How White Papers Can Position You as a Thought Leader

From their humble origins as government reports, white papers have evolved to be a powerful marketing tool. By authoring white papers, your technology company can demonstrate your status as a thought leader in your industry.

Think of a white paper as a step up from a blog post. Ideally, white papers should address a need or a burning question that your target market is looking to answer. But rather than just presenting the cut and dry facts, it also presents your opinion on the matter. You’re essentially saying “Based on our years of experience in the industry, we feel that X is the best answer for Y, and here are the facts that back us up.”

A white paper is not a sell sheet or sales pamphlet. The goal is not to overtly present your product or service as the best solution, but to demonstrate that your product or service is backed up by knowledge, experience, and well-informed opinions. Additionally, you show yourself as community-minded by providing your white paper as a free resource.

Some examples of white paper subjects for various technology companies would include:

Are you involved in wearable technology, either on the hardware or software side? Write about how the data from a wearable fitness tracker can be used to analyze the benefits of a lifestyle change (new diet, new sleep pattern, new fitness routine, etc).

The 3D printing industry is an exciting new field and people have a lot of questions. You could write a paper about how to create replacement parts for household items.

A data security company, you’re in a powerful position to promote yourself as an expert. Write about the best methods of sanitizing your data to protect it from data injection.

The key is to write about an actual issue that people have actual questions about. Don’t fall back on the same tired topics covered in endless blog posts, such as how to sell technology to millennials. We’re all bored of reading about that. Think about what your ideal customer might type into the Google search bar, and write about that. Provide a strong mix of how-to and opinion on why it’s the best method.

White papers are just one part of a strong marketing campaign, but they have long-lasting benefits. Customers will see you not just as a purveyor of products, but as a provider of solutions.

-AJ

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