Writing a B2B White Paper

May 7, 2013
How to Write a Business-to-Business White Paper

Get to the point immediately

And take care of the details last.

Punch line: “That’s not a duck… that’s my wife!”

The standard worry is that a punch line won’t have any impact unless the mechanics of the joke are laid out in perfect, airtight detail. The reality is, if the punch line is good enough, people will ask about the setup.

The same goes for marketing content: Have the initial impact that makes them seek the comprehension behind it.

Marketing is teaching, but not how you remember teaching

Do not think of a white paper as a professorial exercise to be used in a lecture at Harvard. Few people will stand for it. Think of your audience as a scale between:

“I don’t have time for anything; bottom-line it for me yesterday.”


“I cannot possibly make a single decision until I have absorbed every last scrap of information, and even then I’m still skeptical.”

With that audience in mind, get the point immediately and follow it up with a graduated scale of increased detail. If you make the initial payout enticing enough, even Mr. Busy Pants will have his assistant bullet point the details for him.

You can always hire a copywriter.

We have an Ed for that.

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