Anatomy of a Great White Paper [2019]

By ADTACK Marketing on June 11, 2019

As one of the most powerful marketing tools available, when used as part of your overall content marketing strategy,  white papers can yield a number of successful outcomes.

A good white paper can help to generate leads for your business by enticing visitors to download valuable information with just a hint of persuasion, but a great white paper can also help strengthen brand image, highlight your level of expertise, expand your mailing list, and improve your social media presence.

The question is, how do you take your white paper from good to great? Here’s our surgical breakdown.

Anatomy of A WhitePaper (1)The Brains of the Operation

A white paper is an authoritative, credible, well written document, which provides readers with valuable advice or knowledge, in exchange for contact information.  

Captivate your audience with your introduction, wow them with your insight, and use your summary to entice them to utilize your product or service.

Use your conclusion to summarize your topic and promote your product or service in a way that flows naturally with the information you have provided.

However, it's just as important to know what a white paper is not—a sales pitch, or product brochure. This document provides knowledge and information only. Try to be as complete as possible when creating your white pages.

The Heart Of The Matter

A captivating title, brightly colored text box, and prominently displayed "Download" button are all well and good, but once the reader clicks through to your white paper, content is king.

Keep it professional by including a cover, title page, introduction, conclusion, and if necessary, a table of contents.

Create visual interest by adding charts, graphs, or other educational elements to illustrate key points, and don't limit yourself to a set number of pages.

Most importantly, solve a problem, help your readers make a decision, or provide them in-depth knowledge about the topic at hand. The more you can provide to your audience, the more likely they are to trust you and visit your website again for other information and offers.  

The best way to get to the heart of the matter is to plan ahead. Get organized, draft an outline, and determine your goals for your offer. With a plan, you can save yourself time in the long run as well as addressing the buyer’s persona you are aiming to provide value for.

Most importantly, add value. Deliver on the value promised in your introduction by providing useful tips and knowledge to the reader. Your reader clicked through and gave you personal information, you need to hold up your end of the bargain. Give them as much to read as is relevant to the topic you have chosen.

Tip: Avoid both industrial jargon and unnecessary fluff. Complex jargon can confuse your audience and cause them to stop reading, which diminishes their trust in you. Conversely, don’t waste your readers time with wasteful sentences that don’t provide any relevant information.

The Skin of the Matter

As important as the content of your white pages is, it should also appeal visually. Your white page offer should attract attention.

It should be prominently displayed on its landing page or other locations it is placed on.

Spend a significant amount of time creating a(n):

  • Title that grabs people’s attention. You should spend at least ten minutes just on your title. Bounce ideas off other members of your team to get fresh ideas or a different perspective that you may not have thought about.  
  • Visual that appeals. Use web safe colors and eye catching graphics to appeal to your target audience.  
  • Easily findable “Download” button.  If someone has to search and work to download your offer, it’s not going to work for either party. You will find that the easier it is to get the information, the more likely people are to download.

Catch the Apple of Your Eye

Adding data-driven charts and graphs can provide credibility to your offer. Not only should your graphs be data driven, but they should match the formatting you have created. The designs, colors and fonts should all match up throughout the piece to ensure consistency. You wouldn’t want to put a bright orange graphic in the middle of a blue and green themed piece.

While the orange can help grab attention, it may also disturb the continuity of your piece. Pick a specific palette of colors, with complementary and contrasting options to highlight just the right thing on the page.

Use neon and bright colors sparingly as your reader’s eyes may not appreciate the onslaught of choices.

Colors aren’t the only thing you should see. Leave white space in the correct place to ensure that your reader’s eyes can take a break. Which do you think appeals more: a giant wall of text or text broken up into bite-sized chunks?

Trust Your Gut

Not everything needs to stick. Edit, proofread, spell check, and read your white paper aloud several times before publishing.

Typos can frustrate readers and detract from your credibility. You may feel the need to say everything you can about the subject, but you also want to make sure that it is relevant.

Don’t be afraid to edit out sections or create a secondary white pages offer if you feel like you need to say more about a specific subject.

The ADTACK Difference

The ADTACK team of professionals embodies all the qualities you need and desire, in a digital marketing partner. When you are ready to get started with inbound marketing or other digital marketing efforts, please don’t wait.

Contact us today to arrange for a free consultation or call 702-270-8772.

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Published by ADTACK Marketing June 11, 2019