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Whitepaper

  • Brief explanation
  • Detailed explanation
  • Target of a white paper
  • Language, content and form
  • Construction
  • Conclusion

 

White paper: Brief explanation

White papers are spread mostly through the Internet. They are documents that give the reader researched facts and information about a product, a process or a study.

Graphic with White paper headline

What is a white paper? Detailed explanation:

White papers are documents that are mainly given out by companies to describe technical information and data, study results, performance or process operations. Their purpose is to inform readers quickly and accurately and to present theories and concepts to support or disprove. To this end, they are written in a scholarly style. Its scope is limited usually to a few pages. Frequently used forms are:

  • Guide
  • Best Practice/Case Study
  • Information and Data Description
  • Process Description
  • Discussion
  • Study Result
  • Predictions and Hypotheses

Target of a white paper

White papers are used for information but also for PR purposes. The aim is both to explain a (new) fact, a product or process and to inform readers or persuade customers. On the other hand, high quality content, such as white papers helps a company to position itself as an expert in a particular area. They not only increase awareness of the author, by being more widely used in the network, but they can also convince the reader of the know-how and the authenticity of a company and provide new leads.

Comparison of white papers vs Case Studies in Content Marketing

Language, content and form

White papers are preferably used in B2B communication. This means that the readers of white papers are often experts or those who have knowledge of the subject matter. Accordingly, the documents are written in a more upscale, competent, scientific style. In general, white papers are given as PDFs for downloading.

White papers should only exceed a certain length if the length justifies the content. Since they are intended to give quick and clear insight into a complex matter, the documents usually range from two to 15 pages. Due to their goal, clear and and concise information is mandatory. From a linguistic point of view, advertising phrases and exaggerated marketing language are out of place in a white paper. Nevertheless, white papers provide enough space to describe in detail the benefits of a product or a process. The content can be carried out in such detail that it convinces readers of the merits of a product.

Construction

A white paper can be constructed like this:

  • Title, cover page etc.
  • Summary of contents/abstract
  • Mention of a problem/a thesis that applies to prove or disprove it
  • Explanation of the problem/presentation of the facts
  • Solution to the problem (using his own product)/proof or refutation of the thesis
  • Conclusion
  • Annex (business description, “about the author” and contact)

Conclusion

White papers are researched summaries of a product, a process or development. Readers are treated professionally and seriously and serve both the reader as a decision aid or source of information as well as advertising for the author. Companies offer white papers usually as a PDF to download for free in order to increase awareness and show their expertise. White papers are thus often used in content marketing.

 

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