As a member of Marketfish’s content creation team, I read a dizzying amount of whitepapers, case studies, and research reports. I’m always digging into the competition, generating ideas, and frankly, looking to expand my knowledge base. And that’s where whitepapers excel – imparting knowledge in a pseudo-promotional way.
No one knows everything, and we’re never too old to explore a new perspective, look at a concept in a novel way, or gain a little tidbit of wisdom during the course of our day. All this adds up to the potential boost a well-oiled whitepaper producing machine can deliver to your lead generation efforts. I’m far from the first person to write these words, but the issue is that many whitepapers, are dull, dry, boring, and sleep inducing. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Clever Title and Cover – No matter what the old adage says, we all judge a book by its cover. Keep that in mind when writing your whitepaper’s title and designing its cover. Attention spans are shorter than ever, so it’s vital to make an immediate impact. Put as much thought and time into your cover and title as possible. It’ll make the difference between a download and a deleted email.
Engaging Design – Don’t design a vanilla whitepaper; that’s a major turnoff. Create a unique design. Use your brand colors, and organize the information in an intuitive, engaging way. Bullets and images can help tell your story. Just remember to keep the look clean and uncluttered. It shouldn’t be a struggle to digest your content.
Charts and Images – Charts and images are vital to the success of your whitepaper. They break up your text and add color and life to your content. Plus, they deliver what should be useful information in a clear way. They’re also helpful for condensing what would otherwise result in a complex and lengthy paragraph.
Relevant Statistics – Stats add a certain measure of validity to your whitepaper. This is especially true if you’re sourcing your stats from an independent third party. Even if the research and stats you cite are proprietary, they can still be useful. But if you go that route, add a link to your original research so that curious readers can review your research methodology.
Conversational and Always Delivering Value – Whitepapers don’t need to take the same tone as your 11th grade history teacher, unless you had an awesome 11th grade history teacher. Try to write conversationally. Engage the reader on all fronts with questions, wit, and wordplay. Just don’t lose focus. Your whitepaper should always communicate information that’s relevant and useful to the reader.
Hopefully you found these tips helpful. The goal here is to get you to rethink your whitepaper development approach. Marketing is changing. You need to delight and entertain leads if you want them to engage with your brand. Just stay focused on your goals and with a little effort, the rest will fall into place.
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