Generating a constant flow of marketing qualified leads is part and parcel of every marketer’s job.
But generating leads, let alone quality ones, is a tough nut to crack.
How to attract the person standing in the middle of your funnel exposed to multiple options?
How can you deepen the connection and build trust in the mind of your prospects?
White papers are one such lead-generating asset that provides value to your customers and aids them in making decisions.
A helpful white paper builds your authority and thought leadership in your industry along with generating qualified leads.
According to B2B marketing benchmarks, 71% of companies prefer white paper as one of the best marketing collateral to impact decisions.
But not every white paper is worth its salt. A white paper needs to be insightful, unique, informational, and inspiring enough to cut through the noise.
In this article, we will break down 8 white paper examples from different industries to see what it takes to make a winning white paper.
Let’s get inspired!
Interesting read: 6 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies for Marketers
What is a White Paper?
A white paper is long-form content that provides an in-depth solution, analysis, or opinion to a complex problem that your target audience faces, backed with charts, data, surveys, and examples.
One should ask, But isn’t that what an ebook does? Yes, the lines are blurry, but there is a difference.
Ebooks generally cover a broader topic, whereas white papers focus on putting opinions over a specific issue with factual data and research. White papers are more in-depth and technical.
For example, if you want to explain “What is Data Privacy,” go write an ebook, but to explain “State of Data Privacy in 2021 + Key trends,” create a white paper.
Since white papers are so focused, they provide in-depth explanations and carry an authoritative tone, making them a great resource to prove your thought leadership in the industry.
Now let’s jump to the breakdown of a few white paper format examples.
8 Excellent White Paper Examples + Key Takeaways
1. Cisco – Networking and your competitive edge white paper
Cisco is a well-known name, but the domain it works in is not.
Cisco develops and provides networking hardware, data security services, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products.
So to explain problems of such complex domains to the decision-maker of small or big businesses, Cisco has to make a technical yet easily understandable white paper.
And Cisco did just that with its “Networking and your competitive edge” white paper. The white paper explains the importance of having a robust, secured, and state-of-art network edge.
To avoid making the content text-heavy, they have balanced the white paper with infographics on each page. Plus, the visual tone of the whole white paper is totally in sync with the topic at hand.
Key takeaways from Cisco’s white paper
- Create a white paper that can help people understand even a complex topic in the simplest way possible.
- Create your white papers with the balanced use of texts and graphics.
- Pull out quotes, essential statistics, and critical pointers for skim readers.
2. Hitachi Vantara – Hitachi Content Platform Architecture Fundamentals
Hitachi is active in different areas of the IT sector but mainly offers storage solutions for enterprises and midsize organizations.
The Whitepaper “Hitachi Content Platform Architecture Fundamentals” explains how Hitachi’s content platform is an ideal ecosystem to support existing content-centric applications, newer cloud use cases, and workloads for businesses of all sizes.
The white paper is service-centric and focuses on piquing the interest of buyers in the decision-making process.
Key takeaways from Hitachi’s white paper
- If your white paper is content-heavy, then structure it into different sections for better readability.
- Clearly explain the benefits of your product, service, or methodology in overcoming the problems your audience is facing.
3. ADP – 5 steps to rid your small business of payroll stress
ADP is a big name in the payroll software and HR services industry. Their target audience consists of small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have the luxury to set up in-house HR departments to streamline payroll processes.
It shows that the company has researched, defined its goals, and then came up with the White paper “5 steps to rid your small business of payroll stress”.
This business white paper example has succinctly covered the major points with the balanced use of words and graphics. Moreover, they have also used a case study to bolster their claims.
Key takeaways from ADP’s white paper
- Put on your explore glasses and start defining your audience. Who are they? What are their challenges? Which platform do they use the most? Zeroing down on your audience will aid you in finding the topics that your audience loves and creating a lead-generating white paper.
- Talk about your accomplishments. Share successful case studies of previous clients or product users.
Interesting read: 7 Website Principles You should Adopt to Gain More Leads
4. HSBC – Are equities overvalued?
The finance white paper from HSBC is a perfect example of thought leadership. Using the in-house generated data, HSBC nicely explained the reasons for the overvaluation of the equity market and why asset allocation could be the solution to it.
The subtle use of author’s designation with their names on the main page adds more credibility to the white paper.
Key takeaways from HSBC’s white paper
- Write an intriguing title that captivates your audience, piques their curiosity, and entices them to read further.
- Get subject matter experts to write or contribute to the white paper to exhibit more authority and build trust in your audience’s minds.
- Use graphs and research to validate your opinions.
5. Aetna – The forgotten killer: Cardiovascular disease
I know the title “The forgotten killer: Cardiovascular disease” is a little morbid, but it is of great value to Aetna, a leading health insurance company, to evoke emotions in their audience and show where they stand.
They frequently release white papers to push health care and disease prevention information to aware people. This works as top-of-funnel content for the insurance company.
This white paper sheds light on the growing cases of Cardiovascular disease (CVD) worldwide and how countries are innovating technologies to nip the bud in it.
When it comes to health-related content, people prefer credible information that they can trust. So to make the information more trustworthy, the white paper has given citations to authentic sources in the footer.
Key takeaways from Aetna’s white paper
- Write captivating intros and outros that entice your readers to scroll down the pages.
- Always cite the sources from where you have taken the ideas or data to incorporate in your white paper. Documenting the sources adds extra credibility to your articles and helps readers learn more about the topic.
6. Sungard AS – A Four-Step Plan For Business Continuity
Sungard AS is a well-known name in the risk assessment and management sector. They have also established the same authority in the intro of the white paper “A four-step plan for business continuity.”
The white paper explains the need to map out a business continuity plan to avoid the unprecedented threats and crises that can affect the future growth of your business and lead to an overall shutdown.
We can see that the white paper topic is rather generic; hence the company has the unique advantage to target all walks of businesses at once.
Key takeaways from Sungard AS’s white paper
- There is no written rule that white papers need to be boring. You can make things interesting by creating a proper flow of information. Start with conflicts/problems; Talk about solutions; Introduce your brand as a tool to get things done efficiently.
- Ensure the methodology you share with your audience is adequately segregated in steps and backed up with infographics.
- In the end, we all are looking for more sales. So, create a separate CTA page talking about the benefits of your product/service to drive people on the cusp of making a decision.
7. Google – Google Cloud Security and Compliance White paper
The Google Cloud Security and Compliance Whitepaper is a text-heavy 28-page explainer about the efficiency of Google cloud products and services in keeping the data of any workspace safe and secure.
The white paper checks all the marks to be a well-informed and readable article with subtle color fonts, imagery, and simple language. Still, it is a time-consuming read for multiple people. So, why are we discussing it then?
The real strength of this white paper example lies in how Google repurposes the information into numerous content formats for different audiences.
Look at the infographic Google made from the white paper to make the information accessible to the readers with time constraints.
A key takeaway from Google’s white paper
- Creating a white paper is just the beginning. Further, you need to repurpose it using different content formats, such as infographics, charts, graphs, checklists, videos, and more.
8. UBER – Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could book a private aircraft to arrive at your doorstep and reach your office in it, dodging all the morning rush?
Well, soon, you will be able to do that with Uber’s VTOL aircraft.
And the testament to that statement is written in Uber’s white paper – Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation. The white paper weaves a great story to deliver the need for VTOL in urban cities and mention all the barriers to achieving the feat.
Using this white paper, Uber not only promoted the idea of future transportation but also booked itself as the principal authority in the making of it.
Moreover, to make the report more credible, they have mentioned reviewers from NASA, MIT, and other elite organizations that provide air transport.
Key takeaways from Uber’s white paper
- Create white papers that talk about future trends and innovations in your industry to establish yourself as a thought leader.
- Add names of distinguished subject matter experts to support the credibility of your opinions.
A white paper is an essential part of your marketing arsenal. It helps you educate your readers, build trust, generate qualified leads, and even help you get sales.
Hence, it is important that you creatively explain the benefits of your product, service, or methodology in overcoming your audience’s problems.
Moreover, ensure that the white paper you create solves a complex problem in an easy language without being too dull. Nobody likes a boring read. Incorporate infographics, charts, graphics, footnotes to make your White paper enjoyable.
Use the key insights mentioned in the blog to create a thought-provoking and lead-generating whitepaper.
The term "white papers" originated in England as government-issued documents. One famous example is the Churchill White Paper, commissioned by Winston Churchill in 1922. Today, the term is most commonly applied to “deep dive” style publications.What is white paper in lead generation? ›
In short, a white paper is an authoritative report or guide that solves a reader's problem, answers their question, or helps them make a decision. A white paper is also a lead generation tool.What four things will an effective white paper have? ›
- Introduction. A white paper begins with an intro. ...
- Problem. The next step is to show the reader you understand their problem. ...
- Solution. With a problem defined, you leave the reader craving a solution. ...
- Title page.
- Introduction (including “Problem Statement”)
- Background (research-heavy)
- Proposed solution.
- References or citations.
- The thought leadership white paper.
- The educational white paper.
- The market research white paper.
- The problem-solving white paper.
- The technical white paper.
- The visionary white paper.
There are three main types of white papers, including backgrounders, numbered lists, and problem/solution white papers.Where can I find white papers? ›
- Find White Papers. Technology Research for Business Professionals - Search through hundreds of technology topics and thousands of white papers that will help you make informed decisions.
- BizReport. News and Insights for Online Marketers.
A white paper template is a report or a guide which informs the readers in a concise manner about a complex issue. It's meant to help the readers understand the issue, how to solve it and formulate a decision.What are 3 characteristics a great white? ›
They have strong, torpedo-shaped bodies and powerful tails that help them swim. Great whites can reach speeds up to 24 km/hr (15 mph). Great whites use their speed and coloring to help them hunt. They search for prey at the surface of the ocean while swimming below.What is a strategic white paper? ›
A whitepaper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. Marketers create whitepapers to educate their audience about a particular issue, or explain and promote a particular methodology. They're advanced problem-solving guides.
- A document containing narrative text.
- At least 5-6 pages long.
- Oriented in portrait format (landscape format tends to be for B2B e-books)
- Educational, practical and useful, not a sales pitch.
- Used before a sale, not after a sale.
- Provides facts, not just opinion.
- Being overtly 'salesy' Although increasing your sales is probably at the top of your agenda, a white paper is not a sales brochure. ...
- Coming across too dry. ...
- Failing to consider your target audience. ...
- Cutting corners with research. ...
- Lack of effective promotion.
A technical white paper tells the story of a business problem and its solution. By articulating the business problem, you let prospects know you understand their business and industry. Present the business problem in two or three paragraphs. Use short paragraphs and concise language to make the information readable.What is the 7 types of paper? ›
- Acid-free paper.
- Archival paper.
- Artist's paper.
- Blotting paper.
- Book paper.
- Box covering and lining paper.
- Business card & business form paper.
- Calculator & cash register paper.
A white paper is an authoritative document intended to fully inform the reader on a particular topic. It combines expert knowledge and research into a document that argues for a specific solution or recommendation. The white paper allows the reader to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.What is the new white paper? ›
The White Paper aims to bring together the NHS and local government to jointly deliver for local communities, cutting back on bureaucracy and introducing a single person accountable for delivery of a shared plan at a local level.What is 6G white paper? ›
13 White Papers on 6G
The first paper focused on the key drivers, research requirements, challenges and research questions towards 6G, presenting a strong vision of ubiquitous wireless intelligence for 2030.
The blue paper is the legal form that identifies the person, that this person has a mental illness, not a medical one, and that this illness puts them at significant risk to ones self or others that, they are in need of psychiatric evaluation and hospitalization.What are targeted white papers? ›
What are targeted white papers? authoritative reports that address important industry issues and provide solutions. In a competitive bid, the terms of sale are offered by the supplier in response to the purchase specifications posted by a buyer.Why is it called white paper? ›
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that often addresses issues and how to solve them. The term originated when government papers were coded by color to indicate distribution, with white designated for public access.
As shown in the piechart, I found five main reasons why some white papers aren't as effective as they could be: Unrealistic expectations (31%) Lack of editorial skills at the client (25%) Process breakdown (19%)How long should white papers be? ›
White papers are often 6-8 pages long, but they can be longer or shorter depending upon the topic (and assignment instructions- when in doubt, check with your instructor). An introduction is helpful for busy readers. Summarize the main points in case the reader does not read the entire document.What is the biggest great white ever recorded? ›
The biggest great white shark ever recorded is a female shark affectionately named Deep Blue. She was spotted and filmed for the 2014 episode of Shark Week's “Jaws Strikes Back” and measures in at 20 ft long and is estimated to be about 4,500 pounds.What Makes a great white unique? ›
While most sharks are cold blooded, meaning they are unable to control their body temperatures, great white Sharks are warm blooded. This means that they are able to raise and lower their body temperature, allowing them to live in colder waters.What are the 7 levels of classification for a great white shark? ›
- KINGDOM. Organisms are grouped under very wide categories, such as Animal or Plant. ...
- PHYLUM. Divides Kingdoms into smaller groups that share similar characteristics. ...
- CLASS. ...
- ORDER. ...
- FAMILY. ...
- GENUS. ...
- Media brightness. The percentage of light that the paper reflects.
- Media color. The color of the paper.
- Media finish. ...
- Media weight.
- Paper Characteristics.
- Selecting paper is a very important job for the designer, and there are a number of paper characteristics, including: weight, grade or type, color, brightness, reflectance, opacity, smoothness, and grain. ...
- Paper Weight:
Your white paper's introduction can highlight reasons why the old solution is not working and tell readers what they need to solve their key challenge. However, don't mention your product or service at this point. You'll save that discussion for the end of the white paper.What are the five key areas for the 25 action plans in the white paper? ›
- equal opportunities in the workplace,
- recognition and support for caregivers,
- protection against violence and harm,
- other support measures for women, and.
- mindset shifts.
- Choose a topic that you are interested in! ...
- Narrow your topic to something manageable. ...
- Review the guidelines on topic selection outlined in your assignment. ...
- Refer to lecture notes and required texts to refresh your knowledge of the course and assignment.
- Talk about research ideas with a friend.
- Choose a topic that's appropriate to the length of your paper. ...
- Avoid a topic that will tempt you to summarize rather than to discuss or analyze. ...
- Choose a topic that interests you. ...
- If your assignment requires research, choose a topic on which you can find material.
- Prepare in advance. Know what skills, accomplishments, experiences or education you plan to cite ahead of your interview. ...
- Give concrete examples. ...
- Tie your response to company goals. ...
- Focus on yourself. ...
- Speak confidently. ...
- Be honest.
Essential qualities for a technical writer
Writing clearly and to the point. Empathy for the end-user and their experience. The ability to manage tasks on time. Knowledge about the field, they are writing for.
- User guides. A user guide, or user manual, can help users understand how a product, service, or computer application works. ...
- Business proposals. ...
- Employee handbooks. ...
- Brochures. ...
- Newsletters. ...
- Medical records. ...
- Project management reports. ...
- Publish on a website or landing page. ...
- Email or mail to prospective customers. ...
- Post on social media. ...
- Publish a press release. ...
- Leverage to create speaking opportunities. ...
- Publish in industry association publications. ...
- Share with bloggers and other influencers.
A good white paper is more about using a collection of facts to provide solutions to audiences' problems than an advertising platform. You can use a white paper to position yourself as an industry expert with insights to help your readers. It is, therefore, important that your paper offers great value.What type of paper is a white paper? ›
A white paper is a report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.What are the elements of an effective paper? ›
- BASIC COMPONENTS OF STRUCTURE.
- THE INTRODUCTION.
- THE METHODS SECTION.
- A WORD ABOUT AUTHORSHIP.
- AUTHOR DISCLOSURE INFORMATION.
|command paper||position paper|
|state paper||white book|
- Graphical paper. Graphical paper is produced in a number of qualities and is primarily used for magazines and catalogues. ...
- Newsprint. ...
- Tissue. ...
- Fine paper. ...
- Packaging paper. ...
- Book paper. ...
- Packaging paperboard. ...
You can create a white paper on any topic, for any audience, using any approach under the sun, as long as you remember this key mantra: A truly effective white paper helps a business person understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. If you content does that, your readers will thank you.