White Papers For Dummies
A fast and easy way to write winning white papers!
Whether you’re a marketing manager seeking to use white papers to promote your business, or a copywriter keen to break into this well-paying field, White Papers For Dummies gives you a wealth of practical, hands-on advice from one of the world’s leading experts in the field.
The fact-based documents known as white papers have been called the “king of content.” No other B2B marketing piece can do more to generate leads, nurture prospects, and build mindshare.
Where white papers were once used only by technology firms, they are becoming “must-have” items in the marketing toolkit for almost any B2B firm. Practically every startup must produce a white paper as part of its business planning.
But writing effective white papers is a big challenge. Now you can benefit from the experience of a white paper specialist who’s done more than 200 projects for clients from Silicon Valley to Finland, from mighty Google to tiny startups. Author Gordon Graham—also known as That White Paper Guy—provides dozens of tips and tricks to help your project come together faster and easier.
White Papers For Dummies will help you to:
- Quickly determine if your B2B firm could benefit from a white paper
- Master the three phases of every white paper project:
planning, production, and promotion
- Understand when and how to use the three main types of white paper
- Decide which elements to include and which to leave out
- Learn the best practices of seasoned white paper researchers and writers
- Choose from 40 different promotional tactics to get the word out
- Avoid common mistakes that many beginners make
Part I: Getting Started with White Papers 9
Chapter 1: Unleashing the Power of White Papers 11
Chapter 2: An Exciting Opportunity for Writers 29
Chapter 3: The Past, Present, and Future of White Papers 47
Chapter 4: Just the FAQs on White Papers 57
Part II: The Three Flavors of White Papers 85
Chapter 5: Picking the Perfect Flavor for Your Next White Paper 87
Chapter 6: The Backgrounder: As Basic As Vanilla 103
Chapter 7: The Numbered List: As Fresh As Strawberry 121
Chapter 8: The Problem/Solution: As Complex As Chocolate 143
Chapter 9: Mashing Up Different Flavors 171
Chapter 10: Special Ingredients for a White Paper 181
Part III: From Foggy Idea to Finished Document 195
Chapter 11: A Proven Process to Complete Your White Paper 197
Chapter 12: Planning an Effective White Paper 207
Chapter 13: Producing a Powerful White Paper 225
Part IV: Succeeding with White Papers 251
Chapter 14: Doing Research: Think Like a Lawyer 253
Chapter 15: Write Like a Journalist 273
Chapter 16: Promote Like a Madman 305
Part V: The Part of Tens 327
Chapter 17: Ten White Paper Problems and How to Solve Them 329
Chapter 18: Ten Tips on Designing a White Paper 335
Chapter 19: More Than Ten Ways to Spice Up a White Paper Title 341
Gordon Graham — also known as That White Paper Guy — is an award-winning writer who has created more than 200 B2B white papers for clients from New York to Australia. Gordon has written white papers on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, and for everyone from tiny start-ups to Google.
Business-to-business (B2B) sales make up one-third of the U.S. economy, and a big chunk of those sales are driven by the unique marketing documents known as “white papers.”
White papers describe the benefits of a B2B product or service, or highlight a better way to solve an industry problem. Ideally these provide practical information that can help a business person understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
These documents fit perfectly with the sweeping trend called “marketing with content.” Nine out of 10 B2B companies in the U.S. now use content marketing to build influence and attract prospective buyers. And many agree that white papers are “the king of content” that can help any B2B vendor generate leads, nurture prospects, and cement sales.
“When done correctly, no other type of content produces such powerful results,” says white paper expert Gordon Graham. “A tweet is gone in an instant. But a white paper can continue to deliver results for several years running.”
Creating the right mix of factual journalism and persuasive copywriting for a white paper can be challenging. Too many white papers are nothing but sales pitches that disappoint readers looking for helpful information. To help B2B vendors do better, White Papers For Dummies® (Wiley, 978-1-118-49692-3, April 2013) clearly explains the theory and practice of using white papers in B2B content marketing.
The book starts with an overview of the huge opportunity white papers present to both marketers and copywriters. Further chapters answer all the most common questions, explaining the main types of these documents; when to use each one; what to include and what to leave out; how to research and build a compelling argument; how to express points in clear language; what to allow for a budget and schedule; and what’s ahead for white papers in coming years.
Author Gordon Graham—also known as That White Paper Guy—provides dozens of tips and tricks to help any white paper project come together faster and easier. With 384 pages packed with advice and best practices, White Papers For Dummies is the most comprehensive book on white papers every published. Anecdotes, sidebars, tables, and the trademark “For Dummies” humor keep the text lively and accessible.
For marketing managers eager to build a B2B business, the book describes the benefits of using white papers; how to pick the best format to meet any marketing challenge; a step-by-step process for managing these projects; and how to promote a finished white paper for maximum exposure to prospective customers.
For writers keen to offer white papers as a service to clients, White Papers For Dummies explains how to plan, research, write, price, manage and even design a compelling document that stands head-and-shoulders above most white papers circulating today.