With reports far and wide espousing the benefits of long-form content, there has never been a better time for your marketing team to create white papers. An authoritative report or guide can get to the bottom of pressing and complex issues and provide readers with information that helps to solve their own issues and better inform their decision-making – so where exactly do you start?
Educate, don’t sell
White papers are perfect for conveying genuine information, not selling your brand or pushing corporate messages, so focus on providing insights and solutions. When you have decided on a topic, come up with a captivating title and heading. While short, snappier titles are ideal for blogs and articles, it may be best to use longer titles for white papers. It should be clear to your audience what your white paper is about and what it is trying to achieve.
Research, research, research
White papers need to be a fountain of knowledge with articulate, well-thought-out points backed up by expert opinions and appropriate sources. You need to go through a lengthy research phase to ensure that everything you write is accurate. You could also use a separate survey or fact-based infographic as the platform for your white paper. Always think about how your content marketing output can feed into other campaigns.
Consider the layout
White papers don’t need to focus purely on the written word. You can use stock photos or your own high-res images to break up blocks of text. Recent reports have found that visual aids are great tools for keeping readers engaged, but this is a delicate balancing act when writing for more premium and well-educated audiences. Outside of the core layout, try to offer a summary of key points via bullet points at the top of the content and a conclusion that brings together the essential points and elements.
When you have finished, it is important to outline a clear distribution strategy with relevant channels to augment leads and sales. White papers are incredibly useful in 2019 as they can boost your brand authority, improve visibility in search, and meet audience’s wants and needs.