Does My Organization Really Need White Papers?
White papers are a product or service pitch.
The goal of a white paper is to create a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic based on facts and evidence.
The goal is NOT to tell the world why your product or service is the best, and why it needs to be purchased today.
Smart marketers create white papers to educate their audience about a particular issue, and explain (and promote) a particular methodology to solving that challenge.
So how do you write a great white paper? What are the typical standards? Here’s what an A+ whitepaper looks like, according to Hubspot:
Length: It should be no fewer than six pages, including illustrations, charts, and references. Can be upwards of fifty if the topic requires that much detail.
Structure: There is usually a title page, table of contents, short executive summary, introduction, several pages educating the reader about the problem, several pages hypothesizing a solution, and a conclusion.
Format: PDF in portrait orientation (8.5″ by 11″).
Style: Professional, serious, well written. It’s recommend that you hire a graphic designer to design page layout, images, fonts, and colors as well.
So yes, white papers are an effective content marketing tool. One study on business to business (B2B) marketing found (by Eccolo Media): 84% of businesses find white papers either moderately or extremely influential in their purchasing decisions.
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