITING A WHITE PAPER
There are no strict rules regulating white paper format. There are many variations of this kind of document. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Guideline. This type of white paper should contain clear instructions for performing an action algorithm. For example, “How to Lose 5 Pounds in Just One Week.” In this book, you must clearly indicate what actions people need to take to achieve the desired result.
Collection of cases. In this type of white paper, successful examples of some kind of activity are usually placed. For example, “10 Stories of Incredible Weight Loss.” Write about the examples of real people who have achieved good results.
Expert opinion. Professional assessment can convince potential customers of your competence. Build a book in the form of a collection of interviews with experts in your field. It is not necessary to post interviews with many experts; it may be the opinion of one professional. For example, “Dietitian’s View on the Latest Losing Weight Methods.”
Remember, regardless of the white paper format you choose; the basic information should be as meaningful and useful as possible. Your document must consist of 80% of the facts and only about 20% of unobtrusive advertising.
An important role in attracting the attention of potential readers is played by the title. Find an intriguing and interesting name for your work. Pay attention to the design of the title page too. The cover should be bright and attractive. Marketing experts most often advise using red, yellow and orange colors.
The text of the document must be structured. Divide it into paragraphs. Leave enough space between paragraphs. Such gaps will help readers to perceive and interpret the text better. Use readable fonts. Do not use too many types in one document, one or two fonts will be quite enough. Highlight important text elements in bold and italics.
Text editing is of great importance in writing white papers. Make sure that it does not contain grammatical and punctuation errors. First, read the book as a whole and correct the stylistic inaccuracies. Then check the spelling of the words and the structure of sentences. Remember, working on white paper can take a lot of time, so it is better to use professional services of proofreaders and editors.