Even though social media, video and other areas of digital marketing get so much attention these days, we still believe that whitepapers play an important role in your marketing strategy. Here are five best practices to help you get these valuable pieces done right.
Set the right tone
Your whitepapers should be written in conversational tone … and in the third person.
There are fewer and fewer situations that require a very formal tone. As our conversations get more casual, our writing follows. Exercising restraint is important, as whitepapers are fairly “academic,” and are often read by people who are well-versed in the topic.
Solve the right problem
Writing a whitepaper may be one of the most challenging marketing exercises, so make sure the problem you are solving is one that your audience truly wants solved.
To make sure your topic engages your readers, do a little research into their needs. Survey your sales team, research online and, if you have the relationships and resources, talk to your clients directly.
Use third-party facts
Back up your points and arguments with some facts – and make sure these facts aren’t all from your in-house team.
This is where we come across one of the most significant limitations of whitepapers: they tend to take more time to produce than other materials. If possible, you should include some independent research to support your findings. This will enhance the credibility of your work.
Let your designers run wild
Whitepaper doesn’t mean “blankpaper” or “boringpaper.” Luckily for you, not everyone knows this, so design is a way to stand out from the crowd.
Make your whitepaper look professional and easy to read, use a larger font, don’t crowd the copy, and experiment with design elements and themes that break up the whitespace.
Incorporate graphs, charts and infographics
Amid your facts and findings, well-crafted visual aids will help keep your reader’s attention.
Every data point can be backed up with an engaging chart or graph. We think whitepapers are begging for infographics. Since you’ll have so much data to work with, it should be fairly simple to create some easy-to-read infographics that will surely engage your audience.
So, as you develop your social platforms and other digital marketing endeavours, don’t forget about whitepapers and the unique value they add to a robust marketing strategy.
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