What’s A White Paper & Should We Be Offering One?

Your sales team has done an amazing job at increasing the company’s revenue year after year, but your primary customer base has less time to talk about products with each passing day. Sure, you could send them some glossy brochures or fliers that might hint at the benefits your products provide, but if your customer base isn’t calling for more information, all the mail-outs in the world can’t help.

file0001564894818

This is where the white paper comes in. What’s a white paper? A white paper wasn’t born of the Internet Age, but it has found itself in this era. Unlike a brochure or flyer, a white paper acts like a virtual member of your sales force, explaining your product, its benefits and often gets into the detailed technical information that your customers really want, as well.

What Does a White Paper Do Differently?

Unlike other marketing materials, white papers don’t mess around. A good white paper is targeted to a specific audience and shows just that segment how your product can change their lives without showboating. It’s more than just the facts, but less than a sales presentation in intensity. For example, if you’re offering a new type of window that can darken in response to bright light, you might target homeowners and explain that this innovative product will help save them hundreds of dollars in window treatments, giving tips and information into choosing windows, why such windows are important, what needs to be considered when making this purchasing decision, etc.

A fine line. This is the subtle difference between white papers and other marketing materials — it’s not above being a sales tool, but it does its job without bragging. Unfortunately, not just anyone can walk this fine line between sales and product journalism — that’s why most companies outsource their white papers to experienced white paper copywriters. Because your white paper can act in part as a sales pitch, it’s important that it be free of typos or grammatical errors. After all, this may be your one and only chance to make a solid impression.

A white paper is a good start…Once you’ve got a good white paper writer on contract, you can also use them to help spruce up your website with fresh articles about your product, design more effective web copy and improve your other free marketing materials. When it comes to a sales pitch, many readers don’t get through the first paragraph, so you’ve got to pack a wallop in it each and every time — your copywriter has the training to get you the attention you deserve in any format, including white papers.