Looking for a way to gain attention and creating value for your audience at the same time? Then whitepapers may be the right content marketing strategy for you!
Whitepapers are documents, which content covers topics, problems, approaches etc. that are of value to your audience. So, for example if you run a blog about flowers, a whitepaper could cover the art to create an environment where sensitive greens can flourish.
Don´t know how to start? The following advices will help you to follow the fundamental steps in creating valuable whitepapers for your audience:
The most important factor is to create content that is of value to your audience. Try to find out what your target groups problems are. If your content does fit the needs of your followers, you will gain more and more attention and credibility.
Make sure you speak in a language that your audience understands. If you are an expert in your field be understandable also to beginners interested in your content.
Depending on the topic, the length of the content can vary strongly. I personally recommend to keep your whitepaper in a range of 5 to 15 pages.
Create your whitepapers in a way that they do not look like a company´s ad. Keep the design in the looks of your corporate design incl. logo and contact details but avoid to make advertisements in the document, as you want to establish a relationship to your audience as an expert and not as an advertiser. If you can, add images, pictures, graphs etc. to make the content more appealing and understandable. Also make sure to read through your whitepaper more than once after finishing it in order to erase any mistakes.
Write in short sentences, use bold headers and sub-headers to help the reader find the information he is looking for. Furthermore, follow a clear structure. I normally use the following approach for this:
Ideally use an abstract at the beginning, keep it small, ideally one paragraph covering max. 1/3 of one page. This does add credibility to you, as you are very clear of what you provide to your readers from the beginning.
Your introduction should lead to the reason i.e. why you are writing the whitepaper by leading to a problem description and the solution (value) that you as an expert are offering in your whitepaper. In the flower-blog example above, this could mean that some sensitive flowers often die in flats due to the micro climate. You will then speak about what the rest of the whitepaper will cover and what kind of approach (e.g. methods) are used to find a solution for the problem. The introduction should max. cover ¼ of the text.
– Main Part
The main part should cover at least the half of your whitepaper as this is the main part of the document that will generate value to your readers. In this part, you will cover the solution, the answer to a problem, i.e. the benefit for your readers in detail.
The summary forms the last part of the whitepaper, similarly to the introduction, try and keep it to max. ¼ of the document. Summarize the problem, explain the solution and end with a conclusion.
At the end of your whitepaper add a paragraph that acts as a “cliffhanger”. Try and link the content of your whitepaper to further content or the services that you may offer to help your followers. Using the flower-blog example again, this could be that you add the hint that in one of your other whitepapers you cover the story of which plants are easily to handle in a flat environment or add a note that you can be directly contacted for further advice, etc. This way the attention to your content will further grow and you will gain leads.