What is a Whitepaper? (30+ Examples)

Let’s first agree on the three critical facts about whitepaper in 2023:

  • White papers = Content marketing. They show expertise. They generate leads.
  • ChatGPT or AI cannot write or design expert-level white papers for your product.
  • White paper IS NOT a blog.

It takes time and effort to write a white paper based on research, interviews, and proof of concept. And don’t forget that once a white paper has been created, its content can be re-purposed / re-used in many ways.

E.g., newsletter, blog, image posts for social media, webinar, podcast, etc. And because of the Hi-RoI potential, every B2B marketer has some common questions before they start creating a white paper –

  • How do I start writing a white paper?
  • What format should I follow? Am I missing any element?
  • What can I do to ensure my white paper stands out from my competitors?

And most importantly, is there a ready checklist that I can follow?

To answer these questions, I have studied 88+ white papers. I curated the common and uncommon elements and prepared a checklist. I extracted examples from these white papers. This way you get ONE all-in-one resource to help you in your journey of writing a white paper. Let’s begin.

Contents

What are the Different Types of White Paper?

Whitepapers come in various forms. It’s important to understand the difference between them. For example, a technical whitepaper may appeal more to a technically savvy audience, while a business benefits whitepaper might be more useful for decision-makers who need to understand the value proposition of a product, service, or policy.

The different types of white paper are –

  1. Backgrounders
  2. Numbered Lists
  3. Problem/Solution

Here are some examples to understand better.

1. Backgrounders

These serve as in-depth documents that provide an understanding of a product, service, or technology.

Source: Box

Purpose:

They aim to educate the audience about a specific product or technology. Usually, they support a product launch or major upgrade.

Content:

They focus on the technical aspects, the mechanism of action, and key benefits. They are generally more detailed than a typical brochure or product page on a website.

Wanna know how a white paper is different from a brochure? It’s coming up later in this blog.

Example:

The backgrounder white paper of an innovative cloud-based CRM solution could cover the technological framework, unique features, and potential impact on business operations.

2. Numbered Lists

Numbered list white papers are an easily digestible format that presents information as a set of tips, points, or steps.

Source: Rapid7
Source: Medallia

Purpose:

They are designed to offer value and simplicity. They often highlight a collection of ideas or best practices around a specific topic.

Content:

They contain distinct, easy-to-understand sections. Each of them delivers a standalone insight. This makes the white papers skimmable yet informative.

Example:

A whitepaper on “10 Strategies to Improve Your Social Media Engagement” could list and elaborate on the different techniques.

3. Problem/Solution White Papers

These whitepapers highlight a particular industry challenge and propose a solution. They typically promote the brand’s product or service.

Source: revVanab3

Purpose:

These white papers help establish your brand as a thought leader. They demonstrate an understanding of your audience’s pain points and offer effective solutions to them.

Content:

They begin by detailing a common problem or challenge in the industry, followed by a solution. Often these white papers are substantiated with case studies, research data, or testimonials.

Example:

A whitepaper titled “Addressing Cybersecurity Threats in Financial Services” might outline the growing risk of cyberattacks in the sector and propose solutions. It will possibly involve the company’s cybersecurity software.

Quick Tip:

A simple yet effective strategy to create this type of white paper is answering these five questions –

1. What's Wrong?
Let's find out the main problem or good chance you're dealing with.
2. Is The Problem Real?
We'll give you numbers and facts that show your problem is real.
3. More Problems?
Most of the time, there's more than one problem. We'll talk about those too.
4. Easy Fixes
We'll chat about some simple ways you might solve your problem.
5. How our “Fix” is better?
Now, we'll explain why our answer to your problem is the best one for you.

Before you start creating a white paper, identify your IDEAL READER

It’s important that you are able to “speak” directly to your ideal target audience with your white paper. Therefore, your first step should be to clearly identify your ideal reader. Here’s how:

1. Identify the Company Type

Start by pinpointing your target company’s characteristics. Think about company size, the industry they’re in, and sometimes even their location. These factors can significantly influence the issues they face and the solutions they’re seeking.

2. Understand the Demographics

Next, get a feel for the people you’re targeting. Look at their education, age, and job position. Are you aiming for young professionals or seasoned executives? This will help you tailor your language and content appropriately. E.g., professionals in the fintech industry aged 30-45 and holding VP positions and above.

3. Get into Their Heads with Psychographics

It’s important to understand your readers’ mindset. What are their interests and experiences? What worries them? By drawing on these emotions and experiences, your white paper can resonate more deeply.

4. Consider the Technographic

Lastly, consider how your readers will access your content. Are they more likely to read your white paper on a desktop at the office, or a tablet during their commute? This could influence how you structure your content and how in-depth you go.

This is the “homework” one needs to complete before starting to write the white paper. This targeted approach improves the effectiveness of your content and increases your chances of truly engaging your audience.

Now, let’s understand the components of a white paper.

HOW TO CREATE WHITEBOARD EXPLAINER VIDEOS?

Click here to learn more.

What are the Various Components of a White Paper?

The components of a white paper include –

  1. “State of Industry” Reports
  2. Industry Trends
  3. “State of the Target-Market” Report
  4. Best Practices
  5. Proof of Concept (PoC)

1. State of Industry Reports

These detailed reports display the current state of a particular industry. They provide a snapshot of the industry’s health, trajectory, and potential challenges.

Source: Proofpoint

How to write about the state of an industry in a white paper?

Step 1: Research

A whitepaper is accepted depending on the accuracy and relevance of the data. So, collect all relevant data, including industry reports, market research, financial statements of key players, and news articles.

Step 2: Organize & Cluster

Organize the collected information into the section. Each section should have a clear focus and flow logically from one point to the next.

Step 3: Analyze

Don’t just present the facts; go through them. Explain what they mean for your audience and how they might affect the industry’s future.

Step 4: Write

Write in a clear, concise manner. Ensure the language is accessible to the audience. Use charts and diagrams to clarify the points.

Step 5: Edit and Proofread

Review your whitepaper for any errors or grammatical mistakes.

Example:

For the renewable energy sector, the report may look into into current investments, new technologies, policy changes, environmental impacts, and so on.

2. Industry Trends

Staying up to date with trends, and exploring and analyzing them is an important component of the industry. Communicating effectively is another crucial aspect of it.

Source: Atlassian

Why Industry Trends Matter?

They provide valuable insights into the direction and potential developments within a specific market. They help businesses stay relevant, anticipate changes, and make informed decisions. By incorporating industry trends into your white papers, you are established as a trusted resource and guide for your audience.

How to write about the industry trends in a white paper?

Step 1: Research

Conduct thorough research. Use reputable sources like market reports, industry studies, and expert analysis to identify current and emerging trends.

Step 2: Select Relevant Trends

Choose trends that align with your target audience’s interests. They should relate to your product or service offerings as well.

Step 3: Provide Data and Examples

Use simple language to present your analysis clearly that resonates with your target audience. Use quantitative data, charts, and figures from credible sources to support your analysis. Use specific examples to illustrate the impact and application of each trend.

Step 4: Discuss Implications

Analyze the implications of each trend on the industry, market players, and consumers. Point out the opportunities and challenges they present.

Step 5: Offer Recommendations

Provide actionable recommendations for businesses to leverage the identified trends. Explain the effects of it and address emerging consumer needs.

Example:

Trends might include AI advancements, cybersecurity measures, and changes in data privacy laws in the IT industry.

3. State of the Target Market Report

This component focuses on estimating the size and value of a specific market, detailing its characteristics, needs, and behaviors. It helps businesses understand the potential scope and opportunities within their target market.

Source: ARK Invest

How to write about the state of the target market in a white paper?

Step 1: Research

Gather relevant data on market size and potential revenue opportunities from reliable sources.

Step 2: Define and Clarify

Clearly define the market segment and the product or service being analyzed.

Step 3: Present Data

Present your findings in clear, simple language, and avoid technical terms. Make it visually appealing by using charts, graphs, and figures.

Step 4: Provide Context

Explain the significance of industry trends, competition, and potential growth opportunities. Highlight how these elements predict future trends.

Step 5: Discuss the Results

Review the results for businesses operating in the target market. Highlight the opportunities and challenges they present.

Step 6: Present Guidelines

Provide guidelines for businesses to capitalize on the report. Explain how businesses can position themselves to get a significant market share.

Example:

In the tech industry, you might explore their budget trends, technology preferences, and pain points.

4. Best Practices

These are methodologies or strategies that detail the most effective ways to achieve a goal or solve a problem in your industry. By including this into your whitepapers, you provide actionable insights and guidance to your audience. It helps them navigate the challenges they may encounter.

Source: Recurly

How to write about the best practices related to your product or industry in a white paper?

Step 1: Identify the Focus Area

Determine the specific aspect you want to highlight in the whitepaper. For example, the focus can be on data management, customer segmentation, or sales pipeline optimization. It can be about a product, service, process or technical concept.

Step 2: Conduct In-depth Research

Gather insights from reputable and reliable sources such as industry reports, case studies, and expert opinions. Explore and analyze how businesses have implemented best practices and achieved desirable results.

Step 3: Curate Relevant Best Practices

Review the gathered information and select the best practices that line up with your target audience’s needs and goals. Describe the practices in detail and explain why they are considered “best.”

Step 4: Present in a Simple Way

Improve clarity of the best practices by presenting them in a short, simple format. Break them down into bullet points or numbered lists.

Example:

Best practices in content marketing may involve SEO strategies, content diversification, or user engagement techniques.

5. Proof of Concept

A proof of concept (PoC) is a demonstration or experiment. It validates the feasibility and potential value of the product or solution in solving a particular problem.

In the case of a white paper, it portrays how the product or solution focuses on a specific business challenge or delivers desired outcomes. It allows the audience to understand the practical benefits of your offered solution.

Source: HashiCorp

How to write a Proof-of-Concept in a white paper?

Step 1: Define the Problem

Specify the business challenge or pain point that your solution addresses. Highlight the importance and relevance of solving this problem.

Step 2: Present the generic solution AND your specific (better) solution

Introduce the concept of your solution. Outline its key features, capabilities, and value proposition. Explain how it solves the problem. Showcase how your solution is more effective. Stand out.

Step 3: Outline the Technical Framework

Provide an overview of the technical framework of the solution. Describe the technologies, infrastructure, or methodologies that enable it.

Step 4: Illustrate with Realistic Demonstration or Results from a Certified Test

Avoid overhyping or overselling your solution. Focus on providing a realistic demonstration of the Proof of Concept. This ensures that the audience can relate to the demonstration without setting unrealistic expectations.

Outline a real-life scenario where your product/solution was implemented to solve a problem. Include relevant data, testimonials, or case studies to further support the effectiveness of your solution.

By incorporating a Proof of Concept in the white paper, you the product’s/service’s capabilities and its potential to address the specific challenges. This helps build trust, credibility, and confidence in your offering.

Example:

Proof of Concept in an AI-powered customer service solution could display how it reduced response time and improved customer satisfaction in a client’s business.

THE COMPLETE WHITE PAPER CHECKLIST (WITH EXAMPLES)

1. Presentation Format

The presentation format refers to the orientation (landscape or portrait). The format can be horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait). The choice depends on factors like content, audience, and visual preferences. Additionally, custom formats offer creative alternatives for a more customized presentation.

Portrait –

Source: CrowdStrike
Source: Indeed

Landscape –

Source: CloudShare
Source: Box

Book –

Source: Office Depot
Source: OAG

2. Table of Content (TOC) or Outline

Subheadings –

Subheadings in an outline or table of contents (TOC) help organize information. They act as labels to show what each section is about. Subheadings help you browse and find specific parts of a document. You can easily skim through and locate the information you need. Page numbers are an added bonus.

Source: Okta
Source: ARK Invest

Hyperlinked Table of Content –

A Hyperlinked Table of Contents is a clickable list of topics or sections within a document. It eliminates the hassle of scrolling and guessing where the desired content might be. Hyperlinked outlines allow readers to jump directly to a specific part with just a click.

Source: Kissflow
Source: Rapid7

Visual Outline or Table of Content –

A visual outline or table of contents (TOC) pairs each section with a dedicated picture or visual element. With a quick glance, you can grasp the main theme or concept of each section. The eye-catching visuals make it more memorable. This visual approach enhances overall readability and engagement.

Source: Ion Interactive

3. One-Page Executive Summary

The aim of this section is to get attention and answer the most important question of any reader – “What’s in it for me?”

Including an Executive Summary not only shows respect for your reader’s time but also increases the chances of your whitepaper being read, understood, and acted upon. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your content; it’s short, concise, and compelling. The one-page limit forces you to present your primary findings, recommendations, and insights in a distilled form without going into too much detail.

4. Layout

2-column layout –

A two-column layout is a design format that divides a page into two vertical columns. It creates a balanced and organized structure for presenting information. The content is split into two parallel columns. This layout is commonly used in magazines, newspapers, and websites.

Source: Forrester
Source: Workday

Visuals and Text –

Source: CloudShare
Source: Zuora

3-column layout –

A three-column layout is a design arrangement that divides a page into three vertical columns. It provides a structured framework for presenting content. It offers a balanced distribution of information and allows readers to easily compare and navigate through different sections. It is commonly used in newspapers, magazines, and websites.

  • Text, Text, and Text –
Source: Office Depot
Source: Box
  • Visuals, Text, and Text –
Source: Pluralsight

5. Bullet Points/Pointers

Bullet points, also known as pointers, are short and to-the-point information. They are used to highlight key ideas or elements without any extra words. They’re perfect for quick scanning and absorbing essential details. Often represented by small dots or other symbols, they are widely used in presentations, documents, and articles.

Source: Recurly
Source: Recurly

6. Checklists

A checklist outlines the necessary steps or items that need to be addressed. It ensures that important tasks are completed and nothing is overlooked. It helps you stay organized, track your progress, and ensure that all essential actions are taken. This approach helps with efficiency, minimizes errors, and maintains consistency in completing tasks.

Source: Warehousing White Paper Checklist by International Union of Marine Insurance

7. Brand Guideline

Brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards for a brand’s visual and verbal expression. They ensure that the brand’s logo, colors, typography, and other visual elements are used consistently and accurately. By following these guidelines, the brand can maintain a cohesive, professional, and trustworthy presence.

Source: Okta
Source: CrowdStrike

8. Plain Text

The plain text refers to the simplest form of written information. It focuses solely on words, without any visual elements such as images, colors, or formatting. It is the go-to format for sharing content in its raw and straightforward form. These types of white papers are often seen as “nerdy” or academic in nature.

Source: Zoho
Source: SD Times

9. Watermark

A watermark is a faint, transparent, or semi-transparent design or text, overlaid on a document or image. They act as proof of ownership or protection against unauthorized use. They can be logos, text, or patterns, placed in a way that does not obstruct the main content.

Source: CrowdStrike

10. Background patterns

A background pattern is a repeating design or motif in the background of a document, image, or webpage. It adds visual interest and increases the overall aesthetic appeal.

Background patterns can be simple or intricate, featuring lines, dots, geometric shapes, or other graphical elements. They are commonly used in graphic design, web design, and digital art to elevate the composition.

Source: MongoDB

11. Highlight Key Datapoints

Highlighting data means emphasizing or drawing attention to specific information. It involves bolding, coloring, underlining, or italicizing to make the selected information stand out from the rest. It improves readability, making it easier to understand and analyze the information.

Source: Lineup
Source: Qualtrics
Source: McKinsey

12. Customer Success Stories

Customer success stories show how customers have benefited from using a product or service. They provide real-life examples of solving a problem, improving business, or achieving success. They are typically shared through case studies, testimonials, or written narratives.

Source: UiPath

13. Customer Quotes

Customer quotes are direct statements or testimonials about a product or service. These quotes are genuine and unedited. They reflect the thoughts and feelings of customers with firsthand experience. It allows potential customers to connect with the experience and businesses can build trust and credibility.

Source: IntelligenceBank

14. Industry Expert quote

An industry expert quote is a valuable addition to any content piece. It provides credibility and insights from someone well-versed in a specific field. It can helps to refine the overall quality and trustworthiness of the work.

Source: Didomi io

15. Results achieved

Results achieved refer to the outcomes or accomplishments that come from using a product or service. It can include factors such as increased sales, improved efficiency, cost savings, enhanced productivity, or any positive impact on a business or individual.

Businesses can illustrate concrete benefits and positive impacts of their product or service by sharing the results achieved by customers.

Source: Proofpoint

16. Icons & Visuals

Icons are easily recognizable images that serve as small, visual symbols. Each of them carries a specific meaning or function. They make information easily accessible and understandable. Icons are widely used in digital interfaces, signage, websites, and applications.

Source: Atlassian
Source: Atlassian

17. Illustrations

Illustrations are visual storytellers. They are used to provide visual interest or depict something. They can be simple or intricate, created digitally or by hand. They are commonly used in books, articles, presentations, and websites to attract and engage readers.

Source: Atlassian
Source: Kissflow

18. Product Screenshots

Product screenshots capture a product’s user interface or functionality. They highlight specific features, interactions, or design elements of software, websites, or digital products. They serve as visual references for potential customers.

Source: Box
Source: IntelligenceBank

19. General Research Statistics

General research statistics refer to numerical data and findings derived from studies and analysis. They reveal trends, distributions, and connections within a research field. They guide researchers in drawing meaningful conclusions and making informed decisions.

Source: CloudShare
Source: ARK Invest

20. Survey Results

A survey is a research method to gather information, opinions, or feedback on specific topics. It involves collecting data by asking a set of specific questions to a group of people. They can be conducted online, over the phone, or through traditional paper forms.

Source: Ion Interactive
Source: Atlassian

21. Integrations with Other Apps

Integrations with other apps refer to a software or platform connecting and working seamlessly with other applications or systems. It allows seamless communication and collaboration between applications, allowing for data sharing and synchronization. It enables users can access new features, automate processes, and create a more interconnected and efficient ecosystem.

22. Compliance Certification (such as ISO 9001)

Compliance certification is the official recognition of meeting specific standards or requirements. It involves undergoing assessments or audits conducted by authorized bodies. It assures stakeholders that the entity operates according to the established norms, follows industry best practices, and upholds the necessary quality or security standards.

Source: Zscaler
Source: Smartsheet

23. Badges

Badges are visual symbols that represent achievements, affiliations, or accomplishments. They can be in the form of small icons, logos, or emblems. They’re used to show specific skills, qualifications, or memberships. Badges are commonly seen on websites, social media profiles, or digital platforms.

Source: Trigent
Source: Box

24. Establishing Authority

Establishing authority involves highlighting credentials, qualifications, and experience. It helps in gaining the trust and credibility of the target audience.

Social Proof using Logos –

Social proof using logos is like a seal of authority. It involves showcasing the logos of respected brands, industry leaders, or prestigious organizations. It demonstrates that the entity has been recognized and endorsed by respected sources.

Source: Okta

Signatures (Author/ CEO) –

Signatures bring a personal touch and a sense of authenticity to a document. It illustrates the direct involvement and reinforces the entity’s expertise, credibility, and accountability for the presented information.

Source: Office Depot

Social Proof with Reviews –

Social proof using reviews involves adding testimonials and positive feedback from customers or clients or review professionals. By including reviews in a document, the entity displays real-life experiences. It helps build trust and credibility.

Source: Ion Interactive

25. Data Visualisation

Data visualization is the process of representing data through visual elements. It uses charts, graphs, or maps, for better understanding and analysis.

Timeline –

A timeline is a visual tool that shows the chronological order of events or milestones. It generally uses a horizontal line or axis to represent time, with dates or periods marked along it. Timelines make it easy to understand the sequence of historical events, project progress, or story development.

Flowcharts –

A flowchart is a visual diagram that shows the steps, decisions, or processes in a logical sequence. It uses different shapes, symbols, and arrows to illustrate the flow of information or actions. They’re used to map out workflows, algorithms, or decision-making processes.

Source: HashiCorp
Source: HashiCorp

Vertical Bar Charts –

Vertical bar charts, also known as column charts, are visual representations of data. They use vertical bars to emphasize information across different categories. Each bar represents a variable, and the height indicates the quantity or value associated with it. They make it easy to identify patterns, trends, or comparisons within the data.

Source: ARK Invest
Source: revVana

Horizontal Bar Charts –

Horizontal bar charts are visual representations that display data using horizontal bars. Each bar represents a variable, and its length indicates the quantity or value associated with it. The visual depiction enables viewers to quickly spot patterns, trends, or comparisons within the information.

Source: ARK Invest
Source: Kissflow

Pie Charts –

Pie charts are circular representations that divide data into slices or segments. Each slice represents a proportion or percentage of the whole. They display the distribution or composition of a dataset. Pie charts ensure easy visual comparison and let us identify the larger and smaller segments of the data.

Source: Ion Interactive
Source: revVana

Comparative charts –

Comparative charts allow the comparison of multiple data points or categories. They come in various forms, such as bar charts, line charts, scatter plots, etc. They are used to highlight similarities, differences, or trends between different datasets or variables.

Source: Zuora

Line Graph –

A line graph displays data using a series of points connected by straight lines. It shows the relationship between two variables or sets of data, typically over a continuous period of time. They’re great for showing trends, patterns, or changes in data over time.

Source: ARK Invest
Source: Qualtrics

Comparative Tables –

Comparative tables show side-by-side comparisons of different elements, characteristics, or data points. They present information in a tabular format, typically with rows and columns. They make identifying similarities, differences, patterns, or correlations easy.

Source: Coupa
Source: Forrester

26. Cover Page

A cover page is the first page of a document or publication. It serves as a visual introduction that contains the title, subtitle, author’s name, and other relevant information.

Magazine Styled Highlights –

Magazine-styled highlights on cover pages are visually appealing. They show the key features or highlights using eye-catching images, bold headlines, and intriguing snippets of content. Such cover pages serve as a preview of the articles or topics featured inside.

Source: Office Depot
Source: OAG

Generic Stock Images as background –

Generic stock images used as backgrounds are commonly chosen visuals for cover pages. These images are often generic but can suit various themes or topics.

Source: revVana
Source: Ion Interactive

Stock image as an element –

Stock images used as elements on cover pages elevate the design and appeal of the publication. These images are used to complement the main content or theme. They add depth and create a cohesive composition.

Source: UiPath
Source: Lineup

Illustrations –

Illustrations used on cover pages are a unique and artistic approach. These hand-drawn or digitally created visuals are crafted around a specific message, theme, or aesthetic. They add a touch of creativity, personality, and originality to the design.

Source: Atlassian
Source: Kissflow

Graphic Pattern –

Graphic patterns used on cover pages add a sense of style and visual interest to the publication. These patterns can be geometric or abstract themed. They can be created to complement the content. They serve as eye-catching backdrops and make a statement.

Source: MongoDB
Source: HashiCorp

Minimal –

Minimal cover pages follow clean design principles. They typically feature minimal text, uncluttered layouts, and restrained use of color and imagery. They offer a contemporary and understated aesthetic, allowing the content to shine.

Source: Coupa
Source: OAG

With Author’s Photograph –

Such cover pages feature an image of the author, adding a personal touch to the publication. The photograph provides readers with a visual representation of the individual behind the work. It brings authenticity, credibility, and human connection to the cover page.

Source: Zuora

Header –

Cover pages with headers are a minimalistic approach. They feature a bold header with carefully selected fonts, and creative styling to make a visual impact. They offer a clean and direct design approach that sets the tone for the content coming up

Source: Recurly
Source: Smartsheet

27. “About Us” Section

The “About Us” section provides a brief overview of an organization or company. It shares details about their background, mission, values, and notable achievements

Ends with a 1 liner (Best practice: End with “Learn more at x.com“) –

Source: Box
Source: Recurly

Website Hyperlink –

A website hyperlink enables readers to directly access the entity’s website and explore further. They can find additional details, insights, and resources on the website and explore their mission, vision, values, and offerings.

Source: MongoDB
Source: MongoDB

28. Social Profiles

Including social profiles is like an invitation for the reader to join a larger community. It offers readers the opportunity to follow, interact, and stay updated with the latest news, updates, and content.

Source: Medallia
Source: Coupa

29. CTA

A call to action or a CTA prompts the audience to take a specific step. It can be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a guidebook, or requesting more information. They use straightforward language and create a sense of urgency, encouraging the audience to act immediately.

Let’s see examples of some commonly used CTAs used in the whitepapers –

Soft CTA –

Soft CTAs encourage readers to take the desired action without being too pushy. They use friendly language, offer additional information, or provide incentives to encourage engagement. They create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, allowing readers to respond at their own pace.

Source: Kissflow
Source: Zscaler

Links to additional Resources –

Additional resources refer to supplementary materials or sources such as links, books, articles, or videos. They provide further information, support, or examples related to the main content. They offer readers the chance to explore the topic in more depth. It can also refer to what content to consume next.

Source: Okta
Source: Smartsheet

Visit the Website –

“Visit our website” is a direct call to action that invites readers to explore the website. it encourages readers to go to the website and get access to additional insights, articles, products, or services. The aim here is to increase engagement with readers.

Source: Proofpoint
Source: Okta

Schedule a call or a demo –

“Schedule a call or demo” is a proactive call to action. It encourages readers to arrange a conversation or demonstration by clicking on a provided link or contacting directly. The aim here is to provide a personalized experience and address specific requirements.

Source: CloudShare
Source: CrowdStrike

Sign up or Get Started –

“Sign up” or “Get Started” are straightforward and action-oriented. They motivate readers to become part of the community or initiate their experience. The aim is to establish a direct connection and streamline the onboarding process.

Source: Kissflow
Source: Atlassian

Follow Author –

“Follow Author” is an inviting call to action hat encourages readers to follow the author and become a part of their community. This way readers can access exclusive content, participate in discussions or subscribe to the author’s updates, and newsletters, or follow their social media profiles.

  • Full Feature –
Source: Zuora
  • Contributor list –
Source: Lineup

30. Miscl

Check if these elements are relevant to your company or your product while writing a whitepaper –

  • Endnotes/Footnotes,
  • Acknowledgments,
  • Copyright Information,
  • Disclaimers,
  • QR Code

Summary: The White Paper Checklist
Writing a whitepaper is strenuous, time-consuming, and requires meticulous planning. That’s why we’ve created this exhaustive whitepaper checklist, designed to guide you at each step, from inception to publication, ensuring you don’t miss a thing. Think about how much time, effort, and resources you could save by avoiding unnecessary re-work. Bookmark this today!

White Paper Formatting Guidelines – DO’s and DONT’s

Here is a list of some Do’s and Dont’s while writing a white paper –

Writing:

Do’s:

  1. Break the text into digestible chunks; use headers and bullet points where possible.
  2. Maintain a font size that is comfortable to read; 11-12pt is often suitable.
  3. Ensure appropriate line spacing for readability; 1.5 is usually a good choice.
  4. Use short, clear sentences and paragraphs. Aim for two to three sentences per paragraph.
  5. Write a compelling title and make sure the content delivers on its promise.
  6. Use active voice instead of passive voice for stronger writing.

Dont’s:

  1. Avoid walls of text and excessively long sentences.
  2. Don’t use a font size too small that strains the reader’s eyes.
  3. Avoid having wide margins that waste space.
  4. Avoid misleading titles that don’t align with the content.

Infographics:

Do’s:

  1. Accurately visualize data.
  2. Use colors that align with your brand.
  3. Keep the design clean and simple to not overwhelm the reader.

Don’t:

  1. Don’t use incorrect or misleading data visualizations.
  2. Avoid complex designs that are hard to understand.

Table of Contents (TOC):

Do’s:

  1. Include short, clear headings (usually 5 words or less).
  2. Indent subheadings to indicate hierarchy.
  3. Include hyperlinks to corresponding sections for easy navigation.

Don’t:

  1. Avoid skipping the TOC; it’s essential for reader navigation.
  2. Don’t leave out hyperlinks.
  3. Avoid spreading the TOC across multiple pages.

Call To Action (CTA):

Do’s:

  1. Use visual buttons for your CTAs instead of just hyperlinking plain text.
  2. Qualify readers; your CTA should be relevant to the target audience.
  3. Tailor your CTA based on the marketing funnel stage the whitepaper targets.
  4. Keep a single, specific, actionable CTA.

Don’t:

  1. Avoid missing CTAs; they are vital for leading the reader to the next step.
  2. Don’t use generic or unqualified CTAs.
  3. Avoid multiple CTAs that can confuse the reader.

About Us:

Do’s:

  1. Include social proof (testimonials, case studies, client logos, etc.).
  2. Provide links to your website and relevant social media platforms.

Don’t:

  1. Avoid missing the About Us section; it’s an opportunity to build trust and credibility.
  2. Don’t hyperlink videos; instead, guide readers to the platform where the video is hosted.

Cover Page:

Do’s:

  1. Ensure the subheading clearly indicates who the whitepaper is for.
  2. Customize the unfurl image dimensions for different platform sharing.
  3. Include your company logo at the top.
  4. Ensure there’s a contrast between the background and the title.
  5. Include the publishing date.

Don’t:

  1. Avoid placing the logo at the bottom of the page.
  2. Don’t make the logo too big or too small; it should be in balance with the title font size.
  3. Avoid a lack of contrast between the background and the title.
  4. Don’t forget to mention the publishing date.

Design:

Do’s:

  1. Use consistent branding throughout the whitepaper (colors, fonts, logos).
  2. Use high-quality images and graphics.
  3. Include page numbers for easy navigation.

Don’t:

  1. Avoid cluttered design; white space is essential for readability.
  2. Don’t use pixelated or low-quality images.

Proofreading:

Do’s:

  1. Proofread the whitepaper for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
  2. Make sure all facts and figures are accurate.

Don’t:

  1. Don’t rush the proofreading process; it’s essential for maintaining a professional image.

20+ White Paper Examples (curated)

We handpicked and curated inspiring white paper samples from a variety of companies in different software and tech businesses. Each of the examples showcases unique strategies and styles. Have a look before you start writing a white paper –

Conclusion

We’ve had the chance to understand white papers in depth. I hope the exhaustive checklist, best practices, and real-life examples we provided, help you to write the best white paper for your product, service, and company.

Remember: focus on the value you provide, keep your audience at the core, and let authenticity lead the way. Show and Tell.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A white paper is a long document or report. It provides in-depth information that helps people understand a complex issue, or explains a certain approach or solution to a problem. It’s usually quite detailed and professional in tone.

It’s mainly used in the business and governmental sectors to provide guidance, share knowledge, propose strategies and solutions.

Ideally, white papers should be 6 to 8 pages long.

To pick a good white paper topic, consider what is relevant to your audience. The topic should address a real problem or question they have, and something you have valuable knowledge or unique insight on.

Yes, visuals can be a great addition to a white paper. They help to simplify complex concepts and make them easier to understand.

You might consider using things like data visualization (graphs, charts, tables, or diagrams), infographics etc.

You can share it on your company’s website, distribute it through email newsletters, or promote it on social media platforms. You might also consider partnering with other organizations or influencers in your field to broaden its reach.

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