15 March 2023
Team Purple Iris
To create a white paper is one of the top priorities of B2B marketers. It is a versatile content asset that can be used to demonstrate an organisation’s deep expertise in a chosen area of work and promote a niche offering.
A white paper is the nudge you are looking for to make a prospect get off the fence and sign up.
Buyers who are actively evaluating options need subtle persuasion, and a rich, informative and substantive white paper often does the trick. A survey of B2B customers shows that 71 percent have used white papers as a decision-making tool for purchases.
However, though white papers feature prominently in a B2B company’s editorial calendar, plans do not always get off the ground. Targets (“we want to publish one white paper every quarter”) or even definite ideas (“Our team has written an article that needs to be converted into a white paper”) do not take concrete form.
The reasons are many. The inability to devote time for the extensive research and writing involved. The lack of in-house skills to put together a compelling and marketable asset. Or limited creativity to work around dry and dull technical material for wide consumption.
Sometimes the problem is more fundamental. There is a lack of understanding of what makes a white paper. If an article has sufficient length and depth, can we term it a white paper? How is a white paper different from a technical paper or an industry report?
A white paper is an authoritative piece of document that explores a big idea, dissects it from different angles and states the way forward including a government’s position or a company’s point of view. It aims to break down an issue or a technical subject for the ease of consumption of an audience. A white paper may lay down a roadmap or recommendations, and thus become a handy guide for users.
Here are examples of two white papers–one that led to huge public discourse and the other that saw the start of a whole new market fuelled by a new technology.
The Population White Paper by the Government of Singapore published in 2013 “sets out the key considerations and roadmap for Singapore’s population policies to address its demographic challenge.” It is a blueprint for Singapore’s population growth and suggests that the island nation increases its population to 6.9 million by 2030.
One of the most influential and pathbreaking white papers in the world of business is a nine-page document published in 2008 that marked the beginning of bitcoin. Written under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, and titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, it is credited with using the word ‘bitcoin’ for the first time.
Not all white papers enter immortality but they help achieve certain set objectives.
There are a few important components to consider when you create a white paper.
While white papers are a powerful tool for lead generation, be mindful of these common mistakes to ensure effectiveness.
Since it is time-consuming to create a white paper and needs strong writing skills and collaboration between writers and designers, these projects tend to drag. In-house efforts need the support of specialist writers. They offer an outsider’s perspective to the content, think out-of-the-box by incorporating learnings from other such projects and manage the project end-to-end.
Want to know how we can help you create white papers? Write to us at email@example.com