To celebrate the publishing of our latest white paper, we wanted to take a moment to dive into the topic of white papers and why they’re so significant in the marketing industry.
So … what exactly are we talking about here? A white paper is industry-related research that goes in-depth into an issue or idea and provides a solution or method to fix it. They are often used as ways to analyze research findings, establish thought leadership or persuade and inform based on facts. However, we must note that a white paper isn’t a sales pitch—it’s not a way for you to persuade people into buying your latest product or service.
Now, what makes a white paper so important?
White papers are a dependable way to make your brand stand out as an industry thought leader. Constructing a white paper takes a lot of brainpower, exploration and dedication, so when your brand creates a well-written, thought-provoking product, people will notice.
White papers may also increase credibility. Think about it—you’re putting hours of research and fact-checking into a specified topic. This automatically makes your brand a trusted source on the subject and increases your expertise within the industry.
Not only are white papers an efficient way to dive deeper into a topic or provide readers with a solution to an industry-related problem but they also showcase your agency’s writing and design skills.
At this point, you’ve already established brand reliability through your expertise on the white paper’s topic, so now we can focus on your fantastic writing and design skills. It’s important to strike a comfortable balance between research and fluidity—you don’t want your whitepaper to be fact after fact after fact. Having an even flow between information and explanation is key to constructing an appealing product. Remember, you’re not writing a textbook, you’re writing a thoughtful examination of a specific topic or problem.
Design plays heavily into a white paper’s success as well. Creating a visually appealing report will increase reader interest and gives you the opportunity to insert dynamic graphics and/or graphs, tables or charts. Would you want to read something full of heavy research and boring design? We didn’t think so!
Think about it this way—is it easier to understand analytics if they’re written out or if they’re displayed in a visually appealing manner? Colors, shapes and whitespace play a role in the success of the overall product. Readers are more apt to be attracted to a report that includes some aspect of design. It’s like choosing between the colorful box of cereal (Fruity Pebbles) and the bland-looking box of cereal (Oat Bran) at the grocery store—the vibrant one seems more appealing.
Our white paper, “How 2020 Shaped Consumer Trends & How It Led to the Significance of Digital Marketing,” analyzes how the pandemic affected consumer trends and describes how digital marketing has influenced them. It hits every aspect—from SEO to influencer marketing to consumer concerns—and explains how COVID-19 influenced the way consumers perceive their favorite brands.
We sat down with our digital marketing coordinator and white paper queen, Val Anderson, for some insight on the creation and production of our white paper.
Val: I wanted to pick a topic that was relevant to the past year, but I knew everyone was sick of hearing about COVID-19. Therefore, to make it more interesting to business leaders, I focused on how COVID-19 affected the business industry. It was clear to me that the way people interact with companies has changed dramatically within the last year and that digital media has become an important part of people’s routines.
Val: My research process took a majority of the time spent writing this white paper. I wanted to make sure I was using accurate, unbiased information and I analyzed a lot of surveys and studies that were conducted to explore consumer behaviors and overall digital usage within the past two years. This information helped me formulate the main themes expressed in the white paper while providing factual reasoning behind them.
Val: Writing and researching for the white paper took around 4 months. It was important that I made sure I had the evidence to support my ideas and was communicating the message clearly.
Val: I believe it will elevate KM&A as leaders in the digital marketing realm and show that we are more than just creative, communications and events. We recognize data and make calculated marketing decisions for our clients. This white paper will showcase how we evolve alongside the average consumer.
Now that you’ve heard from the expert herself, you’re all set to start the creation of your own white paper. Although they can be time-consuming and research-heavy, white papers offer businesses an effective way to become industry trailblazers and build expertise in their prospective business while showcasing their copy and design skills.
To download our white paper, click here.