Writing a whitepaper can be quite challenging, however, coming up with a good one is one of the best ways to prove that you are an expert in your field of work. Writing a whitepaper is an art.
Here are some guidelines that you should follow to make sure that you write it well.
- Choose a topic people want to read. As easy as this might look, it might not really be that simple. You need to figure out what your audience wants to know so that you can give it to them. But first of all, you need to know who your target audience is. Do your research so you can find out what they might be interested in. It could be a common issue that your audience is faced with or a case study of prosperous companies in your industry.
- Be descriptive and professional. You don’t write a whitepaper the same way that you write a blog article. You need to use business style while writing and be quite descriptive. In most cases, you will end up with a minimum of 10 pages.
- Write a good introduction. You need to capture the attention of your audience right from the start. Get them interested in what you have to say and then let them know what the paper is all about. This will require that you write a summary of the whitepaper and that you come up with a list of topics.
- Provide value. Highlight how the reader will benefit by reading your whitepaper. This is not an opportunity for you to advertise your business or services but to provide value to your customers. Once you give them the insight and the tips that they need, they might choose to buy from you later.
- Organize your draft. Come up with an outline of the paper that you want to write. Make sure everything flows well from the start to the end of the paper.
- Focus on writing first and edit later. Once you have come up with an outline for the paper, focus on writing first. Edit the article later.
- Proofread. Always proofread your work after you have finished writing it. Read it all over again from the beginning and check for grammar and punctuation errors. Read it loudly to yourself and also give it to other people to read. This will increase the chances of you catching any errors that might be on it.
- Follow up. In case you have any service or product that might be helpful to your customers, make sure to make this known at the end of your whitepaper. However, don’t make sales pitches in the middle of the whitepaper. Wait until you get to the end of the whitepaper to highlight any solutions that the reader might be interested in.
Using a whitepaper is one of the best ways to get your customers to trust you more. Most people don’t like being sold to, but they like being given informative content. That’s why you should write a good whitepaper that has informative content so that readers can become naturally interested in your services.
Do You Enjoy Writing Whitepapers?
While you may make a lot of money doing this job, it’s not for everyone. One of the basic principles of this job is that you have to be quite good at doing research. Therefore, you will have to be a part writer and part investigator to excel in this line of work.
You have to be quite good at interviewing people and asking them the right questions so that you can get the answers that you need. You will also need to spend a lot of time doing research and finding data. You should be comfortable interviewing people who work with your company’s clients or are associated with it.
If this sounds like something that would be of interest to you, then writing whitepapers can be quite an interesting and financially rewarding venture.
Just keep in mind that the paper still has to be written in an informal, easy to read way. Nevertheless, the paper should be informational and have an objective perspective. Don’t write the paper with a promotional tone.
Do You Need B2B Copywriting Skills?
It’s not a must, but it will be helpful if you have these skills. The good thing about being proficient in B2B copywriting is that you will be able to meet your client’s other B2B needs as well. You will also be able to write great copy that your audience can easily understand and relate to.
The Direct Marketing Association states that the Business to Business (B2B) industry spends more than $55 billion annually on marketing. This’s a $6 trillion industry.
The interesting thing is that when most writers learn about business copywriting, they tend to focus more on Business to Consumer (B2C) side of it and ignore the B2B aspect. Therefore, there isn’t too much competition among B2B writers.
How Big is the Demand for Whitepapers?
A study that was done by B2B Magazine and Junta 24 Match found out that marketers spend one-third of their marketing budget on content creation. Out of this, half of it is spent on whitepapers.
Just in the US alone, there are 240,000 B2B companies which have over 50 employees.
Even though I haven’t found a research study that was accurate enough to pinpoint the exact amount of money spent on whitepapers every year, you can still clearly see that this is a billion-dollar industry.
Why is the Demand So Huge?
Eccolo Media did out a study which revealed that 84% of businesses found that whitepapers were greatly influential in the decision of their clients to make purchases.
In this study, they also found out that 77% of key decision makers in businesses had read at least one whitepaper last year.
It was also discovered that whitepapers tend to go viral. 89% of people who read them stated that they passed them on to other people. For every person who read the paper, they passed them on to at least three other people.
ICO Whitepapers vs. IPO Business Plan
Many tech companies, especially blockchain companies, raise capital through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The investors who purchase these coins do so with the sole intention of making a profit when the company starts doing well.
This is the same reason why companies go through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). They raise capital by selling shares.
These are two different models; however, the companies and the investors have the same objectives, which is to raise funds and to make a profit. But when it comes to ICOs, there’s a big challenge.
By the time a company is holding an IPO, it will have already published its prospectus. The prospectus has details about what the company’s plans are its goals, risk factors and the business model it will follow. This prospectus is usually evaluated by an investment bank, and it’s also regulated by the security commission of the country where the IPO will take place. However, when it comes to ICOs, this step is missing.
In research done on ICOs, 93% of companies completely left out this step from their business plan.
Why do ICO Whitepapers need to Change?
It’s argued that because of digital advancement, most tech companies run in a different way. While this might be true, the bottom line is that the company needs to make a profit to stay relevant. This is unless it’s a non-profit organization.
When we assessed the whitepapers of different blockchain companies, we realized that 93% of these companies didn’t include any plan for how they were going to generate revenue or make sales. They didn’t even have a specified target market. Their main focus was just to build a blockchain company. This shouldn’t be happening.
In case your company is planning to hold an ICO or if it has already done it, you owe it to yourselves and your investors to complete this critical step of coming up with a sales and profit model.
What’s at Stake?
Adding disclaimers in your whitepaper stating that investors don’t have legal rights to the business or stating that the company might not earn a profit is not enough. The reality is that investors expect to earn a profit since they are not donating but an investment.
As long as you are running a business, you will have business expenses to cover. Therefore, you need funds. You need a plan on how to make sales and earn revenue if you want your business to survive for a long time in the market. Engage your customers as early as possible. Without this engagement, you might just be able to meet only 70% of your customer’s needs. Sadly, the remaining 30% might actually be what’s critical to your customers.
What to Do?
You need to come up with a sales and revenue plan. You should also engage with potential clients so that you can get to understand what their needs are and convince them that you offer the best solutions to their problems.
What to Look for in an ICO Whitepaper?
There are so many ICOs being launched every month. To know which one to invest in, go through their whitepaper.
The whitepaper should have the following elements:
- Company Details
The year the company was set up, what it does, company location, the products it sells and the credibility of those products.
The specific product that will be launched, product description, product development duration, how safe it is, personal opinion on the product and whether it has been released yet or not.
The team that’s working on the product, whether they have the expertise to handle an ICO and whether the identity of the team members can be verified on LinkedIn or other social media channels. Also, check if the company has legitimate blockchain advisors?
- Target Market
Who’s the target market for these products and why? How will they benefit from these products?
- Problem vs. Solution
Which specific problems does the company intend to solve? Do many people have the problem? Is there a solution to this problem? How workable is this solution?
How competitive is the market? What will differentiate your company from the others that are already in the market?
- Token Value
How much is the token worth? Can it be exchanged with something else? Is there a way to increase the value of the token? What claims, and benefits does a token holder have over it? What are the differences between that token and other tokens?
- Token Distribution
Describe how the tokens will be distributed. Have the tokens which have been allocated to team members been fairly distributed?
Is it possible to attain the goals that have been outlined in the roadmap and can they be achieved within the given timeframe? Have you set realistic timelines in the roadmap?
- Use of Funds
Describe how the raised funds will be used. Have all the different stakeholders been included in the distribution of funds?
- Terms and Conditions
Does the company have terms and conditions? What are they?
- Diagrams and Statistics
Have any pictures and data been included in the paper? Is the data and information that has been included in the paper from a reliable source?
To sum it up, if the elements that have been mentioned here have been included in the whitepaper together with the proper explanation, then there are very high chances of the ICO being successful and getting many investors. It’s also important that you impress the reader with the whitepaper. Therefore, go out of your way to include important details related to your ICO.