A white paper, well written can be an excellent marketing tool. So how can you make the best of this opportunity to engage your readers attention?
Here are 7 simple rules to guide you.
1. Create an engaging solution focused title.
2. Focus on benefits. Use your white paper to engage your readers' interest and gain their support by providing high quality evidence based research.
3. Show your customer how you can solve their problems and make life easier for them.
4. Speak their language. Use NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to appeal to readers across all sensory modalities.
5. Use up to date references to make your white paper a valuable educational resource. Ideally, references should be less than five years old.
6. Include infographics. Research shows that using infographics that combine both words and pictures is a much more effective way to communicate than either words or images alone.
7. Use your own branding discreetly. The last thing you want is for your white paper to come across as a pushy sales document. Be subtle. Use your white paper to engage your customers interest. The sales conversation comes later.
Click here to read a sample white paper
Many white papers these days are presented in a two-column format.
What benefits does the two-column format have over a single line of text?
In short, it’s all about how your brain scans and processes information.
Research shows that the optimal amount of text for printed materials is just 60 characters per column.
More than 60 characters per column and the brain starts to have difficulty in scanning through the text easily. It’s the same principle as needing to take a visual break by adding some white space between paragraphs.
Long lines of text, just like long sentences can be harder to read. For technical and medical papers, a two-column layout also allows graphs, tables and other graphics to be clearly presented without taking up too much page space. That said many companies do prefer the clean and simple lines of a single column layout. That can work very well too, just as long as the page has wide margins and the text runs to no more than 90 characters per line.
It’s all about helping the reader to understand your message as easily as possible.
I'm Anne Watkins, a freelance medical writer here to help you use medical white papers to boost your sales.