How to Generate Great Leads with Compelling White Papers

by Dec 11, 2016B2B Lead Generation, Sales

How to Generate Great Leads with Compelling White Papers

Have you ever written a white paper for your organisation? It is said to help organisations capture more leads and solve problems.

But if you’re sitting there still wondering, “What on earth is a white paper?” You’re in luck! To help you, we will unpack the meaning of white papers and how you can use it in your organisation.

What Is a White Paper?

Not to be confused with a legal white paper that’s used to support a political position. A white paper in the business world is an in-depth document or report that presents a problem and provides a solution for it.

They have become a popular marketing tool for businesses due to its amazing benefits:

  • They increase leads, generate more credibility and foster trust with your audience
  • Creates curiosity on your offering
  • Readers respond positively when advertising problem-solving information
  • They feed the need for quality online content

Perry Marshall, the most sought after Business Consultant and marketing expert at Google AdWords, considers white papers as the most effective marketing tool for organisations. He explains it with the example of the drill. When purchasing a drill, what do we focus more on? The drill or the hole after drilling? Nobody who bought a drill actually wanted a drill; they just wanted a hole. “If you sell a product or service, you should lead with information about solving problems, not information about the product or service itself.”

This is the logic he wants marketers to understand.

How to Write a White Paper?

Regardless of the business you are running, you can make use of white papers.

A white paper:

  • Solves your client’s problems
  • Does not constitute a campaign
  • Does not directly praise your company or products
  • It generates curiosity in the reader
  • Prompts the reader to take action and search further for a problem-solving product or service

To benefit from white papers, organisations will generally request an email address to unlock the document. This is how they generate more leads.

But how do you write a compelling white paper?

To write a great white paper, keep the following in mind:

  • Topics: Think about the problems potential clients are facing in order to need and want your products. For example, in the drill example, you can write a white paper on how to make the perfect hole to hand your pictures.
  • Introduction: Once you’ve decided what you’ll right about, write your introduction. Without making it longer a paragraph, introduce the topic and create a need for wanting more. Do not include your conclusion in this portion.
  • Problem: Provide insightful facts about the problems they are facing. Let readers identify themselves with the problems and make it a detailed description.
  • Solution: Give them a solution to the problem. Avoid blowing your own horns, but rather allow the reader to make an independent assessment of your proposed solution.
  • Case Studies: Provide detailed information on companies or individuals who tried the solution and what results were achieved.
  • Conclusion: Conclude the white paper with a short summary on how the solution solves their problems, and emphasize the advantages and disadvantages of using your solution. Don’t forget to add a means for them to contact you.

For structure, pay attention to the following:

  • Length: No more than seven pages
  • Format: Usually PDF in portrait orientation (8.5″ by 11”) (You can find templates online)
  • Tone: Professional with a serious tone and well edited. It is recommended to hire an editor and graphic designer.

A White Paper Is Not a Blog Post or an eBook

Think of a white paper more like an academic thesis. It takes time to write and contains well researched material. Where a blog or an eBook will on average take a day to a week to write, a white paper will take several months.