Your Guide to Writing, Promoting and Using White Papers for Business
True stories can be a great addition to your white paper. Real life incidents when put in a story form can make your white paper more interesting and can add credibility. Your white paper is usually filled with lots of facts and figures and it could take very long to read them, this can bore your reader sometimes, but if you place lots of interesting real life stories in between and reference them to the original story it could make your white paper more interesting – it will bring it to life.
The first step is to find the stories. You can use search engines and Google Scholar to look for these stories. The best thing to do is to type in the most relevant keywords in the search fields and look for them in the results. Take a look at all the stories carefully and filter out the most relevant ones. It’s good to include 2 to 5 stories in a white paper. These stories could be from research papers or from news websites.
The stories need to be used to explain a point better and make it easy for the reader to understand what circumstances lead to that story. For e.g. if an incident occurred due to a company doing something wrong write about it and let them know what lead to that incident and what the company could have done to avoid that incident. Also let the reader know the different problems the company faced – loss of time, money, affect on public image, etc. If the solution is relevant to your product or service, it will make your white paper more effective in generating leads.
If it’s something good that occurred to the company let your readers know what they did right.
Don’t forget to cite the stories, so that people can find out more about it if they want to.
You shouldn’t ever fluff up your stories with information just because it might suit your white paper better. You should always use the right facts and figures and not bend the story to suit your needs. If your reader finds out that the facts you used were untrue it could affect the credibility of your white paper.
This is similar to the above point, but it needs to be said. If you don’t find any stories that suit your white paper you shouldn’t just start making them up. As I mentioned in the above point, making up stories will really affect your white paper’s credibility and put your name and your company’s name on the line.
If you don’t find any relevant stories just don’t include any of them and focus on improving the other parts of the white paper. Another thing you could do is give hypothetical instances where you could let readers what might happen if such and such a precaution wasn’t taken and what can be done to avoid them. If you do this you need to keep them very realistic and let the reader know that it’s just a hypothetical incident and not something true.
These are the steps you need to take to add stories to your white papers and make them more effective and lively. For more tips on creating effective white papers read this free white paper on “How to Write a White Paper.”
Do you use stories in your white papers and other content? What type of stories do you use? Are there any tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments in the box below.