What’s a White Paper?
White papers are sales and marketing documents that provide in-depth information about a business, product or service. They’re great for explaining innovative, expensive or complex concepts and teaching customers about their value.
White papers typically consist of long-form content and independent research. This analytical ‘deep-dive’ into what a business offers can help to position it as an industry authority and even assist with the capturing of potential leads.
Does Your Business Need a White Paper?
Specialised businesses in technical sectors can certainly benefit from introducing white papers – so could any business that aims to disrupt an industry or persuade people to try something new!
Whether your company is B2B or B2C, you can use a white paper to establish your business as a thought leader. They’re a great way to showcase your knowledge through original research, fact-checking and statistics.
Check out Apple’s white paper ‘Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps’ which discusses the privacy and parental controls available on their App Store. It’s an informational PDF designed to put customers at ease and give them technical details about staying safe while using Apple devices. The white paper is backed up with a host of references and contains diagrams to break up the text and make it more accessible and engaging.
Why do you think Apple spent its time and resources on creating this PDF and publishing it online?
We think it’s an attempt to convince their target market that Apple devices are superior to those of their competitors. They’re erasing concerns and highlighting the protections on their App Store that are unique to Apple. Concerned parents, for example, will be far more likely to purchase an iPhone for their preteen after reading the white paper. That’s some clever marketing!
All that being said, a white paper could well be an unnecessary expense for your business if you aren’t involved in anything particularly innovative, technical or complex. It may be more beneficial for you to focus your energy on other marketing efforts, such as your social media presence or email marketing campaigns.
Content Writing and Document Design
Not sure where to start? Create8’s creative content writer and graphic designers are here to help! We’re keen to explore your business in depth to understand your requirements and help you add value to your customers.
Get in touch to find out about how we can support your business and get your white paper written, designed and published online so that you can start harnessing its marketing power!
Are White Papers Good for SEO?
Search engines can’t read downloadable PDFs as effectively as they can read HTML, but PDFs are still crawled, searched and indexed by search engines if they’re visible on a website. That’s why it’s important to always follow SEO best practices when writing white papers.
Search engines like Google value ‘helpful content’. Websites that are deemed ‘helpful’ by Google are afforded a higher ranking in search results, which leads to more site traffic. This means that the content on your site and in your white paper must meet the expectations of site visitors.
Make sure your white paper’s title and subtitles are descriptive and relevant. They should contain both long and short tail keywords to indicate the white paper’s content and direct traffic to your site.
Any images, diagrams or infographics included in your white paper should have appropriate and informative ALT tags and the PDF’s meta description should be optimised for content and length. Be sure to include a link to the PDF on your website with appropriate anchor text so that it’s visible to Google.
And don’t forget, quality content is excellent for SEO so make sure your white paper adds value to your target audience and beyond. Answer questions, explain concepts in depth and back up your claims with statistics and research.
Writing and Formatting a White Paper
Honestly, writing and formatting your white paper is entirely dependent on your sector and what you hope to achieve from publishing it.
Perhaps your aim is to explain a new and complex product in depth so that investors can understand its value and provide capital for the next stage of your project.
Or maybe you’d like to educate people about an innovative start-up and how it has the potential to change the world.
Even companies and products that are well established may want to publish a white paper to attract more leads and gain a greater share of the market or make it through economic uncertainty.
No matter your reasoning, when publishing a white paper the best thing to do is research! Analyse competitors and see what you’re offering that they aren’t so that you can position your business as a cut above the rest. And don’t forget to format your white paper in an accessible and digestible way.
How to Capture Leads Using a White Paper
White papers are a great way to collect contact information from site visitors. Provide the white paper in a downloadable format and ask visitors to enter their contact information before the download begins. If your white paper has an enticing title and is packed with helpful content, chances are they’ll be happy to exchange their details for the information you’re providing them.
Once they’re signed up to your mailing list, you can contact them directly via telephone or email marketing to promote your products and increase brand awareness.
Speak to a Creative Content Writer
We can help you to fine tune your focus and write a helpful and engaging white paper that makes your product, service or business really sing. Our designers are even on hand to create informative diagrams and powerful graphics, as needed!
Let’s get started! Contact Create8 today to discuss all things white paper and become the next thought leader in your industry.