What’s a Whitepaper And How Does It Market Information?
What’s a whitepaper and how does it market information? It took me awhile to catch on to this concept, frankly. We used to call them reports. They are pretty much the same thing, but whitepapers often make heavy use of graphics now that they are presented digitally to business clients and customers.
Michelle Rafter has written a few blog posts about how to write whitepapers, which may interest you to market information of any kind. Rafter’s partial list of suggestions for writers may jump-start your thinking and writing when the time comes to create a whitepaper:
“Organization – The report should be easy to follow and touch on all the points it was supposed to.
Case studies – Break out case studies should be organized to highlight a problem and solution in a pre-determined manner.
Footnotes – If the report uses footnotes, they should conform to the client’s footnotes style. If you’re using links instead of footnotes, double check that they work.
Jargon – I’m fine with reports being written in the vernacular of the industry it’s being written for. But that’s no excuse for cramming something full of acronyms, jargon and corporate double speak.”
Since whitepapers are generally used in business-to-business communication, the issue of industry jargon, as well as general consideration of the appropriate length are two items you will know from your own experience.
As usual, readers like to feel smart and they don’t like to waste time. Keep those things in mind when you write whitepapers to market information. Engineers and accountants may want to see more statistics, and retailers may want more graphics. You’ll know what works for your people.