Common Mistakes When Making A White Paper

Every company that’s looking to use a white paper as part of its marketing and sales plan should first research and make a case study the effective and persuasive elements of this document. The world is full of people who are passionate about their area or industry, all who have the knowledge they want to share with others through these enlightening pieces. For many companies, it can be difficult to know how to properly construct and write a white paper, especially one that’s going to be effective.

The following is a list of the most common mistakes companies make when making a white paper:

1. Creating A White Paper That Is Too Technical Or Not Technical Enough:

Businesses should research their intended audience and what knowledge level this group of people has in relation to their product or service. They should then take this information and use it when creating the content for their white paper. This is particularly true if they’re looking to sell a technical product. If they’re not sure how technical they can be, then including too much detail about minute details could scare off the reader and prevent them from finishing the piece.

2. Not Giving Enough Thought To The Title, Introduction, And Summary

A white paper is an ideal way for a business to present its product or service in-depth to potential clients or consumers. A common mistake many companies make when writing their white papers is not giving enough thought to the title, introduction, and summary, which are part of the white paper template. These areas should include a few important key details that summarize what the reader is going to learn and discover when they read the rest of the piece. It should also state why this information matters and how it can be beneficial to them.

digital marketing white paper
Sources: Venngage

3. Not Using Effective Headlines And Images

The headline, subheading, and images included in a business white paper are also very important pieces. Without good headlines, the reader may find it difficult to understand the topics being discussed. By having a good headline, readers will think that the information in the rest of the paper will be useful and beneficial to them, making them more likely to read your white paper. The use of images can also improve a white paper’s readability and make it more engaging for readers.

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4. Not Using Bullet Points

Using bullet points can present all kinds of information (whether it be text, links or images) in an easy-to-see and -understand format. The point, or points, in each bullet should be clear and concise to the reader. It would be a mistake to use too many or too few bullet points in a white paper.

5. Including Too Much Or Not Enough Supporting Material

The content included in a white paper format should not make up all of the document. There should be a section included at the end that provides links to other resources on the topic being discussed, as well as definitions and further reading material. They can also include an appendix or a glossary of terms using a more technical language.

6. Not Practicing What They Preach

A white paper is meant to be an in-depth look at a company’s product or service. The content included should be educational and informative, not sales-y. If readers believe the business is only including certain information because it benefits them financially then they won’t trust or respect their work.

7. Not Using Any Quotations

A white paper needs to be written in a professional manner and include all kinds of formal elements. For example, it’s best not to use first-person and always be accurate and precise with your facts and figures. However, there is one place where using first-person is appropriate: quotations. Quotations can illustrate important points or express an opinion about certain areas that would benefit the document.

typing on the keyboard
Source: stevepb/Pixabay

8. Not Proofreading And Editing The Piece

The final mistake many white paper writers make is not thoroughly proofreading and editing their work. It needs to be free of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and any other mistakes that would prevent the reader from enjoying it fully and taking in the information they’ve included.

In Conclusion

A white paper is more than just an informational document. It’s a marketing tool that can be used to build credibility and authority with your audience, present the value of your product or service, and generate leads. It can be difficult to make a white paper. That’s why it’s easy to make mistakes. Thankfully, they can be avoided, and a good way to do is to bring up what those common mistakes are.