Using a Cup Cake Recipe to Explain How a White Paper Works

15 Nov
2011
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A white paper is a powerful marketing tool. All this attention towards it can make it sound like a complicated document, but it is actually very easy to understand how a white paper works. One of the easiest ways I have found is to explain them is by using a cupcake recipe.

Let’s say you have got a craving for fancy cupcakes. You have two choices now you can buy them from somewhere or you can read a free recipe and bake these fancy cup cakes by yourself and save yourself some money. If you have the time your first choice would probably be the free recipe with the attractive picture and the rare recipe of this fancy cupcake. The free recipe doesn’t pressure you to buy the cup cakes and you can do it from the comfort of your house, making the least effort.

After you finish reading the recipe you can choose between baking the cupcake by yourself or visiting the store or bakery to buy it. A fancy cupcake will require you to visit the store and buy ingredients as a fancy cupcake will require fancy ingredients that will probably cost a lot and might be hard to find.

Now you have two options – you can either go through all the trouble of buying the ingredients or just easily buy the cupcakes from a store or a bakery. Now imagine a brochure that advertises these cupcakes is situated right at the end of the recipe. The reader can continue reading it as soon as they finish reading the recipe.

There’s no pressure on them to buy the cup cakes; they can read it if they want to. But after reading it they realize that they can order these cup cakes right away. There’s no need to buy the ingredients and spend some time trying to bake them. It also shows that experienced bakers who know what they are doing have written this recipe.

There are generally four kinds of readers:-

1. Some of them will be inexperienced bakers or will just be too busy so they will order the cup cakes right away.

2. Some of them will try and fail or just try it out for the fun and will eventually order your cup cakes, after they feel that all the effort didn’t work.

3. Some of them will successfully bake it, but will want to test and see if the one they made is as good as the ones sold by the bakery and will order them anyway.

4. Some of them will successfully bake the fancy cupcakes and will not need your help.

This is the same way a white paper generates leads. A white paper is just like a recipe followed by marketing material. A white paper is a magazine article that educates readers for free and it’s followed by a marketing material in the form of a brochure.

Now imagine a similar document to the cupcake recipe and the cupcake marketing material being applied on products/services that cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. Products/services like insurance, cloud software, IT healthcare equipment, contingent capital, and other expensive products.

Using the educative magazine article and the persuasive brochure a white paper can market and sell a lot of expensive products and services just like the white paper on cupcakes. It displays your expertise and your recipe to help your clients achieve great success.

To learn how to write white papers that work, read our free white paper on how to write white papers.

What do you think? Does this post help explain how a white paper works? Do you know any better ways to explain how a white paper works? Please leave your comments below.

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