A white paper is an official research document that presents in-depth information about a specific topic. Businesses often create them for a number of reasons, including generating leads (offering the paper in exchange for an email address), building trust with prospects and existing customers, or increasing sales through fact-based content. A well-planned white paper can have a huge impact on your business, but you need to take the time to plan and execute it properly.
Before you start creating a white paper, make sure you understand its purpose and audience. As a top to middle-of-funnel piece of content, a white paper should focus on solving problems or making the reader more knowledgeable about a topic. It must be well researched and contain accurate data, statistics and quotes. The paper should also include original analyses and findings. It is best to use a mix of data from market, scientific and technical sources that are either available publicly or accessible through paywalls and membership requirements.
When you start drafting your white paper, it’s important to write as much as possible first. Then you can go back and edit later to ensure that everything makes sense. Once you have a full draft, it is important to ask others to read through it and provide feedback. This will help you catch errors that you may have overlooked. Then, once you’ve made the necessary changes, you should proofread it to be sure that all of the information is accurate and that your tone is consistent with your brand voice.
A good white paper outline will set the table for a great Table of Contents in the final document. It will identify the main topics and then present them in a way that is easy for readers to navigate. It is also a good idea to break the content up into subheadings when needed. This will allow the content to be more digestible for the reader and can make it easier to reference for future research or study.
Once you’ve drafted your content, it’s a good idea to test the visual flow with friends and colleagues. Ask them how easy it is to navigate and whether or not they feel like the layout matches the content’s intended tone. This is a great opportunity to get feedback and fine-tune the design before you go into production.
Using infographics to visualize text-based data is an effective way to make it more engaging for the reader. You can create data visualizations in a variety of ways, including charts, graphs, maps and widgets. It’s important to keep the overall design of your white paper in mind and to avoid adding too many images or other graphics that distract from the message.
Every project that your business produces should be branded with its logo, colors, fonts and icons to create a consistent look and feel. This will help your prospects and customers to recognize your brand and build recognition and loyalty. You can also add a link to the white paper on relevant blog posts and other content across your site to drive traffic and generate more qualified leads.