Sometimes you need more than a blog post, but less than a book.
What Makes a White Paper a White Paper?
- A white paper is at least six pages long, but usually less than 30 pages, (if it’s longer you might as well write a book).
- A white paper is engaging narrative storytelling, (not a boring government document).
- A white paper is full of educational content rather than a sales pitch or a glossy brochure.
- A white paper is used before a sale (otherwise you have a product brochure or a technical manual).
- A white paper provides facts not just opinions.
- A white paper usually includes an introduction or an executive summary.
3 Types of White Papers
Used at the beginning of your sales funnel to generate leads and guide those searching for an answer to a nagging industry problem.
- Executive briefing
- Evaluators guide
- Deep research
- Has an authoritative tone
Used at the middle of your sales funnel, a numbered list is a light refreshing guide, set of tips, or a quick roundup of facts.
- Cast doubt on competitors
- Easiest to create and repurpose
- 5 things to know
- 7 questions to ask about your topic
- 4 best practices for your topic
Use a backgrounder at the end of your sales funnel to fill in details for the final decision-maker.
- Here is our offering
- Here are the key features of our product or service
- Here is how these features benefit you
Why Publish a White Paper?
Generate New Leads
Your white paper can help improve SEO with detailed authoritative content, and a strong download page.
Nurture your prospect through a complete sales funnel
White papers allow your prospects to get to know, like, and trust you by positioning your firm as a helpful advisor.
Cast uncetainty and doubt on competitors
Help close sales without attacking your competion. Show beyond a doubt that your solution is the only logical one.
White Paper Services
- Researched outline with excecutive summary or Intro to start the white paper process: $1000
- Full white Paper from $2000
- White paper layout and design starting at $250
- Landing page design and copy $250
- Repurposing portions of the white paper as press releases, and articles starting at $200 per piece
- Bundled services starting at $3000
Uses for White Papers
Reach the Decision Makers
Most B2B companies use white papers and special reports to reach businesses and decision-makers who want to understand an issue, solve a problem, or gather information about a large purchase, service, or methodology.
Two out of three decision-makers within companies read white papers to follow the latest trends in their industry. White papers are used to compare different but similar products, and gather information to justify a large expenditure or detailed new methodology. White papers are also useful for businesses that are building a list of resources and vendors.
Reach B2B Peers
Government agencies, non-profits, and educational institutes use white papers. Only about 10% of B2C companies use white papers.
White papers are usually not appropriate for consumer based-companies because a white paper is not an emotional piece of sales copy but an in-depth essay about a product, service, technology, or methodology.
A Dignified, Logical Essay
White papers are strong on logic, facts, impeccably statistics, and quotes from industry opinion-makers. White papers are dignified, substantial, and informational rather than flashy or salesy.
The term “white paper” originated with the British Government, which produced documents full dry facts and figures. White papers have evolved into useful guides with convincing arguments backed up by factual data to help your audience reach a buying decision. A white paper can support the beginning, middle, or end of your sales process.
In some industries, the term “white paper” is a turn-off. If the mention of a white paper sends your team running or makes them drop off to sleep at their desks, you can call your white paper a “guide” or a “special report”.
Do you really need a white paper for your business or product?
White papers work best when your firm is selling something that’s new, complex, or expensive. People are motivated to read a white paper when something big is at stake.
If you are a consumer-based business selling something that’s lower stakes, your customers are not going to take the time to read a white paper. Give them shorter, scannable data instead. Even if what you offer is a large-ticket item a brochure with technical details would be a more logical approach to the end of your sales funnel than a white paper for a consumer product.
White Paper Samples