Wondering what makes a successful white paper for SaaS? You’ve come to the right place. White papers are an essential tool for businesses looking to showcase their products and services in detail, highlighting the advantages and features of their offers and demonstrating expertise on the subject. However, many SaaS companies have no idea how to tackle even a single white paper, let alone a whole series.
In this article, we’ll provide best practices for creating SaaS white papers that will help you get started on your project. We’ll also outline the key components of a successful paper and explain how to effectively use them to market your specific topic.
What is SaaS White Paper?
A SaaS White Paper is a comprehensive document that outlines the benefits of using software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. It explains how these solutions can help businesses increase their efficiency, reduce costs, and generate more profits, but might also include other topics.
The goal of creating a SaaS White Paper is to provide potential clients with the information they need to make an informed decision about your product or service. As such, this type of document should be detailed, professional, and well-crafted.
Benefits of SaaS White Papers
Increased visibility and credibility
SaaS white papers can provide your business with industry-leading visibility, helping boost your reputation and brand recognition among prospects.
When putting together a white paper, you have the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and experience in the industry, highlighting areas of technical know-how that are relevant to your SaaS product.
White papers are an effective tool for attracting new customers and demonstrating the value of what you’re offering—ultimately resulting in increased sales opportunities.
Reach segmented audiences
By tailoring each white paper to a certain audience, you can engage targets selectively and give them content that will be both interesting and useful.
Technical content is taken seriously by readers, and including case studies or product-specific data helps solidify your organization as an authoritative source in the chosen field.
SaaS White Paper Best Practices
#1 Define your target readers
Identify your target audience and tailor your content to their interests, needs, and pain points. If you want to persuade potential customers to purchase your SaaS product, make sure to provide proof and examples of how it can be beneficial to their business. If you want to educate readers, ensure you’re picking important points for a particular topic.
#2 Research thoroughly
To capture reader’s attention (and generate leads), you should present greater transparency of research, as well as some new research done for that specific white paper. Make sure to back up any claims you make by conducting thorough research.
#3 Use compelling visuals
Use charts, graphics, images, and videos to capture reader attention. Add data visualizations (will play the role of visual aids) and key insights. High quality photos are a must if your white paper is to be effective.
High-quality content needs to match with an aesthetically pleasing design. Choose a modern and pleasant style that will attract readers, while still keeping the paper professional. Take advantage of high-resolution graphics and brand colors, and eliminate white space.
#4 Keep it organized
Break up the document into easily digestible chunks with clear headings and subheadings. Add a table of contents, bullet points, brand fonts when applicable – it will all work towards a general visual appeal for your white paper design.
#5 Follow a logical flow
Begin with an introduction including the motivation for writing the paper and use this as a platform to gradually build upon by creating a cohesive narrative throughout the white paper. When you have the very first draft of your new white paper ready, review it for the flow – it might be too late afterwards.
#6 Emphasize call-to-actions
Provide tangible takeaways for readers at the end of each section or subsection with concise calls-to-action. Your white paper topic might be a CTA itself, but it should also include additional points to spur conversion.
#7 Proofread multiple times
Before publishing and sharing on social media, proofread and edit several times; your white paper, even if it’s a short document, must leave no room for error or misunderstanding in its contents!
#8 Create a landing page
If you picked a complex topic for your white paper, you might need a landing page to go with it. This will give you the opportunity to offer more details and explain in a few words why readers should download your white paper.
These are some of the best practices for creating an effective SaaS white paper that can help you increase leads, boost sales, and build brand recognition.
SaaS White Paper Example Types
#1 Technical White Paper
Here’s where you can highlight your company’s expertise in the field. Technical white papers are an opportunity to provide readers with detailed information on the technical aspects of your offering, as well as demonstrate its advantages over competitors. In this case, your target audience would be developers and professionals.
#2 Promotional White Paper
This white paper example is geared more towards prospective buyers, and its purpose is to market your services. Focus on how your solution can help your audience solve their problems and reach their goals. On top of that, this white paper explains the features of the product and why they are advantageous to users. And, while white papers usually contain facts and figures, promotional white papers should also emphasize the value of customer relationships.
#3 Marketing Collateral White Paper
With this white paper format, you can easily combine the elements of both promotional and technical white papers, combining them together to present a comprehensive overview of your products or services. Its purpose is to demonstrate how your solution can help customers solve their problems and reach their goals, as well as provide readers with detailed information on the technical aspects of it.
#4 Industry Trend White Paper
Creating white papers can be a copywriting challenge, but you can use this format to make it a bit easier. An industry trend white paper is an opportunity to discuss the current and upcoming trends in your niche, as well as how your product or service fits into those trends. This type of content helps position your company as an authority in the field by discussing the latest developments and topics related to your niche. It, at least, should work wonders for lead generation too.
#5 Thought Leadership White Paper
If you work in a particular industry, why not show your target group just how much you know about the field? Thought leadership white papers are an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and insight into the industry, which can give readers a better understanding of how their own operations could benefit from your offering. And if you’re a true thought leader, writing a key takeaways section can help readers get the most value out of your white paper.
With an executive summary as a conclusion, a thought leadership white paper can be an effective way to ensure readers keep coming back for more. Such an executive summary also works great for your personal brand.
#6 Case Study White Paper
A well researched and written case study can be used to demonstrate your company’s success. This type of white paper should include details on the problem, how it was solved by your product or service, and any other relevant information that readers could benefit from. Using it for marketing purposes can help you showcase your results and encourage prospects to give your brand a try.
Your perfect target audience in this type of white papers is nothing but potential customer base who want to know more about your product or service.
#7 Analytical Report White Paper
In depth and well researched information can be put together in a comprehensive report. This type of white paper can be used to discuss long term trends, analyze data, and explain the results of research you’ve conducted. It is also a good method to showcase your company’s ability to think critically and make well informed decisions.
Visualizing data and presenting it in an understandable manner will help potential clients make decisions. Presenting your research findings and using it to prove the value of your product or service can help you win over new customers.
#8 Solution White Paper
Giving a fresh perspective into a solution you have developed can be done with a solution white paper. This style of content will showcase the advantages and features of your product or service, while also providing readers with real world examples of how they can utilize it to solve their problems. It is an effective way to target potential buyers and give them the information they need to become your client, but also a good way to keep existing customers informed.
#9 Small Space White Paper
If you’re an expert in a small niche (e.g. climate change, Samsung electronics America, digital transformation, health care, or insurance industry), a small space white paper can be an effective way to demonstrate your knowledge and attract more potential customers. This type of content typically focuses on a specific issue or topic, providing comprehensive information in a compact format.
In this case, going in depth is exactly what your target audience expects you to do. In a nutshell, the small space white paper should guide them in the right direction and be useful in their decision making process.
By using this type of content, you can become an authority in your niche while providing readers with valuable information. It’s a win-win situation!
#10 Particular Subject White Paper
Have you ever seen government white papers, released by government agencies? Don’t make their mistake – avoid going too deep into the details. Instead, focus on the particular subject and use your white paper to present clear explanations of the topic at hand. This type of white paper is great for professionals in any field who want to explain a concept or share their expertise.
Start with SaaS White Paper Examples
Well designed white paper should be the foundation for any company’s digital marketing strategy. It should draw readers in and provide them with valuable information that is easy to understand, comprehensive, and actionable.
With the right approach, a white paper can be used in variety of ways. From lead generation to brand promotion, almost any business can benefit from this content format.