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Cision Tip Sheet - Writing Compelling White Papers
 

Cision Tip Sheet - Writing Compelling White Papers

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    Cision Tip Sheet - Writing Compelling White Papers Cision Tip Sheet - Writing Compelling White Papers Document Transcript

    • us.cision.com  866.639.5087  Copyright © 4.1.2013 Cision, Inc. All Rights Reserved.ca.cision.com  877.269.3367 332 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60604 1100-150 Ferrand Drive Toronto, ON M3C 3E5 What is a white paper? A white paper is a focused analysis that addresses a problem commonly experienced by a key audience. They provide specific and detailed information on topics that are relevant to a specific industry. Creating a white paper can be a useful content marketing tool for several reasons. A white paper: • helps build your reputation as an expert in your field • provides a means of collecting valuable customer leads if readers are required to complete a form in order to download • increases traffic and inbound links to your website from other sites, leading to improved search engine rankings • increases customer awareness of your brand, making you the first choice when the need for your product or service arises Writing a white paper is different from creating a traditional report or guide. While guides are often presented in a “How-To” format, a white paper instead focuses on solving a problem experienced by a business’ typical customer. 1 BEWARE: A BAD TOPIC can be a death sentence I know, I know, this should be obvious. However, finding the right topic can be challenging. Start by determining who your audience is: who is it that you are trying to reach? Then, find out what they are talking about — what are their concerns? A good place to look for topic ideas is social media outlets like Twitter. People tend to reach out to their social networks when looking for suggestions, tips or general business advice. 2 If you are going to write about it, KNOW ABOUT IT You don’t have to be a guru or expert on a topic to write a white paper. But you should at least know enough on the topic you are writing about that you can comfortably throw out a rough draft with just the information you have stored in your brain. You can then go back and add credibility to your paper, do some research and toss in some facts and statistics around your topic. Tips on writing a compelling white paper Tip Sheet 7 How to create content that won’t be overlooked in a marketplace saturated with white papers, tip sheets and ebooks.
    • us.cision.com  866.639.5087  Copyright © 4.1.2013 Cision, Inc. All Rights Reserved.ca.cision.com  877.269.3367 332 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60604 1100-150 Ferrand Drive Toronto, ON M3C 3E5 3 When to use a WHITE PAPER vs. TIP SHEET? White paper or tip sheet, that is the question? Sometimes it can be unclear if you should be writing a white paper or tip sheet. A tip sheet is what to use when you have a list of guidelines. They provide an instant takeaway for the reader that does not necessarily require reading an overwhelming amount of copy. It’s a quick, easy to read, and to the point. For example Cision recently ran a campaign and released a tip sheet titled, “Press Release SEO: Ten Ways to Rule the Rankings.” A white paper is similiar in nature, but provides a more indepth solution to a problem or scenario. It is typically longer and more formal than a tip sheet. An example of a white paper that Cision recently promoted is, “Best Face Forward: Managing a Winning Social Media Facebook Communications Team.” 4 Speak to your audience and KEEP IT SIMPLE Just because you know a lot about the topic you are writing about, does not mean your readers are as familiar with technical acronyms and processes. Ask an outsider to read your paper and define anything that may be confusing or prompts an internet search. Use short sentences and keep paragraphs brief. To be effective, use a simple format that includes an introduction, a detail of the problem and provide a solution. Keep in mind that a typical white paper is anywhere from 3 to 10 pages long. Because people who normally read white papers are busy professionals, they are looking for guides that are simple and quick to read. This is why you need to simplify the writing and look up meanings for technical words. 5 Back it up with FACTS AND STATS A recent article in BtoB Magazine reviewing an Eccolo Media study found, “White papers remain the most effective piece of marketing collateral, with 86% of respondents finding them moderately to highly influential in the purchasing decision.” Anyone can write about a topic, but you want to be seen as an expert in your field. Facts and statistics validates your reputation as a thought leader and shows the reader you are up-to-date on recent developments, with access to the most current information. Sprinkle facts and stats into your report to increase value of your content and the number of takeaways for the reader. 6 Don’t forget about the small touches and ADD A VISUAL Good writing is the key to white paper success, but don’t overlook the value of a good design to give it that extra edge. The design makes the writing “pop” and draws attention to the content. The goal of the design and the headline is to attract attention and the role of the of the writing is to generate the leads. 7 On your mark, Get set.... MARKET!!! Market your content! So many times companies are creating great content in the form of white papers and simply posting it on their websites and waiting for someone to download it. Pull some interesting facts from your story and use them to promote your message in an email campaign, via your social media channels and write an accompanying blog about it. Engage in Pull Marketing or Inbound Marketing, a promotional strategy that involves getting the customers to come to you. Tip Sheet “White papers remain the most effective piece of marketing collateral, with 86% of respondents finding them moderately to highly influential in the purchasing decision.” -BTB Magazine, Eccolo Media Study