White papers are a marketing tool that can be used to showcase your company’s area of expertise. They are a great, free informational resource to offer your customers or clients and can offer many SEO benefits. Although a white paper’s purpose is to provide information, it’s important to keep a few design pointers in mind to provide an effortless reading experience.
1) Include a Title Page
Including a branded title page will keep your white paper professional, pull the reader in, and give a quick overview of your white paper. For example, Merge always includes our logo, the white paper title, and a corresponding image. Our white papers are centered around providing information on strategy, branding, functionality, traffic, and analytics. We also include a tagline to convey this to the reader.
2) Add Imagery
Adding imagery to your white papers will break up the copy and add visual interest to the paper. Would you have interest in reading a magazine or newspaper that was strictly a block of text? Probably not. Imagery also will help give the reader a better idea of the topic at first glance.
3) Make Use of Pull-Quotes and Sidebars
A pull-quote is a small quote pulled from your main article and displayed, usually in a distinct type format, alongside of the text as a teaser to the content. Adding a pull-quote, like adding imagery, can give your white paper reader a sneak peek at the topic.
A sidebar is a section of text off to the side of the main article that can be used for a variety of purposes. You can use a sidebar to provide a brief summary of the white paper’s content. It can be used to link for additional resources, steps in a process you’re writing about, an appendix (if you have a long document), a brief overview of your company, or for contact information. Both pull-quote and sidebars will give your reader a quick overview of the topic and pull them into the paper.
4) Provide Contact Information
It is important to include contact information at the end of your white paper. The reader could find their way back to your website and contact you there, but it is best practice to include information in the paper itself so they may contact the company immediately if they are inspired to do so.