Organizations and industries usually spend so much money in developing a product that could potentially meet the needs of the customer or could be easily adopted by the customers. But when it comes it comes to promoting the product or solutions, sending out a marketing team to explain and promote the product for every new customer is very time-consuming and most importantly, it is practically impossible. Instead of this, documenting the product or solution in an informative way is relatively easy. A document that contains the details of the product or a solution along with its features and the plans it offers is called “Whitepaper”. These documents are called white papers because the term was originally used for government papers that were assigned a specific color to indicate distribution where the color white was assigned for public access.
Unlike other marketing materials that include sales pitches and flashy quotes to promote the product, a whitepaper is a professionally written document that contains about 2,500 words that are exclusively focused on providing actual facts that are related to the product or solving a certain problem.
Fundamentals of a Whitepaper
A whitepaper is usually designed to be used as a marketing tool before sales. Even before looking deeper into the whitepaper, it is important to understand that whitepaper is entirely different from the user manual that assists the user in understanding how a product works. Whitepapers are mostly sales and marketing documents that influence the potential customers in learning about purchasing a particular product, service or technology.
Many of the whitepaper documents are specifically designed for the purpose of business-to-business (B2B) marketing. That is, these documents are designed for the business transaction between the manufacturer and the retailer. With these whitepapers, the manufacturer can clearly explain the product and the challenges it addresses to the retailer.
There are three main types of White Paper:-
- Product backgrounder
- Number list
- Modern whitepapers
1) Product backgrounder
A whitepaper focused on an individual product is known as a product backgrounder. It is used to explain unknown products. Before documenting a product backgrounder there are factors that have to be considered, such as, the target audience, the purpose of the document, key features of the product, benefits of each feature and finally, a suitable title for the product. Because of these factors, documenting a product backgrounder would not be as effective as expected unless the company is very popular and famous.
While selecting the target audience, consider the size of your company, the location and the sector to which it belongs. Also focus on the age, education and experience of the reader.
The purpose of the document should be focused on whether you have to explain the product to the customer or create a familiarity with the product among the sales team or in competing with other companies. So that the backgrounder will effectively serve its purpose.
The next step is to explain the features of the product. This is completely the choice of the person who sells the product. People will be more interested in knowing about the features that a product has to offer. So, describing a few features of the product that you think is the best has to be listed down along with the benefits of those features.
The final step is to choose the right title for the document as the title has the potential to clearly convey the overview of the document.
2) Number list
A numbered list, as the name suggests, contains a number of tips, questions, answers or solutions for issues. Numbered lists are very useful if the product needs to be promoted on blogs, websites and newspapers. Similar to the product backgrounder, it is important to consider the type of target audience, the purpose of the document and a suitable title.
While documenting a numbered list, writing an effective list of keys, tips and questions has to short and precise. Discuss the important points that might interest the customers with the team and write down few questions and also make sure that the count stays within 20 as users may not be interested in reading or answering many questions.
3) Modern whitepaper
A modern whitepaper writing service is more like an essay that contains answers to the potential issues faced by the customers. These documentations are very important compared with the product backgrounder and numbered list as it educates the new customers about the product and helps in solving issues related to it.
This type of whitepaper is also known as problem/solution whitepaper as it addresses an industrial problem that has never been properly solved before. These whitepapers provide facts and logic to promote a solution to solve the problem. It also enables the user to understand the existing problem, provide a solution and helps the user to decide what should be done next.
As mentioned earlier in product backgrounder and number list whitepapers, choosing the right target audience, knowing the purpose of your whitepaper and selecting a suitable title plays an important role in designing a modern whitepaper too.
Additionally, you have to choose the problem that is specific to an industry that has not been addressed properly yet and explain the negative aspects of the problem in detail. Then it should state the drawbacks of the previous solutions that were offered to solve the issue and describe how your solution differs from the rest in solving the problem.
Important factors to consider while drafting a whitepaper document
- Select the right topic that can address an industry-specific problem.
- Choose the right group of the target audience or else the document might not reach a lot of people.
- A whitepaper must be crisp and right-on-point as people will not prefer reading an elaborate document or they simply will not have the time to read through the document completely.
- Finally, a whitepaper must be in such a way that it promotes the product and not the company.
The whitepaper documentation is very important in promoting your product and business as it is highly influential and they act as great tools for generating leads and also helps the customer in making the right decision in buying a product.