The impact of your next white paper might be determined by your tone of voice. Who’s speaking to the reader? Content reigns – what you say matters most – but consider how you say it. Find the style that suits your subject:
- Authoritative: The classic white paper mode, a voice that speaks with certainty. It’s the standard for a strong B-to-B play and as mother always said, you can’t be overdressed for a party. When it doubt, trust the formal tone.
- Collegial: A business-savvy voice that says, “I understand your pain and I’ll show you how to fix it.” A little more personal, a little looser but still utterly professional. It’s what you need when your white paper targets the business-line manager, rather than the C-suite.
- Friend next door: A casual tone won’t carry most white papers, but there is the rare exception. For an audience with whom you’re already well-connected, the colloquial tone can actually help to cement the relationship, as it conveys a shared understanding and a common viewpoint.