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Guide to Writing a White Paper
What is a “White Paper”, you may ask? Essentially, a white paper is report that is designed to persuade potential consumers to use one product versus another. They can come in various forms, such as a brochure or an article, and can be written in any number of styles. There are a few commonalities that all effective white papers share: they demonstrate a problem; prove the existence of the problem; demonstrate subsequent problems; present a general solution; and present your solution. Sound complicated? Let’s break it down into its individual components so that it is easier to understand.
- Present a Problem. You have a product you want to market, so it is important to explain why there is a need for your product. This is why you first present the problem your product will solve. This focuses the consumer’s attention where you want it, in your niche.
- Prove the Existence of the Problem. Now that you have gained the consumer’s attention, you have to demonstrate “why” the consumer needs your product. You can do this by proving the existence of the problem. Think of the advertising for stain-removing products, for example. These products demonstrate the “horror” of having indelible stains in one’s belongings.
- Provide Additional Problems that can Result if Left Untreated. This step ties directly in with step 2. This is the step, in which you strongly appeal to the consumer’s need for your products. Continuing the stain-remover example, the consumer has been shown the “horror” of stained belongings. It is then pointed out how expensive it can be to replace stained items.
- Present a General Solution. In this step, you will want to show the inferiority of competing products, (i.e. stain-removers that do not fully lift the stain). Doing so sets the stage to display your product in a more favorable light.
- Present Your Solution. This is the step that truly captures the consumer. You demonstrate the superiority of your product versus the competition, which proves why the consumer needs to buy your product above all others.
White papers are efficient marketing tools that showcase the superiority of your product. They grab the consumer’s attention and show why the consumer simply cannot live without your product. If you follow these five simple steps, it is easy to write your own effective white paper.