Last Updated on July 4, 2023 by Anthony
Mention digital marketing to the average business owner and the last thing they are likely to think about is a white paper. Business owners tend to think of digital marketing in terms of SEO, paid advertising, content marketing, etc. White papers are kept on the back burner, if they are ever considered at all.
As a company that specializes in content creation for marketing purposes, we want to challenge you to give white papers a second thought. We offer white paper writing services specifically because we know this particular type of content can be a very powerful marketing tool. Are you interested in learning more? Then contact us at your earliest convenience.
What is a white paper?
The reluctance to use white papers to market is partially due to ignorance. Business owners simply don’t know what white papers are. The best way for us to explain them is to quote HubSpot’s Lindsay Kolowich Cox. She defines the white paper as “a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.”
The three keys to her definition are as follows:
- Authoritative – White papers establish an organisation as an authority in the particular industry in which it is involved. Authority is powerful in the marketing realm.
- Specific Topic – White papers are not general in nature. They are not rambling, either. They are very specific in topic and target audience. The more specific, the better.
- Solution – White papers do not merely present a problem. They also offer a proven solution. The solution is backed by hard data or some other verifiable means. Without a solution, there is no point in anyone reading a white paper.
White papers are almost always utilised in a business-to-business (B2B) setting. These are situations in which one business is trying to demonstrate to other businesses that it provides products or services those other businesses want and need. White papers can be useful in business-to-consumer (B2C) settings, but it is less common.
How are white papers relevant to marketing?
It’s easy enough to see how a white paper would be appealing to an organization looking for a solution to an ongoing problem. But what does any of this have to do with marketing? In the age of digital marketing, everything.
It is not possible to discuss digital marketing without bringing up Google and search engine optimization (SEO). Any organization that hopes to successfully market online must put time and effort into SEO. The two are inseparable. Knowing this, it’s also important to understand how Google approaches things.
Google has gone to great lengths over the years to avoid serving junk to its users. The company is constantly modifying its algorithms to guarantee the most relevant and helpful returns. Their users depend on it. That leads us to the idea of helpful content.
What is helpful content and why does it matter?
Google has also made it clear that it wants publishers to stop creating content for search engine algorithms. They want publishers and content creators to focus on consumers first. They want content to be as helpful and relevant as possible. And to get that kind of content, Google has modified its algorithms to reward creators and publishers accordingly.
What could be more helpful in a B2B situation than content created specifically around an ongoing problem? We can’t think of anything off the tops of our heads. Content that answers a specific question or solves a specific problem is what Google wants. That is exactly what a white paper does.
Publish a white paper that gives customers what they want, and Google will reward it. Your website will perform better when users are searching for answers to the problem your white paper addresses. The higher your website appears on Google searches the more likely users will click through to your site.
What does a typical white paper contain?
White papers represent a specialized form of content creation that includes certain elements. There is no particular format for writing a white paper, but every paper should offer at least the following:
- Organizational Description – At least one or two short paragraphs describing the organization behind the white paper.
- The Challenge – The problem or challenge being addressed in the white paper. Proof of its existence should be offered by way of statistics or other evidence.
- Secondary Challenges – Any secondary challenges the original challenge creates should also be included.
- The Solution – A white paper should include the solution to the challenge or challenges described therein. In nearly every case, the solution will be offered by the organization behind the paper.
It should be noted that white papers and case studies share a lot of similarities in terms of their basic components. The biggest difference between the two is that the case study looks at a real-world challenge and how the organization actually answered it. White papers take a broader approach. They do not cite real-world cases per se.
How much do professional white papers cost?
Reading this far suggests that we have piqued your curiosity. If so, you might be wondering how much a professional white paper cost. The size, scope, and length of a white paper differs based on a variety of factors. Therefore, it’s difficult to provide a black-and-white price.
If you would like to know more about Connotations’ white paper writing service, or you just want a no-obligation quote, contact us. We can help take your marketing efforts above and beyond with a powerful piece of content that boosts your organisation’s authority and ranks extremely well in organic searches.