Once you’re out of college and get your first job, you’ll be in for quite an awakening. You’ll learn that different industries, organizations, along with their employers have their own special kind of “language.” So does any academic institution. Learning that language or vocabulary also involves developing new ideas and showing them on a reliable material like the isometric paper which is an important tool for aspiring engineers and researchers. Learning, achievement and education in their largest sense, has content as the most important part of papers, where even proper paper formatting makes a lot of difference. The details that formatting involves can seem very tough, on top of trying to get through the complexities of writing an academic paper that is well-researched, well-written and informative.
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What is a White Paper and Why Is It Important?
The term white paper was originally coined as a shorthand term for referring to official reports or communication documents from the government. A white paper pdf usually means the document you have in front of you is a paper which is authoritative and informative in nature and should be treated as such. Ideally, writers use this when they have to argue a specific point or propose alternatives and solutions to an issue, addressing an audience outside the organization they belong. Since then, white papers have went on to become part of widely used marketing tools for the largest corporations, especially on the internet since that’s where a business finds many of its potential customers who are always searching for something new and seeking updates or information on the internet.
Corporations on the other hand, find white paper examples very useful in selling information or their latest products, hoping to answer to customer needs and demand. Before going there, a little refresher on the APA style of writing would help you remember and write your paper legibly as well as use proper citation, thereby avoiding any risk of plagiarism. If your source has an author, use that author first by placing his last name, a comma after that and a first name, following the name with a period.
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Types of White Paper Used For Business to Business
White papers have been widely used in business to business content marketing. Based on a 2010 study by Marketing Profs and Junta42 Content Marketing Institute, 43% among business to business marketers have been using white papers to get and keep customers.
Marketers find white papers especially useful when establishing thought leadership and gain attention for putting their product or solution in the marketplace. Your modern-day clients and customers likes to read white papers because that’s where they are ale to learn more about a product, service or strategy and find answers for problems in the business that has been haunting them.
White papers works great in commercial and marketing attempts because they have educational content that a customer can use to suit their learning instead of just getting heavy handed promotional materials. If your content marketing strategy involves having a white paper created, you should familiarize yourself with the main styles of using white paper and when to use them to get your desired results.
1. Business Benefits White Paper
This one is for the non-technical audience, telling customers how they can take a advantage of a specific product or promotion. A business benefit white paper can be used anytime during a sales cycle. Most of the time though, you can offer this type of syndication as a call to action, persuading your readers to do something at the end of a post or by links and email signature or even blog comment signature. The more visibility it has, the better it would be for all of you.
2. Technology Benefits White Paper
This on the other hand is almost the complete opposite of the first one because it is written for a more tech-savvy audience. A technology benefits white paper would then go into detail as to the benefits and features of a product, including its specifications. This type of paper is best used towards the later stages of the purchasing process, when the reader already have a general idea of why a solution is necessary but still wants to learn more about it and try to figure out whether or not it will be a good match. If you’re targeting potential leads, it’s best to put a white paper of this type right behind a registration form and attach it so that it would be easier for you to collect contact details.
3. Hybrid Technology and Business Benefits White Paper
The hybrid white paper has better level of technical detail and product information as a major part of its business benefits. Using this format is an incorporation of the first two, offering something bigger for everyone. This type of paper can be provided even without a registration form. It’s going to meet the readers’ needs but not towards the individual styles by themselves but both at the same time.
4. Product Comparison White Paper
This format is used in weighing the pros and cons when there are a number of competing solutions or vendors and when you have to decide and establish one solution and vendor as the best choice in the market. White papers comparing products are mostly useful when you’re already at the final stages of the sales cycle, when the audience this time has been convinced that a solution is necessary but have not made up his or her mind yet choosing between the best vendors. To get valuable information on a lead, place the product comparison white paper behind a registration form.
5. Slide and Video Formatted White Papers
To make the content work better with these formats, tone or whittle down the text of the white paper and make it into bullet points that can easily be absorbed by the reader, instead of having one that’s too full and filled with technical business jargon. Make use of the fact that you can transcribe white papers into a slide or video format to reach a wider set of potential customers who are likely to check for content on video and slide sharing websites or blogs. Follow the experts on their best practices as to what works best for marketing video content and being able to produce worthy and effective slide presentations. For having slide share and video versions of your white paper, make sure to put download links that are easy to see. These formats are ideally 5 to 7 minutes long. Anything longer is already too heavy. Some marketers even settle for 2-3 minute videos that already serves as an executive summary, already highlighting key benefits of the paper and the link to access its full text.
There are still white paper formats and versions that branched out from the main ones and each are targeted to a specific reader and an established set of marketing goals. You just have to know the difference so that you can decide which one would work best for your business needs.
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Tips For Writing White Papers
Most readers these days are your regular adults working 8-10 hour day job shifts, which means they live busy lives, probably just like you, so you should have a paper template that they an scan effectively, for them to get a general idea of what the material is about. Generally, you should be able to organize writing your white paper by following some guidelines below:
It’s always a good idea to include a summary right from the start of the paper so that a busy audience can grasp the main point quickly, without having to read the whole story.
If you’re going to have a white paper written, it better be one that can provide readers with a general background information of the issue you’re trying to tackle so tat they can form their own decision with facts to back them up. Show them sufficient evidence about your expertise on the subject at hand and expose the issues from your reader’s perspective. Just make sure that you don’t deviate from your main point, ergo, avoid posing problems that aren’t there and questions you cannot offer solutions or answers for.
Once you have explained and provided a background of the problem, the next step will be proposing a solution.
If your white paper is for commercial or business purposes, you should put any point or argument you have about the products and services at the last part of your paper to ensure that the entire paper will be read before they decide that it is a marketing ploy to get them to buy instead of them learning anything at all. If you advertise and promote before being able to convince and impress your readers with strong arguments, there’s a good chance you will lose them halfway through and break their trust in the process.
Write a conclusion in order to wrap up the white paper and enhance your readers’ understanding and don’t forget citations of your sources.
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Advantages of Using White Paper Formats
Through the exchange of contact details for a chance to download content as promised, buyers are naturally expecting the obvious: that the content will be something useful for the kind of situation they’re facing. White paper content should then address issues or provide solutions for a part of a problem that the audience is going through. Here’s an example of companies that understand the difficult points that buyers often face and offer answers by taking advantage of white paper content.
For example, you can attract more leads if you get your material posted to some sort of syndication service. Services like these helps the promotion of your white paper and most of the time, you have to pay for every lead they turn your way. Just make sure that the syndication service you’re using will be able to put your white paper at the front of customers and get noticed. This means, you shouldn’t be paying for leads that had gone bad like your students, own consultants and even your competitors.
A white paper that has great potential is educational and in some cases, even groundbreaking in many levels, so yours should also get your prospects nodding in agreement as they read and go over your arguments and the information you provided. They should be able to finish reading it already better informed before they picked it up and convinced that you’re more than capable of addressing their problem and understand how best to fix it.
2. Generate Leads and More
A white paper doesn’t have to be limited to just generating leads, because if used properly, with content that is just as well-written, it has a good chance to spread expertise and develop or improve brand image. Towards the final stages of your white paper, instead of writing a brochure that can persuade an audience to look twice, you could try writing a short piece describing your company. This will give people a closer look at what your company can do for them and make them understand what you need to do, better, by also allowing you to contribute your skills and experience in your field.
Here are more types of white paper containing very little promotional material that can also help in generating leads informally and indirectly or casually as it will promote your expertise and set you as a leader in the field, which is good on all counts, because after all, people love working with the experts.
3. White Papers Help You Build a Mailing List
Most of the time, building a mailing list can be very tedious. Having to convince someone to go ahead and put their names on your newsletter usually gets you some negative response. An eyebrow raised here, a long, hard, angry look there. Also, getting them to sign up simply for receiving newsletter updates wouldn’t get you much further.
If you however give a free gift away, in exchange for a signing up, it can increase your subscribers, thereby increasing online visibility, which is always good. You’ll get subscribers, and if you have a white paper, you can use that as a free gift which could be made available for those who are willing to sign up to your newsletter.
4. Visuals and Examples
Having visuals and examples gives the readers a higher chance of deeper understanding into the content, thereby making the white paper more marketable, appealing and persuasive, just like it’s supposed to. Since there are many white papers that are currently published on different business websites, it is very important that your visuals are well, visually appealing. Use what aesthetics you can and make it count, because that’s what would keep the customer browsing through, especially if you have made it informative enough to include figures presented in graphs and charts that are easy to understand. Used properly, it has the potential to always increase readability and site traffic in the process. Also consider using case studies and examples as an added resource in to theoretical concepts and models yo have applied.
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Main Types of White Paper
Essentially, there are three main types of commercial white papers you can use, especially in business to business or B2B marketing:
A backgrounder defines and describes the technical benefits being offered by a certain vendor , be it goods, service or process. You can best take advantage of using this type of white paper for supporting a product launch, backing of a technical evaluation at the edge of the sales channel and argue the current business case.
A presentation of a set of suggestions in ruled line paper templates, questions or arguments about a certain business problem. You’ll be able to find this type of white paper very useful for gaining attention with thought-provoking views or drive the public o be critical on competitors.
Offers recommendations for a whole new and better solution to a nagging business dilemma. This is best used for generating leads at the top of the sales ladder, develop, share or inform as well as persuade stakeholders, building and strengthening reputation and trust in the subject.
Some Pros and Cons of Using White Paper
While white papers are not solely responsible for generating leads, most marketers find them very useful as they can be gated. They also attract the key decision makers in an industry as they contain the type of content that gets picked and consumed. Even those who are more into making strategic decisions for an organization like the idea of a detailed report based on facts which a white paper can offer.
So white papers and blank paper templates are useful. They’re also easily the most tedious even after they are created since you need to take good care of them because getting them posted and shared once just wouldn’t cut it. You have to continually draw and drive traffic in order to prove your returns.
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Using a case study inside a white paper
Once you’ve had enough practice with both case studies and white paper, including their styles, types and formats, you’ll be able to handle and may even find it easier to incorporate the two. Or maybe you’e already doing that, without even realizing it.
For example, in a problem/solution white paper, the best place for a case study would probably be towards the bottom, or its final stage when your vision had already been presented and opened for debating, just in case it’snot seen yet as an ultimate solution to an issue or problem.
So for the white paper, your condensed information for each case study would somehow look like this, broken down in about 50 words:
- One sentence for the problem
- One for the solution
- One for the results
After that, you can insert each case study into a circular text box. It wouldn’t take any fancy visual or design, You can make do with word, just as long as the line endings worked out well. You will then find the result to be not your usual piece of story that doesn’t get enough attention but still has potential, because the one you will be able to do through this strategy is a visually powerful customer story that would get all the attention it needs.