Many white papers these days are presented in a two-column format.
What benefits does the two-column format have over a single line of text?
In short, it’s all about how your brain scans and processes information.
Research shows that the optimal amount of text for printed materials is just
60 characters per column.
More than 60 characters per column and the brain has difficulty in scanning through the text. It’s the same principle as needing to take a visual break by adding some white space between paragraphs.
Long lines of text, just like long sentences can be harder to read.
For technical and medical papers, a two-column layout also allows graphs, tables and other graphics to be clearly presented without taking up too much page space. That said, many companies prefer the clean and simple lines of a single column layout. That can work very well too, just as long as the page has wide margins, and the text runs to no more than 90 characters per line.
It’s all about helping the reader to understand your message as easily as possible.
A white paper, well written can be an excellent marketing tool.
So how can you make the best of this opportunity to engage your reader's attention?
Here are 7 simple rules to guide you.
1. Create an engaging solution-focused title.
2. Focus on benefits. Use your white paper to engage your readers' interest and gain their support by providing high quality evidence based research.
3. Show your customer how you can solve their problems and make life easier for them.
4. Speak their language. Use NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to appeal to readers across all sensory modalities.
5. Use up to date references to make your white paper a valuable educational resource. Ideally, references should be less than five years old.
6. Include infographics. Research shows that using infographics that combine both words and pictures is a much more effective way to communicate than either words or images alone.
7. Use your own branding discreetly. The last thing you want is for your white paper to come across as a pushy sales document. Be subtle. Use your white paper to engage your customer's interest. The sales conversation comes later.
What makes a good white paper?
First, you need to pick a high value topic that will be of interest to your target audience.
Second, you need to position your company as the go-to expert to provide solutions to your customer's problems.
The aim is to enhance your company’s credibility and position you as a thought leader in your field. To do this you’ll need to stay clear of overt selling strategies and win over your customer's hearts and minds with useful, relevant and succinct information that aims to educate as well as persuade.
The payoff is that a well written white paper will have the effect of engaging your customer's interest, gently moving them through your sales funnel with far less resistance than traditional hard sell strategies ever could.
If you can provide your customer's with well researched, high value content, it will be much easier to cut through the noise of your competition and you’ll be one step closer to generating highly qualified leads who are ready to buy.
Let me share your workload and create your white papers and special reports for you. Click here to view a sample.
White papers are precious documents for anyone who sells technical equipment, or complex solutions to challenging problems. Their aim is to both educate and sell. The challenge, though, is to make them visually appealing enough to keep the reader engaged from start to finish.
3 design tips to catch your customers' attention
1. Make use of graphics and icons to direct your reader's attention to key points
For a white paper to be effective white space and colour can be just as important as the text you choose. Using directional cues such as arrows, bold text and icons to ‘point’ your reader's attention in a specific direction can help time pressed readers to understand your message quickly.
2. Use quotes to highlight key points
Using block quotes in a larger font, or a different colour is a simple and effective way to help your message stand out. As well as adding visual variation to your white paper, you can reinforce key takeaway messages you want your reader to remember.
3. Use white space to surround and highlight important points.
A well designed white paper should be a pleasure to read.
That means making good use of white space to support the selective use of colourful graphics and well placed text.
Visual variability is important in a medical white paper, especially when explaining complex technical data. Blending your in-house branding colours into bar charts, infographics and charts can make your paper much easier to understand. Selectively adding white space to your document will also help your key message be remembered.
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The chances are you want a white paper to help sell your product. That’s the end goal, right?
But here’s the thing. You need to be discreet. Subtle even, selling indirectly, covertly and quietly.
Too much product promotion and you will be left with nothing more than a sales brochure and you may well have lost your customers attention before the second paragraph.
Yet, done well a white paper can be hugely successful at generating leads and positioning you as a thought leader in your field.
The key is to educate. Not sell. That way you can draw your reader in, leaving them wanting to know more without overt product promotion.
Once your white paper is written, then you can use it to sell. A well written white paper provides you with exactly the right type of content for promotion, and social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook provide are all ideal platforms to share high quality content. It’s a simple, efficient and elegant way of getting your customers attention and drawing them in.
But don’t stop there.
If you have a product launch coming up all the better. White papers and product launches go hand in hand. They can help to improve your company’s reputation, boost your brand recognition, increase your SEO positioning and drive word of mouth marketing.
Worth the investment?
Most marketing experts would say yes, with over 80% of respondents in a recent marketing poll stating that white papers were a key resource for decision makers when investing in a product.
So remember, don’t sell, educate and let your white paper do the persuading for you.
Writing a blog is always a good idea if you want to grow your business, but it's easy to underestimate the time involved.
Not only do you have to create a content schedule, but you also have to research and generate each individual blog post and source appropriate royalty free images. You'll also need to think about where to place your most important keywords and when all that's done you'll need to find the time to actually sit down and write your post.
Enter the healthcare ghostwriter.
Hiring a medical ghostwriter can do all this for you. Quietly working away in the background on your behalf. If you're a healthcare business owner you'll probably be able to think of some good reasons of your own to hire a ghostwriter but here are the most common reasons I'm asked to write behind the scenes.
Top 3 reasons I ghostwrite for medical and healthcare companies.
1. You get more free time
Running a successful business takes time, and so does writing. Hiring a ghostwriter to work away in the background for you helps you see the bigger picture of where your business is going. It gives you much more time to work on your business rather than just in it.
2. Your ghostwriter does the research for you
A healthcare ghostwriter does one thing. They write. That means they are well practised in the skills that matter.
Getting someone else to do this for you not only frees up your valuable time, it also saves you the headache of learning how to do these things yourself.
3. A professional writer can give you a fresh perspective
Typically all you need to do is give your ghostwriter some brief guidance on the topic you want to be covered and any keywords that need to be used. Then leave the rest to them.
Another huge benefit that is often overlooked is the fresh perspective your ghostwriter can bring to your work. A fresh pair of eyes can often see things that you can't, such as new or different ways to express your core message or engage with your readers. At it's best a ghostwriter can also turn out to be a valuable unseen member of your business team.
A good ghostwriter should be able to save you significant time and tell your story in an engaging way that provides each and every reader with something of value. But you know it's not all about blog writing. As a medical ghostwriter, I can write a variety of documents, all with your name on and credited to you.
White papers are known for being fact-filled and informative and yet gently persuasive at the same time. Their aim is to gently lead your customers to the conclusion that your solution is best for them.
And because they tend to be read by decision-makers it makes them an excellent tool to:
Cut through the noise of your competition
Offering your audience a gated white paper can be an excellent source of highly qualified leads. Not only that, a white paper can go a long way to establishing your company brand as a leader in the field.
It’s a way of offering high-value content to your customers whilst at the same time helping them decide to buy with persuasive, evidence-based research to support your product or service.
To survive in business it’s no longer enough to have a great product.
You need to discover increasingly creative ways to connect with your ideal customers and convince them that your product or service is the best for them.
White papers can help with that.
For example, a white paper can . . .
Ultimately white papers, special reports, e-books and executive briefs are designed to help you win business. From the first page to the last they are full of high value substantive content that aims to educate your ideal customer and bring them on board.
Why make white papers part of your marketing plan?
Once written a white paper can be creatively adapted for multiple uses. For example:
Ready to stand out as an expert?
If you run your own healthcare business, you’ll know by now that health blogging is an essential tool to build reader engagement and establish your brand’s credibility.
No problem if you enjoy writing and have time to spare. But for many small business owners finding the time and creative juice to create regular engaging health blogs can be an unwelcome chore.
At least that’s how many of my regular clients feel. Maybe you do too.
Here are 7 of my top all-time reasons I’m hired as a health blogger.
1. Hiring a freelance health blogger can save you precious time.
If you’re running your own business you’ve probably already got plenty to do.
You may already have people in your office who are decent writers, but wouldn’t their time be better spent on other tasks? A freelance writer can create fresh content quickly and professionally. It’s what they do for a living. When you take into consideration the amount of research and other time-consuming activities needed to get a major writing project, or even a short blog completed, it makes sense to hand some of your workload over to a professional.
2. You give your readers a fresh perspective
Freelance health bloggers can write across a wide range of health specialities For example, my background as a Midwife gives me natural expertise in the fields of infertility, maternity and baby care. But as a freelance writer, I write about a huge range of subjects that are health related.
Each time I write I increase my depth of learning, all of which builds my experience and helps me generate fresh ideas for the next client I write for.
3. You can hire global talent with no additional employment costs
A key advantage of enlisting the skills of a freelance health writer is that it does not confine you to your local job market. From my point of view, this has to be one of the most liberating aspects of my work. I’ve written for clients on the far side of the world whilst living on an isolated Scottish island, in a remote village in Devon and even from the deck of a boat.
It doesn’t matter where I am. I can write in either US or UK English, attend virtual video meetings and stay connected via email and messaging services no matter where I am.
From your point of view as an employer, the benefits are even greater. You can by-pass the conventional costs of in-house employment and can protect both your budget and your stress levels.
4 A freelance health writer can help you appear as an industry expert
If you are generating regular high-quality blog posts for your health care business then before long you will have plenty of good quality content that can be re-purposed into an e-book.
If you want to appear as an industry expert that is a simply brilliant idea that you can’t afford to ignore.
For example, you could offer:
5. A freelance health blogger can help bring clarity and focus to your marketing plan
The chances are you’re busy. Busy focusing on your patient’s welfare. Busy running your business and busy keeping up to date with all the latest developments in your clinical field. With so much happening at once, it’s easy to lose sight of the need to work on your business as well as in it and key marketing messages can get buried in your ‘to do’ lists.
A specialist health content writer can help you keep your blog posts on track and on message and whilst freeing more of your time to build up your business.
If you’re finding it a challenge to keep your patients or customers up to date with all the latest development in your business, or new developments in your field, it’s worth exploring how a content writer could help.
,6. You don’t need to find original content your health blogger will do that for you.
Do you know that saying “you can’t see the wood for the trees”? Well writing fresh and engaging content for your healthcare business can be a bit like that. The chances are you are so close to your work it’s no longer easy for you to view your marketing materials as your ideal client would.
Fortunately, this is one skill that freelance health writers are very good at. Usually, all you need to do is decided on the topic, provide relevant links and keywords and leave the rest to your writer. Most health writers will even source appropriate royalty free images for you.
7. Freelance health writers are trained in SEO optimisation
In today’s ultra high-tech world writing innovative, fresh content for your readers is only part of what is required. The other element that is often overlooked is to write for the search engines. This step is essential if you want to reach your target audience.
Discovering what keywords are trending for your industry can be time-consuming and knowing where to place those keywords within your text is a skill that needs time to develop. So why not let an expert help you out with that?
So, there you have it.
Whether, you maintain a regular blog, would like to freshen up your practice leaflet or are thinking about creating an e-book to boost your credibility there’s a lot to consider and having a freelance health blogger or content writer on your team can free you up to grow your business in ways that only you know how.
If you would like to talk to me about growing your business with new patient education materials, or fresh blog content, you can contact me here.
At their simplest case studies are customer success stories that can help persuade customers to buy from you. They are typically considered to be one of the top three marketing tactics used by B2B businesses to boost customer engagement.
So why are they so effective?
In short, because a carefully crafted case study conveys trustworthiness and credibility from the first page to the last. They give you an elegant, way of showing your potential customers how you can solve their problem without overtly selling and wrapped up in a compelling storyline they make for highly engaging promotional materials.
Storytelling can bring your product to life
Case studies are all about success stories. They describe how your company has solved a problem, overcome a challenge, or introduced a new and innovative service.
Unlike a white paper, a case study is a fairly short document, running at about 800-1000 words. The skill of the writer is to make each word count by crafting a compelling story to engage customers interest, connect with their pain points, point out the benefits of your product or service, and get them on board.
Social proof at its most powerful
A well-written case study is a powerful form of social proof. Not only does it tell the story of how a customer benefitted from your service but it also lets you subtly weave in the details of your product right within the storyline.
Best of all readers expect a call-to-action.
To show just how effective a case study can be, recent research has shown that about 78% of B2B buyers turn to case studies when researching potential purchases. And if someone is willing to take the time to read through your case study, it follows that they will expect to see your call to action at the end. It’s the natural next step to lead them towards the sale.
Hi, I'm Anne, welcome to the Copy and Ink blog.