The What and Why of White Papers
The combination of learning and persuasion is a powerful marketing tool. Our latest Market Smart communique explains the use of white papers to educate clients about a specific issue or to offer solutions to particular challenges that are important to their business.

What is a White Paper?

A white paper is a highly researched, authoritative document that informs the reader about a particular topic to help improve their business or service. It educates the reader and helps them solve a problem or make a decision. A well-written white paper positively influences the decision-making process of current and prospective customers. It should establish the marketer as a reliable authority. Because white papers are detailed and informative and backed by industry experts, they can influence decision makers.
Purpose and Benefits of a White Paper
·      Advocates a certain position
·      Influences the decision-making process
·      Uses expert knowledge and research
·      Complements the selling process
·      Persuades, informs and helps to solve problems
·      Presents the company as a reliable authority
·      Aids in Lead Generation
·      Builds Brand Image
What does it Look Like?

Think of white papers as the academic papers of marketing content. A white paper should have a high degree of expertise backed by solid documented research, and presented with authority. It is not a blatant product pitch.  At GBG we do extensive research prior to writing client white papers with a format similar to this:

·      Usually two to six pages with an average length of four pages
·      Has an introduction, short executive summary and if very lengthy, a table of
·      Educational not promotional in tone
·      Highly researched with documentation
·      Informative and convincing
·      Usually requires an email address to download the paper
Who Reads White Papers?

People who read white papers are often executives or business owners who are looking for information. They might use the white paper to compare and research products or to evaluate a group of companies. For instance, Customer Count ®, a top rated customer feedback management systems company, regularly writes and posts informative white papers on their site. The people who read their white papers are predominantly their clients, their prospects and colleagues involved in similar enterprises.

Whatever the reason, people who read white papers are looking for real answers. They don’t want a product pitch, they want to see results, valid research, expert knowledge and genuine answers to problems.