White papers are an essential part of any content marketing strategy. They provide valuable information to potential customers and can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. But if your white papers are boring or irrelevant, no one will want to read them. So how can you make sure that your white papers are awesome? Here are 10 tips to get you started.
1. Give your white paper a snappy title.
Your white paper may be full of interesting and valuable information, but it won’t win over any readers if you don’t give it an attention-grabbing title. A clever or catchy title could be the difference between your white paper getting read or ignored by potential customers.
2. Select an appropriate length.
The number of pages of your white paper should depend on the type of information you are giving away. If it’s full of detailed statistics, for example, it may need to be longer than if it just contains a few case studies. Keep your readership in mind when writing and decide how much detail they would like or need before you start writing.
3. Make it easy to read.
White papers are often highly technical, so you need to make your information easy to digest by using short sentences and paragraphs, bullet points, and familiar language wherever possible. Don’t assume that everyone reading your white paper will be familiar with industry jargon, because there’s a good chance they won’t be.
4. Use infographics and images to relay information visually.
White papers can contain a lot of statistics and figures that people find difficult to understand, but visualizing these figures through the use of graphs and diagrams can really help readers to digest new information. Infographics may also make your white paper more shareable on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and boost blog posts and guest articles.
5. Make your white paper scannable.
One of the main reasons people don’t read white papers in full is that they are too daunting to get through from start to finish. One way to make your information more accessible (and therefore more likely to be read) is to break up your text with subheadings, bullet points, images, charts, and other visual information.
6. Make the most of every word.
Many people give white papers too much detail by including irrelevant facts that nobody is interested in reading about. White papers should be concise and targeted towards a specific audience who are looking for particular information. If you are making a new product announcement, for example, your white paper should include existing customer research on how to sell the product rather than information about who developed it.
7. Design your white paper with conversions in mind.
If you want people to download your white paper, make sure that is easy to find online and give potential customers a reason to download it. Include links on your blog, website, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that will drive readers directly to your white paper. You can also give people an incentive to download it, such as a discount voucher or a free trial offer.
8. Treat your white paper-like content marketing.
Think of your white papers as content that is meant to attract potential customers, rather than a sales pitch. Each white paper should include information about your products and services, but it shouldn’t be focused on selling them directly. Your readers need to understand the benefits of using your products or subscribing to your service before they are ready to purchase anything from you.
9. Differentiate between white papers, case studies, reports, and ebooks.
Your white paper may be quite different from a case study or an ebook, so it’s important to decide on the appropriate title before you start writing. White papers are free reports that explain products or services in detail, while case studies typically focus more on specific businesses rather than generic information about a product or service. Reports are generally quite long and detailed, while ebooks tend to be shorter and more focused on a particular topic.
10. Promote your white paper.
Once you’ve finished writing your white paper it’s time to promote it! Make sure that you mention your new report in all of your blog posts and social media posts, and let your email subscribers know that you’ve got a new piece of content on your website. You can also rely on industry trade journals to help you get the word out about your white paper through their coverage of topics like forecasting, product design, and consumer trends.
One cool way to make your white papers creative is to use Venngage — a free infographic maker that offers a wide range of free white paper templates for everyone. Here are some white paper examples front their website!
Although white papers can be a great way to showcase your expertise in your industry, not everyone is a natural when it comes to writing them. If you want to boost the results of your next white paper or product announcement, invest in high-quality content that clearly communicates information about your business and service offering. For more white paper designs, click here!