Introduction – Whitepapers: All You Need To Know 2021 Plus Helpful Marketing Strategies
Whitepapers are a powerful marketing tool that can help you grow your business.
Whitepapers are a great way to grow your business online and improve your marketing campaigns. They are also an excellent resource for providing information that is more in-depth than the average blog post.
In this blog post, we would like to share with our readers all they need to know about whitepapers. We will be addressing some of the top questions about whitepapers such as:
- What are whitepapers?
- Why are they important for your business?
- We will also point out the differences between whitepapers and blog posts in order to clear up any confusion among our readers.
- How can you create your own whitepapers?
- What are some effective marketing strategies to improve your marketing campaigns by using whitepapers?
If you’re looking for tips on how to improve your marketing campaign using whitepapers or want some information on what is a whitepaper, this article should have plenty of helpful content!
Before further ado, let us get started!
- Introduction – Whitepapers: All You Need To Know 2021 Plus Helpful Marketing Strategies
- Download Our Free eBook
- What Is A Whitepaper In Digital Marketing?
- Why Are Whitepapers Important For Your Business?
- What Makes A Good Whitepaper?
- What Is The Difference Between A Whitepaper And A Blog Post?
- How Can You Use A Whitepaper To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns?
- How Can You Create Your Own Whitepaper?
- Conclusion – Whitepapers: All You Need To Know 2021 Plus Helpful Marketing Strategies
Download Our Free eBook
What Is A Whitepaper In Digital Marketing?
In digital marketing, a whitepaper is a document that communicates information in an organized and systematic way.
It is an academic piece that is written with authority on the subject matter being discussed and is normally created from an objective, fact-driven viewpoint.
It presents a problem and also a solution for the problem that is normally supported by research, empirical evidence, charts and illustrations, and facts.
Businesses use whitepapers to share their expertise on a particular subject, or as another form of marketing for their product or service.
A whitepaper can also be used for promotional purposes, which allows the company to establish themselves as experts in their field.
There are many benefits that come with using whitepapers to market your business and grow it online.
Whitepapers Are Not Product Pitches Or Sales Letters
As we continue through this post we will eventually address how to use a whitepaper as marketing material and how to use it to improve the performance and ‘results of your marketing campaigns.
Whitepapers can be powerful and effective in growing your business online.
However, before we continue, we would like to make it very clear that a whitepaper is not a sales letter or product pitch.
Even though whitepapers can be used as marketing material and improve your marketing campaigns we would like to ensure that you understand from this very point at the start of the post that whitepapers are not product pitches.
When a reader downloads your whitepaper they do it for educational purposes.
The last thing they want at this point is to be sold to.
At this point, you might be wondering why whitepapers are important for your business and how to use them in marketing in they aren’t product pitches or sales letters.
Do not worry! We will learn all this and more soon.
But first, let us learn why whitepapers are important for your business.
Why Are Whitepapers Important For Your Business?
There are many reasons why whitepapers are important for your business.
One of the main reasons why whitepapers are important for your business is that they will position your business as an industry expert.
This is an excellent way to establish your credibility and show that you are knowledgeable on the subject matter being discussed in the whitepaper.
As your credibility increases your prospects and ideal customers will come to trust you more as an industry thought leader and expert that can help them resolve their problems.
Being counted as a trusted industry expert will lead to:
- Your business getting more customers more consistently
- Better brand recognition
- Increased market share
- The ability to charge a higher price
- Help to ensure the long-term success of your business
We will discuss how whitepapers can be used as marketing material, but before we do let us explore one more reason why whitepapers are important for your business.
Whitepaper content also helps you grow online by giving readers a chance to interact with it in three ways:
- They learn from whitepaper content which provides them with education about products or services offered by your company
- Share whitepaper information through word of mouth, email, or other means if the reader found your whitepaper useful enough for others to read
- Whitepaper could potentially rank well in search engines due to its educational nature thus increasing visibility over time. If this happens then there’s a good chance more people will find your whitepaper
Now that we understand the importance of whitepapers in your business let us learn what are the characteristics of a good whitepaper.
What Makes A Good Whitepaper?
As whitepapers are becoming more popular as a marketing tool, there is now an increased demand for them.
This has led to whitepaper creation companies popping up all over the internet in order to meet this demand and help businesses create their own whitepapers.
This might sound like a great thing but with so many options it can be difficult to figure out what makes a good whitepaper.
With that said, let us look at some of the characteristics of a good whitepaper.
The first characteristic of a good whitepaper is originality: every word must be entirely your own work including any quotes from other sources – do not plagiarize!
Whitepapers should be academic work that is written and reported using facts, figures, research, and other empirical evidence that can support or refute a claim from an objective angle.
Whitepapers are to be your own work and report. Even if you use facts, statistics quotes, and other supporting information from other posts you should ensure to properly quote and reference each of your sources.
This will improve the trustworthiness and professionalism of your whitepaper and cause your readers to view you as more credible than if you reported these facts and research results without any credible sources.
The length of your whitepaper, though not critical, should also be taken into consideration when you create an exceptional and leading whitepaper.
The whitepaper should be at least 6 pages long or over 6,000 words. This means that the whitepaper should be a detailed report on one or more topics.
Your whitepaper, besides having 6,000 words, should also include charts, pictures, and other illustrations to support your research.
It can be longer than 6,000 words or 6 pages but aiming for this benchmark is a good threshold for a successful whitepaper.
One of the distinguishing features of a whitepaper, when compared to other pieces of marketing materials, is how information-rich it can be.
Good whitepapers provide the reader with a wealth of information from an objective point of view.
This means that whitepaper content should not be promotional in nature and instead focus on providing unbiased facts, figures, research findings, or other empirical data to support their claims.
The more factual supporting evidence you can include within your whitepaper then the stronger it will be as marketing material and lead generation tool for future sales leads.
Keep this goal of being informative in mind when creating a whitepaper – readers are looking for well-researched information so make sure there is plenty available through each section of your whitepapers!
Lengthy yet also easy to read because there’s no need to know every detail all at once.
Instead, you should break down your whitepaper using appropriate headers, sections, and subsections.
This brings us to the next trait of an outstanding whitepaper: Content Structure.
The structure of your whitepaper should be taken into consideration and given very deep thought before you finalize your article.
Your whitepaper should have an appropriate cover, introduction table of contents, executive summary, and acknowledgment for aid in the research.
But this is only the beginning.
You also need to include other helpful things like:
- An introduction to the problem that will be discussed
- A hypothesis as to a possible solution
- A report on the findings of the research around the problem
- A report on how the solution has been beneficial to others who have used it
- A conclusion that summarizes the key points of the research
- A reference page that links to all sources used in the whitepaper
- A list of all people involved in the research, tools and apparatus used, and any other important information that needs to be mentioned
Your whitepaper must be approached from this professional angle. You must ensure it is properly formatted and prepared for academic use.
This brings us to the next point: Formatting.
Your whitepaper should be properly formatted to meet current standards. That may include:
- Using appropriate sections and subsections to separate your article
- Using relevant headings and captions where necessary
- Using the proper page format. HubSpot recommends a PDF in portrait orientation (8.5″ by 11″)
- Including appropriate graphics, charts, and images that support your research
- Providing all necessary references for cited sources of information
The whitepaper is a form of academic writing and should be formatted as such.
If you’re unsure how to format your whitepapers, try using the following guidelines:
- Use an appropriate font size (examples: Times New Roman or Arial) with 12-point leading and left margins at one inch each on all sides. White space helps create balance in content so make sure there are plenty of breaks between paragraphs for easy reading!
- Include relevant paragraph headings that give readers some information about what they will learn if they read past a certain point without taking away from the general flow of text. Remember white space is key – it’s never good to overfill pages with lots of unimportant text because this makes them more difficult to read.
- Make sure your whitepaper is free of mistakes and typos, as this will reflect poorly on you as a writer and the quality of work that went into compiling all these facts for people. If it’s not perfect then don’t publish it!
- Using an academic citation style (examples: Harvard or APA) based on how you’re formatting it as well as what type of whitepapers this will be used by.
- If your whitepaper is intended to be sold commercially then there are additional considerations such as creating a table of contents beforehand. This should help organize sections so they can easily find their way around if need be. You’ll also want to create headers with relevant content titles and captions where needed – these are often created using bold text or italics.
- Using appropriate images, fonts, and colors that are relevant and appropriate for your brand and the subject matter being discussed
- A professional and educational tone is also preferred
- Include any charts or graphs within the whitepapers if they are appropriate (very important). These can help break up text-heavy content while still remaining informative enough for readers to understand what information was included in them – just make sure that they’re properly labeled with their title and description so users know how best to use them as well!
- Check over everything one last time before publishing whitepapers online or sending them out via email because even small errors like a typo can impact the quality of whitepapers.
What Is The Difference Between A Whitepaper And A Blog Post?
Now we know that there is a lot of confusion surrounding the difference between blog posts and whitepapers so we will be sure to address those in this section.
We would like you to be able to quickly tell the difference between a whitepaper and a blog post. To be able to do that you can use the guide below:
No. 1 – Format
A whitepaper and blog post are two very different formats.
Although they do have some similarities, a whitepaper is formatted in such a way that it can be used as an educational resource for students or other people who need to understand certain topics related to the content of the whitepapers.
Blog posts tend to focus more on simply conveying information – though there will always be exceptions depending on what type of topic you’re discussing!
Blog posts are formatted for quick reading using short paragraphs that can sometimes be as short as one sentence. A whitepaper that is to be an academic piece
The best thing about both of these formats is that they allow writers to convey their thoughts, opinions, and facts while also providing research-based answers for readers so they don’t just take anything at face value but instead get all sides before making any decisions.
No. 2 – Tone
A whitepaper is a research-oriented paper that is written from an academic viewpoint while a blog post is subjective and can oftentimes be based on the writer’s opinions about the topic than on hard facts and research findings.
A whitepaper is written in a formal tone and blog posts are usually informal – though not always the case.
You should also recognize that whitepapers don’t have any room for humor or personal life stories as this would reflect poorly on them, whereas you can include these types of things with blog posts because they’re more about conveying information and building a relationship with your readers than necessarily being objective like whitepapers.
So to sum it all up: if your paper has an educational focus then it’s probably going to be considered a whitepaper while something that just provides information without providing research-based answers will likely be classified as a blog post.
No. 3 – Length
While there is no hard and fast rule about the accepted length of a whitepaper or the best word count for an ideal blog post there are some industry standards and common truths out there that are generally accepted.
The generally accepted length of a whitepaper, as we’ve discussed above, is 6,000 words or 6 pages. That should be enough to properly discuss and address an issue from an academic angle in a whitepaper.
The adequate length for a blog post is constantly being debated online with different writers opting for different lengths.
After considering the word count for most top-ranking blog posts we have found that the ideal length is somewhere between 1,800 to 2,000 words.
The thing to keep in mind with both is that longer content normally beats out shorter content so long as it is relevant and helpful information.
That is to say that a blog post of 3,000 words will most likely outrank a blog post of 1,500 words.
The same is true for a whitepaper’s adequate length since more words should indicate more comprehensive research and report which would be more appreciated than a shorter report.
No. 4 – Structure
A blog post is normally structured in a simple and straightforward way: you address the topic you are writing about in a direct way.
This may mean you have an introductory paragraph, an answer paragraph, and a conclusion.
In your blog post, you could also have a few images or videos and links to supporting or helpful blog posts.
A whitepaper is completely different because it is an academic piece of writing. That means that it will be structured to be used as professional reference material and include a professional writing style, tone, format, and layout.
To learn more about the format, style, and structure of a whitepaper please visit the previous section or use the table of contents above to navigate to that point of the article.
No. 5 – Preparation Time
A whitepaper will require a lot more preparation time than a blog post because it is an academic piece of writing.
Writing and editing take much longer for whitepapers while with blogging you can share your thoughts in minutes.
If you’re looking to write a whitepaper then you might need to spend about 3 to 4 months on the project.
This will include doing research, interviewing relevant people, preparing charts, pictures, and other illustrations, and editing before publishing.
With blogging, if your goal is to produce one every week (which is not recommended) then expect to invest about six hours per blog post including the pre-writing stage.
If all goes well, you may even be able to post one blog article each day.
When you create a whitepaper readers are expecting an article of exceptional quality that is professionally prepared using the appropriate format, tone, and structure.
Your readers expect an article backed by research and supporting studies from thought leaders, industry professionals, and experts that can be trusted.
Your blog post is entirely different and doesn’t need to be so strictly researched and prepared.
Most time when someone visits your blog it is to learn what your opinion is on a certain topic and learn more about your personal preferences.
How Can You Use A Whitepaper To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns?
Now, we can talk about whitepapers and how they are used as marketing material.
As mentioned earlier whitepapers can be powerful tools in helping grow your business online by positioning you as a trusted industry expert who readers want to learn from.
This is why whitepapers are important for any company that would like to sell its products or services online.
The best way to use whitepapers to improve your marketing campaigns is by using them as lead magnets for your email marketing campaigns.
A lead in digital marketing is a potential customer or client for your business.
They are not yet ready to do business with you for one reason or another and so you collect their contact information to use to nurture them into becoming customers.
A lead magnet is an offer that you give away to your prospects in exchange for their contact information such as email address and telephone number.
The ideal way to use whitepapers is by offering your whitepaper for free (or discounted if you sell it) in exchange for your prospect’s contact information – preferably their email address.
Now that you have their email address you can use email marketing to build a relationship with them and eventually convert them to a customer.
Email marketing is the most powerful digital marketing channel today with an ROI of 4,200%!
That means that for every dollar you invest in an email marketing campaign you should, on average, get a return of $42.
You can learn more about using email marketing to build a relationship with prospects and convert them to loyal, long-term customers and clients by using the free resources listed below:
How Can You Create Your Own Whitepaper?
In this section, we will take a look at a simple 5-step process that you can use to start creating and publishing your first whitepaper.
It is by no means an exhaustive process but only a simple introduction and outline to producing an effective and professional whitepaper.
Step 1 – Settle On The Problem To Study
The first step is to identify the problem that you are going to work on.
This should be a problem that is large enough and important enough for your whitepaper, but not so broad or too small that it becomes irrelevant in length.
Your whitepaper should also focus on one single topic with a clear solution. For example: “How To Grow Your Business Online Using Whitepapers” would be an effective whitepaper title because we know what the subject matter will cover while “How To Market Yourself Better With The Internet” might make for a very long paper due to its wide range of topics.
So think about the problems or issues your target audience may need help solving right now such as how to grow my business online using sales funnels or how to get more e-commerce sales.
The topic you focus on should be what your target audience needs, not what you would like to talk about.
Step 2 – Conduct Research
To Gain Understanding
The second step is to conduct research and gather as much information about the problem you are going to study that you can.
Some of the questions you should aim to answer are:
- What causes this particular problem?
- How does it work?
- Who benefits from solving this issue?
- Who doesn’t benefit as easily so? The more in-depth your whitepaper is, the better chance of its success will be.
You should conduct research using only reputable sources that can be trusted in your industry and are trusted by professionals.
One good place to go for academic papers is Google Scholar.
They offer peer-reviewed articles that are written on solid, unbiased research that is conducted by professionals.
Step 3 – Report Your Findings
The third step is to report your findings and answer the questions you asked when gathering information.
You should use a clear, organized progression of steps in order to present the whitepaper’s content as well as possible.
This could be done by explaining what problem or issue was found (in detail), how these problems manifest themselves, who they affect the most and why it matters before providing a solution that will help solve this problem for everyone involved – including yourself!
Once your whitepaper can’t grow any further with new research on top of what you’ve already published and all your questions have been answered then it’s time to wrap up and summarize everything again so people know where they stand at this point in time.
The conclusion should always end with actionable items such as a call to action, contact information, and an offer of other helpful whitepapers or additional resources.
Step 4 – Flesh Out Your Report
The fourth step is to flesh out your whitepaper and make it as detailed, long, useful, and informative for others as possible.
This is where you will write the bulk of the content that will be in your whitepaper. This is the step where you will relate facts with findings, comment on research results, compare the results with your hypothesis, etc.
You will want to include things like: graphs or charts that clarify points you are trying to get across with numbers in the whitepapers content, links, and resources of other whitepapers related to what you are talking about but not included in this one (or interviews with industry professionals), photos or videos of how people can take action on what’s been discussed in the whitepaper.
The possibilities here are endless so be creative!
Step 5 – Format, Proofread, And Design!
The fifth step is to format your whitepaper, proofread it for errors and typos with Grammarly and then design the whitepaper’s cover page using Canva.
There are many blog posts about formatting whitepapers online so feel free to research different styles of layouts before deciding how you want yours to look and feel.
You can use an already existing template if you’d rather have the hassle taken out of the process in order to focus more energy elsewhere such as marketing during launch time!
You can also hire a professional graphics designer and editor to expertly format, proofread, edit, and design your whitepaper.
Your whitepapers typeface, colors, layout – everything – should reflect the personality and values that are encompassed in them.
Your whitepapers visuals (such as cover page) can make or break curiosity levels among potential readers before they even read through one word if designed well enough, especially when combined with an intriguing title tag and headline copy! You don’t have
Remember; your whitepaper should be of high quality or it will be a total failure.
Step 6 – Hit Publish!
The sixth and final step is to publish your whitepaper for the world to see!
You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished as this whitepaper took a lot of hard work on your part.
You will want to share it with anyone who might find it useful or interesting so that they may also benefit from its content too.
You will want to share it with your email list and social media accounts so that you can reach a wider audience.
You can also set up a dedicated landing page where you will use your whitepaper as a lead magnet to boost your email marketing campaign.
You can run Google Ads and other PPC and digital marketing campaigns that will generate traffic for your landing page.
In the short term, you will see an increase in leads for your business and email subscribers.
You may even gain a few clients or customers but this is not where the real payoff is after publishing.
The real payoff will be when your business or brand benefits from the increase in trust, loyalty, and authority that the whitepaper will generate.
This means that it can take up to 9 to 12 months before the whitepaper truly begins to pay off your business and help it to grow.
Conclusion – Whitepapers: All You Need To Know 2021 Plus Helpful Marketing Strategies
In this blog post, we have taken a look at the topic of whitepapers. We’ve also learned what a white paper is and how it can be used to grow your business.
We hope that you have found this blog post helpful in learning all you need to know about white papers.
If you have any questions about anything we have mentioned in this article then feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below and we will do our best to answer.
We try to answer all our comments and help all our readers.
If you need any help marketing your business or do you need more clients, sales, or customers then set up a free consultation with our team.
Our team will be happy to help you get more sales and customers for your business and solve all the problems that your business may be faced with. Set up a free consultation using this link.