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How to write a white paper

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How to write a white paper.

   White papers can be extremely effective b2b marketing tools. But only if people actually read them. Given that most readers, such as executives and company managers, will be extremely busy, it’s critical that your staff (or the person handling your white paper writing) learn how to write a white paper that will quickly capture the reader’s attention.

   In order for your white paper to be effective, you must immediately speak to the problem your reader is experiencing. Do this in the first paragraph. The rest of the white paper copy must be clear, compelling and answer their questions the whole way through or your reader will stop reading before reaching the end.

White paper writing tips and techniques for effective b2b marketing:

  • Establish credibility. The reader needs to know you have legitimate, useful information to offer. A white paper is not a sales pitch. By presenting valuable information you establish yourself as a knowledge leader, and show that you want to help others succeed by sharing that knowledge. This will create trust and credibility.

  • Incorporate historical data, relevant research findings from reputable third-party sources and expert testimony when appropriate.

  • Don’t come across as self-serving by mentioning your specific product or service too soon. Make sure you have made a thorough, objective case as to why the general product or service (such as supply consolidation and automation for health providers) is needed before introducing your company’s solution.

  • Provide specific examples of how your organization’s solution is effective.

  • Focus on the problem—not just the product. White papers outline a particular industry problem using historical data and market research. By focusing on the problem—and not your product—you align yourself with your reader and further enhance your marketplace authority.
  • Write objectively. Keep the length under about 12 pages. Use sidebars and text boxes to summarize the key points of your white paper.

  • Include charts, graphs and figures that visually demonstrate your point and support your facts.

  • Refine your target audience. You can filter out unqualified clients and refine the target audience for your b2b white paper by immediately pointing out the problem your white paper will be addressing.

  • Persuasive information is key. The thing that separates a white paper from a sales letter is that white papers educate and inform. Readers want to be educated so they can make informed decisions. If your white paper does a good job of informing readers about how they can solve one of their problems, they’ll be more likely to read your white paper to its end—and, in the process, be persuaded to work with your company.

Need more help? Contact us for more information on our white paper writing services. Request a free estimate to see how affordable it is to have a Hired Gun specialist create an effective, highly marketable white paper for your company.

Read the next article: Using white papers in b2b marketing.


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