This page is designed to help you learn more about white papers.

What is a white paper? (top)
A white paper is a persuasive document that usually describes problems and how to solve them. The white paper is a crossbreed of a magazine article and a brochure. It takes the objective and educational approach of an article and weaves in persuasive corporate messages typically found in brochures.
White Paper History (top)
The term white paper is an offshoot of the term white book, which is an official publication of a national government. A famous historic white paper is the British White Paper of 1922 (also known as the Churchill White Paper), which addressed political conflict in Palestine. Although white papers have their roots in governmental policy, they have become a common tool used to introduce technology innovations and products. A typical search on the phrase white paper will return millions of results, with many focused on technology-related issues.
How White Papers Are Used (top)

White papers are generally produced for one of three reasons: to generate leads, to demonstrate thought leadership or to help close sales.

  • Lead Generation: Most organizations will leverage their corporate website, online advertising campaigns or white paper syndication networks to generate leads with white papers. Additionally, many direct mail and traditional advertisements use the white paper as a call to action.
  • Thought Leadership: Often, businesses will write white papers on concepts that are theoretical or discuss the future of an industry or technology. Thought leadership papers are typically written to demonstrate forward thinking, to help convince existing customers to stick with a company and to persuade the world to buy in to a future vision. These types of white papers convert nicely into trade publication articles.
  • Close Sales: White papers are often used in the later stages of a sales cycle; as a "leave behind" after a client meeting. While white papers can help close existing prospects, they are most effective for generating pre-sales leads because executives and decision-makers rely on white papers when researching solutions to problems. White papers used to close a sale tend to be more technical and are usually targeted at influencers. However, hybrid papers are also effective sales closers, as they tend to address a combination of business and technical benefits.
White Paper Statistics (top)
For the latest statistics on white papers, be sure to visit our blog statistics category. Here you will learn about how white papers are used by businesses and how they are rated by prospects.
Privacy & Spam Policy | Copyright 2008, WhitePaperSource Publishing