Could your company benefit from using white papers? If you’ve never asked that question before, now is not a bad time to raise it. After all, many businesses and organizations use white papers to promote their brand, reinforce their relationship with their clients, and establish themselves as authorities. In fact, the popularity of white papers only seems to be growing over time, and it isn’t hard to see why.
If you’re thinking of putting some of your business’s marketing budget into the a white paper, there are two things you’ll need to consider: How a white paper would benefit your business, and how you can produce a white paper that will reflect well on your business.
How Can You Tell Whether Your Company Needs a White Paper?
First, you’ll want to decide whether a white paper is a project that you want your company to spend part of its budget on. White papers can help businesses in any number of ways, so it’s important to consider all of those potential benefits before making your decision. These are just a few of the reasons you may want to consider investing in a white paper:
- If you’re involved in the business-to-business (B2B) industry, white papers can be especially valuable for you. According to the Content Marketing Institute, at least 65 percent of B2B businesses use white papers or eBooks in their online marketing campaigns. As white papers come to be adopted in an increasing number of industries, it’s safe to say that they’ll become even more important for promotional purposes.
- White papers, by nature, are much more in-depth than many other forms of online content. They allow authors to explore subjects in greater detail, providing a fuller and richer picture than a client or customer might be able to get otherwise. Thus, they can be ideal for convincing potential customers of the value of a product or service. They can back up arguments with more statistics and citations than most blog posts can, so they can carry even greater persuasive power.
- Most importantly, perhaps, the very quality of a good white paper puts you and your brand in the best possible light. Nearly every business or organization wants to be seen as a respected authority within its field, whatever that field is. Publishing a well-written, deeply researched white paper makes a tremendous statement about your professionalism, your authority, and your commitment to the facts. For many businesses, this fact alone is more than enough of a reason to make the investment in a professional-quality white paper.
In short, it’s hard to dismiss the usefulness of a white paper. However, white papers are more beneficial for some types of businesses than others. If any of these things are true of your business, then it’s likely that white papers would be especially valuable for your online promotional efforts:
- You are either a brand-new business or you are introducing a new product or service that you want to tell your customers about.
- You have a new product or service that is complex enough that it would be difficult to adequately describe or explain it within the space of a long blog post.
- You have an expensive product or service that you want to explain the value of, so that potential customers, clients, or investors will be more likely to consider investing in it.
How Can You Produce a High-Quality White Paper?
Once you’ve decided that a white paper is something you want your company to prioritize, it’s time to face the next challenge: Creating a white paper that will meet your standards. It’s important that you don’t rush this step. If you produce a white paper that isn’t as well-written or well-researched as it should be, it will be glaringly obvious. The same holds true if you publish a white paper that is not professionally written or formatted. If a potential client is taking the time to read a white paper on your site, it goes without saying that they should be impressed by what they’re reading.
So, how can you ensure that your first white paper—as well as any additional ones you decide to publish—measures up to your own high quality standards? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- White papers should be of a reasonable length, and the length should reflect the subject matter. If a subject can be thoroughly covered in 20 pages, the white paper shouldn’t be artificially padded out to 30. Similarly, a subject that requires a more in-depth examination should be given as much space as it requires for a satisfying treatment.
- While white papers can contain illustrations—as long as they’re of professional quality, of course—the focus should be on the text. For that reason, white papers are usually not formatted in a flashy or busy way. Rather, they are designed to be as clean-looking and readable as possible. If a white paper is not accessible for a reader, it’s unlikely that many people will get to the end of it.
- White papers should reflect the amount of research that went into them. They shouldn’t be shallow examinations of topics that barely scratch the surface; they should provide the reader with the kind of in-depth research that it would take them hours to find and organize on their own. All of the information included in the white paper should be noted with citations.
- Finally, a white paper should always be written with the utmost professionalism. That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced writer to produce the white paper for you. Most business owners do not have the time to spend making a white paper as strong as it should be, so relying on outside writers to produce the product for them is a better use of their time and energy.
When you’re on the hunt for the kind of sharp, professional-quality online content that will help you reach a wide audience, Pennington Creative can help. Our seasoned content creators have the skills and expertise necessary to help you rethink the way you approach your online presence. If you’d like to learn more about how our team can help you, visit our website and drop us a line today!