White papers are often successful because they focus on educating the prospect. A white paper typically promotes a specific position or solution to a problem by providing useful, substantial information backed by well-documented research.
“White papers are powerful marketing tools used to help key decision-makers and influencers justify implementing solutions,” according to Michael A. Stelzner of Stelzner Consulting.
The three main types of white papers are:
- Problem/Solution: Discusses a new, improved solution to a major problem. Often used at the top of the sales funnel or start of the buying process, these papers work best to generate leads and build recognition.
- Numbered List: Provides a numbered set of tips, points, or questions on a topic of interest to a potential buyer. Lists work best to engage prospects during a complex sale.
- Backgrounder: Takes an in-depth look at the features and benefits of a B2B product or service. Typically used at the bottom of the sales funnel or near the end of the sales process, backgrounders work best to support a technical evaluation or cost/benefit analysis
Two important tips to remember about white papers:
- Direct the white paper to your target audience. If you have more than one target audience, you need more than one white paper. Potential customers/clients are at different places in the decision-making process. Target your message to align with their place on the buyer’s journey.
- Teach, tell, and educate. Do not pitch or sell, and avoid marketing language. White papers that focus on selling instead of establishing authority usually don’t generate leads.
Here’s what I do when I write a white paper for you:
- If you haven’t already decided on a target audience, topic, and objectives, I’ll help you with these critical decisions.
- Do background reading and research.
- Create a detailed outline for your approval.
- Interview subject matter experts.
- Write the paper.
- Provide up to two rounds of requested revisions.
My rates for white papers (5–10 pages) run from $3,000 to $6,000+. Price depends on the complexity of the topic, length, number of interviews required, and amount of research. Contact me to discuss your needs.