White paper چیست؟

White paper چیست؟

مقاله سفید ( White paper) نوعی گزارش (گزارش معتبر) یا راهنمایی برای کمک به خوانندگان است که به منظوردرک یک مساله، حل یک مشکل، و یا اتخاذ یک تصمیم تدوین می‌گردد. وایت پیپر در دو حوزه اصلی استفاده می‌شوند: دولت و بازاریابی کسب‌وکار به کسب‌وکاریا B2B ( business-to-business marketing).  وایت پیپر صرفاً یک ابزار مشارکتی برای مستندسازی است و نه یک سند قطعی غیرقابل تغییر.  وایت پیپر تلاش می‌کند که نقش دوگانه‌ای در معرفی و ارایه شرکت‌ها یا سازمان‌های دولتی ایفا کند. وایت پیپر معمولاً با ادبیات خاکستری (Grey Literature) بیان می شوند.

What Is a Whitepaper?

The definition of a whitepaper varies heavily from industry to industry, which can be a little confusing for marketers looking to create one for their business. The old school definition comes from politics, where it means a legislative document explaining and supporting a particular political solution. In tech, a whitepaper usually describes a theory behind a new piece of technology. Even in the business world, there are a variety of definitions — some more product-centric than others.

Definition: 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 are advanced problem-solving guides. Typically, whitepapers require at least an email address for download (usually they require information more than that), making them great for capturing leads.

Technically, there are no minimum requirements for whitepapers. Anyone can call anything a whitepaper — this does not mean you should, though. Without some boundaries on what is and what is not a whitepaper, we risk confusing our audience and losing credibility. Here is what an A+ whitepaper looks like:

  • Length: No fewer than six pages, including illustrations, charts, and references. Can be upwards of fifty if the topic requires that much detail. (Chances are, it will not.)

  • Structure: There is usually a title page, table of contents, short executive summary (optional but helpful), introduction, several pages educating the reader about the problem, several pages hypothesizing a solution, several pages offering an example of a company that used that solution to achieve results, and a conclusion.

  • Density: Denser than an eBook. Whitepapers aren’t usually easy to skim — in fact, readers usually need to read them over more than once to get every morsel of information out of it.

  • Format: PDF in portrait orientation (8.5″ by 11″).

  • Style: Professional, serious, well written, and well edited. I would recommend hiring a graphic designer to design page layout, images, fonts, and colors as well.

Whitepapers are the academic papers of marketing content. Readers expect a high degree of expertise backed by solid research that is fully documented by references. Whereas writing blog posts and eBooks can take anywhere between a few hours and a few weeks, a good whitepaper can take between a few weeks and a few months to write and polish. They are much more serious in tone, less flashy, and more heavily research-based than blog posts and eBooks.

You can imagine this makes them kind of boring in comparison — truthfully, most people do not actually want to read whitepapers, but they do it anyway because they tend to be particularly detailed and informative, authoritative, and written by industry experts. Alternatively, their boss told them to. So, if whitepapers are so boring, why do marketers create them? Well, they are a great resource for your prospects and sales team, and they help you build credibility and trust with your readers. In addition, people who choose to download whitepapers often are further into the “customer buying cycle”.

Imagine you work for a company that sells kitchen-cleaning equipment to restaurants and you write a whitepaper about the maintenance and inspection of commercial kitchens. That whitepaper is probably chock full of information about legal requirements for exhaust systems, cooking equipment, and cleanliness documentation that could put even the biggest kitchen maintenance enthusiast to sleep if read cover-to-cover. However, it also serves as an incredibly useful reference for restaurant owners who want to know how to maintain their kitchens to pass inspection. Once they know how clean they need to keep their kitchens, then they will probably buy some expensive cleaning equipment from you because they see you as a helpful, detail-oriented, credible source.



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