I’m still not going to read your white paper. Know why? So many reasons. Let’s continue to alphabetize them…
- Insipid prose. Your white paper informs, but it’s dull, flat. You want my attention? Give me something I’ll enjoy reading.
- Jarring self-promotion. A too obvious effort to hawk, rather than inspire and inform.
- Killing me with technical detail. I can look up the minutiae if I’m interested: Use your white paper to tell me why I should be interested. Why does this matter to me and my business goals?
- Lacking insight: Not enough substance to justify my effort. Tell me something I don’t already know, and make it something I can use right now.
- Meandering structure: You tried to cover too much, instead of focusing like a laser on the stuff that matters.
- Over-inflated claims, without enough data to back them up.
- Padding. My time is precious, thank you. Tell me what I need to know. Keep it lean. Make it practical.
Your white paper asks a lot of me: You want a half hour of my undivided attention? Earn it.
That means doing the legwork in advance. With close coordination between marketing, editorial and business line owners, a well-planned white paper can reel in readers and keep them engaged. Be clear about your goals. Identify the right voices. Then work with a writer who can deliver a trusted authorial voice.