White paper are really educational documents. They persuade using a soft sell approach by providing information that is helpful to the reader. A good white paper can position a company as a thought leader in their field.
White papers set the tone by discussing the problem and its costs. This accomplishes a few things:
1. Focusing on the problem gets people’s attention. People are more motivated to avoid pain than gain pleasure. In fact, most people conducting research on the Internet search by problem rather than solution.
2. In discussing the problem, you show readers that you really understand the difficulties they’re dealing with – building the reader’s trust and your credibility in the process.
3. You remind readers of the costs of the problem. By demonstrating the cost, you engage readers emotionally and show that the problem is worth the time and resources needed to solve it.
Once you’ve established the problem, you outline your company’s approach to solving it. This discussion has to be useful, informed and honest if you want your company to become a trusted leader in your field.
White papers end with a call to action that moves readers to the next step of your sales cycle.
White papers are one piece of your content marketing strategy; in other words, a white paper is a one part of your larger sales process or cycle. Although some people will find and consume a white paper in the early stages of considering a purchase, most people will be actively searching for a solution by the time they are motivated to read your paper.