A white paper has many benefits to business including convincing prospects of the value of your product or service and the generation of qualified leads.
Writing a blog post or even an email isn’t always enough to showcase the depth of your knowledge and how well designed your products and services are. Not only does a white paper provide a way to demonstrate your level of expertise, but it can be useful in explaining the thinking behind any solution, the benefits a buyer can expect and what the outcome was of using the solution in the real world.
You may have the most promising product or service available in your industry, but without demonstrating how it can be used to provide benefits, it’s unlikely to resonate with prospective buyers. A white paper provides readers with further information so they can make an informed decision about whether what you offer can solve their problem. When it comes to sales and marketing, it can be persuasive.
A white paper is a document used for marketing and sales. It’s an authoritative report that explains and has facts on a product or service from a company. It provides answers to questions and enough information for anybody in the buyer’s role to create a business case for purchasing. It can generate leads, fill in the gaps and help people understand how to use a product or service. It is a persuasive and convincing piece of writing that can lead to more sales.
Whitepapers offer many benefits to the marketing and sales efforts of a business. In addition to these benefits, you can find many more below.
White papers put you into a position of authority. They can promote your brand and establish your credibility and expertise. In addition to providing a way to explain your product or service, white papers offer a way to showcase your business’s expertise. By demonstrating the level of industry knowledge that your company has, it can show why anybody should do business with you.
White papers can help with building email lists. In exchange for access to your white paper, people can subscribe to your mailing list. In effect, you can provide access, which is akin to being given a gift in exchange for emailing the person. Of course, any white paper needs to provide a lot of value, or it’s not going to put you in a good light or encourage others to do business with you.
Generate sales leads. A primary reason why most companies opt to have a white paper written. As a key element of any marketing strategy, the whitepaper contains educational content and a chance to market the product or service by pointing out the benefits it can deliver. There is another benefit of having your whitepaper downloaded and read, and that is that you now know that the person is further along in their buying journey.
Increasing engagement. Being bombarded by all manner of information online means that it’s not easy to capture potential buyers’ attention. Your reader has already invested into your business by downloading the white paper and reading it.
No matter who writes your white paper, it is a considerable cost in time and money. It’s important to know whether you’re going to get a return on investment. Although most businesses won’t charge for access to a white paper, it will not be given away for ‘free’. Typically your website will host the white paper, and in exchange for contact details, your prospect can download it. The benefit to you is that you can build up your email list whilst providing you with information on your prospect or client.
Having spent the time to develop a white paper suggests that the level of knowledge and expertise you have is more significant than many. This fact can lead to prospects being happy to pay more for your services as they have more trust and faith in you.
Although a white paper doesn’t have a specific look to ‘qualify’ as being a white paper, there are certain elements that you should expect to find in them.
Word count: you should find no less than six pages with references, charts and illustrations. However, it may be longer if it’s that extensive of a subject matter.
Structure: expect to see a title page, table of contents with a short executive summary. Then into an optional introduction and several pages of informing and educational material about the issue, solution and information about the company. This material will also make benefits
File type: an easy to download PDF in portrait orientation designed by a graphic designer.
The tone of writing: professional, well written, proofread and edited.
There are two primary white paper types for lead generation. They not only help with building credibility and authority, but they provide buyers with the trust they need to make a large purchase.
Technical case study
Most case studies are relatively short, but a white paper provides in-depth information as is required to purchase an item with a higher ticket price. A white paper showcases a customer’s success in attaining its goal with a product or a service. As a potential customer wants to make an informed decision before making a purchase, the white paper provides enough information to do this. Overall the white paper is an example of how a service, product or company has helped somebody succeed in the real world.
A Reference Guide
A white paper of this nature may contain everything a customer would need to know to apply the service or product to their business. It will be a reference on how to operate their business in that field. They can use it as a resource for information and learn what a valuable and credible source of data your business is, so, therefore, are more likely to buy from you.
Companies create whitepapers to help their leads improve in their trade through education. By becoming better at what they do, it can lead them to work with the company that provided the whitepaper.
Now that you understand how whitepapers are used and how they are more in-depth than most marketing content, it’s time to get started with thinking about creating your own and making the best of it.
There are many different ways to use a white paper to marketing your business, services and/or products. Here are some ideas:
Amelia Champion is an experienced white paper writer, and you can find out more about the process used to craft a white paper that is effective in your marketing strategy.
Once you decide to hire a writer to develop a white paper, the process of collecting information will begin. As a writer, this is the process I take my clients through, and you should expect something similar from whoever you hire as a writer.
The outcome of having your white paper written is that you’ll have a powerful tool to build your sales funnel with leads. The white paper also benefits the business by convincing the prospect that your offer has value to them and how that works.
Step 1. Strategy session. I’ll conduct a strategy session with you that will last for 45 minutes. During this time, we’ll work on completing a creative brief and iron out how to use the white paper to support your marketing goals. At the end of the session, we will have a clear plan to write a white paper that helps you attract and nurture quality leads.
Step 2. Subject matter expert interviews. This will add some of the most robust data and information to your white paper that not only gives that all critical authority but provides the background to why your company, product or service is so good.
Step 3. Interview recorded and transcribed. This is done so that it can be referred to at any time for future marketing content.
Step 4. Create an outline. You’ll receive a detailed overview on what the white paper will contain. This will confirm that we’re on the right track to creating the white paper that you want. It will also reduce revisions and ensure that your publishing deadlines are met.
Step 5. Write the white paper. Your white paper will be between 2000 and 2500 words and addresses all the primary challenges, questions and concerns of your audience. It will take around one week to craft the first draft once you’ve approved the outline.
Step 6. Revisions. Although most copy that is produced is right the first time around, you can ask for modifications and changes to be made with just a one day turnaround. Two revision rounds are included.
Step 7. Quality control. Once you agree with the draft, two professional proof readers will review your white paper to ensure that it’s flawless. The proofreading process may take up to 48 hours to complete.
As a bonus, you’ll also receive a one-page summary and a landing page that will encourage leads to download your white paper.
The white paper package comes in two versions from £3,000 to £4,500 and includes:
You can also opt for emails that will promote your white paper and/or nurture your leads or blog posts to boost your white paper or go into further details about specific topics.
The purpose of a landing page is to focus your readers’ attention on your white paper. There is very little on a useful landing page other than the benefit of why anybody should sign up to download your white paper.
It’s highly recommended to use a landing page to collect email addresses in exchange for access to your white paper.
Amelia Champion is a white paper writer who worked in marketing for IBM for nine years. She has spent the last 15 years writing for hundreds of business, producing web copy, emails, case studies and LinkedIn profiles.
It’s essential to choose a white paper writer who has had both marketing and commercial business experience. Having experience in both these areas means that they understand how buyers think and can convince and persuade them to make a purchase.
A white paper writer who can explain complex ideas can demonstrate to readers that a business really ‘gets’ who they are and can help them achieve their goals.
Now that you’ve discovered the white paper’s benefit to your business, get in touch today for a no-obligation chat about your marketing goals.
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