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An Ultimate Guide to Whitepaper, everything you need to know about writing one

In the success of your business, the strategy of content marketing is influential. Although, content marketing strategies consist of many formats including email marketing, social media content and blog posts. In place you should have lead generation, on each stage of the journey of buyer with content offers to target for your buyer personas.

Content offers are also composed of a large portion of the material, one of the most effective assets you can give is whitepaper.

What is Whitepaper?

On a particular topic, Whitepaper is an effective, authentic and in-depth report that shows the problem and gives a solution. On a complex topic, the whitepaper is a research-based report which has a focused description and presents the point of view of the author. The main purpose of the whitepaper is to give readers a better understanding of the particular issue, in turn, it helps in making a decision and solving the problem.

In Britain, the term is derived, where it mentions the issued document by type of government. In business factors, the aim of whitepaper has progress in marketing and is frequently used to convince.

Marketers use whitepapers to guide their customers about a specific problem and promote a particular technique. They are up-to-date problem-solving guides. Generally, whitepapers need an email address for download (typically require more information than that) to make them good for generating more leads.
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Format of Good Whitepaper

Generally, there are no specific features that make a good whitepaper. Call anything a whitepaper, by anyone – this doesn’t mean you should though. Without some limitations, on what is and what isn’t whitepaper, we confuse our viewers and lose trustworthiness. For whitepapers, there are specific formats that you have to keep in mind to organize and create a well-structured layout.

Here are some points about what whitepaper looks like:

  • Structure: Usually it includes the title page, content table, short managerial summary, and introduction, pages that guide the readers about the problem, some pages that indicate the solution, some pages that show an example which use by the company to solve the problem and accomplish goals and conclude it.
  • Length: General rule of thumb is to include charts, references and illustrations that do not exceed more than six pages. If the topic needs to be in the detailed form then can be more than 50. Commonly it is seen in technical and dense industries.
  • Format: In portrait orientation (8.5 by 11) PDF.
  • Density: Whitepapers are much denser than eBook and blog posts. In topics and sub-topics whitepaper fall deeper than the blog posts. A whitepaper is not easy to take off- actually, readers want to read it, again and again, to get complete information out of it. In addition, the huge amount of data and research whitepapers has outstanding resources that readers can use to reference and go over to remember important key insights.
  • Design: In general, whitepapers have a design element that makes them splendid. Well written in professional form and well-edited. To design page layout, images, colour combination, and fonts hire a graphic designer for an attractive layout.

Here are some design tips that you must consider for the format of the whitepaper:

  • Make the cover page attractive
  • Highlights the featured quotes and outcomes
  • White space should be embrace
  • Data visualization
  • In fonts, styles, headers colours add a variety of combination
  • In the break, sections include separate columns
  • In your topic add a visual pattern
  • Include branding

In Companies: Types of the whitepaper

Types of the whitepaper that are used by companies:

  • Hybrid – Discuss technical details on products/services and the advantages of the business.
  • Technology – Consider a specific topic and its advantages.
  • Benefits of business – A case study of how technology can use to increase productivity or the process of business.

For sales and marketing, the whitepaper is being used as productive as a document. In the field of technology, it is remarkably used to discuss the benefits of new products and how they can be helpful in company success.

However, the whitepaper is eventually a tool for marketing the company through the support of a document as it discusses the uses of the product. The company also increases its sales leads through the distribution of the document.

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How to Write a Whitepaper

It is easy to create a whitepaper, follow these steps to know how to create a whitepaper:

  • Idea

The first step is to think about the idea of the whitepaper, you can’t create it except you know what is going on. On three elements, you should be able to select your topic: Your zone of expertise, your audience and your solution for a specific problem.

  • Expertise

Within the domain of your expertise, the whitepaper should come down. Like, if your company is related to social media management you wouldn’t write a paper related to how to sell the business by using traditional print marketing methods.

  • Audience

It is necessary to know about your audience, and who you are writing for. If you don’t keep readers in mind then it is difficult to write a whitepaper to convince someone and the worth of your solution. To help in your targeted content if you don’t have a set of buyer personas you have to develop some.

  • Problem & Solution

Within the industry consider the problems that your audience might be facing currently and the expertise of your company. Whitepapers explain the problem and provide a solution to this specific problem, to make sure the main points that took place between your audiences.

  • Preparation

When you choose the idea of the whitepaper, then collect some important information and materials to write.

  • Research

Whitepapers are highly based on research that allows gaining a grip on your audience. You have to cite it if you use any data that is not general in the knowledge of the public. Anyway, practice works to your advantage as readers can more trust your information if you cite through an authentic source.

You can research to analyze hypotheses and possible solutions depending on your industry. Although, on a subject, you can also use existing whitepapers to get information and get extra perspectives on a problem that you are trying to solve and get the solution. In addition, there are many sources available that you can use like informational databases.

Research groups, like Pew Research Center and Forrester also use either direct contact with them, or just access the material which is already published.

  • Outline

After gathering all the research material, then create an outline for your whitepaper. The outline is very important when making a map for your whitepaper. During this whole process, many tools help you to stay organized. Scrivener and Mindmaps can help you to make an outline and track your ideas and sources.

The following are included in the outline for the whitepaper:

  1. Headline – The headline of the outline act as a title for your whitepaper.
  2. Executive Summary – The topic of your whitepaper, is a detailed summary and it has to be less than 200 words.
  3. Introduction – It should mention some points and present your topic that will explain further in a whitepaper.
  4. Sections – In the main sections categories your outline, like discuss the problem and present a solution.
  5. Subsections – In every section, make subsections that will briefly explain each section properly. It should include research data in bullet form.
  6. Sidebars – It can be consisting of comments and date tables that include in many whitepapers. Though, your sidebar is also composed of notes that highlight additional research is required.
  7. Conclusion – In the whole argument points that you mentioned, the conclusion should review those key points and drive the value of the solution.
  • Writing

After you create an outline that has a detailed form of your research to support the solution, then you move on next step of writing. Before you jump in you have to make sure one thing, compared to other formats of marketing copywriting, understands what writing a whitepaper is like.

When you move towards this step few steps should check:

  • Stick to Facts

As mentioned above, whitepapers are based on research and the fact argument should stick to manage key points you are trying.

  • Date Source

In your work, if you put third party research results you have to cite those resources in your document.

  • Use professional style

On your subject, Whitepapers express your expertise and develop a reliable view. With insightful research and accurate facts, you are working to provide the solution. Whitepapers should be written in a professional format instead of a casual style.

  • Highlight the value you are delivering

Keep in mind one thing that you are writing a blog post, you are creating an argument to declare why this solution is worthwhile. The main focus of your whitepaper should be on how your solution solves the discussed problem.

  • Make Introduction well built

The introduction of your whitepaper lets your audience know about the solution. It highlights the audience about the problem being discussed and how you provide the solution for this issue.

  • Set up Editing Process

It does not just end the work once you write all the format, in actuality, it’s not finished. All the written content must be edited and revised. Checking the grammatical error to proofread the points of arguments. Editing and revision is the crucial part of writing a whitepaper.

From EBooks & Blog posts how whitepaper are different?

In the industry, if you want to present your value quickly and interactively, the whitepaper isn’t just an option. Blog posts and eBooks are also available; both have some major differences from the whitepaper.

How these products are aside are the time, appearance, and size of each one. Although, between some hours and some weeks writing ebooks and blog posts can take. And in the case of the whitepaper, it might take a few months and a few weeks to make it in a better form. They are less bold, much more professional and have well-researched content than ebooks and blog posts.

Let’s show the comparison of these three. Below is the template of the ebook which is available for free. It's rigorous but in the simple form.           

In the latest research, here is a whitepaper from small to middle size businesses on emerging technology. Both in text and images, you can see the whitepaper is in detailed form.           

On the same template whitepapers and EBooks start. Generally, whitepapers are academic papers on content marketing. The audience wants highly research with expertise that is documented through references.

In the case of EBooks, are mostly extending your subject cover on a blog. Out of particular research, they come out, but they attract the majority of prospects when taking out business-related.

In comparison, you seem boring while creating most people don’t want to read whitepaper but they can read to enhance their knowledge of performance and they need more perception before deciding anything. That’s why, they want detailed, informative and well written by the experts. For future sales, these characteristics make it easy in making the decision and get better results.

For Lead Generation Examples of Whitepaper

 Why marketer is creating whitepapers if it is so boring. Because it is a good source for the sales team and your audience and builds trust and reliability with your prospects. As well as people who download the whitepaper, frequently go to the customer buying cycle.

For whitepaper here are two cases:

Technical Case study

It is said that eBook case studies are much different from whitepapers. Although, some case studies are lengthy enough to describe all the things as whitepapers themselves.

The case study is mainly a customer story of accomplishing a goal as the outcome of other company partnerships. By some metrics, success is best described and conveyed, and the customer has agreed to be sustained. Depending on the services received how much it is complex or technical, as they carry on their journey of the buyer the more research and details other prospects will want.

However, a whitepaper based case study can be a tremendous way of displaying leadership in a condensed concept by the example of real-world of how this will help someone to succeed.

Reference Guide

Imagine you write a whitepaper for a company that sells restaurant equipment for kitchen cleaning related to the examination of commercial kitchens and maintenance.

About the legal requirement, the whitepaper is likely to overflow with information for equipment of cooking, exhaust systems and cleanliness documentation that put even the huge kitchen maintenance encourage to sleep if read completely.

For restaurant owners, it also gives out amazing useful references, who want to know about the maintenance of the kitchen to pass the examination. When they know how to maintain kitchen cleanliness they are likely to buy equipment from your company because you seem helpful, acceptable source and accurate.

For this reason, many people want to design a whitepaper, resource that will be helpful to increase their leads and better at their trade. Preferably, the better they set off the more be allowed to work with an organization that gave it whitepaper.

Now you well know how a whitepaper is different from an eBook and its purpose, it is time to create your whitepaper.

How to write a Whitepaper

  1. Identify the problem of your audience
  2. Do research
  3. Make an outline
  4. Put your ideas in the form of words
  5. Support your points by using imagery
  6. Get feedback
  7. Invest in design and formatting


Let’s discuss these points one by one:

Keep practice in mind and you can make the best whitepaper for your audience by using these points:

  1. Identify the problem of your audience

In a unique position, while you’re subject matter to provide content, you have to consider your viewers and what happens in their life. For their needs, by creating a whitepaper that addresses them, you’ll be capable to generate demand for your whitepaper.

Create a buyer persona consideration to do this. Put yourself in their shoes this activity will help. Then you will get the information that would attract them, how they use this information and how it will solve their problem.

  1. Do research

Whitepapers are in the form of informational and you have to determine how you give your audience specific information that they can’t get from elsewhere. You can do this by:

  • Do an authentic survey
  • Unique studies put together
  • Unique project or process detailing

If you are not able to do your research, you can do this by drawing statistics from an organization or government survey and uniquely observing them and ensuring that you cite your sources.

  1. Make an outline

In nature, whitepapers are in a lengthy form, by creating an outline that helps to align your ideas. In the following format, consider drawing your topic:

  • Introduction: Introduce your whitepaper topic, briefly explain its importance from the audience's point of view, and how whitepaper can convey and solve the problem.
  • Review: Some terms that you use define them, parameters and variables in a detailed form and give the summary that you’ll mention.
  • Layout: Set out all the key points and highlight that you’ll discuss.
  • Summary: Explain all the main points and other items that the reader should take.
  1. Put your ideas in the form of words

Use authentic and informational basics, and start explaining the ideas you have using the layout as a guideline. Additionally, each paragraph should explain all over the goal of the layout.

  1. Support your points by using imagery

In research and analysis, whitepapers go deep, in a visual format tables, charts and graphs help to convey information more appropriately and make the paper easy to understand.

  1. Get feedback

It is difficult to write the perfect write up for your audience. Provide the high quality that gives you the more authority in your audience's view. Get feedback from the audience or someone you trust that will give you honest reviews and makes your paper better.

  1. Invest in design and format

It is not important to make the paper bold but the colour combination and layout make your paper more attractive which goes a long way.

Examples of Whitepaper

 Here are some inspirational whitepaper examples that are representative of good whitepaper accomplishments to give you more ideas about whitepaper:

  1. Custora, It's Not You, It’s My Date  

Regarding customer churn, Custora designed this whitepaper that describes how to prevent it and why it is important. What makes it great is that it assures concrete value to its reader (from preventing attrition revenue savings) backed by actionable advice and a wealth of data. The whitepaper is advanced and attractive in form so the readers have a better experience while reading. Without friction, this helps the audience get the long form of content.

  1. Excedeo, Employees and Cybersecurity

Excedeo main goal is to guide people about the risk of security that improperly trained employees may unintentionally pose to the business. About the IT policies and training whitepaper promote that are important in today’s era.

  1. HubSpot, Not Another State of Marketing Report

From partners and experts HubSpot every year does amazing work by compiling data in the marketing landscape to convey modern trends. For marketers, it is very helpful due to create marketing and sales content by using statistics and also learn from the macro shifts that occur in the industry. With splendid graphs and a short editorial summary, the whitepaper presents its information in more depth with links and articles on each topic.

  1. Google, Google Cloud’s Al Adoption Framework

To convince readers into adopting AI, the whitepaper leverages the authority of Google. In the start, providing methodology, the goal of Google is to give the readers tool to think about the power of AI as it will be helpful in businesses. For advanced readers, whitepaper falls more technically.