ReadyTalk

Meet with Confidence

White papers

Posted by Mike McKinnon on
Share this Post:

thumbnail1.jpgEver read a white paper and said to yourself: "I could have written this." I read a whitepaper the other day that was so general that I learned nothing. Unfortunately, from my experience, this has been the majority of white papers I read.

The problem, I believe, arises when producers of white papers want to entice without giving away too much. After all, if you tell the reader everything, they won't have to hire you. This is a very narrow view of whitepapers. This is compounded by the fact that most white papers are, at their core, a self-serving marketing piece. So, what you end up with is a document that tells the reader nothing they did not already know, and nothing they wanted to know.

I prefer the approach advocated by Michael Stelzner. Take a step back and first decide who your audience is and what they are seeking and then being writing from that perspective. The first step is to frame the problem or issue you believe the customer is trying to solve in coming to your site and downloading your paper. This allows you to immediately connect with the reader and shows that you understand the challenges they face. This is a great place to put any data or facts that you have to give credibility to your position.

Once the problem is framed, give specifics about the solution while keeping any product mentions out of it. You are still educating the reader and after all, if they are reading white papers, they are most likely not at the buying stage yet. Now is the time to establish yourself as a credible and valuable source of industry information.

[tags] Michael Stelzner, white papers, marketing, writing [/tags]
The problem, as I see it, is that white papers talk in generalities because the topics they cover are too broad. Choose a very specific industry problem and hone in on a specific solution for that problem. Keep your topic focused and tight; and keep your paper to no more than eight pages. Remember, you are establishing yourself as an expert; so be an expert.


Name: White Paper Pundit » Blog Archive » Pa
Time: Sunday, March 16, 2008

[...] white papers in an attempt to tease the reader into action? That seems to be the assessment of the ReadyTalk blog that recently [...]

Name: siva
Time: Saturday, October 18, 2008

I don't think so why these people are not ready to accept white paper reading. ------------- siva Business Sales

Comments for White papers

blog comments powered by Disqus

Recent Posts

Cost Analysis of Webinar Leads

 Cost Analysis of Webinar Leads Webinars have gained popularity as a cost effective lead generation tactic in the past couple of years. Depending on your webinar strategy, the...

Webinar Promotion Q&A with Marketing Experts

Your Webinar Questions Answered by HourlyNerd's Dan Slagen and ReadyTalk's Shawn Cardinal On August 19, Dan Slagen, the CMO of HourlyNerd spoke on ReadyTalk’s webinar series about...

Watch your audience go from yawn to yay!

ReadyTalk Hosts Susan Stewart on our Webinar Series Time and time again people eagerly register for webinars, to only drift off from the live event and leave the webcast wondering...

The Cost of Bad Data

Cost of Bad Data Bad data is data that is not perfect – it could be incorrect data, data with missing chunks or data that is delayed. Most businesses do not realize it yet, but bad...

Optimize Your Webinar Spending with the Webinar ROI Calculator

Optimize Your Webinar Spending with the Webinar ROI Calculator As a marketer, you’re probably asked to provide weekly results in order to justify your budget and efforts. Week over...

ReadyTalk Makes Outside Magazine's 2014 list for "Best Places to Work"

The 2014 Outside Magazine “Best Places to Work” winners have been released, and ReadyTalk is happy to announce that we have made this year's list. For the past seven years, Outside...

6 Perspectives On Realistic Goals For New Advocate Marketing Programs (Guest Post)

6 Perspectives On Realistic Goals For New Advocate Marketing Programs If you’re anything like me, you have to set explicit goals for yourself before you can get anything really...

Find the Paths Your Customers Follow (Guest Post)

Find the Paths Your Customers Follow SHINY OBJECTS ARE DISTRACTING ReadyTalk recently invited me to provide a webinar on delivering content for demand generation and customer...

New from ReadyTalk - iPhone App Web Participant

Joining web meetings from your iPhone has never been easier.  Whether you are in the office or on the road, you can now participate in both the audio and web portions of the...