How Did White Papers Originate and Evolve?

2 Feb
2012
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White papers are nowadays used by almost everybody to promote their businesses as they play an important role in generating leads and in their inbound marketing strategy, which is quickly growing into one of the most popular forms of marketing. But white papers weren’t always used for this purpose. They actually started out as informational documents.

They Originated in England…

In England you have the Parliament which is equivalent to the Congress in USA. In the past, here in England, when the members of the Parliament wanted to put their views forward they created these long documents. These long documents made a case as to why their views were right and why they needed to be put into action for the overall benefit of the country.

These documents were as long as proper books and they needed to be bound together to make them appear professional and easy to carry around. Sometimes instead of binding them, the members of the parliament just wrapped them in paper and submitted them directly without binding them. This is how the white papers got their name – from the white papers they were wrapped in.

Then They Evolved…

As time went by white papers evolved and they went from being used by the Parliament to being used by technology companies that wanted to sell complicated and expensive products. They were used to educate and sell through education and persuasion.

Slowly they crept into the B2B market and almost all B2B companies started using them and now they are being used by almost any company that wants to market themselves though content as they have realized the value of creating content and the key role the white paper plays in it not only in generating leads, but also to spread expertise and increase the number of subscriptions to their mailing list.

To find out more about white papers – read this free white paper on how to write a white paper.

Do you use white papers in your business? What sort of business do you run? Have they helped you? Please leave your comments in the comments box below.

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