9/12/2013 - How To Create A White Paper That Connects with Your Audience
These days your white papers will be expected to land leads and conversions. That's an enormous amount of pressure for a document that was never meant to be sales material. Yet that is where we are at the present, but much is known about giving your market what it needs. Content is still the name of the game and what helps make your marketing efforts successful. But you cannot ignore how you package your white paper content. This is how mistakes get made. Here are some tips that will help keep your white papers optimized to convert well.
Quite a lot of writing has been done about the "new" white papers and their visual-centric approach--so much so that assuming this is the default way to go about writing them is what most writers are doing now. The bottom line is that you've got to satisfy your client but you also have to use whatever method you think is going to be the best. 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 being for scientific white papers where such trends have made less influence. You have to be more flexible as well as willing to figure out where the middle ground is. Your primary responsibility is to ensure that your client knows just how severely pushed for time most business executives truly are. You can do this while also writing great content that will allow for good assimilation of information. Typically, you will find people that are interested in the digital version, not the print version, of the white paper itself. Downloading a PDF is what people like to do. It's easy and convenient. Your clients will probably want something extra special with the PDF that you make for them. Solid graphic and design skills must be utilized, plus you have to do all of the writing yourself. When you see white papers on the net, they are very busy and loud. When it's a good white paper, it will have a great design and layout to make things work out. In essence, your document will be very busy, and the information will be very brief, replacing what was once long paragraphs.
There is so many components to a white paper and it can be a chore if you're just learning. You'll obviously need your own conceptual grasp and a well built foundation but don't forget about the most common details. For this moment, we are going to focus first on the copy-based tools like headlines, titles and sub-headlines. Before you write a single word, you need to create an actual outline. This will serve as the spine of your white paper as well as a plan. Your headlines and sub-headers will all be spelled out in your finished outline. Make sure that you actually read each of your sub-headers to ensure that there is a flow and a continuity between them.
When you put your white paper together pay attention to all of the details, no matter how small they actually are. Your finished paper won't be super lengthy, it will be surprising if it goes over ten pages in length. So a client and business market will not miss that much. But remember it's the ease with which your content is able to be digested and understood that will determine your success.
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