White papers – at one time they were technical, dry and frankly rather boring to read. Today, a new trend has emerged. Companies are increasingly using the white paper to function as a more interesting marketing piece. Should you be using this tool in your copywriting efforts to create great content?
The answer to this question really depends upon the industry in which you compete. If yours is a retail location with a website to compliment the in-store experience, white papers will do little to nothing to help drive sales. Sure, you could hire a copywriting service to put together a six page report on the importance of coordinating accessories with a trendy outfit, but the audience you’re after isn’t going to read it.
On the other hand, if you’re offering the latest app to support efficiency in the corporate environment, you need to enable interested parties to build their knowledge on the functionality and why they need it. This is the perfect opportunity to secure that copywriting firm to create a white paper for you. When added with specific information, great graphics and clear relevance to their needs, the white paper makes a powerful marketing tool.
When you’re ready to start down the road to a great white paper, there are a few tips to remember – even if you’re hiring a copywriting firm to take care of the writing for you. First, pay attention to length. There are no hard and fast rules concerning the optimal length of a white paper as there are always exceptions. The thing to remember is the quality of the content. It needs to be rich, well-written and relevant to the reader.
Second, make sure you don’t use the “white paper” as merely a longer version of your sales letter. You’re most likely trading this white paper for contact information with visitors to your site; they will feel cheated if they receive nothing more than a long sales pitch. The white paper should offer value to the reader, not the one providing the white paper.
Once you’ve provided the meat of the topic in the first 7/8 of the paper, it’s OK to include an ending paragraph as to why your company can deliver the product or solution or meet a need.
If you’re ready to explore the potential in a white paper, but you’re not sure where to start, we can help. At Susan J. Campbell Copywriting Solutions, we’re focused on producing great content that drives results. To learn more, give us a call today and we’ll discuss some options.