A white paper is something that people don’t like to read. When you hand them an attention-grabbing, colorful magazine or brochure of good quality they will appreciate it more than a dry boring white paper.

You see, there are many companies who make the common mistake of cutting costs by publishing their important document as a plain old lifeless white paper. People are used to receiving generic, boring white papers with a “strictly business” type of language. A plain old white paper won’t do the trick for you anymore.

The most profitable companies understand that they need to invest time, effort, and money into making their white papers appealing and creative. They know that by spending money on the cover and the overall look and feel of their white paper, they will get a positive return on investment. 

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So, what is a white paper supposed to include  if it is to be attention catching? The following things:  

Include Pictures

You already have what you need to make your white paper look attractive – pictures!

Pictures are the best way to catch people’s attention. We are all used to looking at pictures, but reading words is not our favorite activity. So take advantage of that by using a lot of appealing product or service photos in your white papers. If you don’t have any photos to use, hire a professional photographer whose work will attract people.

If you don’t have any good photos, then at least use infographics that will catch people’s attention. You can get your white paper looking even more attractive by adding fun comic strips or icons to it.

Source: Venngage

Content And Layout Is King

The best way to grab people’s attention in a white paper is a catchy title and an intriguing introduction that includes a story about the reader and what they can do. You need to show them that your white paper template has something in it for them and why you should be the only one who gives it to them.

If you take a look at some of the best-selling business magazines such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Fortune, you will notice that they all have good writing and creative layouts. Poorly designed layouts and badly chosen fonts make a document difficult to skim through and scare away readers. The more legible the text, the better it looks and the more likely people are going to read it.

What separates the winners from the losers in any business is having something worth reading. A white paper format with pictures and good quality content is much more likely to get read than one that looks like it was printed at home or on an old printer. If you are not that into writing then hire a professional copywriter who knows how to create really good articles.

On the other hand, you can come up with a good white paper design yourself with Venngage.

Don’t Skimp On The Paper Quality

People judge books by their covers. If you want to be taken seriously in your industry, make sure that you publish your important white papers on high-quality gloss pages. A plain old cheap copy of a white paper won’t get looked at let alone read. That’s how they end up in the wastepaper basket after a few seconds.

White papers are printed on general white paper texture, but you can add some color with colored borders around each page or use a different color for the cover. Using colored paper is especially effective in technical publications when writers from different companies want to publish their white papers together.

Image by Merhan Saeed from Pixabay

Include A Call-To-Action

In your white paper, direct readers to your website and social media pages where they can learn more, ask for feedback on what they thought about the white paper example and then you can ask them to review it if they liked it that much.

If you give away a free sample of your product, don’t forget to include a call-to-action at the end of your white paper. For example, you could ask the reader to join their mailing list or follow you on social media.

A call-to-action is a way for you to get people’s attention and it works best when there is a good incentive such as a discount or free sample that they can get if they sign up straight away.

If you enjoy writing then this may be a good way to make extra money too. You could sell your white papers for $10 or more each and still turn a profit if you write them well enough.

Go Beyond Business

You don’t have to limit yourself to business-related subjects either, there are so many things that can be made into interesting white papers. You could write about your family and friends, share how to cook a dish or give tips for working on a car engine. It’s all about what you enjoy writing so think of something that you would be willing to read about yourself.

In Summary

A white paper can be an excellent way for companies to educate their audience and spread awareness of something new they are trying. They could be instructing readers on how to use their product or service, or simply offering advice based on research findings. That’s why it’s important to make it as attention-grabbing as possible.