Before writing the first words, you need to consider how to structure white papers. Unlike a standard brochure, white papers typically range from 1500 to 5000 words, equivalent to 6 to 20 printed pages. Opting for an arbitrary length is not advisable. Allow the content to dictate the length, emphasizing that quality of information takes precedence over quantity.
Heading is critical
The heading of your white paper carries significant weight. It should exude seriousness and directness, avoiding clever or promotional language. While a product brochure might feature a headline like “Process three times as many radishes with our veeblefetzers,” a more objective approach is crucial for a white paper. Titles like “Evaluating processing alternatives for radish production” or “Cross-cutting and spiral-coring: an engineering comparison” indicate a more balanced perspective.
What’s the problem?
Identifying the core issue is a common starting point for effective white papers. Begin with a brief section outlining the problem or challenge faced by your customers. This establishes a connection with the reader, showcasing your profound understanding of the issues keeping them awake at night.
Proceed to explore various solutions developed in response to the problem or challenge. After a general discussion, delve into the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Emphasize a factual approach, maintaining a general tone. Selectively present facts, ensuring that your product or service reflects the most advantageous approach.
For instance, if your company’s veeblefetzer utilizes the cross-cutting process for coring radishes, in contrast to the spiral-coring method employed by 90 percent of competitors, focus the white paper on the general advantages of cross-cutting. Avoid directly praising your product or service; let the information guide the reader to their own conclusion.
Sidebars support white papers
Consider incorporating sidebars to highlight specific concepts or intriguing content that might not fit seamlessly within the main body of the white paper. Sidebars, comprising smaller articles, text boxes, or lists, add visual interest and enhance the reader’s knowledge.
Keep in non-promotional
Maintain a non-promotional tone throughout the white paper. While it may be tempting to delve into intricate details about why your Model SD60M is the best product globally, such content can undermine the objectivity established earlier, transforming the informative tool into a mere promotional exercise. Conclude the white paper with a brief section outlining your product or service and a concise company description.