Images as Bricks, Text as Mortar – A New Model for White Papers?

White papers are meant to persuade and inform. What if you did all of your persuading with images and all of your informing with text? Last week a freelance writer turning her attention to the world of white papers asked: How important are graphics and diagrams to a white paper? I’m not very good at […]

Before You Start Your White Paper Project, Ask These Questions (Part 4 of 4)

This is part 4 of a series on your internal preparation for a white paper project. Fourth: Who is going to write the white paper? Once you have decided on the message you want your paper to convey, fleshed out your ideal reader, and determined your paper’s call to action, it’s time to find someone […]

Before You Start Your White Paper Project, Ask These Questions (Part 3 of 4)

This is part 3 of a series on your internal preparation for a white paper project. Third: What is your paper’s call to action? A good white paper is like a diving board. You promote and preface it so that your ideal readers see the benefit in getting onto it. You inform AND persuade, so […]

Before You Start Your White Paper Project, Ask These Questions (Part 2 of 4)

This is part 2 of a series on your internal preparation for a white paper project. Second: Who is the ideal reader for this white paper? Get ready to dissect the persona. Too many companies underestimate the importance of this step in the white paper process—determining the ideal reader. When this step is skipped, the […]

Before You Start Your White Paper Project, Ask These Questions (Part 1 of 4)

This post is part 1 of a series on the homework you need to do before you start on a white paper project for your organization. First: What message do we want to convey? Have you ever painted anything: a door, a bedroom, a house? Did you keep track of your time? Did you notice […]

Hey, Can I Get Research with That White Paper?

A white paper without research is not much of a white paper. But how much research do you want in yours? What kind of research? Be sure your writer understands what you have in mind. If your task is to create a white paper that: puts your company and technology in a particular quadrant surveys […]

Write Your White Paper the Way Perry Mason Would

In every organization there are competing forces shaping your content. Beware of trying to make too many of them happy at the same time. I can’t stand “The Good Wife.” There’s too much skulduggery and backstabbing, but what’s worse is that there are always about four different plots and subplots competing for my attention span. […]

“I Can’t See Myself in Your White Paper” – 2 Quick Fixes

Your readers need to see themselves in the marketing content you publish. Otherwise, you’re a marketing manager just writing to hear yourself shout. You know those year-end letters you receive around the holidays from your friends and family members? The ones filled with all the valuable content and important details that pop into your Uncle […]

B2B White Paper Interviews – 7 Questions (Part 2)

Subject matter experts (SMEs) have the story in their heads. White papers help make that story readable, and these questions help build the paper. Continuing from the previous post on interviews and how to write them up into a white paper, here are 4 more customer interview questions for generating the information readers want to […]

B2B White Paper Interviews – 7 Questions (Part 1)

Subject matter experts (SMEs) have the story in their heads. White papers make that story readable, and customer interview questions help build the paper. “We want you to interview our SME, then write up the result into a paper we can use in our content marketing effort,” you say to the marketing communications writer. Sounds […]