A mid-adult man is focused on reading a white paper on his laptop computer.
If you sell a B2B product or service, a white paper is an effective marketing tool. Create a well-organized, persuasive paper using the outline and tips provided in this article. — Getty Images/Djelic S

White papers share in-depth information about a specific topic and are a valuable tool in B2B marketing. Writing a white paper can be overwhelming, yet the right template can help you organize your thoughts and structure the content. Here are seven elements of a good white paper template.

[Read more: 5 Smart Ways to Market Your B2B Business]

A strong title

The title is arguably the most important element of your white paper. No matter how interesting or well-written your white paper is, no one will read it if the title isn’t compelling. The title should speak to your target audience and reflect the purpose of your paper.

A good title highlights the main benefit the reader will receive by reading your white paper. Readers are also drawn to lists, so consider including a number in the title if it makes sense. And include specific keywords in the title so it can be found by anyone researching that topic in Google search.

Title page

The title page is the first page of your white paper, so it’s your first chance to make a good impression on the reader. It should include your company’s logo, the title, anyone who helped you research the topic, and the authors. Make sure the design and formatting are professional and that the font you choose is easy to read.

You can also include an abstract, which is an overview of the paper’s main points. An abstract helps readers determine whether the white paper is meant for them and if it addresses their problem.

[Read more: B2B Sales Techniques for Building a Loyal Customer Base]

Problem statement

White papers are often written to solve a problem, so yours should address a specific problem you’re trying to solve. Before you can write your problem statement, make sure you research and understand the problem you’re trying to solve.

From there, write a clear, jargon-free statement addressing the problem and why it’s relevant to the reader. The key to writing a good problem statement is making it solution-focused. The reader should understand that the problem exists, but be sure to include a recommendation for how to solve it.

White papers are often written to solve a problem, so yours should address a specific problem you’re trying to solve.

Include visuals

When creating a white paper, the design and formatting are just as important as the writing. You can make your paper more engaging by breaking up the text with H2 and H3 headings, images, and infographics. This isn’t just to make your white paper look good — including visuals makes it easier for the reader to understand the key points you’re trying to make.

[Read more: B2B vs B2C: What's the Difference?]

Details of the solution

Now that the reader understands the problem and has a general idea of how you recommend solving it, you can go into more detail. The solution section is crucial to creating a good white paper because it sells your product or service. It helps the reader determine whether or not your company is the right solution for them.

Make sure you back up your recommendation with evidence from existing research, data, and expert opinions. And you should anticipate and address any possible concerns the reader may have.

Summary

The summary reiterates the main points you made throughout your white paper. You want your summary to be brief and to the point. It highlights the problem, the main findings from your research, and the solution you’re offering. It should also emphasize the benefits of your solution and how it helps the reader.

Call to action

Your white paper aims to position your product or service as the solution to the reader’s problem. You can do this by including a call to action (CTA) throughout your content. A CTA tells the reader what to do to take the next step forward, like scheduling a demo or a call with your team.

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