White paper is a term used for a comprehensive and authoritative document that tackles specific issues and serves as a guide for decisionmaking.
The term comes from white book, which is a document released by the government. White papers could be of a political, technical, or commercial nature, and are generally seen as more authoritative than regular advertising. They could also be used in marketing or sales.
White papers created for marketing purposes help in the promotion of the company’s products or services. One type of white paper describes the business benefits of a specific kind of technology, while another type can be more technical in explaining how this technology functions. Hybrid white papers combine both types of information.
In any case, white papers are generally more specific in their descriptions of products and services. A good white paper presents clear, well-written arguments, and is substantiated with the use of specific examples.
The use of white papers can be a very effective strategy. If a recognized expert in the industry presents a paper, this can effectively capture the attention and interest of movers in the business.
The first step in coming up with a white paper is knowing the target audience. It should be able to pinpoint the issues and concerns of its audience, and identify what the solutions are. There are different approaches that may be used when deciding on how to write it, but an effective white paper will more often than not, be focused on developing an affinity with its target audience.