- You want the reputation as a thought leader or expert in your field.
- You want to introduce a new product to prospective customers.
- You need to show that you understand a problem or challenge and why you have the best solution.
- You want to help a potential buyer justify the purchase of an expensive product.
- You’d like a marketing tool that generates leads quickly – and can also be used long-term.
- You don’t want to hope people will see your website or blog to discover what you offer.
- You want to increase readers for a newsletter.
- You need something to mail or e-mail to a prospective client who has inquired about your service or product.
What is a white paper?
A white paper is an in-depth report that contains information about a product or a service, used to persuade potential clients to consider buying a product or service. A white paper can serve as a background piece, a summary of product highlights, or a more detailed statement of the problem and the solution. It is usually 3 to 14 pages long, published in PDF format.
Where do you start?
- Focus on only one product that solves a particular problem. The purpose of the white paper is to explain your product, not sell the idea of your company.
- Decide who will write, design, and print the white paper. Do you have employees that can take care of those components, or will you need to use outside sources?
- If this is a team project, hold an initial planning meeting to ensure the team agrees on the scope, purpose, and target audience, and the parts team members will play.
- Also decide on the following:
- A budget.
- A deadline
- Distribution and promotion of the white paper
If you use an outside writer:
- Assign one in-house contact who will advise the writer on subject matter experts and the most effective paths to job completion.
- Find a writer who is adept at both writing descriptive articles and doing research, including interviews. An ability to manage the project and even design the paper are definite pluses.
What I will do for you
- Participate in the initial planning meeting to ensure I understand the scope and purpose of the white paper.
- Draft a plan for you to review.
- Research the background, specifications, and benefits of your product, using available tools: in-house articles, personal interviews with subject matter experts, and the internet.
- Prepare an executive summary, a one- or two-page document outlining the objectives and key elements of the finished white paper.
- Provide a simple design consistent with your existing brand.