Updated: Dec 26, 2020
What’s a White Paper Exactly?
My curiosity as a researcher and eternal learner led me to ask various questions linked to copywriting. Prior to my research on the topic, I wasn’t quite clear as to what a white paper was, and/or why anyone on the planet required them.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a reasonably simple definition written by the expert on white papers, Mr G. Gray, popularly known as ‘that white paper guy’. A title that is easy to remember and somewhat catchy. His definition states:
“ A white paper is a persuasive essay that uses fact and logic to promote a certain product, service or solution to a problem.”
So having narrowed down one definition of a white paper, the next question I asked was:
Why Does Anyone Require a White Paper?
As I’m relatively new to copywriting it’s important for me to look into a number of potential areas of work. A white paper is one of them. Here are a few pointers as to why a company or other organisation may wish to have a white paper written for them:
Having looked up Google today, 25th April 2020, I have found that there are 897,000,000 (eight hundred and ninety-seven million) hits. Certainly, a popular topic. Definitely people are asking about white papers.
White papers generate leads
They provide a trustworthy link between copywriters and potential clients
My third question was;
What Kind of Companies and Organisations Use white Papers?
It was essential for me to identify some of the sectors that use white papers. Here are a few:
Business services - finance, insurance companies, human resource companies
Manufacturers - electrical manufacturers, electronic manufacturers
Non governmental organisations
It’s important to note that writing white papers requires a specific set of skills, in addition to persuasive writing, such as
Ample research skills
The ability to meet challenging deadlines
The ability to explain issues plainly and professionally.
There’s a lot more information out there, should you wish to explore. I recommend having a look at That White Paper Guy’s site.
Patricia Mezu is the founder of Content With Words, content writers who deliver valuable content that transforms their clients businesses.