A white paper is meant to educate and persuade. It provides answers and demonstrates that you are the one they need. Here's how to be convincing.
Step 1: Do the due diligence Research the company you approach and understand the features of the product you are recommending, the audience you are addressing, and the outcomes you can project based on reliable data.
TIP: White papers can be used to sell a product, solve a problem, or both.
Step 2: Provide an abstract Define the subject in an abstract at the beginning, identifying it as a technology briefing, planning, implementation or application guide, case study, and so on. Let them know in brief whether this concerns business implications, strategy, industry trend overviews, or issue analyses.
Step 3: Adopt an informal tone Adopt an informal tone but try to avoid acronyms and abbreviations. Show a solid grasp of the impact of their problems and the depth of the technology that they will find immediately useful.
Step 4: Find a balance in amount of detail Strike a balance by being detailed enough to spell out the problem succinctly in two to three paragraphs. Build the solution without burdening people with technical detail that downplays or obfuscates the genuine benefits.
TIP: Educate and inform, without using geek-speak, which may alienate some who only want things spelled out simply.
Step 5: Provide case studies Provide case studies of implementations in the real world that found beneficial and measurable results. To establish credibility, make sure they pertain to the situation and possibilities for the client you are approaching.
Step 6: Revise for clarity and impact Revise for clarity, conciseness, and impact. Show respect for the customer's time and needs.
Step 7: Provide a summary Conclude the white paper with a summary, restating why the product or your solution to a problem is the wisest choice.
FACT: Jay Conrad Levinson is credited with being the father of the unconventional style of marketing known as guerrilla marketing.