How to write a good white paper?

by Neeraj Sujan

As a solution architect or a technical evangelist, you might be given a task to write a white paper. In this post, I will discuss some of the key elements of a white paper, how does one go about writing a white paper and things to avoid while writing a white paper.

Introduction

A white paper is a piece of document that is used as a lead generation tool to inform your customer about the problems a industry faces, the solution to tackle these problems and the benefits in terms of efficiency, time or money by using this solution.

5 things to keep in mind while writing a white paper

  1. A white paper is not a sales pitch. A white paper is strictly based on facts and logical arguments to justify using a solution.
  2. A white paper is not an advertisement. The focus of the white should not be to promote your company but rather to help your customer cross a bridge from point A to point B while avoiding obstacle C to get result D
  3. A white paper can be written in different flavors
    1. A backgrounder
    2. A numbered list
    3. A problem/solution approach
  4. A white paper needs extensive research and a lot of stakeholders are involved whose help you would need before you embark on your journey to writing a white paper.
  5. A white paper should ideally be between 7-14 pages long

Why should you bother writing a white paper?

Contrary to popular belief, a white paper is read by C-Level executives and key decision makers. A white paper helps a client understand the problems a customer faces, the repercussions of not solving the problem and the benefits of investing in a new solution.

A white paper should emphasize less on the features of a particular solution, but rather on the benefits the customer gets in using a particular solution

Some key benefits in any B2B business are

  1. Increasing productivity or efficiency of employees.
  2. Streamlining the process flow.
  3. Increasing sales and revenue.
  4. Reducing cost and/or time.

If you believe your solution address a particular problem, do consider investing time and money writing a white paper. Doing so will help you win more prospects and inform your customers about your solution and position you as a trusted advisor.

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