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Content is still the boss and what is the most helpful for creating successful marketing. But you cannot ignore how you package your white paper content. And that is where it's easy to miss the mark. Use the following tips to help increase the conversions your white papers produce.
Every once in a while you are going to have to tell your clients about the obvious trend in the less than traditional papers. The exception here are the scientific white papers because trends carry less weight with them. Flexibility is key here, as is finding the best middle ground. You need to make it a priority to help your clients and buyers understand just how severely pressured most business execs are when it comes to the amount of time they have. You can still come up with fantastic content that helps people easily assimilate knowledge. You will be hard-pressed to find a person who only wants white paper in a printed format. People want to have the PDF format because it is so easy to download and use. But you will be expected to make a visual masterpiece of the PDF you deliver to your client. Not only do you have to do the writing, but there are solid graphic and design skills that must be used. Most white papers that are successful are very busy when you look at them.
Typically today's white papers, sadly enough, are little more than highly elaborate sales copy. No, you cannot simply write a long formatted sales letter and say that it is a white paper. But you will be expected to have copy elements in your white papers if you want to write white papers and sell them.
Lead generation has crept into the function of the medium which implies marketing as well as above-average levels of information. There was a time when including a call to action in a white paper was unheard of but not anymore. The only way to know if these changes are good is to give it time. That's because the people who get white papers want pure information not mere sales devices.
You are going to need to have some basic design skills if you are a sole practitioner and are writing white papers for clients. In addition to design skills, you'll need the appropriate software for manipulating graphics. But there are free programs, like GIMP, that will do the trick for you.