A white paper is a document outlining a problem and solution. White papers are used in both politics and business as authoritative guidelines/solutions on any range of topics (depending on the industry). Since the 1990’s, the tern white paper has been used more frequently by businesses to refer to documents that are really used more as a sales and marketing tool. This would be referred to as Commercial White Paper.
When used as a marketing piece, a White Paper will oftem provide valuable information on industry problems, and how that particular company excels at provding solutions to those problems. So why is this relevant to Internet marketing? In fact, the use of White Paper is very prevalent in the industries of technology, engineering, and even Internet marketing. A commercial white paper can often be very technical in its descriptions of issues and solutions.
White Paper can add great value to a company’s website as it shows the user value, helps them understand the more technical expertise of the company and its capabilities, and adds great unique content. Many Internet marketing companies use blogs as a way of educating their readers. Some of the top Internet marketing and SEO blogs out there can be very technical – just like a White Paper should be.
There are really three types of White Paper:
A business White Paper is much like what is described above but are often used for more internal use as a way for company employees to make a pitch to higher executives. Business White Paper of course can be of the “commercial” kind used for marketing purposes. A Technical White Paper could be used for example by engineers to explain a detailed technology process/solution. A hybrid is a blend of the two. Many of the White Paper you see in the Internet marketing industry is a hybrid model that explains broad issues with very detailed technical solutions.