White Paper (WP) is a document that helps your prospective customer make an informed decision in favor of your company or a specific product. If the document does not facilitate a decision, it may be anything but not WP. Speaking in the most understandable language, white paper is something between an article and an advertising brochure. The document contains quite useful information and at the same time leads to the fact that the best solution is to purchase a certain product or service.
The principle of the WP is that potential clients receive a detailed response to a complex problem. And who gave them this answer, to that and trust.
"White paper" can be called instructions, check-lists, infographics, reports, interviews, etc. In the work of our company, we often use White Paper as bonuses to customers and partners. Here is one example of such a document – Step by step instructions on how to build a semantic kernel.
Interestingly, WP is considered one of the most effective content marketing tools.
1. To provide the readers with important information about the product or technology.
2. To influence the decisions made by the reader.
3. To establish interaction with existing or potential clients of the company.
Scope of use
Originally brief reports, which in the 19th century were provided by the British government for discussion in Parliament, were called White papers.
Since the early 90s of the 20th century, the concept of white paper has penetrated marketing.
In the information technology industry white paper is used either as a technical instrument or as a marketing instrument:
- Since the 1960s, in the Appum Group the information on the latest developments and research results was spred with the help of White Books for internal use.
- In the 1990s, white papers were actively used to provide information to top management of companies.
- The publication of Satoshi Nakamoto's idea of digital peer-to-peer cash in the white paper of 2008 is considered a response to a crisis of confidence in the banking system.
- The appearance of the White Book by Vitalik Buerin in 2014 allowed the Nakamoto technology to be used more widely.
A few important characteristics of White book:
- It does not contain advertising messages: they encourage users in favor of the described technology or product by explaining why the proposed product is better than alternative ones.
- It is neither a user's guide nor any other technical document used before sale as a marketing tool.
- It is written in a formal language and provides factual information (90% of the text), rather thatn the opinion of the creators of the text.
- Introductory part: statement of the problem and a brief description of the current situation of the market
- Definition of basic concepts, explanation of the operation of key algorithms.
- The very presentation of the proposed concept and the technical details.
- Enumeration of possible problems, as well as their solution. An explanation of why the solution of this company is better than the solutions of competitors/previous developments.
- Examples of applications of the described technologies in other areas.
- Main conclusions, brief summary of the document.
Why does this tool work so well in B2B marketing?
- customers love white papers because they have a high value. People like to learn. And companies that generously share valuable training information with their target audience enjoy great trust and authority.
- the WP allows the potential customer to be placed in the sales funnel. Many people are ready to fill out registration forms and leave you their contact details in order to get an answer to their questions.
- the white papers are very tenacious. They can spread from hand to hand, forwarded by mail. An ordinary advertising leaflet, which has no obvious value, is unlikely to be distributed among its colleagues, partners or clients.
Ethereum is constantly being improved by the creators, therefore, along with the White Paper, the following documents also apply to technical documentation:
- Yellow Book (Gavin Wood) April 2014 - detailed technical description of Ethereum
- Lilac book (Vitalik Butterin) September 2016 - a description of the new version of Etherium 2.0, which is called Casper. An attempt to eliminate the shortcomings of the PoW mechanism.
- "Polka dot paper" (Gavin Wood) November 2016 - a description of an architecture consisting of many blockchains.
- A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform - Ethereum White Paper
- What is a white paper? White Paper definition and meaning
- White Paper - Investopedia
- The White Paper FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Ferguson R. Word of mouth and viral marketing: taking the temperature of the hottest trends in marketing //Journal of consumer marketing. – 2008. – Т. 25. – №. 3. – С. 179-182.
- Willerton D. R. Ethos and exigence: White papers in high-tech industries : дис. – Texas Tech University, 2005.pp.27. – Academic Press, 2015.
- Chuen D. L. K. (ed.). Handbook of digital currency: Bitcoin, innovation, financial instruments, and big data. – Academic Press, 2015.
- Buterin V. Ethereum: A next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform //URL https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/% 5BEnglish% 5D-White-Paper 2014
- Willerton D. R. Ethos and exigence: White papers in high-tech industries : дис. – Texas Tech University, 2005.
- Nakamoto S. Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system.//URL: http://nakamotoinstitute.org/bitcoin/ 2008
- Kantor J. Crafting White Paper 2.0: Designing Information for Today's Time and Attention-Challenged Business Reader. – Lulu Publishing, 2009.pp.24