No, and we are not talking about a simple white paper.
If reams of printing paper is what comes to mind when you hear ‘white paper’, then it’s time to get acquainted.
An example of a white paper. Photo Source: Content Marketing Institute
What is A White paper, Then?
White Paper in businesses is a highly functional and definitive content marketing tool which has the potential of benfiting your consumer as well as your business.
Originally coined for government-related documents, white papers are seeing increased popularity within brands. Think of them as research journals for businesses. Unlike a blog post or brochure which summarises key points, a white paper is an in-depth, comprehensive report focusing on a particular issue. They are useful in helping audiences understand about new concepts or products in an evidence-based manner. Though persuasive in nature, the ultimate goal here is to convince readers through objective data and research findings.
Like academic reports, proper citation, references and a formal tone is expected. In addition, white papers are typically lengthier than its other content counterparts (at least 5 pages or more), which honestly makes for a boring, mind-numbing read.
Packed with information, it is, but story book it is not.
In a content environment that thrives on engaging readers, why do white papers still work? And why are 71% of marketers actively using this in their strategy?
Here are 3 best reasons why businesses still stand to benefits from writing white papers.
Benefits of White Papers
1. White Papers Boost Credibility
Beyond witty one-liners and amazing visuals, what equally impresses consumers is content that they can trust. White papers are a great way to improve a brand’s credibility because they provide a platform for marketers to discuss topics that they specialise in. Not only does publishing help to increase awareness of issues, it also emphasises the brand’s authority on the subject, especially when information is backed with reliable data and research findings.
For example, a copywriting agency might find publishing a white paper about upcoming content trends a sensible idea. It’s a topic related to copywriting, and one that the agency should have expertise and experience in. In fact, writing one will help emphasise to consumers what your business is and showcase how well your brand can provide solutions to the issue.
‘A copywriting firm that has the resources to write a white paper? It must know what it is doing’.
That’swhat readers usually assume when they come across a useful, well executed publication.
2. White Papers Provide Valuable Information
Readers today may be skimmers and scanners, but they can be particularly meticulous when it counts.
However, when does that happen? The answer’s simple; People seek information more thoroughly when they are seriously considering something.
Take for instance, buying a new laptop that you need it for work/school. It’s essential, and you want to invest your money on a good one, so you research extensively on its features, drawbacks and reviews. You don’t want to risk making a faulty decision, don’t you?
Details matter, especially when customers advance into the buying expensive stuff.
This is how white papers come in handy. They support this demand by providing valuable information to consumers who are likely to act on purchase. Because users already have an intention or interest in the issue when seeking for such content, an informative white paper makes it easier to convince and convert potential to actual sales.
Furthermore, learning is two-fold when it comes to producing white papers – It benefits the businesses producing it too. The time and effort spent on researching, composing and organising information can help marketers discover new possibilities and gain a better perspective for the industry.
3. White Papers Helps In Driving Traffic
Even if your white paper becomes just another tool for research, it’s still a great platform for getting traffic and encouraging awareness to your site.
The process of promoting and distributing your white paper can bolster your brand’s marketing efforts on other platforms. For example, linking and boosting your white paper on social media allows users to not only access the information, but also discover your web page.
Likewise, requiring an email address in exchange for the white paper is a fuss-free way of building up your mailing list; It can funnel a stable of contacts through which businesses can regularly send updates, nurturing consumer retention.
The best part about developing a white paper is the variety of offshoot content it can create. Condensed chunks of information can be repurposed into blog posts, social media updates, infographics, or even slideshows. Using the same content, businesses can develop multiple avenues for traffic, increasing their lead potential.