An Introduction to the White Paper

What is a White Paper?

A white paper is a business article that is informational and authoritative. You can write such an article in order to present your thought process, conclusion, or solution regarding a certain topic that is complex in nature. You can present a white paper in a way that educates the audience. You can also use your presentation to promote your product or service as the best way for the readers to obtain a solution to the problem that they have.

The white paper is frequently used for business-to-business marketing purposes. You can use factual evidence as well as logical thinking to persuade your readers on the relevance of your methodology, product, or service in the marketplace.

Commercial white papers come in three major forms. You need to utilize the one that will work best for your business needs.

Types of White Papers

1.     A backgrounder

You should use a backgrounder to provide a technical description of what your business is offering in terms of product features and benefits. You should use this white paper during a product launch or technical evaluation process. You can also use it to argue a business case.

2.     A numbered list

A numbered list comes in handy when you want to highlight certain tips or questions related to the products or services that your business offers. You can use the list to raise doubts about your competition’s products or to attract attention to new solutions your business will be bringing to the table.

3.     A problem/solution paper

A problem/solution paper is one that helps bring a new or improved solution to an age-old business problem. You should use this paper to persuade or inform industry stakeholders. You should also use this kind of white paper to generate leads for your business.

Structure of a White Paper

The basic structure of a white paper usually remains the same for most types. It is important for you to learn how to write a white paper properly.

1.     Title

Your title should be very specific to your target audience. It should be written in a way that presents the benefit of your business offering.

2.     The summary

Consider the summary of the white paper as something that you would write in a conclusion. You need to summarize everything that you intend to tackle in detail. It should be presented in a way that urges the reader to continue reading.

3.     Introduction

Find a hooking statement that provides the background, defines the issue, and gives you credibility with the audience.

4.     Definition of problem

Define the problem in the context of your target audience and how your business can solve this problem.

5.     Advanced solutions

The white paper should tackle all the existing solutions that exist for the defined problems, even if they belong to your competition. Use text, graphics, and even tables to support your cause. Use industry expert opinions as supporting mechanisms to educate your audience on the current situation.

6.     Describe Solutions

Provide detailed information on your new business product and the solution that it provides. What makes it superior? Be detailed without exaggerating. Use customer reviews and case studies as supporting mechanisms.

7.     Provide product benefits

Go into detail about how your business product will benefit your audience. Your approach should be empathetic even as you cater to the business side of things. Discuss the possible returns on investment, design usability, and ease of implementation among other things.

8.     Conclusion

Your conclusion should provide a summary of the product benefits and downside of people not using your products.

9.     Call to action

You should persuade people to buy your products using your call to action. Where should they buy your products and how? Provide details of trial versions or discounted offers if any.

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