White Papers

By: Writer's Block  22-Sep-2009
Keywords: Copywriting, Copywriter, White Papers

The term “white paper” has commonly been used as a document for sales and marketing since the early 1990s.

Generally, they relate to specific products or technology solutions.  In reality, they can be used as a concise medium to describe almost anything.

As a marketing tool, “white papers” are incredibly powerful.  Written well, they engage the audience with key details, benefits and practical information to allow them to make a judgment call.

However, they also make excellent prefaces to non-sales orientated material.  This is often not considered the realm of “white papers”.

A good example would be a key note speaker about to deliver a speech to several hundred colleagues.  They could provide them with a summary of notes that match their speech, but that’s rather dull.  A better option is to provide a two page “white paper” on the subject.  People get sufficient information to be engaged and satisfied, but are still left wanting to know what the speaker is about to say.

There are three main types of commercial white papers:

  • Business-benefits: Makes a business case for a certain technology or methodology
  • Technical: Describes how a certain technology works
  • Hybrid: Combines high-level business benefits with technical details in a single document

Keywords: Copywriter, Copywriting, White Papers