A white paper is a guide, or a report, explaining the features and benefits of a particular physical product, technology, or political initiative. White papers are published online and are powerful tools in the hands of experienced marketers.
Today, white papers are divided into the following categories:
- Political white paper: To explain this or that proposal in an accessible and understandable language, and also convince voters to believe that it is necessary to accept it;
- Technical white paper: To describe a theory, device, and principles of operation of a specific new technology. Blockchain startups often write technical white papers;
- Commodity white paper: To convince a potential consumer of the advantage of the described product over its competitors;
- Hybrid white paper: To perform several functions at once. This is a very common type of document, since the author of a white paper often has many goals at the same time.
Many white papers are written for B2B marketing. For example, to promote a manufacturer among wholesalers or the growing popularity of a wholesaler at retail chains. The white paper is used to convince another company that a certain offer outweighs that of a competitor.
A white paper is different from other marketing materials, although the latter can also perform the function of promotion and sale. The main difference is that a white paper is designed to provide convincing and factual evidence that a particular proposal is best suited to meet the consumer’s problems, while simple advertising materials appeal to emotions. A white paper is usually not less than 2,500 words and it is written in business language.