Your Guide to Writing, Promoting and Using White Papers for Business
References are one of the most important components of your B2B white paper. They are sometimes left out because it is hard to find good ones or because it takes some time to write them properly and refer or relate them to every text in the white paper.
In regular copy you can use testimonials to get the reader to trust you. The reason why testimonials are important is, because it’s hard for the reader to trust the company or the marketer, because they are marketing their own product. But they will be ready to listen to someone who’s a third party and has not got anything to do with the company. It provides trust and lets the reader know that the writing and the solutions are real and not made up just to make everything sound good.
In a B2B white paper there’s no direct selling and this is the reason why you cannot use testimonials. As they will make your white paper appear like any other direct marketing material. Some B2C white papers can use testimonials as it will work for them, but if you’re writing the white paper for a B2B company, you should forget about them and instead use references.
References let the reader know that content you have written in the white paper has been researched by experts and it hasn’t been made up just to make the solutions appear better and real. They add trust in a subtle way. They don’t overdo it and over sell it like testimonials, but they perfectly fit in with the white papers theme of selling the content indirectly.
So make sure you add a minimum of 5 or more references to your white paper and make your white paper trust worthy, so that it can do its job generating clients with whom you can build long trust worthy relationships with.
To learn how to write white papers read our free white paper “Understand and Write White Papers”.