Define term white paper

Technically, there are no minimum requirements for whitepapers. Anyone can call anything a whitepaper -- this doesn't mean you should, though. Without some boundaries on what is and what isn't a whitepaper, we risk confusing our audience and losing credibility.


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  • What is a White Paper (in Technology)? - Definition from Techopedia?

So, if whitepapers are so boring, why do marketers create them? Well, they're a great resource for your prospects and sales team, and they help you build credibility and trust with your readers. Also, p eople who choose to download whitepapers often are further into the customer buying cycle. It's been said that case studies, like ebooks, are very different from whitepapers. However, some case studies are long enough that they're best packaged as whitepapers themselves. A case study is essentially the story of a customer's success reaching a goal as a result of their partnership with another party.

This success is best conveyed through certain metrics the customer has agreed to be measured on. And depending on how technical or complex the service is that they received, the more research and detail other potential customers will want to see as they continue their buyer's journey. Therefore, case study-based whitepapers can be a terrific way of demonstrating thought leadership on a dense concept through a real-world example of how this concept helped someone else succeed.

Imagine you work for a company that sells kitchen cleaning equipment to restaurants and you write a whitepaper about the maintenance and inspection of commercial kitchens. That whitepaper is probably chock full of information about legal requirements for exhaust systems, cooking equipment, and cleanliness documentation that could put even the biggest kitchen maintenance enthusiast to sleep if read cover-to-cover.

But it also serves as an incredibly useful reference for restaurant owners who want to know how to maintain their kitchens to pass inspection. Once they know how clean they need to keep their kitchens, they'll likely buy some expensive cleaning equipment from you because they see you as a helpful, detail-oriented, credible source. Many people create whitepapers for this purpose -- a resource that their leads can take with them to become better at their trade. Ideally, the better they become, the more qualified they are to work with the organization that gave them the whitepaper.

Whitepapers have a long history and their uses have continued to change. And sometimes, an ebook is the better way to share your in-depth content online. Find out why. Originally published Mar 14, PM, updated July 12 He mentioned the "" rule of whitepapers, which I thought you would find interes Contact Us. Investors Investor Relations. Subscribe to Our Blog Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news. Thank You! Get HubSpot free.

Marketing 5 min read. Written by Lindsay Kolowich lkolow.

What Is a Whitepaper? [FAQs]

What Is a Whitepaper? What Is a Whitepaper Not? A product pitch. How Do You Make a Whitepaper? Can be upwards of 50 if the topic requires that much detail. Chances are, it won't. Structure: There is usually a title page, table of contents, short executive summary optional but helpful , introduction, several pages educating the reader about the problem, several pages hypothesizing a solution, several pages offering an example of a company that used that solution to achieve results, and a conclusion.

Density: Denser than an ebook. Whitepapers aren't usually easy to skim -- in fact, readers usually need to read them over more than once to get every morsel of information out of it.

Format: PDF in portrait orientation 8. Style: Professional, serious, well written, and well edited. I'd recommend hiring a graphic designer to design page layout, images, fonts, and colors as well. Whitepaper Examples for Lead Generation So, if whitepapers are so boring, why do marketers create them? With that in mind, here are two use cases for a whitepaper: A Technical Case Study It's been said that case studies, like ebooks, are very different from whitepapers. A Reference Guide Imagine you work for a company that sells kitchen cleaning equipment to restaurants and you write a whitepaper about the maintenance and inspection of commercial kitchens.

Topics: Content Types.

Healthcare Engineering Defined: A White Paper

The document should provide a complete investigation including external research and internal knowledge. White papers should identify and address a particular problem. The problem should be relevant and timely in your field.


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The document may focus on issues such as common dilemmas, new trends, changing techniques, industry comparison, etc. The white paper must have a proposed solution or recommendation to answer the problem. This solution is based on a thorough examination of the problem and potential solutions. The selected topic must be comprehensively researched. Pull information from online references, industry resources, and internal documents. White papers are data-focused, so they should be supported by significant research. Of course, all resources must come from authoritative sites.

In order to write a valuable document, all research materials must be from credible, reliable sources. Are there white papers covering your topic or area already? Read them to determine the knowledge gaps and the opportunities to build on existing content. This review will also ensure that your white paper is novel instead of redundant.

It can be overwhelming to keep track of the many sources, ideas, and content involved in preparing a white paper. A helpful organizational tool is the mind-map. A mind-map allows the writer to catalog and connect the many different pieces into one visual overview. We suggest using the free tool FreeMind to organize your content. White papers generally follow a standard document format.

The content order may seem similar to other business reports, but there is one major difference:. Many business communications, such as technical reports or proposals, place the main conclusion at the beginning of the document. This order responds to the desires of the reader and their preference in receiving the information.

In a white paper, the content and research informs the reader and increases their understanding of the problem throughout the document. The major findings follow suit. And no matter the journey, the document must be easy to understand and include informative headings for easy navigation. A good title is essential. It should clearly indicate what the reader will learn from the white paper. It should also be enticing. Some audiences are seeking that authoritative indicator.

Other readers may be scared off from valuable content because of the term.

white paper

As always, think of what your audience would prefer. It allows the reader to ensure they have found a document relevant to their needs. The problem statement specifies the issue the white paper will address. This section provides the background information required for the audience to grasp the problem and, ultimately, the solution. The content may be detailed and technical or broad and high-level. The content depends on the reader and the problem. Based on the preceding information, the solution is now presented.

It is developed and argued for using the gathered evidence and the expertise of the author and their company.

What Is A White Paper? - Brian Boys, author of "How To Write A White Paper In One Day"

Recommendations based on the solution are provided. All sources used to develop the white paper must be collected and cited in this section. It adds validity to the document.


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  5. It also gives the reader content for further research. Writing a good white paper is not a simple task.

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    And, a good white paper increases business opportunities. Business Writing Info Blog. A business writing blog offering tips and expert advice to improve your business writing skills.