Whitepapers must be authoritative, decision-support documents
Unlike brochures (that are marketing tools) or ebooks (that are topic-oriented content), whitepapers are factual documents that businesses may like to publish from time to time for stakeholders to obtain important information. Whitepapers create a sense of business transparency, credibility, and thought-leadership.
For example, the purpose of a whitepaper could be to promote a certain technology or methodology used by a business and the gains they got from it. The idea behind publishing the whitepaper could be to influence current and prospective customers’ or investors’ decisions.
Many whitepapers are designed for business-to-business (B2B) marketing-support purposes. For instance, a business selling an office product might like to publish a whitepaper solely on the technology used in the product, if they feel that their customers may want to know more about this.
In general, whitepapers are at least 2,500 words in length and are typically written in a document or academic style. They are intended to provide persuasive and factual/technical evidence of an event, a challenge, a process, or an innovation – any achievement of merit that a business feels its stakeholders should know more detail about, to make better decisions.
Below is an example of a whitepaper published by a consultancy offering advice to businesses on solar installations. The whitepaper’s objective is to educate potential customers on the factors that may affect any decision to “go solar” and what to be aware of and beware of. Charts also show the likely cost-effectiveness and profitability expectations that can be set.
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Contents Of This Whitepaper:
- Making the case for going solar in your business
- Understand your corporate goals
- Criteria for solar project viability
- Choices involved in solar projects
- Ownership structure of the project
- Governmental incentives available
- Technology options available
- Vendor selection criteria
- Sealing the deal
- Final considerations
- Facts and figures (charts)