White Paper Writer

Convincing B2B buyers you're a market leader with the solution they want

B2B buyers have relied on white papers for years to shortlist vendors and evaluate choices. Now marketers see the true value of hiring a white paper writer for their content marketing.

Whether you’re targeting consumers at the top, middle or bottom of the sales funnel, a well-written white paper is an essential tool in your marketing tool kit.

Why should your business publish a white paper?

If you sell innovative, complex or expensive products to other businesses, you can definitely profit from publishing white papers. These persuasive, fact-based reports have amazing reach and influence. 

White papers are the big guns in your battle to assert thought leadership in your industry

Did you know that half of business decision makers in North America spend at least 30 minutes every week consuming thought leadership content? Or that 41% of C-Suite executives say thought leadership has led them to include a company in a RFP opportunity.

Done right, thought leadership content is clearly a worthwhile investment. And what format is at the top of the pile? Yep! White papers.

White papers have the juice to propel your business into the spotlight 

Why do white papers have so much influence? If they're well-planned, well-researched and well-written (hint: not all of them are), they can help you:

  • get on a supplier's shortlist by supporting the technical evaluation of a new product, service or approach
  • close a sale by letting a prospective buyer compare competing solutions and recommend you as the right vendor
  • boost competitive advantage by highlighting flaws in competitors' solutions and casting doubt on their claims
  • establish authority by giving C-suite executives a fix to a problem that plagues many companies in your sector

In short, white papers are incredibly effective in building a company's credibility and getting a website noticed by major search engines and target audiences. That translates into more leads and more sales.

Read more7 Surprising Reasons to Publish a White Paper

White papers are one of the most influential content marketing strategies available.

Ryan Malone  Founder and CEO of SmartBug Media

The definition and format of a white paper 

All white papers have one thing in common: they educate their audience by presenting a problem and providing a solution. However, they're not a sales pitch. Yes, they are a remarkable marketing tool for B2B vendors, but there is no appeal to emotions, no puff-speak and no exaggeration.

They're not an ebook either. Ebooks are much lighter in style than white papers, both in style and format. And because they're more visually engaging in general, they have fewer words on each page and use a more casual tone of voice. 

Objective and instructive, but never boring or overselling

White papers are factual and informative, so the language must be clear and concise. Benefits must be proven. This doesn’t mean you can’t make your white paper engaging. It's entirely possible to create an interesting and readable document designed to help someone understand an issue, solve a problem or reach a decision.

One of the main reasons a white paper fails is that it oversells. Too much selling irritates the reader and demolishes any authority you were trying to establish. Another good reason for failure? The business didn't hire a professional white paper writer. 

Typical characteristics of a white paper

All white papers must be well-researched. That's because they're aimed at a bunch of trained sceptics, which includes B2B buyers, analysts, technicians, journalists and engineers. And so it follows that white papers generally have a similar format, which I outline below:

  • typically 6- 12 pages long (but they can be much longer)
  • includes a cover, executive summary and content page (and quality graphics)
  • is heavier on words , lighter on graphics (this is not a brochure or an ebook)
  • is objective and educational (use facts and logic to build a case)
  • adopts a neutral style (usually written in the third-person)
  • mentions product or company on the last page only (except for 'backgrounders')  
  • usually published as a PDF (easy to work with and a familiar format for most audiences)                
  • aimed at businesses, not private individuals (so B2B not B2C)
  • takes 4 - 12 weeks for the team to produce (from beginning to end) 

Marketing your white paper effectively

Sadly, not all white papers meet expectations. It may be that the content simply doesn't address the pain points experienced by the intended reader. Or maybe the topic is well chosen but the writing style isn't up to scratch. White papers that are poorly put together are not going to convince audiences your product or service is the solution they're looking for.

But many white papers fail because they’re not publicized effectively. And that’s such a waste of time, money and effort. A well-considered marketing strategy is essential for all white papers. You have to let your target audience know it exists, and you have to encourage them to read it.

There are numerous ways to market your white paper, including:

  • creating a simple, good looking and convincing landing page
  • publishing a press release
  • broadcasting it on social media
  • mentioning it in your e-newsletter
  • adding it to your email signature
  • re-purposing it as other marketing content

Most marketing tactics for white papers are relatively easy to implement, although you may want a little help with those tasks that demand professional writing skills, such as the articles, landing page and press releases. Of course, the best person to ask for help is your white paper writer because he or she would already have all the background information needed. You may even be offered a special deal!

My white paper writing service

My role as a white paper writer is to present my client (your company) as a trusted adviser and respected seller. I do this by appealing to your target audience with logic, not emotion. This sets apart a white paper from most other types of copy.

The creation process is more challenging than writing a blog post or sales letter. In fact, a whole team can be involved (e.g. writer, designer, subject experts, in-house researchers, reviewers, printer).

But even if it’s just you and me, publishing a white paper that business decision makers will take seriously requires careful planning, an organized process and sufficient production time. That's why I offer a White Paper Planning service. Planning a step-by-step process and identifying the contributors and their roles at the start of the project is vital for a successful white paper.

How I develop and write a white paper at Write for Business

Once the planning for your white paper has been done, I will:

  • gather research from your experts and conduct additional desk-top research
  • organize and check all quotes & sources to prove claims made
  • write the report, including an executive summary, buyer’s guide and set of conclusions
  • use a suitable layout and insert footnotes, endnotes or sources into the text
  • send you a first draft to make sure we're on the right track
  • process comments from all reviewers and revise the draft for final approval

The results are a quality white paper that your company can publish and promote with confidence.

Can low-quality thought leadership content 
actually damage your brand?

In 2017, 45% of business decision makers and 53% of C-suite executives admit to losing respect and admiration for companies producing low-quality or irrelevant thought-leadership content.  

In fact, over 30% of business decision makers have removed companies from consideration after engaging with what they viewed as poor thought leadership content. So, it seems that not investing in well-written content like white papers can have a negative effect on your brand.

 Source: How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation: June 1, 2017 (Edelman LinkedIn)

Ready to kick-start your next white paper?

White papers are perfect for today's world of inbound marketing. Re-purpose them and you can stretch your investment even further.  

Please contact me at helen@write-for-business.com or call me on 360-525-8277 to discuss your needs. 

I've worked with many industries over the years and I have a business background, so I can get up to speed with unfamiliar companies and products quickly, and work comfortably as part of a team.

Together, we can get your white paper written and published!