On my business website over at Connotations, we are constantly investigating methodologies that we can use to help the businesses of our clients. From this, one of the services we offer is white paper writing. Among the many different types of content we produce, white papers fill a very special need that is hard to fill in any other way. They also happen to be one of the hottest marketing techniques available right now.
Just to be clear, white papers are not right for every business or organisation. For example, if you own a business that sells party supplies aimed primarily at parents of small children, a white paper is not something that is likely to appeal to your customers. White papers are best suited for companies and organisations that need to prove to their customers that they have the knowledge and expertise to compete in highly specialised sectors.
If your business fits the bill, here are three reasons why you need to consider using white papers and white paper writing services:
1. Proving Your Authority
A few years ago, the Business2Community blog published a very important piece talking about how companies can use white papers to enhance their marketing efforts. That post is as valid today as it was back then. Although the post made many salient points, perhaps the most salient was its insistence on using white papers to prove the authority of a business or organisation. Simply put, you need to do more than say you are the best – you have to prove it.
A white paper helps to establish the authority of your organisation by demonstrating you actually know what you are talking about. By its very nature, the white paper does the following:
- presents a problem requiring a solution
- presents evidence the problem exists
- lays out very clear solutions to the problem
- explains why your solutions offer the best opportunity to solve that problem.
When you present your customers with a thought-out and well-written white paper, you are demonstrating to them that you not only understand your industry, service, or business, but also how to best help them. You are establishing yourself and your organisation as an authority in your sector.
2. Introducing Your Company
White papers are also a great tool for introducing your company to potential new customers who have never heard of you before. It has been said that the first impression is the most important one, and white papers have the ability to present a very dynamic and memorable impression. If a potential customer is impressed with the thoroughness and integrity of one of your white papers, he or she is likely to become a paying customer.
3. Brand Development
Branding is an essential part of any marketing campaign, be it online or off. Nevertheless, in order for branding to be as effective as possible, it needs to be consistent across all channels. White papers provide an excellent tool for establishing and maintaining branding continuity.
To that end, it is a good idea to develop all of your white papers so they share a consistent:
- informational structure
- writing style
- graphic presentation.
When your white papers are consistent, they are easily identifiable, whether found online or across the room at a trade show. Customers who have come to trust your authority will recognise your white papers and make a point of picking up a copy. That is the whole point of branding.