Do you offer white paper copywriting services? If not, allow me to try and convince you.
We know that info marketing is all the rage these days, with inbound marketing the latest rebranding of what blogging is all about. As such, there’s lots of demand for copywriters that know how to write fact based long form articles with a subtle sales pitch, which swoop under the sales detecting radar of jaded customers.
B2B buyers love them. White papers rank as one of their favorite sources of information. And it’s not just tech companies that use them in their inbound marketing strategy. Any business with a relatively new, expensive or complex product might be interested in wanting to know how to write a white paper that frames their product as the gallant hero arriving to solve an industry wide problem.
Have I sparked your interest in providing white paper copywriting services yet?
How about if I told you that the average fee for a white paper is £2700 ($4200)? And with specialist knowledge, you can earn up to £650 ($1000) per page? I thought that would be the clincher.
But before you rush off to start promoting your white paper copywriting service, allow me to explain how to write white papers in eight simple steps:
1) Write the headline (you can always leave this until last) – As always, focus on the benefits and make it clear to the target audience exactly what solution the white paper reveals. Being clever or coy with headlines loses more readers than it amuses.
2) Executive Summary – Explain what the white paper is about in brief, direct statements. State what issue it discusses and drop hints at the solution it reveals. This is the preview for your white paper, a chance to show off the highlights and get readers interested.
3) Introduction – Set the scene and go into detail defining the problem that the white paper addresses. Niggle at the pain points of your target reader and build their concern at what can happen if the problem isn’t solved.
4) Define the options – What are the other available options ? Why are they ineffective? It’s wise not to refer directly to competitor products but to speak in general terms about the solutions available on the market and why they don’t work.
5) Introduce the solution – Forget about using hype or sales spiel in a white paper. Instead, focus on the facts and use a soft sell approach to explain how your client’s product solves the problem without getting into superlatives and boasting. Imagine how it would read as a magazine feature, and use this to guide your tone.
6) Backup your claims – What evidence do you have that the product does what you say? Provide case study evidence, testimonials, statistics and other trust building facts to support your argument.
7) Benefits – Translate the features and facts you’ve mentioned into benefits for the target reader. What improvements can they expect to gain? How will their life be easier? Remember, readers are always thinking ‘what’s in it for me’ when reading your copy. Reassure them with predicted ROI, ease of implementation and benefits for business performance.
8) Summary – A lot of readers will skip to the summary before deciding to read the whole paper. So provide a highlight reel of the problems the product solves, the benefits and the risks of not using it.
As you can see, knowing how to write a white paper isn’t vastly different to writing a case study. They have a similar structure but a white paper focuses on a wider industry topic, rather than a problem solved closer to home. As such, knowing how to write a white paper revolves a lot around the research. You have to uncover the insights, facts and figures which reveal a business issue the reader might not be aware of and then how it can be solved, with the client’s product presented as a knight in shining armour.
So if earning up to $1000 a page sounds appealing, add white paper copywriting to your services, and educate clients on how they can benefit from this powerful, and largely untapped, form of info marketing.
Maybe you could write a white paper about it?