Writing technical white papers requires extensive research to explain a business problem and the proposed tech solution. The writing process starts by reviewing purpose of the white paper. The white paper should be informative, yet not overloaded with information. In other words, the reader should get actionable information that helps them make the best choice for their needs.
Technical White Paper Research
The initial steps to write a technical white paper include thorough research of the topic covering all the relevant literature sources. It could be about a product or a new initiative in the industry. Make sure to back up your argument with data. Allot yourself a couple of weeks to do your research so that you have enough material to make a compelling argument. If you’re writing for a business, this is a great time to get an idea of the industry. It will also make the writing process easier.
You can use a graph maker online to make an engaging chart. A bar graph doesn’t inspire anyone, but a chart with interesting data will keep them interested. Pictograms are another great way to present key IT statistics. Creating an image that illustrates the point is an effective way to get your reader’s attention. Moreover, visuals also help your reader to understand the meaning of the information you’re trying to convey.
The technical white papers are reports that furnish in-depth data regarding a product or technology. Mostly it includes actionable tips and expert insights that the audience can utilize. Such papers are excellent sources to get insights via a credible source. As B2B technology purchases have seen tremendous growth, hence companies are relying on content that provides audience research & facts instead of advertising. Such papers act as lead generation and educational tools for tech companies. These technical white papers address an industry problem followed by a solution in a story-telling format.
A document that is capable of explaining a business problem and provides a tech-based solution to that problem can be defined as a technical white paper. Such white papers are marketing tools primarily and intend to simplify the complex theories of the high-tech world to those who are not experts in these fields. However, such papers should not include explanations regarding how a product functions, its features or sales pitch. These white papers can also be described as mini-books that talks about a particular technical problem that customers are facing while using a product followed by different ways to solve it.
Technical White Paper Writing Strategy
The purpose behind publishing technical white papers is to establish the company as an expert in that particular tech niche. Such papers are designed to provide the target audience with relevant information to concerns for which the company presents a solution. Such white papers also serve the marketing purpose by allowing companies to establish their brand among prospective customers. Often tech companies allow only those readers to download their papers who register themselves first – that’s how the company also marks future customers for sales or marketing purposes.
These white papers are somewhere between six and twelve pages. Writing such a paper is like preparing a document that serves an informative purpose. It should be written by keeping the audience in mind and should be concise. The basic steps to prepare such technical white papers are as follows:
1) Cover Page: This page consists of the title of the paper mentioned & designed attractively, along with the company name and logo. The title depicts what the paper is about basically.
2) Introduction or Summary: This part is from where the content of the paper begins. The introduction should be of one paragraph and not more than 100 words. It must contain a brief summary about why the paper has been written, & a short description of the problem and its potential solutions. This part is the best way to make prospects want to read more. It should be presented as a teaser of the paper.
3) Problem: The technical white papers are all about a tech problem and its solutions. The authors articulate such tech problems so that readers can easily understand the product and business. The problem should be addressed in two or three paragraphs. Concise language and short sentences should be used so that readers can relate to the tech problem. Authors should include the problem’s background information like how the problem originated and how is it impacting the domain. Further, they should highlight how the problem has caused the business to lose its revenue, productivity, and other business matrices. The details should not be too technical, but the details can be mentioned in short and must be explained well. While highlighting the tech problem, authors should assume that readers already have technical knowledge.
4) Design of tech product: With help of one paragraph, the white paper authors should highlight how process or technology has been designed to solve the tech problem. The working style of the product, and how it is associated with the working style of tech products should be mentioned in such white papers.
5) Solution: While providing solutions to the problem discussed earlier, the white paper should not make too much focus on the product directly. Mention how this problem can be sorted with appropriate business and tech tools. The author must elaborate on details of how the solution to address the tech problem works. They should apply the product to the problem by creating a visual of how the solution increases productivity & saves time as well. They should explain why they came up with such a solution. They can also elaborate with help of case studies. The readers should also be provided with reasons regarding why this product or solution is better than other ones and how it functions better.
6) Conclusion: Here, everything explained earlier in the technical white papers should be wrapped neatly. It should address the problem, summarize how business houses solve this problem and come up with action to guide the reader to the next step so that they will make a purchase.
7) Review and proofread: As the author are done with writing, they should cautiously review the white papers for errors, writing style and content. They should go through the paper through the audience’s eyes and decide if it is comprehensive enough or not. They can also use proofreading and grammar tools available online. Once a round or two of editing is done, authors can take the help of colleagues to proofread the article and make changes based on suggestions received.
Once technical white papers are ready, there exist various channels to market them. Authors can collaborate with third party sites to allow the readers to download it by collecting users’ information. Authors can also promote their papers through their social media handles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more. They can offer their papers in emails as part of any nurture campaign. The paper can also be placed behind a landing page on the website of white paper authors.
Once the downloads of their white papers have started, authors should start measuring relevant metrics to determine effectiveness. If the author is in right place, they should measure by channel and gather data of those readers who are downloading. This data can be used for generating sales or marketing leads later on.
Whenever a company publishes such white papers, this process establishes authority and thought leadership of their business in that particular domain. It creates opportunities to gain information regarding any follow-up or prospect customer. The content of such a company becomes available on digital platforms which can be accessed by purchasing teams. It will also explain the problem and its solution to a non-technical audience as a resource.
Publications of such white papers is a popular marketing tool now. The audience is now savvy enough to get that companies are gathering their personal information for allowing them to read. However, the companies should not approach such readers immediately. They should utilize this data for lead nurturing and allow buyers to make their purchase decision. Such papers are capable of showcasing a company’s trustworthiness and industry expertise.
Nowadays, the audience has become self-selecting. The technical white papers may be downloaded by only those users who are interested in the product or its solution. Owing to this habit of the audience, companies are at advantage as those who are reading the white papers might also be interested in buying it. Hence, white papers are crucial to identify the right audience and build a grip over them. Such technical white papers must be narrowed keeping ideal customers in mind.
In addition to the crucial points stated here relating to technical white papers, the future business models based on innovation may regularly need assistance for Patent Searching. The results of a patent search report can assist in determining if Patent Drafting is the next step for International Patent Filing along with USPTO Patent Filing. In case of blockchain based business models, utility token Legal Opinion Letters may also be needed.
Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.
Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.
Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).
Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.
Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filings, patent services in India and global patent consulting services.
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