Best-Paying Copywriting Gigs: White Papers & How to Write Them | Alan Sharpe | Skillshare

Best-Paying Copywriting Gigs: White Papers & How to Write Them

Alan Sharpe, Copywriting Instructor

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13 Lessons (1h 59m)
    • 1. White Paper Promo

      4:10
    • 2. Introduction to White Papers

      12:43
    • 3. Anatomy of a White Paper

      11:57
    • 4. Choose a Compelling White Paper Topic

      8:20
    • 5. Research Your White Paper

      9:23
    • 6. Outline Your White Paper

      12:20
    • 7. Give Your White Paper a Strong Title

      7:14
    • 8. Give Your White Paper a Compelling Introduction

      9:17
    • 9. Give Your White Paper Context

      8:09
    • 10. Write a Persuasive Solution Section

      6:37
    • 11. End with a Strong Call to Action

      11:07
    • 12. Write Like a Designer

      9:09
    • 13. Five White Paper Mistakes to Avoid

      8:20

About This Class

If you want to earn a decent living as a freelance copywriter, you should take on assignments that pay the highest fees. One of those assignments is marketing white papers.

To see how much money you can make writing white papers, just visit the website of Gordon Graham, The White Paper Guy. Gordon writes white papers for a living. He even wrote a best-selling book on how to write white papers. Gordon says you should expect to earn around $6,000 for writing a white paper.

Do the math, and you’ll discover that if you write one white paper a month at $6,000 a pop, you’ll earn $72,000 a year. Not shabby.

Hi, I’m Alan Sharpe, and welcome to my course on how to write effective marketing white papers. In this course I teach you:

  • how to pick a white paper topic that resonates with your target audience

  • how to research your white paper so that you appear authoritative

  • how to outline your white paper so that your document has a logical flow and keeps the attention of your reader

  • how to give your white paper a strong title, so that prospective customers want to read it

  • I show you how to write each section of the white paper, including the introduction, problem statement, background section, solution section, conclusion and call to action

  • I give you tips on how to write like a designer, and I describe five mistakes to avoid

I’m your instructor, Alan Sharpe. I teach copywriters around the world how to write compelling copy. I landed my first paying copywriting assignment in 1991, and I taught my first business writing workshop in 1989. Since then, I’ve helped hundreds of individuals advance their careers by improving their copywriting.

The ideal student for this course is anyone who has to write marketing white papers to generate leads. If you need to research, outline and write white papers that establish authority, build trust and generate leads, then this course is for you.

This course is practical. You and I will examine more than a dozen marketing white papers to discover what works, what doesn’t—and why. You’ll learn tips, tricks and best practices from professional white-paper copywriters.

I pass on to you all that I’ve learned about writing effective white papers during the last three decades as a copywriter. I show you the most common mistakes that copywriters make in their writing today—and then I show you how to avoid these blunders in your white papers.

Learn more about the course by reviewing the course description and frequently asked questions below. Watch the free preview lessons. read the reviews from my satisfied students. Then enroll now.

Transcripts

1. White Paper Promo: If you want to earn a decent living as a freelance copywriter, you should take on assignments that pay the highest fees. One of those assignments is marketing white papers To see how much money you can make. Writing white papers, Just visit the website of Gordon Graham, the white paper guy. Gordon writes white papers for a living. He even wrote a best selling book on how to write white papers. Gordon says you should expect to earn around 6000 U. S. Dollars for writing a white paper. Do the math and you'll discover that if you write one white paper a month at $6000 a pop, you'll earn $72,000 a year. That's not shabby. Hi, I'm Alan Sharp, and welcome to my course on how to write effective marketing white papers. In this course, I teach you how to pick a white paper topic that resonates with your target audience. How to research your white paper so that you appear authoritative. How to outline your white paper so that your document has a logical flow and keeps the attention of your reader. How to give your white paper a strong title so that prospective customers want to read it. I show you how to write each section of the white paper, including the introduction problem statement, background Section Solution section conclusion and called Action. I give you tips on how to write like a designer, and I describe five mistakes to avoid in your white papers. I'm your instructor, Alan Sharp. I teach copywriters around the world how to write compelling copy. I landed my first paying copyrighting assignment in 1991 and I taught my first business writing workshop in 1989. Since then, I've helped hundreds of individuals advanced their careers by improving they're copyrighting. The ideal student for this course is anyone who has to write marketing white papers to generate leads. If you need to research, outline and write white papers that establish authority, build trust and generate leads than this course is for you, this course is practical. You and I will examine more than a dozen marketing white papers to discover what works, what doesn't and why. You'll learn tips, tricks and best practices from professional white paper copywriters. I pass on to you all that I've learned about writing effective white papers during the last three decades as a copywriter, I showed you the most common mistakes that copywriters make in their writing today. And then I show you how to avoid these blunders in your white papers. Learn more about this course by reviewing the course description and frequently asked questions below Wants the free preview lessons. Read the reviews from my satisfied students that enrolled today. 2. Introduction to White Papers: If you want to earn a decent living as a freelance copywriter, you should take on assignments that pay the highest rates. One of those assignments is white papers To see how much money you can make Writing White papers, Just visit the website of Gordon Graham with white paper. Guy Gordon writes white papers for a living. He even wrote a best selling book on how to write white papers. Gordon says you should expect to earn around $6000 for writing a marketing white paper. So if you sit down and do the math, you'll discover that if you write one white paper a month at $6000 a pop, you'll earn 72,000 year. That's not shabby. Let's look at what white papers are, what they are. Four and why they pay so well. We'll start with a definition of what a white paper is. A marketing White Paper is an impartial, persuasive, authoritative in depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. Let's parse that a good white paper is impartial. It neither promotes a particular company nor criticizes other companies. A good white paper is impartial, objective, unbiased. The major difference between a white paper and just about every other piece of promotional copy that you'll ever write as a copywriter is that White papers don't promote a brand a product or a service. A marketing white paper is persuasive. The writer does not intend to merely inform you. The writer intends to persuade you An effective marketing white paper aims to change your thinking on a given topic. It aims to take your thinking from where it is now. Toe, where the white paper publisher thinks you're thinking should be a white paper, is authoritative. It is written by an organization such as a government department or a business that is either an authority on the subject or who wants to be perceived in the marketplace as an authority on the subject. The fax, opinions, conclusions and recommendations in a white paper are typically backed by original research or statistics that the publisher has aggregated from dependable sources. These include charts, graphs, tables and other ways of visualising data. Ah, White Paper is an authoritative report. Unlike a typical piece of promotional copies, such as an ad or a marketing brochure, a white paper reports on an issue. It describes a trend or reports on a development and presents its case in the form of a report. Ah, White Paper is an authoritative report that gives information or recommendations again. Unlike the kind of copy that you typically right as a copywriter, a white paper is written to inform not to sell. The goal of a white paper is to make recommendations not to persuade someone to buy something. Finally, a white paper is an authoritative report that gives information or recommendations on an issue. A white paper has one focus. It deals with one topic. It addresses one issue. Let me bring this definition toe life with an example. Here is a white paper from Ponemon Institute. You see that it's called Global Insights on Document Security. Global Insights. That's information, documents, security. That's the single subject. It's published by the Ponemon Institute. That's the authority. You'll see that the white paper is organized like a typical report with an introduction, key findings and a conclusion with recommendations. Now that you know what white papers are, let's look at how they're used in marketing. White papers are a popular and powerful tool for marketers, particularly business to business or be to be content marketers. They position the company as a thought leader. They present useful and persuasive research that is of interest to a company's perspective customers. For this reason, white papers are effective at generating leads. The best way to appreciate why White papers are you said marketing, is to understand where they appear in the buyer journey. Every buyer takes a number of steps before buying a product or service. These steps make up what we call the buyer journey. The journey begins with awareness. Buyers realize that they have a need or a pain that they want to fix. They typically go online, and they start searching for information about their issue. Once they understand their issue, they move to the next stage in the buyer journey. Consideration here is where they discover the many ways that they can solve their challenge . At the end of this stage, they start to narrow down the suppliers or vendors or companies who can help them. The last stage in the buyer journey is decision here. The buyer compares vendors, compares prices, compares terms and conditions, request quotes, demos of the product and makes a purchase. The goal of inbound marketing and content marketing is to attract these buyers at the earliest stages of the buyer journey. This is where white papers play their most vital role. That's because a buyer with a problem is looking for an answer, and white papers help companies deliver those answers. White papers helped buyers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. White papers attract potential buyers to a company by offering authoritative answers to the buyers. Questions. White papers attract buyers by informing not by selling. They attract buyers by helping, not by hawking effective white papers provide useful information that is valuable to readers even if they don't become customers. In other words, white papers deliver value. Even the white papers are not intended to sell your products or services. They still play a vital role in marketing. Actually, white papers play four vital roles in marketing first. And as I just noted, they position your company as an authority. Look around your industry and any other industry, and you'll discover that some brands are considered authorities on the industry and others are not. These are the brands that publish authoritative white papers and e books. They're the brands that host industry conferences. Deliver keynote addresses, publish research reports. White papers help you position your company as an authority second. And also, as I just noted, white papers built trust with your audience. White papers proved to your readers that you're reliable, experienced an expert in your field. And that trust pays off when potential buyers search for information to help them understand a challenge they have. And they find your helpful white paper on the topic. They begin to trust you, and they are likely to return to you in the future when they have other questions that need answers. Third, White Papers generate leads. The 2017 Content Preferences Survey from Demand Gen. Found that more than 3/4 of survey respondents were willing to give their name and email address to a company in exchange for a white paper. If you offer your website visitors a helpful, authoritative white paper on a topic that interests them, you are likely to generate leads. The fourth and final way that white papers play a vital role in marketing is that they boost sales. The E. Coli O Media B two B Technology content survey found that 50% of buyers reported having read a white paper before making a buying decision. Buyers prefer to purchase from vendors they trust and see as experts in their field. As you can see, marketing white paper, serve a marketing function. They fulfill one or more goals of your lead generation strategy. White papers Establish your thought leadership in areas that align with your products or services. White papers address the pain points of one of your buyer personas. White papers meet the needs of your audience at a point in their buyer journey. And finally, white papers help you own a keyword or search term in Google search results. Now that you understand what white papers are and how they are used in marketing, you are likely starting to appreciate why they're one of the best paying copyrighting gigs . White papers pay well for two main reasons. One. They generate results and to their difficult to write in copyrighting, the more that you can prove that your copy generates results, the more you can charge for your copy. This is why you can charge more for writing a sales letter than you can charge for writing a brochure. This is why you can charge more for writing a Facebook ad whose performance can be tied directly. The sales. Then you can for writing a vlog post whose performance can rarely be tied directly to a sale. Because white papers are a tested and proven way to generate leads, they are valuable to marketers. They're valuable because they generate results. Marketers pay you well if you write white papers that generate results. The second reason that white papers pay so well as a copywriter is that they are difficult to write. Generally speaking, the harder something is to do, the more you can charge for it. This is why brain surgeons are paid more than orthopedic surgeons. It's why airline pilots are paid more than taxi drivers. It's why White paper writers are paid more than blogged writers. White papers are hard to write because they are lengthy. They require a lot of research. They typically require expertise in the subject matter, and that takes time and money to obtain, and they go through a long and often torturers approval process before being published. White papers pay well because they are valuable. If you want to make yourself valuable to marketers. Learn to write effective white papers. The more white papers you write, the more you position yourself as a trustworthy authority on the subject. 3. Anatomy of a White Paper: The biggest challenge that many copywriters face when they sit down to write a marketing white paper is not knowing what to say. It's knowing how to say it in a logical way. White papers, after all, are typically lengthy documents. Your job as a writer is to guide your reader step by step through the document in a logical , persuasive, helpful way. Good news for you is that white papers follow a predictable structure. They follow a predictable order. Once you know what this structure looks like, your confidence will increase and you'll be ready to sit down and start writing to understand how white papers are structured. Let's look at a white paper in detail. Let's look at the title. Every white paper has a title page on this page. You typically find the title of the white paper and the name of the organization who is publishing the white paper. The most effective white papers do three things in their title. They named their audience. They name a problem, and they hint at a solution. This white paper is called Why You need an Omni Channel strategy, creating a seamless customer experience. The audience is organizations who have customers. The problem is the consequences of not delivering a seamless customer experience, and the solution is deploying an Omni Channel strategy. Then there's a table of contents. If you're white, paper has more than 10 pages, you need a table of contents. As you can see, this white paper has more than 26 pages. This is one of the most useful pages in a white paper, especially if you are a new writer wanting toe. Learn how to write one. As you can see, this table of contents shows you the logical order that this writer has followed in structuring this marketing white paper. It starts with introduction, moves on to background, defines important terms, describes the problem offer solutions, gives examples and ends with a call to action. Let's look at these in some detail. First, the executive summary. As you scroll down past the table of contents, you discover that this white paper starts with an introduction. Starting with an introduction is fine with a short white paper, one with fewer than 10 pages. But a white paper like this, which runs to 28 pages, needs an executive summary. You can't expect busy executives to read a 28 page white paper from start to finish. Some of them, perhaps most of them need you to give them a summary of the document. You do this with a one page executive summary. This summary is essentially the entire white paper condensed onto one page, following the same format as the white paper. Namely, you state your problem. You give background, you offer a solution to make recommendations and you have a conclusion. So let's look at the introduction. Your introduction is the start of your white paper. This is where you introduce your topic. Most white papers describe a problem and then offer a solution. You can see that this is what this writer has done here in the introduction, whether it's on a smartphone, tablet or desktop, there are now no shortage of ways that a potential customer can reach out anytime or anywhere. And no matter if you are a start up a government department and established brick and mortar business or a strictly online outfit, you are now expected to be always open for business. Are you prepared? You may think you have all the boxes ticked. A responsive website 24 7 Call center live chat and a comprehensive social media strategy. But are these channels connecting to each other? Do you have the technology in place for these separate platforms to speak to each other? Because if they aren't, you won't be speaking to your customer in one conversation, but many frustrating for even the most patient of people. So there is the problem statement. If your communications channels are not connected to each other, you are not speaking to your customer in one conversation, but many frustrating for even the most patient of people the writer than continues in order to not only survive but thrive in what is a fast changing and at times overwhelming digital landscape. Most Australian and New Zealand businesses and government departments will need to adopt a more all encompassing strategy. They will need an Omni Channel approach unquote, so there's the solution being offered. Quote. They will need an omnichannel approach unquote. So the writer continues in this e book. In this white paper will explain the difference between the traditional multi channel and omnichannel approach. Why you need to make the switch how to make it happen, which global brands air doing it best and how to deliver a seamless customer experience unquote. Notice how the introduction ends with a description of what you are going toe. Learn in the white paper and in what order. Let's look at the next section of a white paper, which is typically background. After you've stated the problem you will be discussing in your white paper. You may need to provide some background. You may need to describe a trend that brought us to where we are today. You may need to define some key terms that may be unfamiliar to your audience. You do this with a background section. This writer gives you some background on what Omni Channel is and goes on to describe the difference between Multi Channel and Omni Channel. This background section is clearly needed because many readers are confused about these two terms. Multi channel and Omni Channel notice that the writer uses visuals to illustrate key concepts that will be discussed later in the white paper. The writer continues with background by describing the current state of affairs and doing so by answering a question that is relevant to readers. Most readers of white papers want to know why and why now. This section answers both those questions. Now the Solution section The next logical section of your white paper after your introduction and background is your solution. This writer presents these in the form of a question and answer session with one of the general managers at the company that authored this white paper. This section talks through the benefits and pitfalls of adopting an Omni Channel strategy. The writer continues this solution section by giving fax figures and statistics that back up what has been said until now. You'll notice that this proof comes from authoritative, impartial sources, sources other than the company that published the White paper. The writer then moves on to recommendations. Every white paper should be eminently practical. It should not only describe a problem and offer a solution, but also describe how to implement that solution here. The writer does this by describing what you need to deliver an Omni Channel strategy. Again, the writer uses research findings from third party sources to prove assertions and give authority to the recommendations being made. The writer then gives multiple examples of global firms that are doing exactly what this writer is recommending. The writer does this with the Siris of case studies. If you are writing a technical white paper, you can replace thes case studies with use cases. Now the conclusion. The white paper ends with a conclusion. Notice that this is not a summary. It is a conclusion that delivers some insight in what you have just read in the bottom right hand corner, For example, the writer describes with the help of a visual why Omni Channel is vital. The next section is the company bio. On the final pages of the White Paper is a section that describes the company that authored the white paper. The author describes the company and how it helps the kind of business that is reading this white paper. The only thing missing from this white paper is a call to action. If you want your white paper to generate leads and enquiries, put a call to action at the end. Tell the reader what to do next, direct them to a page on your website offer a free resource, asked them to call you. Do something to move your reader to the next stage in the buyer journey. So let's recap your white paper should have a title that names your audience names a problem and hints at a solution. If you're white, paper is longer than 10 pages. It needs a table of contents. If you're white, Paper is longer than 10 pages. It needs a one page executive summary. Begin your white paper with an introduction that states the problem outlines this solution and tells readers what to expect in the white paper. Next, provide background so that you present your topic in context. Next, offer solutions. Next, make your recommendations and your white paper with a conclusion and on your final page described your company how you can help and then tell readers what you want them to do next . When you follow this format, your white paper follows a logical sequence that leads your reader to your call to action that takes them into the next step of their buyer journey and one step closer to a sale with you 4. Choose a Compelling White Paper Topic: When you sit down to write a marketing white paper, make sure you write about a topic that your prospective customers want to read about. To do that. Remember the main goal off all white papers, which is to generate leads. There are other goals, of course. You want your white paper to position your company as an authority, as he thought later. That's one goal. And yes, you want your white paper to build trust with your potential buyers. That's another goal. But the main goal of your marketing white paper is to fill your funnel with his many leads as you possibly Can. You do this by creating a landing page that offers the white paper as a lead magnet you offer. The white paper is a download in exchange for a visitor's contact details, Typically their name and email address. Now, plenty of buyers won't give you their name and email address unless you offer them something attractive, something they need, and this brings us to the topic of your white paper. Your topic must be something that your potential buyers want to read about. Here are four tips for picking a winning white paper topic number one. Start with your audience. Your audience is your first consideration. You must write your white paper with a target reader in mind. Your audience may be familiar with your industry, or they may be newcomers who are unfamiliar with the field. Either way, put yourself in their position and ask yourself about the kind of information they are looking for in a white paper. Reflect on your readers, pain points, their business challenges, their problems or questions. If you have created buyer personas, examine those buyer personas for clues about their needs. Answer these questions to get you started. Who is your target audience? Where are they in their buyer Journey, Awareness, consideration or decision? What are your buyers? Pain, points, needs or interests? What can you discuss in your white paper that your audience cannot get anywhere else? What are the key words, phrases and questions that your buyers are typing into Google that you can target with your white paper topic from your research? Draw up a list of potential topics and, for as many as possible, then review your list, looking for relevant topics that you have not seen covered by white papers or thought leadership pieces in your industry, look for gaps or if a topic has been covered already, look to see if the topic needs a fresh perspective or an update, one that you can supply. Avoid all topics that have already been covered to death. Covered repeatedly in trade publications, industry association, newsletters, websites and webinars and on the blog's of your competitors. Avoid those topics. So within the topics that you shortlisted, look for ones that have not been fully investigated or the available information is out of date. Tip number two. Consider your expertise. The key to riding a successful white paper is to write about what you know. Your white paper should match your company's expertise. It should showcase your authority in a particular topic, since one aim of a white paper is the demonstrate subject matter authority. What subject matter are you An authority in that expertise may reside in a single person, such as your visionary company founder. It may reside in a particular business unit or division such as your research and development division, or it may reside in the minds of a group of people at your company at your business at your organization, Discover what you are good at. Discover your secret sauce is, as they call it, and write about that tip number three. Consider a problem solution. Approach effective white papers identify and address a particular problem. So look around your field, your industry and your marketplace for problems that your potential buyers are facing right now. Or that they will soon be facing the two criteria that you need to look for in any problem , our relevance and timeliness. Look for common dilemmas, new trends, changing techniques and so on. Anything that's relevant to your target audience right now. Then propose a solution to the problem. Make a recommendation first, thoroughly examined the problem, then follow up with a solution or potential solutions. What is currently happening in the market today? What's the current situation? What are companies or individuals struggling with most and why? What are the specific problems, needs or pain points that they have? Ask your audience is tip number four One of the easiest ways to discover what your potential buyers want to read about is to ask them, pick up the phone, ask around or send out an informal survey or poll asking your audience about the problems they have or the questions they need answers to. One advantage of getting your white paper ideas from your potential buyers is that the process generates some buzz before you have even published your white paper. If during your research you discovery common, relevant, timely topic and decide to write about it in your white paper, you will generate interest among your potential buyers before you've written a word before you've even published your white paper. Number five. Don't go too big or too small. Gordon Graham, who wrote the book on How to write White Papers, suggests you be careful with the scope of your white paper. He says One thing to watch out for is picking an idea that's either too big or too small. You want to focus on something you can cover in about 5 to 12 pages, depending on the type of white paper you're writing, he continues. For example, on idea that's really too big for one white paper is how cities consol their budget crises . It's probably calls for congressional hearings and a report thousands of pages thick. The flip side of this topic is one that's just too small for a white paper. He gives another example how to position automated parking meters on city streets. This topic sounds more like a section from an installation manual or perhaps a blawg post. Probably not an idea that justifies putting together a 6 to 8 page white paper. When you sit down to write a marketing white paper, make sure you write about a topic that your perspective customers want to read about. When you do that, you attract website visitors, generate leads and add leads to your funnel. 5. Research Your White Paper: marketing white papers are data focused, so they should be supported by significant research. There's no hard and fast rule on citations, but you need to cite any information that is not public knowledge and that you didn't know before beginning your research, However, understand that the readers confidence is likely to increase with an increasing number of cited references. Of course, all resources must come from authoritative sites. In order to write a valuable document, all research materials must be from credible, reliable sources. Good white papers are fact based and research driven. You're not here to throw your opinions out to the world without data to back them up. Depending on what you're covering, you might get by with nothing more than Google and your company's own insights. But if you want to take things to the next level, as they say, you'll need to do deeper research. Here's how you do it, research reports. The most compelling evidence you can present to back up your claims is the findings of third party researchers in just about every industry. There is a research firm that publishes research reports on trends in the industry. For example, Gardner is one of the best known and trusted research firms. This is how they describe their service quote gain an essential edge with independent, objective, accurate and rigorously researched insights drawn from 1900 analysts and 380,000 client interactions, including 130,000 executive interactions each year. Unquote, another well known research firm is Forrester. Here's how they describe their service quote. Forrester Research focuses on the hardest, most important dynamics of the day, dynamics that have the potential to create extraordinary opportunity for some and put others in desperate straits unquote. Both of these research firms produce research reports, white papers, research insights and other documents that present the results of their research. I recommend you begin your research for your white paper at the websites of the research firms in your industry, review their published research to find the fax trends, statistics and findings. You need to back up your claims in your white paper. Another source of research for you is white papers published by your competitors and other organisations, including governments, trade associations and competitors. The's white papers give you insight into your topic telling you what's been discussed. Where the conversation is headed and what has yet to be discussed or covered. These white papers are also useful because they will cite research sources that you may be unfamiliar with. Visit thes resources as well and use them to add authority to your white paper, where needed industry sources every industry of any size has a trade association. Trade associations, published reports, newsletters, blog's and other publications that present industry news trends and fax trade associations are particularly helpful for gathering facts about the size and composition of the industry . Trade associations also host conferences, webinars and other events. These are a great source of a original research conducted by members of the association. Sometimes you will find power point presentations, transcripts and handouts of workshop sessions posted on the websites of the conference organizers. These air very helpful in your research for your white paper. The next place toe look as you research, your white paper is internally within your organization. Root through your filing cabinets, your servers, your office library and other places for internal research reports, tables, charts, publications that present your unique take on the topic of your white paper. Interviews with subject matter experts If you are like most copywriters and content marketing writers, you will be invited to write a white paper on a topic that is outside your area of expertise. This does not have to be an issue as long as you get access to people who are experts in the subject matter. In the world of tech, these people are called subject matter experts, or SMEs. They are generally tech people who work daily with a given hardware or software platform, so they are perfect sources for insights into the topic of your white paper. If you are writing about infrastructure automation or artificial intelligence or machine learning or any other technical subject, then there's original research. Your final source for your research is original research. This is the most difficult option and the most expensive, but it can provide the most valuable results. After all, if you have access to publicly available information, so do your competitors. But original research research that you conduct yourself is powerful original research positions, you and your organization as an authoritative source of information on your topic. Original research gives you something that no one else has, and that is original insights, and that makes your white paper much more valuable than something that a competitors slaps together after spending a morning doing some searches on Google. Finally or original research gives you a unique insights into your audience and your industry. When you conduct interviews, polls, surveys, focus groups and other custom research original research, you learn things about your customers that you can learn in no other way. As you are collecting your research, you need a simple but effective way to organize your findings. The easiest way that I know of is to create a master document in Microsoft. Word Under view. View your document in outline mode, then break your document into sections, each section dealing with a major part of your white paper. You aren't outlining your white paper. At this stage, you're just breaking up your research into chunks. Give each chunk of research a title and set that title at heading one. Create subheadings whenever needed and set these as heading to as you find statistics, fax and other research that you think you can use in your white paper. Copy and paste those things under the appropriate heading. If a document is too large to copy and paste. Or, if the source document is a Web page, cite the source, instead giving it a descriptive name and path that you can easily find and follow back to to find the source document. As you can see, the big advantage of using the outlining feature in Microsoft Word is that it lets you show and then hide shoots sections of your research. This makes it easy to drill down into each section as you conduct your research so that you put each piece of information each piece of research in its proper place. When you fill your white paper with sound research from industry specialists, subject matter experts and other authoritative sources, you increase trust and position your company as an authority on your subject. And once you gain the trust of your potential clients, they're more likely toe listen to your sales pitch, so if you want your white paper to generate leads for you, do your research. Your prospects will reward you with their business 6. Outline Your White Paper: imagine that you're sitting in the International Departures Lounge at the airport. You're about to board a flight that will take you halfway around the world to a country you have never visited before. The steward at the gate comes on the public address system and makes the following announcement. Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to start boarding. Sorry for the delay. Our captain couldn't find his map and are onboard. Compass is broken, but never mind. Our captain has a pretty good idea of where our destination is. And even though we will be flying halfway across the world and over notion at night, he thinks he can get you to your destination. Without a map and without a compass, please prepare for boarding. Would you board that plane? Of course not. Every pilot needs a map. Every aircraft needs a working compass. No one should fly without them. In the world of marketing, every white paper needs an outline. Your outline helps you organize your thoughts before you start writing. It helps you discover where you're going, and it keeps you on track until you reach your destination. Start with a blank piece of paper or an empty word document right out your key message. What do you want your reader to understand or believe or do? After reading your document, write it down. A good practice is to write out your key message in one sentence. After reading this white paper, my reader will X writing. Your key message helps you stay focused. Your key message prevents you from drift. It prevents you from wandering into topics that are not relevant to your goal. Everything you write must support your key message. Always identify your purpose for writing before you start writing. Stating your key message saves you lots of time and agony. Rewriting later, and it prevents a lack of direction from creeping into your content. Next, create a list of all the major points you want to make in your marketing white paper. Do this as a brainstorming exercise. As you think of a point, write it down. Don't worry about the order of your points just yet. Don't spend any time organizing your thoughts. Just get them down on paper or onto your screen. One useful exercises to act like a reporter and ask yourself the five W's and the one h Ask yourself. Who? What? Why, Where, when and how. Who are you writing to? What are you writing about? Why are you writing? Where is this applicable? When is this taking place? How will it happen if you're addressing a problem? How should you describe it? How do you aim to solve it? If you're making recommendations in your white paper as you should, what is the background? What steps were taken? What are your findings? What are your recommendations? Don't worry at this stage about being grammatical or about writing in complete sentences. Just write your thoughts down in point form. You're going to flesh out these thoughts later. Just get them down in point form. For now. As you continue, you'll discover that outlining isn't just a way to organize your existing ideas. Outlining helps you discover new ideas as you capture your thoughts in your outline. Your mind thinks of other ideas and points that you want to include in your document. In your marketing white paper, arrange your thoughts in the order that you're going to write them when you find a point down in your list that really belongs at the top, move it to the top of your outline. Likewise, if you find a point at the start of your outline that really belongs somewhere else in your document, move it down in your outline. I use the outlining tool in Microsoft Word. For this, you'll notice that Microsoft Word lets you assign heading styles to your points, heading one heading two, heading three and so on. This lets you give your document a hierarchy that you can easily see at a glance. Set your main points as heading one and set sub points as heading to and so on. Remember, as you write these points and sub points down, do not start to write yet put everything in point form only. Your only goal in outlining is to decide what you want to say and in what order you want to say it. How you say it comes later on during the writing process. As you organize your thoughts, check to see that each point belongs where it iss. As you review your outline multiple times, you'll discover that some points need to be revised, reworded toe accurately. Say what you want to say. You'll also discover that some points need to be moved to other parts of the outline. Do this as many times as you need to until your outline reflects what you want to say on the order. You want to say it. The outline of your white paper shouldn't have a lot of detail, but it shouldn't have anything missing either. It should contain all of the main and minor points that you want to make written out in point form. It shouldn't have any gaps that you aimed to fill later. Once you start writing, I know the temptation, the temptation went outlining is to say to yourself, Oh, I know what I'm going to say in this little section right here. I know the point that I want to make, so I won't bother completing this part of the outline. I'll just write 0.1 point 2.3 blah, blah, blah, blah blah. I'll put it here is ah, a placeholder for the content that will come later. Don't do this. The whole reason for doing an outline is to give your document order and logic. This is order and logic that your readers are going to appreciate. So if something is important enough to include in your document included in your outline, if only in point form. Here are three rules to help you create a successful outline for your marketing. White paper Rule number one Always know your key message. Always decide why you are writing your white paper. Always know what you are needing to communicate. This is your key message. Write it down. Rule number two State your key message immediately. Put the most important information at the start of your white paper at the beginning of your white paper. Don't make your reader read page after page after page after page to find out the point that you're making. If you're making a recommendation, for example, state that recommendation at the start of your document. If you're white, paper is lengthy, right? An executive summary at the beginning. State the recommendations and summarize how you justify those recommendations later on. In your document. Rule number three only include points that support your key message in the body of your white paper. Give the fax findings, explanations, data and examples that support your key message on Lee. Include those things that are relevant to your key message. Don't stray. Don't introduce new topics or new messages. Once you get the hang of outlining, you'll discover that creating an outline helps you decide what you want to say. A good outline gives your document order and logic. It keeps you focused and relevant. Outlines help you make your writing mawr clear and more compelling and odd as this may sound, outlines speed up the writing process, adding the extra step of writing an outline actually shortens your total writing time. This is because, contrary to popular opinion, outlining is part of the composition process. Once you've analyzed your audience and selected an appropriate medium, which is the white paper, you're ready to begin writing your outline. Your outline is, ah, blueprint for your draft. It is a design that tells you how you will organize your message, how you will sequence your key ideas and how you will support those ideas in your white paper. In contrast to a draft, you are the audience for your outline. Beginning outline by creating a list of information you think your readers need or expect. For example, if you are crafting a document about the Environmental Protection Agency's role in fluoride in drinking water, your list of things you want to say might look like this. Explain what the E. P. A. Is doing about fluoride in drinking water. Define what full right is. Explain how fluoride gets into drinking water. List some of the effects of fluoride. Includes specific data. Refer to the Safe Water Drinking Act. Next, organized the list in tow, a map that guides your reader from point to point to point. Create an introduction Ah body ah conclusion and then decide how you will divide each topic into sub topics. Your outline might look like this part one introduction. Defined florid part to the body. Explain how fluoride gets into drinking water. List some of the effects. Ah, flow right. Explain how fluoride is regulated, namely the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, EMC LGS Maximum contaminant levels, Part three. Your conclusion described the e P. A. Standards for a long, complex document. Use a format that includes Roman numerals like this to indicate the three main sections of introduction, body and conclusion. This is in your outline. Only use indented capital letters like this to indicate the first level of sub topics, then use indented Arabic numerals like this to indicate the next level of sub topics. Again, this is just in your outline. Finally, use indented lower case letters like this to indicate the third level of sub topics. This outlining strategy is known as Alfa numeric notation. There, types of outlines include full sentence outlines and decimal outlines. They also help you compose an effective design or blueprint for your draft. After you complete your outline, you're ready to write your first draft of your white paper. 7. Give Your White Paper a Strong Title: Every white paper has a title. Justus. Every book has a title. If you want people to read your white paper, give it a strong title. A strong title tells your target reader who? Your white papers for what your white paper is about and why the reader should read it. Let's look at some examples of titles of white papers toe. Learn some lessons about what to do and what not to do when naming your white paper. White papers tend to be long documents, so anything you can do to communicate that your white paper is a quick read might be a good idea. I say might be a good idea because not all subjects can be covered in a quick read. Here is a white paper from Salesforce. No, the numeral at the beginning of the title. Six Keys to sales and marketing alignment. Now I just said that a strong title tells your target reader who your white paper is. Four. What your white paper is about and why the reader should read it. So let's look at this title. This white paper is likely aimed sales and marketing managers or their supervisors, but you can't be sure the writer could have made that more specific and clear with a subtitle. Something like six. Keys to Sales and Marketing Alignment. A Guide for CEO Zoe's What's this white paper about sales and marketing alignment? Why should the Target reader read it? What benefit does the white paper offer or promise you should read the white paper to understand six keys to sales and marketing alignment. That's six essentials or six best practices. Next, try to put your keywords at the front of your title. Not at the end. Check out This white paper from Cisco is called Networking and Your Competitive Edge. The key word here is networking. Cisco is in the networking business, and their readers are in the networking business, So networking is a vital keyword for Cisco to include in the title of the White Paper. The advantage of putting the keyword at the start of the white paper title is that readers see the keyword first. The key word is more likely to grab their attention if they're skimming a Web page and see the title of the white paper as the first word. Putting the keyword at the front of the title also helps online if this white paper appears in search results. If the keyword is at the start of the title, it appears as the first word in search results. If this keyword is placed at the end of the title, it may get truncated, chopped off and be invisible. See what I mean by looking at the title of this white paper? The sophisticated Marketers Guide to Content Marketing. The key word here is content marketing, but they placed it at the end of the title. It's the last thing you read as you read the title, and it won't appear in search results. It will get chopped off now. This publisher could have placed this keyword at the beginning of the title like this. Content Marketing, a guide for sophisticated marketers. Next, consider giving your white paper a subtitle. Sometimes you can't tell your target reader who your white papers for what your white paper is about and why the reader should read it all in your title. Sometimes you need a subtitle as well. In this white paper from Doc, you sign. The company has used a title and a subtitle. The title tells you what the white paper is about digital transformation. How digital transformation gives growing Businesses the agility edge. The subtitle tells readers why they should read the white paper three ways. Growing businesses use digital workflow to boost productivity and cut costs. Boosting productivity and cutting costs are benefits. Getting those two benefits into the title wouldn't have worked because the title is already a bit too long, so creating a subtitle makes sense right here. Dont simply call your white paper a white paper. Here's a white paper from a company called Adams. They don't bother giving their white paper a strong title. They just put their company logo at the top and call the documents a white paper not very effective. And don't take your company brochure and simply rename it a white paper. Here, for example, is a company brochure disguised as a white paper. It's from Clear poll. It's called social public opinion polls on the block chain that sounds like a white paper title. But when you start reading the white paper, you quickly discover on Page three that this is a company capabilities brochure masquerading as a white paper. Don't do this, remember ah white paper is a persuasive, authoritative in depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. It's impartial. It's unbiased. It doesn't sell now in some industries. In Blockchain and Crypto currencies, for example, some firms create sales documents aimed at securing startup funding from angel investors and venture capital firms. Thes documents tend to be really rarely along at least 50 pages. In most cases. The goal of these documents is to describe a challenge or opportunity in the marketplace and to present the company as a firm that is going to meet that opportunity and earn the investor a return on their investment. Many start up companies who create these documents call them white papers. Now this is all very well, just a long as they remember that a prospectus four an investor is not a marketing document that belongs anywhere in a sales funnel or buyer journey. So before you name anything a white paper, make sure its goal is to attract, engage, convert or close leads, make sure the white paper belongs somewhere in your sales funnel in your buyer journey. That way, your white paper will help you attract and engage fires 8. Give Your White Paper a Compelling Introduction: what's the most important page in any novel? It's the first page. The first page is the one that must grab attention, introduced the protagonist and introduced the conflict. What's the most important page in a marketing white paper? The introduction. Your introduction is the page that must grab someone's attention. It must name your problem. An outline How you are going to help your reader. Let's look at each of these three vital roles in order. First, your introduction must grab your reader's attention with your opening sentence or with your opening paragraph, you must arrest the attention of your reader and compel them to read on. You do this in a number of ways. Keep your first sentence short. Don't test the patience of your reader with a long winded, convoluted sentence that goes on and on and has lots of independent clauses and parenthetical remarks or is packed with too many fax or is in any other way just too long and clumsy. Just like the sentence that I'm speaking to you right now, period. Say something unusual, take a cliche and turn it on its ear state a startling statistics or give a piece of advice or make an observation that runs contrary to common was. Do something different. Don't repeat the title of your white paper. Don't repeat this subtitle and don't start by saying anything about your company. Remember, the goal of your first few sentences is to captivate your audience, pique their curiosity and entice them to read further. Here's an example from a white paper published by Health Plus Technologies. It's called seven Tough Questions Every insurer must ask about your next hospital contract . Let's look at the first few lines of the executive summary. When a hospital contract comes across your desk for approval, you naturally focus on one all important question. How much will this cost us? As an insurance company executive, it's your job toe. Ask tough questions about your next hospital contract and to make sure your people do too skip to the next paragraph. And then there's the toughest question of all. Is the hospital seeking to enhance its revenues at our expense? Most insurers aren't asking these questions today, or at least they're not getting the full answers. Unquote, this opening isn't as strong as it could be, but you see that the writer aims to start strong by raising questions and issues that are top of mind for the reader. And by bringing up a vital pain point. Most insurers and that may include the reader of the white paper, are not asking these questions. After you have grabbed your readers attention, you must name the problem you are goingto address in your white paper. The main goal of a white paper is to help a buyer understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. To do this, you must start with the challenge that your reader faces. You must name it. You must state the concern or problem that your reader has that you are going to help themselves buy them. Reading your white paper. This is absolutely vital. You must state and stay immediately Why your white paper is relevant to your reader. The easiest way to do this is to name the need or the pain or the challenge that your reader faces right now. Think of this is a single statement that describes their problem. The problem statement names the issue that your white paper will address. This will be the problem or the challenge or the pain that you identified when you decided to write your white paper way, way back. The best way to craft this problem statement is to look back at the questions you asked when you chose your topic. What is happening in the market today that concerns your reader? What is about toe happen in near future? That concerns your reader? What are companies struggling with most and why? What are the specific problems, needs or pain points that your readers are facing right now? Let me show you what I mean by looking at that white paper from health plus Technologies. Again, quote Your counterparts on the hospital side are definitely targeting your contract to generate most of their profit because they know they can't get any more money from Medicaid , Medicare or the uninsured. That's why you owe it to your company toe. Ask some tough questions and get some clear answers. Unquote, you can see the pain statement right there. Quote. Your counterparts on the hospital side are definitely targeting your contract to generate most of their prophet unquote. After you have grabbed attention and stated the problem, you must outline why your reader should continue reading the best way to do this is to outline the benefits the reader will get from your white paper. What are the benefits that your readers will enjoy by addressing their pain or need or problem? Name these benefits in outline on Lee. Help your readers understand why the solution you're going to describe in your white paper is a value to them. Give them a reason to continue reading. Your goal here is to peek curiosity Onley. Remember, this is just your introduction. You're merely introducing the problem and outlining how you're going to solve it. If you like, you can introduce the framework you're going to follow in your white paper. For example, your white paper may describe three trends, followed by three recommendations. Or it might describe five minutes about an industry topic, followed by five truths that debunk those myths. Your aim is to help your reader follow your thought process and understand how you have organized your white paper to help them solve their problem. Here's an example of what I mean from a white paper from machine vision. It's called Choosing the Right Image Acquisition technology. The white paper begins with a three paragraph introduction that states the problem hints at the solution and describes how the white paper addresses the issue Now. If you look down at the third paragraph, it says, quote, this White paper will focus on one of the key processes within the vision system, the image acquisition process and more specifically on the Image Acquisition Board frame grabber and its related software. It will outline the critical functions that these components play and discuss some of the recent engineering innovations being deployed to significantly increase the reliability of this process. Unquote, that's a long sentence. Then the writer lists five functions that will be discussed in that white paper in the same way that the most important page and any novel is the first page. The most important page in your marketing white paper is your introduction. Your introduction is the page that must grab attention, name the problem and outlined how you're going to help your reader. When you have a strong introduction, you have a hooked reader. So if your goal is to have prospects, read your white paper, write a strong introduction 9. Give Your White Paper Context: has this ever happened to you? You're with your spouse or a good friend. They start telling you something As you listen. You realize that you have no idea what they're talking about. They might be talking about someone you both know. They might even be talking about a place that you both know. But other than that, you have no idea why they are talking about what they are talking about. Has that ever happened to you? If you're like me, you have to stop the speaker very politely and say something like, I'm sorry, but you've lost me here. I don't understand what you're talking about. Can you please fill me in on some detail? So I understand where you're headed, Why you're taking this conversation where it is. What I have done is asked my spouse or my friend for context. I've asked them for some background because any conversation, unless it is based on a common set of facts and assumptions, is hard to understand. When you sit down to write a marketing white paper, you follow a logical order. You write a title, that name's a problem and hints at a solution. You create a table of contents that outlines your document. You write an executive summary that summarizes your document. You write an introduction that introduces your topic, names a problem and outlines a solution. If you're like many writers, your now tempted to write the solution part of your white paper, you've just named the problem. But you're going to be addressing, and now you want to address it. But going from your introduction right to your solution skips a vital step, context and background. You must assume that some of your readers will not be as familiar with your topic as other readers are. You must assume that some of your readers are in the position you are in when someone is talking to you about someone you know or a place you know. But you don't have a clue what they are talking about. You need context and you need background in your white paper. You may need to describe a trend that brought us to where we are today. You may need to define some key terms that are unfamiliar to some of your audience. You do this with a section of your white paper, which we call the background section. Here's an example of what I mean. It's a white paper called How Cee Io's can improve supply chain management Even with a tight i t budget. The White paper begins with the problem statement. Nearly all Cee Io's today are under pressure to contain costs. In fact, many are being asked to cut I T budgets by 20%. But the challenges of dealing with the recession have not gone away, even if the budget has. In fact, these have become Maura cute. The writer now states the solution. This white paper looks at one way Cee Io's can roll out significantly more powerful supply chain functions at an affordable cost by extending existing systems with specialized software delivered as a service. As you scroll down to the next section, you may be expecting to see a description of the solution, but you don't. That's because this writer knows that some readers need context and background before understanding the solution. So the writer gives you background on the issues at hand. The writer does this in a section called The Limitations of Traditional tools. Excel. Not robust enough, e. R. P focused on transactions legacy planning designed for yesterday, the writer than supplies a table that describes the four types of software used for sales and operations planning at the bottom of the page, the writer names the solution again. Software as a service can be a game changing alternative to the traditional ways of buying and using enterprise software. And as you scroll down, you see that the background section is followed by the Solution section, extending your sales and operations planning with software as a service. Here's another example from a white paper about hyper ledger Blockchain performance metrics . That's a mouthful. The white paper begins with an introduction that introduces the topic and describes the problem. While block chains may appear similar to distributed databases, they are typically implemented without a central authority and central repository. This makes measuring and comparing performance between different block chains very difficult, unquote. The writer that outlines the solution to help precisely and consistently evaluate the unique performance attributes of block chains. This paper defines many relevant terms and metrics and discusses some complex issues, but the writer doesn't jump from the problem to the solution. First, the writer makes sure that all readers are working from the same set of definitions and terms. Only then can the writer expect the readers to understand the solution. The writer first defines Blockchain terms, then gives definitions of key metrics. After giving this background and context, the writer moves on to discussing the solution in a section of the white paper called Considerations for Blockchain Performance Measurement. Not every white paper you write needs a background section for some of your white papers. Terms, definitions and trends are well understood by everyone in your industry. If this is the case, leave it out. But if the topic of your white paper is novel, if you are taking a unique spin on the status quo, you may need to give your readers some context. Before you jump into your discussion off solutions, you may need to describe the events or trends that brought us to where we are today. You may need to define some new terms or give a name to a new problem. Your background section doesn't have to be a section, either. Sometimes all you need is a sidebar like this. It is highlighted in blue to show that it's a stand alone piece of the document. It takes only half a page. Remember, a white paper is a persuasive, authoritative in depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. You can only be persuasive and authoritative with your readers if they understand what you are talking you both to do that, give your readers context and background. They will thank you for it. 10. Write a Persuasive Solution Section: a white paper is a persuasive, authoritative in depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. Effective white papers name the problem in their title, introduced the problem in their introduction and give the context to the problem in their background section. Then they address the problem by offering solutions. White papers do this in a section of the white paper that you could call the solution section. Marketing white papers helped buyers understand an issue. Solve a problem or make a decision. White papers attract potential buyers to accompany by offering authoritative answers to buyers questions. So when you come to write this section of your white paper, think of it in terms of problem, solution or question. Answer. Here's how you do it. Introduce the solution or solutions using an introductory paragraph or two. Include a clear definition. If your solution involves a framework or a model, describe it in your introduction. Then give a detailed description of each part of the solution. If needed. Break your solution into subsections or sub categories to help your readers make sense of this section. Sub categories. Help your audience follow your thought process and absorb your content clearly. Describe the benefits of each solution that you propose. Describe how each solution benefits your reader. Be specific. Use case studies to prove your points. Speaking of case studies, this section is where you provide specific real world examples to support your solution. These examples must be specific and plausible. Look for examples, fax figure statistics on other evidence that backs up what you're proposing and answers the questions and problems that you pose in your white paper. This is a white paper published by Google. It's called the arrival of real time bidding and what it means for media buyers. You can see from the table of contents of this white paper that the writer follows a logical structure part one rial time bidding is here to stay part to real time. Bidding is a technology part three. Clearing up the fuzzy terms. Part four. It's the process that matters Part five. How to do Real time bidding Part six Real time bidding with Google. As you can see, Part one introduces the topic and describes the problem. Parts 23 and four give background and context. Part five offers solutions. As you can see they say in how to do real time bidding. We define three paths to take to benefit from real time bidding. Notice that phrase we define three paths to take. This is the solutions section of the white paper, where Google makes recommendations on how to solve the problem that the white paper introduces and discusses. You can see when you scroll down to this section of the white paper that they lay out the three paths simply and clearly making it easy for you as a reader toe. Immediately grasp each recommendation. Here's another example of a white paper that follows a logical structure. Salma shows in their table of contents that they're white Paper starts by defining the problem, gives you background, defines terms, describes the current landscape and then moves on to recommendations. Here on Page 18 is where you find the solutions that this company recommends. Quote what you need to deliver omnichannel unquote. Sometimes the structure of your solution section is made easy because of the title of your white paper. This white paper from Salesforce, for example, promises to deliver six keys to sales and marketing alignment. Naturally, you're going to find these six keys in the solution section of the white paper, and this brings up a vital point. The best way to think about your white paper is by thinking of it as answering your readers questions. Think of the questions your audience is asking right now and then write your white paper with the goal off. Answering those exact questions. One of the best ways of deciding what you will include in your solution section is to think about what you're going to call your white papers, kind of a back to front way of doing it. Your title has to give your potential readers a powerful incentive to download and read your white paper. The best Title's promise. Readers a benefit Remember, the goal of your white paper is the help buyers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. So when you come to writing the solution section of your white paper, think in those terms What do you want your readers to understand? How do you recommend they solve their problem? What steps must they take to make their decision? Think off what your readers need from you, then meet their needs with a white paper that describes the problem in the introduction solves the problem in the Solution section 11. End with a Strong Call to Action: If you go online and search for a definition of marketing white paper, you'll find a definition that sounds something like this. A white paper is an impartial, persuasive, authoritative in depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. There's just one thing missing from that definition, and that is the intent behind a white paper. The purpose of a white paper. Yes, you write white papers to help buyers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. But why? Why does your organization want to help buyers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision? Why do you want to do that? You may answer, because we want to position ourselves or organization our company as a trusted authority on this topic. That's all very well. But remember that the main goal of a marketing white paper is to generate leads. Yes, you want your white paper to position your business as knowledgeable and trustworthy and helpful. But if you're white paper does not generate any qualified leads or not enough Leeds, it's a dud. Your challenge with white papers, of course, is that they should be impartial and unbiased they should be, As the saying goes. Vendor agnostic. The major difference between a white paper and just about every other kind of promotional copy that you'll ever write as a copywriter is that white papers don't promote your brand or your products or your services directly. This means that your title, your introduction, your problem statement, your background section and your solution section should not promote your company or what you do or what your offering you're thinking. Alan. If I don't mention my company anywhere, my white paper, how does the white paper generate leads? The answer is, you do this in your conclusion. Your conclusion is the last major part of your white paper. It comes at the end of your document. Your conclusion is where you describe the explicit link between your company and what you've been discussing in your white paper. Your conclusion is where you explain why the reader should consider your company as a viable solution to the issues that you've raised in your white paper. Begin your conclusion by summarizing your white paper. Reiterate your problem statement and your solution. Summarize your recommendations, then transition or Segway into a description of how your firm can help the reader solve the very issues you addressed in your white paper. Some white papers do this with a short, simple company bio. Other white papers go into more detail. Either way, you must make the connection between the problem. You have ad dressed in your white paper and the solutions that your company offers. Then you must tell your readers what to do next. Remember, everyone who reads your white paper is somewhere on their buyer journey. You must tell them what the next step is and how to take it. You do this at the end of your white paper with a call to action. Direct your reader toe a free resource on your website. For example, Invite them to pick up the phone and call you for a free consultation. Direct them to a Web page where they sign up for a free demo. Whatever you do, tell your readers what the next step is and tell them how to take it. Let me show you some examples. Here's a white paper published by Salesforce. It's called six Keys. The Sales and Marketing Alignment. Salesforce is a cloud based tool that organizations used to manage their sales and marketing. But this white paper isn't about Salesforce as a tool. It's not a brochure. It's about six best practices for getting the sales team and the marketing team toe work together. As you can see at the end of this white paper, Salesforce concludes by summarizing the white paper quote. Technology is pushing sales and marketing departments closer together, whether they are ready for it or not. Aligning these two departments is one of the most crucial initiatives a business can undertake with proper communication between teams and the right marketing automation tool. Here you're starting here. Sales and marketing can move from struggling rival departments toe one cohesive revenue generating machine, close more leads, lose fewer opportunities, speed up you're sale cycle and drive more revenue all by putting marketing and sales on the same team unquote. Then you see that they have a called action button, take a guided tour, and then on the final page, they describe how their tool, called Pardo, helps you deliver smarter marketing and drive better results. Salesforce has not made the link between their white paper topic and their product offering explicit. For example, they have not described how Salesforce is a tool that helps you achieve sales and marketing alignment. They haven't said that explicitly, but they have included a conclusion. They have described their company, and they have included a call to action. Here's another example from Cisco. It's a white paper about securing the edge of your network and how that gives you a competitive edge. As you can see, the white paper ends with a conclusion that summarises the findings and recommendations found in the white paper quote. Customer experience, business insights. Security, automation, agility, innovation, Cost reduction, Revenue Generation The reasons for investing in a modern, secure digital network are as numerous as they are varied. Between them, However, they all share a common theme. The digital world will not wait for those who sit on the fence unquote. Then the author describes Cisco's offering and describes how it answers the needs and challenges that are discussed in this white paper and summarized in the conclusion that Page is titled Cisco D. N. A. That's not the greatest title, is it? Remember? You need to Segway from the topic of your white paper to your company's products and services. This white paper is called Networking and Your Competitive Edge. So a better title for this section of the white paper would be how Cisco's digital network architecture gives you a competitive edge. The last page of the white paper features a call to action. Actually, it features two calls the action. Learn more about Cisco's DNA, and there's a link to the page on their website that describes this product. The problem with this link is that it looks like it takes you to cisco dot com, but it actually takes you here. The link takes you to the page you want, but the girl in the white paper looks Aziz, though clicking on it in the pdf will take you to the Cisco home page. Now there's nothing wrong with shortening a u r L to make it look attractive. But if you are directing readers to a specific page on your website, don't give the impression that if they click on that link, you're just gonna take them to your home page, because that's not helpful to most of your readers. As I said, this page features two calls to action. The 2nd 1 is an invitation to take an assessment to see if your network is digital ready. Clicking on that text in the pdf takes you to the assessment page on the Cisco website. Cisco includes two calls to action because this white paper has to audiences. One audience is at the decision stage of the buyer journey. At the end, they will be interested in the first called action because they are comparing vendors and solutions they're getting ready to decide. The second reader is at the beginning of their bar journey at the awareness stage, and it's likely interested in learning more about the problem that they have. They aren't ready to start looking at vendors just yet. They don't want to talk to a sales person. Generally speaking, your white paper should have just one call to action. You don't want to confuse your readers with too many things to do. But in this case with Cisco featuring two calls, action might work. This is something that you should test as you finish writing your white paper. Think of what your reader needs next. Anticipate where your readers are in there buying journey on, offer them something of value to encourage them to take that next step with you. Remember, white papers are simply one part of what is typically a lengthy buying process. Something brought your potential buyer to your white paper, and your potential buyers have somewhere to go after your white paper. Tell them what that is and tell them what they need to do to take that next step. Do this with a relevant, compelling call to action at the end of your white paper. 12. Write Like a Designer: If you have been given the job of writing a marketing white paper, you need to look at your writing assignment the way that a graphic designer does. That's because effective white papers contain mawr than just text and because even parts of the white paper that are text are going to be rendered by the graphic artist as design elements on the page or on the screen. This means that as you sit down to write your white paper, you need to be thinking visually, you need to picture what your words are going to look like on the page and then craft your words in a way that makes your white paper easier to read. Easier to understand an easier on the eye. Let's look at your writing from a designer's point of view. We'll start with sidebars. A sidebar is a short article in a newspaper or magazine typically boxed, and it's placed alongside of the main article, and it contains additional or explanatory material. Here's an example of a sidebar from a white paper published by Lincoln. As you can see, the first few pages of this white paper are simply columns of text, but on Page six. The writer knows that a term that's used throughout the white paper needs a definition. That term is full funnel marketing. But instead of just writing this definition is yet another paragraph in the document. The writer sets it off as a side bar. Here, on the right hand side of the page, you see the definition notice that the definition is set in white type on a darker background and takes the form of a question. This is a perfect example of writing like a designer. This is a perfect example of writing a block of text, knowing that it will work best as a sidebar as opposed to a simple piece of copy in the main text. In this same white paper, you find another sidebar on page 12. This one discusses the five W's of interrogative investigation. Remember, a sidebar is a short article, typically boxed and placed alongside the main article and containing additional or explanatory material. And that's what this sidebar does. The next type of visual element is pull quotes. Ah, pull quote is a brief, eye catching quotation, typically in a distinctive typeface taken from the main text of an article and used as a subhead, or is a graphic feature notice that definition a pull quote is a is designed to be attention catching, and it acts as a design element. Here's an example of a pull quote from a white paper on hyper converged infrastructure. Notice that it set off from the main text in a small box, and it acts as a design element. I noticed that the quote appears between quotation marks. Here's an example of a pull quote from a white paper on E. R. P systems. It appears all on its own as a design element on the page. Here's another example of a pull quote from a white paper on mistakes to avoid when building out your office. It appears on the page like a subhead, but in a box with a background image so that it stands out on the page. Here's a final example from a white paper on why you need an Omni Channel strategy. Notice how the designer makes this quote stand out from the rest of the text on the page by setting the type in white against a dark background on by using an extra large opening quotation mark as a design element. When you are writing your white paper, look for sentences that will make powerful pull quotes. And by the way, a pull quote doesn't have to be, Ah, quote of something that you've said in the document. It can simply be a sentence or two that you write or that you pull from the text and set off from the rest of the content on the page to attract attention and act as a design element. The next way you should write Aziz, though you are a designer, is to think in terms of info graphics. Check out this white paper from Cisco. It features many pages that turn regular text into design elements by transforming them into info graphics. An infographic is an image that uses multiple icons and typographic elements to represent information or data. In this white paper, Cisco renders the table of contents as an infographic. You'll agree that this table of contents is much more interesting to look at than a simple table of contents that consists of text only on page four of this white paper, the designer takes three points made by the writer and brings them toe life with an oversized numeral three, then the numerals 12 and three with a corresponding icon for each point. This is a great example of a simple three point list transformed into a visually appealing design element in the form of an infographic. Here's another example, this one from a company called Salamat. It takes a bunch of statistics, facts and figures and renders them on the page as a unified infographic. I think you'll agree that presenting your words in this way makes them easier to understand and makes them visually more appealing. When you are writing your white paper, any time you have to cite a bunch of statistics, or any time you have to list three orm or things, consider turning them into an infographic. You don't have to do the design, of course. Simply add an editorial note in your text that tells your designer to render this piece of text as an info graphic. This brings us to tables, charts and diagrams. If you want to, you can drop tables, charts and diagrams into your text and render them just as they are. But this tends to make your white paper just a bunch of text and tables, which is not all that attractive or appealing for your readers to look at. Instead, render boring old tables, charts and diagrams as interesting graphic elements. Look at this example from a white paper by Salma. It's communicating the idea that 50% of Australian consumers use at least five channels to engage with brands. Notice how the visual communicates Australia as an idea and 50% of Australia and five channels in a visual way. Here's another example of rendering boring old stats in a visual way. Notice the use of icons, percentages and text to communicate something that you could communicate with words only but done this way, the page and the words on the page look a lot more interesting. Here's a final example from Lincoln. Notice how the designer takes the percentages and renders them as graphic elements. So here's what you do. Any time you have to communicate statistics, facts or figures in the form of a table, a chart or a diagram, think of a creative way to present that information visually. Then tell your designer how to render it. Remember as you sit down to write your white paper you need to think visually, you need to picture what your words are going to look like on the page and then craft your words in a way that makes your white paper easier to read, easier to understand and easier on the eye. Do that, and you will write an effective white paper. 13. Five White Paper Mistakes to Avoid: if you have been asked to write a marketing white paper, you know by now that there are many things you have to get right. But there are also many mistakes that you need to avoid. A marketing white paper you'll remember is an impartial, persuasive, authoritative in depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. To write an effective white paper, you must choose a topic that is relevant and compelling to your target audience. You must craft a compelling title. You must describe a problem and offer a solution. Now let's look at some of the mistakes that you must avoid. First on the list is hype. Hype is extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion. A white paper that is hyped is a white paper that promotes or publicizes a product or service or idea intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits. Here's an example of what I mean. This white paper is from a company called Chiune. Look at their title June the Block Chains Music Solution, not a solution board, but the solution. That's hype. Here's another example, this one from a company called Verve. Their product is called Va Lux. They call it the evolution of energy again hype. The reason you need to avoid hype is that white papers are impartial and authoritative. You can't be impartial if you're white. Paper makes extravagant claims. No one will consider you an authority. If you exaggerate, the next mistake he must avoid is marketing buzzwords. I'm talking about the buzzwords and cliches that wreck your white paper because they are meaningless. Here's an example. Our agency offers a range of out of the box bleeding edge products that help see emos leverage synergies for global brands, enabling them to incentivise staff and up to my solutions that pick low hanging fruit. In this new paradigm, a marketing buzz word is a word or phrase that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context. The trouble is, buzzwords soon get overused and they become meaningless. What, for example, does incentivize meat or bleeding edge? How exactly does anyone optimize solutions? Would you recognize a paradigm if you ever saw one? And why are we still talking about thinking outside the box more than two decades after that expression was coined? You may think that using the latest buzzwords in your white paper makes you appear competent or in the know or trendy, but it doesn't. Buzzwords simply make your meaning harder to discern the rule. To follow with any buzzword is simple. If everyone else is using it, don't the next blunder that you must avoid in your white paper is selling. Remember, the major difference between a white paper and just about every other piece of promotional copy you'll ever write as a copywriter is that white papers don't promote a brand, ah, product or a service. A good white paper is impartial. It neither promotes a particular company nor criticizes other companies. A good white paper is impartial, objective, unbiased. As soon as you mentioned your company, your product or your service you're selling. And as soon as you start selling, you lose your reader. That's because readers of white papers want to be educated not to be sold something again. Unlike the kind of copy that you typically right as a copywriter, a white paper is written to inform not to sell The goal of a white paper is to make recommendations, not to persuade someone to buy something. This brings me to our next mistake, and that is knocking your competitors. Some writers of marketing white papers avoid talking about their company or their products , but they make up for that by criticizing their competitors. This is obviously a mistake because white papers are supposed to be objective, not biased, impartial, not partial. The final mistake you must avoid in writing your marketing white paper is omitting or forgetting to cite your sources. I know the temptation here. One of your goals in your white paper is to be perceived as an authority, and one of the quickest ways to do that is to cite the latest statistics about your industry when you cite the latest statistics, that makes you sound like you understand your industry and that you are up to date on the latest trends. But unless you cite your sources, you put yourself at risk. First of all, readers will wonder where you got your statistics. They may even think you made them up and you'll lose trust. Other readers will recognise your statistics. They will know where you got them, and they will assume you're passing on this research of someone else as your own. You'll lose trust and credibility and finally, the organization that you are quoting in your white paper, if you don't give them any credit if you don't cite them, is your source, they may sue you for copyright infringement. Not could. The irony is that citing your sources delivers all the benefits that, not citing them takes away. For example, look at this white paper from Lincoln. The white paper is about content marketing, and lengthen is one of the most popular platforms that marketers use for distributing their contents. This white paper is filled with facts and figures and opinions from authorities in the industry. But Lengthen does not quote these facts and figures and opinions anonymously to make lengthen sound like they are authoritative. Instead, they make themselves sound authoritative by citing their sources. This page, for example, cites the Content Marketing Institute, This page sites Advertising Age and this page sites Forrester Research. The cumulative effect of all of these cited sources is authority and trust. Readers of this white paper are likely to see Lincoln as a trustworthy authority on the subject of content marketing. That's it. Avoid these common blunders and you will write a white paper that establishes authority, builds trust and generates leads