Tuesday, December 31, 2013

21 Questions: Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Next White Paper Project

Before you decide to develop your next white paper (or any other major bit of content), your need to develop a brief that outlines your objectives and sets you on the right course.

Here is a listing of the questions that I use within my standard white paper creative brief. Although I point out “white papers” throughout, several questions also affect reports and ebooks.

Questions #1: Very best white paper’s topic? 
Simple but critical

Questions #2: Why are you creating this white paper?
It’s vital that you be clear on why you’re doing it before you decide to jump into the project. How will it assist you to advance your marketing goals? For example, could it be to generate leads for a new product, create  your thought leadership, increase your opt-ins, and so on?

Questions #3: Very best deadline?
Include deadlines for your first drafts, rounds of revisions, final copy and style.

Questions #4: About what stage of the selling process will you make use of this white paper?
A white paper for early-stage leads will very likely be highly different than one for someone that is considering your product and is almost prepared to buy.

Questions #5: That is your ideal reader?
What exactly is their job role? What are their key pains that could drive them to check out this white paper?

Questions #6: Is there other people who may read this white paper?
Have you got any secondary audiences? For example, should you be marketing to CIOs, someone in the finance department could also read the white paper to decide whether they wish to approve the purchase not really.

Questions #7: Exactly how will your readers take advantage of reading this white paper?
What is going to they learn? List primary and secondary advantages.

Questions #8: What is going on to your own readers, or within your industry, that makes this white paper relevant?
They are the market drivers. It’s vital that you cite statistics that support those inside the white papers.

Questions #9: Which of the audience’s key pains will this white paper address?
List all of them here. Your white paper will help your audience overcome them.

Questions #10: How is problem affecting them?
Is it impacting their company’s main point here? Does it affect their capability to perform their job? Is it impacting consumers? Will it affect their personal lives? Be as specific as you can.

Questions #11: Why haven’t your readership solved this problem on their own?
What is browsing their own way? Are they trying to take action or maintaining this self-destruction?

Questions #12: Do you know the risks of not solving the problem?
These could possibly be the risks associated with maintaining this self-destruction, implementing the wrong solution or finding the wrong vendor. Like will they lose customers or standard their competitors?

Questions #13: What solution can help your readers solve their key problem?
Please talk about the solution in general terms without describing your service or product. For example, if their concern is poor landing page conversions, and you sell ABC Squeeze page Optimization Software, the answer could be “optimizing your landing pages” or “improving your own content”.

Questions #14: Do you know the benefits of implementing this solution?
List as numerous benefits as possible.

Questions #15: Have you got anything in mind for your white paper’s “key considerations” list?
You might want to include these in your articles.

Questions #16: Exactly what specific solution do you want to promote in late the white paper?
This is where you are able to describe your product or service. What exactly are its features? You can also provide links to history regarding this solution.

Questions #17: So how exactly does your service or product help solve your readers’ problems?
Do you know the product’s benefits?

Questions #18: What do you want your readers to do after they see the white paper?
This will be used in the phone call to action. If you would like them to contact a sales team, provide the correct email address and telephone number. If you would like them to visit a web site, please provide a url to the page.

Questions #19: What tone do you want to use throughout this white paper?
Like do you want it to sound educational, professional or conversational? Have you got a corporate branding and style guide that you need to follow? Do you have samples of other white papers that use the right tone?

Questions #20: Supply the name, phone number and email address for anyone you would like to interview for the white paper
These people could be anyone outside of your company who are able to provide valuable insights that lend credibility towards the white paper, for example analysts and industry thought leaders.

Questions #21: Listing any sources you believe would be valuable for background research
These may include internal or external websites, reports, surveys, research, pr campaigns, presentations, articles, data sheets, brochures along with other materials.

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