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Yesterday’s Nerdy White Paper Becomes Today’s Top Marketing Weapon

The white paper – what began as a wordy, complicated, techie document has become the cool, neat catalyst for generating insatiable demand, and freelance writers are cashing in with corporate content in 2009. And when a Google search for “white papers” returns millions of results… that means somebody’s got to write them.

Now more than ever, it’s predictable that companies will need to carefully scrutinize more information before making buying decisions, and freelance wordsmiths can expect more demand for their sought-after skill.

Today’s white paper is a conversational 3,000- to 5,000-word document, with a succinct educational focus on how clients can solve specific problems–served up with a pinch of persuasiveness.

“White papers are today’s marketing super weapons,” says Michael Stelzner, author of the best-selling book Writing White Papers. Stelzner cites a number of reasons why clients love marketing white papers: Read more

Making a Statement with White Papers

In a recent forum, someone asked the question, what are white papers? This was my response.

White papers are a form of marketing communication that fill a gap that most other formats cannot. They are unique because they provide valuable information that is more solution oriented, rather than branding-driven as in an ad or a brochure.

A well-written white paper is a powerful marketing tool that can influence the buying decision by demonstrating how implementing a solution satisfies a business need. They are especially helpful in situations where the sales cycle is long and/or complex. When used effectively, white papers can generate high-quality leads.

Don’t make your white papers self-serving by focusing only on your products and/or services. Instead, talk about the problem that is of interest to your readers and then lead them to the solution. If possible, reference and quote third-party sources to bolster your case. Then conclude by saying how your company offers such a solution. Case studies and/or real-world examples are very effective in establishing your credibility and showing how you have truly solved the problem.

Keep it short and to the point, typically white papers are no more than 8 to 10 pages long. Have a copywriter/editor proofread your material before publishing. Get it reviewed by an outsider to get an unbiased opinion. Read more