How to Use White Papers in Your Content Strategy

Having trouble understanding how to use white papers in your content strategy? Read this article to know how you can make the most out of the next white paper you'll write and publish on your website now!

In this article:

  1. What Is a White Paper?
  2. What Kind of Content Goes Into a White Paper?
  3. What Shouldn't Go Into a White Paper?
  4. Where Do White Papers Go in a Content Strategy?
  5. How Do I Use White Papers in My Content Strategy?

5 FAQs on How to Use White Papers in Your Content Strategy

1. What Is a White Paper?

A white paper is a type of long-form content about a specific topic. It is persuasive in nature that often either convinces readers to take a stand on an issue or proposes a solution to their problems.

Many official government offices write white papers and, to this day, still do. Nowadays, marketers use white papers to establish their authority over a particular topic online.

2. What Kind of Content Goes Into a White Paper?

White papers are narrowly-focused pieces of content. They tackle one topic and explore the in's and out's of it as thoroughly as possible. Because of this, composing a white paper is often associated with writing an academic essay.

Facts and research-based insights are also among essential content items for white papers. Convincing your audience to take a specific position on an issue requires the use of hard facts backed up by research.

A lot of data and statistics go into a white paper, too. Data not only strengthens the argument you're presenting in a white paper. It also increases your white paper's credibility and authority. 

3. What Shouldn't Go Into a White Paper?

While the goal of a white paper is to convince your readers to take a specific position or provide a solution to their problems, it should not be used to sell your product or service outrightly.

Your white papers should be able to inform and persuade your readers through data and facts, and not with a hard-sell product pitch. Trust us when we say that you're readers know when they're being sold to, and they don't like that.

Use white papers as tools to help your readers get to know more about your industry. When your white papers are authoritative enough, your readers will find their way to you all on their own.

RELATED: What Is a Content Strategy?

4. Where Do White Papers Go in a Content Strategy?

A content marketer's constant struggle with white papers is not knowing which part of a content strategy funnel they should strategically be placed.

Sometimes, marketers put them at the top of the funnel, hoping that the content will be interesting enough to drive web traffic. The problem with this strategy is that white papers hardly go viral. The paper's length alone can quickly turn off a lot of your website's first-time visitors.

Other marketers move white papers towards the end of the content strategy funnel. They use white papers to close sales deals. However, as soon marketers see that the strategy isn't generating enough results, they'll take down the white paper altogether.

So, where in the content strategy funnel should a white paper go?

White papers work best when they are used mid-funnel. During the mid-funnel stage, your readers likely already know about your brand. At this point, they want to know is how established your business is in your industry.

This is precisely what white papers were made to do. Remember, white papers inform your readers about your industry and establish your expertise in it. Sure, a flashy infographic can get visitors your website, but a well-written white paper helps you make your readers stay on the page.

5. How Do I Use White Papers in My Content Strategy?

As mentioned in the previous point, placing white papers in the middle of your content marketing funnel helps make the most out of it. Aside from this, here are other things you can do to maximise content for your next white paper:

  • Include a promotion plan alongside your white paper. Try including an incentive your readers can get when they download and read your white paper. The incentive doesn't have to be monetary! It can be as simple as giving your readers free templates that they can print for themselves.
  • Add an email prompt for every white paper download. Asking your readers to provide their email address right before they download the paper can help you generate leads for your business. You can even ask your readers to subscribe to your mailing list, too!

Knowing how to use white papers in your content strategy is an important skill to hone as a marketer. Publishing well-written white papers often can help you further inform your readers about your industry. Plus, it'll help amp up your brand's credibility and nurture your readers' trust in the long run. Use this article as a source of tips to help you get started on using white papers as part of your content strategy today! 

Need help writing your brand's next white paper? Contact us today and let us know how we can help you craft content that brings your customers to you!

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