Originally aimed solely at IT Professionals but now much more widely read, white papers enable a wide range of potential clients to understand issues, compare products and services, solve problems and make decisions. They offer a written explanation of a topic, outlining the benefits in plain English and backing up all claims with convincing facts and evidence.
Distinct from press releases, blog posts, e-books and all other forms of promotional writing, white papers fall somewhere between a technical or academic manual and a glossy brochure. They’re generally between 6 and 8 pages long and in PDF, or else printed out and used in press kits, or at sales calls or trade shows.
White papers fall into three main categories:
- Backgrounders. These are primarily concerned with technical features and the benefits of your product or service. Backgrounders may be issued, possibly in conjunction with a product launch, to journalists, industry analysts or channel partners.
- Solutions. These white papers suggest innovative solutions to known problems and are more targeted at clients who are struggling with a specific issue.
- Numbered Lists. These are a lighter-touch white paper. A compendium of lively, even provocative points designed to grab new attention and nurture existing clients.
Used well, white papers highlight benefits, provide valuable information, move you ahead of the competition and ultimately encourage engagement and sales. Get in touch and together we’ll work out how we can help.