White Papers

Type

Flavor

definition

Qualities

Length

Some “experts” say there are 40 different types of white papers

But what if there are really only 3?

Why do people like white papers?

An effective white paper helps a target reader understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.

Backgrounder Numbered List Problem/ Solution

Vanilla Strawberry Chocolate

An in-depth look at the features and benefits of a B2B product or service

Top Challenges Facing B2B Marketers

GeNeraTe LeadS

Most agree there are 8 or 10 different types

STaNd ouT FroM The CroWd

eNGaGe ProSPeCTS

anything new has to be introduced KiNG The

anything

White papers can help any B2B company sell anything relatively:

• New oF CoNTeNT

complex has to be explained

• Complex

• expensive

Nothing works better than a white paper to

anything introduce, explain or

expensive justify a B2B offering.

has to be justified

The 3 Main Flavors of White Papers

as different as vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream

A numbered set of tips, points or questions on a topic

A new, improved solution to a major problem

Predictable Light & Lively Rich & Satisfying

6-10 pages + cover 5-10 pages + cover 6-10 pages + cover



Problem/Solution white papers work best to generate leads and build recognition... and will keep working for a year or more 95% of business buyers search the Web before contacting any vendors

Numbered List white papers work best to engage prospects during a complex sale and cast FUD* on competitors

* Fear, uncertainty, and doubt

Product Backgrounder white papers work best to support a technical evaluation or cost/benefit analysis

When to use each Type of White Paper

At the Top of the Funnel Problem/Solution White Paper

deSCriBeS a NeW, iMProVed SoLuTioN To a SeriouS ProBLeM

Tip: Always mention the problem in the title, so that your white paper shows up in search results.

In the Middle of the Funnel Numbered List White Paper

PreSeNTS a SeT oF TiPS, QueSTioNS, or PoiNTS oN SoMe iSSue

Tip: You can combine a numbered list with either other type of white paper.

At the Bottom of the Funnel Product Backgrounder White Paper

eXPLaiNS The TeChNiCaL or BuSiNeSS BeNeFiTS oF a CerTaiN B2B oFFeriNG

Tip: You can mention a specific product name in the title.

For many more tips and best practices on planning, producing, and promoting white papers, get “White Papers For dummies” or visit www.ThatWhitePaperGuy.com

Also available as an e-book for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iOS or Android devices.



The Three Flavors of White Papers

QuiCK reFereNCe

Most white papers fall into one of three flavors:

Product Backgrounder

Numbered List

Problem/Solution

You can mix a numbered list with either flavor, yielding five flavors to choose from.

Do not mix a product backgrounder with a problem/solution, or try all three flavors in one. Those mixtures just don’t work very well.

Backgrounder Typical Page Count: 6 to 10 pages + cover

Problem/Solution Typical Page Count: 6 to 10 pages + cover

YES YES No No Cover or Title Page (optional)

Introduction: 1 page

Technical Features & Benefits: 4 to 8 pages

Conclusions & About the Company: 1 page

Cover or Title Page (optional)

Executive Summary: 1 page

Business or Technical Problem:

Numbered List

1 to 2 pages

Typical Page Count: 5 to 10 pages + cover

Existing Solutions: 1 to 2 pages

Cover or Title Page (optional)

Better Solution: 1 to 2 pages

Introduction: 1⁄2 to 1 page

Case Study:

Numbered Sections:

1 page (optional)

4 to 9 of whatever length

Buyer’s Guide: 1 page

Conclusions &

Conclusions & About the Company:

About the Company: 1⁄2 page (optional)

1 page



The Three Flavors of White Papers

QuiCK reFereNCe

Product Backgrounder Numbered List Problem/Solution

deFiNiTioN A deep dish of features and benefits of a certain product or service

A numbered set of tips, questions, answers, or points about an issue

A persuasive essay that uses facts and logic to present a new solution to a problem

aLSo CaLLed Evaluator’s guide,

product briefing

List-based article, Top 10 List Special report, executive

briefing, market overview

audieNCe Prospects at the end of

the buying process

Anyone interested in that issue

Prospects at the start of the buying process

aPProaCh A hard sell that pitches the

technical or business benefits of a product or service

A lively roundup of points, questions, or highlights about an issue

A soft sell that educates prospects about an issue and positions your firm as a trusted advisor

WheN To uSe 1. Your firm is a leader

that easily attracts many prospects 2. To support a

product launch

1. You need quick content

for a blog, e–newsletter, magazine, or calendar 2. To spread FUD on your competitors

1. Your firm wants to generate as many leads as possible 2. To build recognition

for your company

LeNGTh 6 to 10 pages + cover 5 to 10 pages + cover 6 to 10 pages + cover

TyPiCaL SeCTioNS • Introduction

• Product or service features and benefits

• Conclusions & call to action

• About the Company

• Introduction

• Between 4 and 9 numbered points

• Conclusions & call to action

• About the Company (optional)

• Executive Summary

• Nagging problem

• Existing solutions and drawbacks

• Recommended solution

• Case study (optional)

• Buyer’s guide

• Conclusions & call to action

• About the Company

LeaVe ouT Hype, marketing-speak Product features, hype,

marketing-speak

Product features, hype, marketing-speak

rePurPoSe aS Demo, webinar, press

release (launch only)

Blog post, magazine article, press release

Presentation, webinar, blog post, press release