To stake a thought leadership claim, you’ve got to say it like you mean it -- and also be able to back it up. That means your white paper needs authoritative voices, expert sources who can speak to both technical issues and business needs. Whose voices will you highlight?
- Internal SMEs – Your own subject matter experts know the product and should know your customer too. They’ll understand the pain points and be able to articulate solutions. Keep them on the straight and narrow – not too technical, not too self-promotional – and they’ll be the driving force for your white paper.
- Supplement with external experts. These may come from academia or from the analyst/researcher community. They can validate trends and offer corroborating stats and data to back up your SME claims. Existing customers also fall into this category and can be mined for case studies and first-person experiences to give authenticity to your white paper.
- Published sources may include industry reports as well as newspaper and magazine accounts that help to illustrate business trends. Source material should be no more than a couple years old and should be drawn from well-known, reputable publications.