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Papers: Infomercials That Work in IT and Beyond
(Marketing Memo April, 2004)
papers play a "critical role in the buying cycle," according to the
1,000 information technology (IT) professionals who responded to a recent
Bitpipe Network User Study.(1)
DO IT PROFESSIONALS USE WHITE PAPERS?
professionals download about 30 white papers per year on average.
use white papers to learn more about products or technology, or to
"specify and recommend" particular companies, products, and services
three-quarters (72%) seek more information from vendors or distributors,
or they give the white paper to others to read.
than half (57%) claim that white papers influence their buying decisions.
percent say the "availability of high quality white papers raised
their opinions of that particular company and/or their products and
paper is a popular mechanism in many industries for educating customers
and internal staff and for giving companies and their products or services
credibility. Regardless of the industry you are addressing in your white
papers, klariti.com advises that you treat your customers as both "prospective
investors" and a "judicious audience."(2 )
other tips for writing white papers:
TIPS FOR WRITING PERSUASIVE WHITE PAPERS
your audience, your purpose, and formulate your main point(s). For
readers who only read the introduction, summarize your main point(s)
at the beginning, as well as in the conclusion.(2)
Add an executive summary and table of contents to longer white papers.
a logical structure, and add headings and subheadings that indicate
the context and your solution. What are the business or technical
problems that your product or service addresses? Alternative solutions?
Your solution and its advantages?
enough concrete details to engage and convince readers, but not so
much technical detail that you overwhelm readers. Explain your assumptions.(2)
possible, include a brief case study that shows how customers use
the product or service.
an engaging tone and straightforward language. Avoid "technobabble"
and sales jargon. Define unfamiliar terminology in the text and/or
in a short glossary.
superfluous paragraphs, phrases, and words.
graphics to illustrate complex points and make the white paper more
downloading easy. Simplify request forms.
if printed versions of the white paper are readable, especially the
charts and tables.
Associates can write a white paper or case study for you that will convince
customers, inform staff, and enhance your Web site.
Network User Study: Readership and Usage of White Papers in the IT Buying
Process." InsightExpress conducted this online survey for Bitpipe in
and other klariti.com links.
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