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.
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
- A white paper is not a sales pitch. A white paper is strictly based on facts and logical arguments to justify using a solution.
- 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
- A white paper can be written in different flavors
- A backgrounder
- A numbered list
- A problem/solution approach
- 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.
- 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
- Increasing productivity or efficiency of employees.
- Streamlining the process flow.
- Increasing sales and revenue.
- 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.