Table of Contents
- What is a whitepaper?
- What is whitepaper writing?
- What are whitepapers in business, and how to write one?
- What is a whitepaper document: A few examples
- Key Takeaways
Businesses are increasingly using whitepapers to promote their products, services, technology, or even methods. So, what is a whitepaper, and why is everyone talking about it? A whitepaper document is a well-researched report to back the product or service that your company has just taken to the market.
What is Whitepaper?
To understand how to write a whitepaper, you first need to understand what is a whitepaper and why you should write one. It is essentially a document issued by a company, that provides factual and/or technical information on its products or services. The latter is provided as a solution to a problem identified beforehand. Sometimes, government bodies also issue whitepapers to provide information on policies and legislation to gauge public reaction.
In a way, a whitepaper is also a marketing tool used to persuade customers or investors of a brand or company. But unlike marketing collateral, they are based entirely on facts. If you are using whitepapers for B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing, then you would be dealing with three different types:
- Backgrounders that talk about the technical features of a product
- Numbered lists that talk about the features
- Problem-solution papers that talk about an improved solution to an existing business challenge
What is Whitepaper Writing?
When you are trying to understand what is whitepaper, it is important to understand how to write one. And what constitutes the key elements of whitepaper writing. While there are no set rules to calling or not calling a document a whitepaper, there are certain parameters to gauge what is a whitepaper document or what is not. A few things you should take care of while writing a whitepaper include:
- The average length of a whitepaper document should not be less than 6 pages. There is no such upper limit, but 50 is an ideal number, which may go up depending on the topic. But try to include your text, illustrations, graphs, and references within this range.
- A good and well-researched whitepaper should follow a standard structure that includes a title, a table of contents, a summary, and the main body, including the problem statement, hypotheses, and the solution.
- A whitepaper is not something readers can skim through very easily. But that is the whole idea behind what is whitepaper writing, which is to engage the readers thoroughly. It is a typical long-form content.
- The standard format for a whitepaper is PDF in portrait orientation that uses professional fonts and styles.
What are Whitepapers in Business and How to Write One?
With all these talks about writing a whitepaper, one might wonder why you need one. What are whitepapers in business? As stated above, they are essentially factual documents that either discuss the benefits of the product or the technology, or both. Now, to write a well-researched and well-structured whitepaper, one that can generate leads, you need to keep the following parameters in mind:
- The whitepaper topic must feed a specific need or set of needs. And this is only possible only if you know your target market. Ask yourself these questions: What do they want to know? What do they already know? What is already on offer in the market? A good place to do research is social media and community sites where discussions on current challenges occur. Find topics that fall under your area of expertise. And you will find the one topic for your own whitepaper.
- Put in that extra effort to do your own analysis and not just put together different sets of work already available in the market. Really go that extra mile to analyze the data that you have gathered to arrive at what really should be presented to your readers in a comprehensive manner.
- Write an organized paper that has substantial data and less fluff. Make a proper outline before writing and divide your work into sections that can be presented in a logical flow. Where possible, each section should be a bite-sized chunk stuffed with graphs, charts, and illustrations.
- Write with conviction, so you come in with a fresh perspective. You may be writing about an old topic, but what would make you stand out is your unique solution and new facts, if any.
- Build an attractive landing page if you go down the digital marketing route. It is important to summarize and give a quick overview of what the whitepaper talks about. No one will have the time or interest to go through the entire paper if they don’t find a hook at the very start.
What is a Whitepaper Document: A Few Examples
While they may appear boring on the face of it because of their nature, whitepapers are incredible resources for your sales and lead generation teams. A few examples will help build further clarity on what is whitepaper and how it is useful for a business.
1. Business Whitepaper Template
These are factual or technical documents to highlight a company’s expertise, typically used to attract investments.
2. Marketing Whitepaper Template
This template is great for marketing purposes with the end objective of generating sales leads.
3. HR Whitepaper Design Template
If your objective is to promote your organizational methodologies, you should go with this type of whitepaper.
Here is a summary of what is whitepaper and how it is useful for a business:
- Whitepapers are factual or technical documents or reports published by a company, business, or government.
- A whitepaper can either talk about a product, technology, or process.
- A whitepaper is an effective sales and marketing tool used widely to generate leads and investments.
- A good whitepaper should be well-organized into relevant sections, starting with a catchy title, a table of contents, and well-researched data.
- A whitepaper should also have ample graphics, charts, and visual data representations.
- Building an attractive and relevant landing page is important for the whitepaper to deliver the desired outcomes.
- Depending on the end objective, one can use different whitepaper templates, as discussed in this article.
The answer to what is whitepaper is pretty straightforward. But how it can be beneficial to your business is determined by your own data analysis and problem identification.
A whitepaper is a factual and technical document about a company’s product and solution to a problem.
The different types of whitepapers are white papers for business, marketing, HR, government, policy, and research.
A good whitepaper should have a proper outline that starts with a title, a table of contents, well-researched data, and graphical representations.
Business whitepapers are used to highlight the company’s expertise to attract customers and investors.
A whitepaper in marketing talks about one or more marketing tools.
The template of a whitepaper will depend on the objective of the same. There is no standard template that can be used, but there is a standard structure.