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ELEKTRONIKPRAXIS column: Part 020: How to do internet marketing with white papers


The term white paper refers to valuable information in the form of a technical paper, product description with application example(s). The 10 to 30-page PDF files are ideal for marketing products, solutions and technologies that require explanation.

White papers are particularly suitable for companies in the software, IT and electronics sectors. This is because they can be used to optimally market products, concepts and technologies that require explanation.

White papers are almost always published as PDF downloads. The documents are then made available for download online on the company website or a thematically suitable internet portal. They are about 10 to 30 pages long, rarely more, even if complex issues are presented. After all, the addressees should be able to read the document easily despite the density of information – and, in the best case, be happy to pass it on.

This is exactly where the marketing of white papers comes in: it should not only be read, but also be found better by search engines.

White papers always offer readers concrete utility value with sufficient details that solve problems, give good advice and often serve as a basis for decisions so that readers buy the right products and services.

Refrain from advertising

Of course, your own company and your products and services appear in such a white paper – but not in direct marketing, but as part of the solution. Offer solid arguments and show the advantages of your solution – and embed them in facts that convince. After all, your readers are not stupid and would immediately recognise it if it contained only marketing blah-blah. White paper marketing serves to orient readers and should help them to take the right approach to a problem. Be the right contact person!

Choose the right approach

Who are you writing a white paper for? Just imagine you are giving a technician information that is actually suitable for decision-makers, or a decision-maker too much technical information in a language he understands only slightly. This is precisely the approach that is so important when planning a white paper.

The literature distinguishes between different types of white papers:

  • Technical White Papers are written for professionals such as engineers and experts and therefore contain very precise descriptions of new or basic technologies, standards or processes. Technical White Papers are particularly suitable for the trade press (you are holding one of these in your hands right now!)
  • Solution White Papers have the task of offering solutions to decision-makers, who then implement them in their companies. They are usually simply written, often show best practice examples and invite communication.
  • Strategic white papers support the reader in deciding on a strategy that can, of course, be optimally implemented with the solutions presented by the company producing the white paper.

In practice, of course, one finds mixed forms – especially in the B2B sector, technical and strategic white papers are often not clearly separable.

Here you will find tips and tricks for creating a white paper.

Last updated on 7. February 2023

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