The traditional definition of a white paper comes from politics. It means a legislative document, which aims to explain and support a certain political solution.
Today’s definition of a white paper is different, depending on the relating industry.
In technical world, a white paper commonly presents a theory behind a new part of technology.
Marketing specialists write white papers for educational purposes; in particular, they may inform their potential customers about a specific topic or explain a certain methodology. Usually downloading a white paper requires from a user at least an Email address, which is then used for generating leads.
Remember that the purpose of a white paper is to influence the buyers based on evidence rather than to present the people why to buy your product or service.
While a blog post or an Ebook can be written in few hours and few weeks, white papers are more serious documents and writing a white paper may require up to few months. In contrast to Ebooks and blog posts, white papers are more formal and based on deeper research.
You can start an Ebook and or a white paper on the same template. But in the end, white paper will appear as an academic paper that has a marketing content. The expectations of readers also are different from Ebooks and white papers.
Ebooks usually provide extended content covered on a blog post. They are targeted to general readers, so the academic parts are less.
Although white papers do not technically have minimum requirements and you can call any content a white paper, you should not do so. Here are the main features a good white paper must have:
A white paper should have no less than six pages. The maximum number of pages is 50, in case if the topic needs to be presented in more detail.
A typical white paper includes the following parts:
As a white paper is an academic paper, it is usually more difficult to read it than an Ebook. Often, readers read them more than once to understand its important details.
A white paper usually comes with PDF with portrait orientation.
The style of a white paper is professional, formal, well written and edited.
You are the expert that provides content to readers, so you should understand what problems your white paper has to solve. If your white paper meets the need of your potential customers, it will be easier for you to generate demand for your document.
For this purpose, you can create a buyer persona, and analyze what kind of information they will need.
You will probably want to provide your readers with a unique information to keep your audience engaged. For this purpose, you can:
The following is a common white paper structure:
Your outline should act as your guide on your way of writing the white paper.
During the writing of each paragraph, keep in mind that all of them have to be in line with your topic and contribute to the overall purpose of your white paper.
Visual representation of information always plays an important role if you want to present your ideas in a more interesting way. Visual presentation of the content using charts, tables and graphs is more important in white papers because they include deep analyses, and visualization can make your paper easy to read.
You may get feedback from a reliable person who can check your white paper from the point of view of its readability.
Although white papers mainly do not include big portion of creativity, yet it is important to make your content look good.
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White Paper Marketing Shopify is a software company that specialises in ecommerce software for small to enterprise level businesses.
White Paper Marketing Shopify is listed as the best ecommerce software. Shopify was founded in 2006 in Ottawa, Canada and currently has over 6,124 employees registered on Linkedin.