The Best White Paper Examples for B2B Marketers

Key insights from the best B2B white paper examples across 9 industries

September 03.2018 5 minutes
 

Introduction: What is a White Paper?

White papers are great examples of marketing collateral that exhibit your authority over a chosen niche. Essentially, they are long form content intended to educate the target audience, that delve deeper into a particular industry trend/issue, explain the causes behind it, its implications/benefits, and ways to go about it. Often, companies publish white papers to address an industry problem just in order to propose their solution to it. That way, their product/solution has better recall value than their competitors.

 

According to the B2B Content Marketing 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, white papers emerged as one of the top 4 most effective types of marketing collateral that companies use with 71% companies preferring it.

 

Content marketers across industries use white papers as potential tools for sales. But, a lot of effort, time and money goes into creating it. In this blog, we have condensed our study of more than 70 white papers across industries and have drawn the below insights that will help you create the best white paper for your business.

 

Creating a white paper needs a lot work even before you begin typing out the core structure. Planning, stakeholder signoff, SEO strategy, the value proposition, its link to revenues are just some of the stuff you need to sort before you sit down with the draft.

 

Lets look at how some of the most famous companies are doing it effectively. Jump to the best white paper examples in your industry:

 

Just to make it easier for you, we researched more than 90 white papers across industries and have outlined the below best practices that will resonate with your target audience:

 

1. What is the BEst White Paper TEMPLATE?

 

Lets get this clear: There is no best white paper template.

 

Every company/author has their own way of creating it. In fact, white papers often follow the author's thinking process. The template of a white paper shows the clarity of thought of the author.

 

For example, if you're authoring a white paper on a new product that you're about to launch, then describe the market opportunity, the deficiency of a good solution, the reason why your solution is the best etc. Create the structure and stick to it all through the document.

 

Some of the white papers we examined gave out terminology definitions even before the introduction, while some had it at the end. Most of them provided their core message at the beginning either in the form of an executive summary or a brief synopsis. Some of them used a case study to explain their views while others explained their solutions.

 

2. What is the ideal length of a white paper?

 

There is no such thing as 'ideal length' for a white paper.

 

But remember that every page must add incremental value to the reader. Keep the curious reader hooked on with new stuff that they weren't aware of in every additional paragraph what you put out. It is easy to get carried away by the amount of stuff that you want to write, but your readers may not be interested in knowing them all.

 

If you're publishing a white paper titled "5 ways to prevent cardio vascular diseases," then your readers are going to look for the text under the bullets that speak about the 5 different ways. So, devote maximum effort in making this portion of the document valuable for them.

 

3. Get a Subject Matter Expert to Write for you

 

Compare these two: a weather meteorologist predicts there will be rain tonight. Your 80-year old grandma peering out of the living room window says it is not going to rain anytime soon. Whose prediction are you more likely to heed to? It is natural human psychology to sit up and take notice when an expert opines.

 

So, it is a good idea for your company to partner with a leading academician or a client executive or an independent blogger to co-author a white paper. It carries more weightage simply because it come straight from a bevy of experts. You can nominate an SME from your company to partner the influencer in the authoring process.

 

Two is always greater than one - simple.

 

Essentially, white papers are long form content intended to educate the target audience

 

4. Give wings to your white paper with research

 

Think about it – Aren’t you eager to know the poll results in your state or in your country?

 

From our analysis, we found that some of the best white papers were the ones that had some form of research/survey results embedded in it. That is because these results are an aggregation of public opinion who have given their verdict. Today, with the arrival of online surveys, you can compile survey results within a few hours of putting it up.  People want to know what other people in their community are saying. It is bound to engage the target audience more than a one-page newsletter.

 

5. Should i NECESSARILY use  a WHITE PAPER template?

 

No. All white paper templates are meant only as a broad guide towards creating one.

 

Moreover, your requirements may not fit into a set template because they are unique. For example, a conglomerate may have numerous business lines, all of which may not conform to a single white paper template. Feel free to create a structure that fits your project needs that sticking to a template.

 

6. Make your white papers visually rich

 

One reason why marketers don’t see a high ROI on their white papers despite the best efforts is because they fail to make it visually enriching.

 

Include infographics, images, charts etc. to explain your points as well as giving a takeaway for your target audience. Remember you could use all of these visuals in social media etc. to boost white paper downloads.

 

 

The Best White Papers for the Financial Services Industry

 

1. 5 steps to rid your small business of payroll stress

Published by: ADP

Why do we like this?

ADP is an established authority in the payroll software industry and they know what works in the payroll industry. This white paper uses a lot of visual appeal to explain how small businesses can overcome payroll related challenges. The title itself says '5 steps' and is bound to attract small business owners. Moreover, this white paper's target audience do not have much time, so ADP has stuck to the basics - giving out information that they are seeking instead of flooding it. Whilst giving out the 5 steps, they've even given a case study of how they helped one of their clients - which is what makes their opinion invaluable.

 

2. Seizing the Digitalization Opportunity

Published by: Siemens

Why do we like this?

For starters, this white paper is branded as an 'insight paper,' which is a clever move by the company. They have laid out the key findings upfront which is the core of their white paper and have substantiated TCO financing with examples of how they have helped clients in the real-world. It doesn't have a lot of white spaces, but is full of core and reference text.

 

3. RegTech: Helping Your Data Work Smarter and Harder

Published by: Wolters Kluwer

Why do we like this?

This white paper tackles a complex topic, one that does not have a lot of literature out in the open - Regulatory Technology (RegTech). The company introduces the topic, explain its basics, the necessity for it, how it affects companies in various geographies, the benefits of implementing it etc. Wolters Kluwer has just explained what their opinion is on RegTech in a manner that an IT professional would comprehend it.

 

4. Are equities overvalued?

Published by: HSBC

Why do we like it?

This finance white paper has loads of content in it to explain why  the equity market might be overvalued and why asset allocation could be the answer to it. It has content under five clear headings and is bound to interest portfolio managers, fund managers, and investment professionals. Authored by the bank's global executives, it is a significant report that has a clear message - investors need to be cautious in their equity allocation approach.

 

5. How Banks Can Win New Small Business Customers

Published by: VansonBourne

Why do we like it?

We like this white paper for two reasons: 1) It is produced in collaboration between Avoka and Vanson Bourne. Avoka creates customer acquisition and onboarding journeys in financial services, while Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. A good example of how a collaborative effort counts a lot more than individual efforts. 2) It is compiled with responses to a survey administered to 300 small business owners in European countries laden with verbatim responses by respondents. It is rare to see such white papers where two vendors catering to similar target audiences join hands to create a marketing collateral that serves them both.

 

 

The Best White Papers for the Healthcare Industry

 

1. Journey To Value: The State of Value-Based Reimbursement in 2016

Published by: McKesson

Why do we like it?

A well-structured white paper for the healthcare industry that is oriented academically. It begins with the list of charts and figures used and the definitions of healthcare terminologies. McKesson had already forayed to answer the question "Is value-based reimbursement real?” two years ago in a similar white paper. This time in a sequel to the earlier paper, they teamed up with a niche research company to survey 465 payers and hospitals to see how far the needle had moved on value-based reimbursement. By expanding and repeating the earlier study, they have established themselves as an authority in the subject. The white paper  moves along from one stage to the next by explaining the survey methodology, the sample design and finally the findings.

 

2. Reinventing Utilization Management to Bring Value to the Point of Care

Published by: McKesson

Why do we like it?

This white paper has been authored by Mckesson's Vice President on the topic of Utilization Management which is a good strategy as it exhibits their thought process. After a brief introduction, it moves to the limits of traditional utilization management models and how shifting to a collaborative exception-based model combined with analytics will serve as a bridge to the future. 

 

3. Current and New Approaches to Making Drugs More Affordable

Published by: CVS Health

Why do we like it?

Dealing with industry issues and suggesting remedial measures for them is a good way to build topic authority. Bringing drug costs under control is an industry-wide problem for US healthcare companies and CVS Caremark has taken the lead here to explain how if manufacturers across the board were to reduce drug prices, it would improve health outcomes and reduce medical costs. Besides suggesting three techniques to reduce costs, the company has suggested three recent innovations that help further reduce costs. The company has explained how medications can be made further affordable by comparing the high profit percentages of pharmaceutical companies as compared to other industries.

 

4. The Only Way is Up

Published by:  Bayer

Why do we like it?

In terms of the choice of subject, this is one of the most interesting white papers published by Bayer. The company explains where short cucmbers originate from, how cucumbers are embedded within Middle Eastern cultures, and the key consumption drivers for the vegetable in Europe and North America. The white paper is a storehouse of insights that includes average household sizes, life priorities of the customers, the evolution of the consumer etc. For a company of the profile of Bayer, to be opining about short cucumbers and how they have entered the snacking market is something unique.

 

5. The Forgotten Killer: Cardiovascular disease

Published by: Aetna

Why do we like it?

This white paper serves as a primer for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and explains the most common conditions of CVD, how various countries such as Finland are adopting measures to fight it, the promise and limitations of new drug therapies and the advancement in technologies that could improve early diagnosis. This document is an eye-opener for those who are not aware of CVDs and gives out a lot of information on ways to avoid it. With impressive noting of footnotes and charts, this is a good piece for people looking to fight CVDs.

 

 

The Best White Papers for the Insurance Industry

 

1. Digital Transformation in the Insurance Industry

Published by: Frost & Sullivan

Why do we like this?

Commissioned by Samsung Electronics America, this white paper deals with the trends that are shaping the Insurance industry. It deals with how insurance companies can thrive in this changing industry landscape, and how technologies such as mobile, wearables, AR/VR are impacting the industry. This is a good example of how a company specializing in a niche has partnered to not just author what the insurance industry is going through, but also explain how they're at the forefront of it. 

 

2. Black Insurance's White Paper

Published by: Black Insurance

Why do we like this?

Black Insurance's wite paper on the challenges faced by the industry (multiple parties, such as high costs, barriers to entry) shows their deep understanding of the subject. It explains Black Insurance's proposed solution to this situation along with the business model, the pricing framework, licensing, token economics, technical design etc. A very comprehensive white paper that clearly postions them as an authority in this domain.

 

3. 9 ways insurance carriers are driving down combined ratios with video

Published by: Panopto

Why do we like this?

Panopto is a video platform that enables users to record videos etc. The company has created a white paper for an industry that uses video extensively. It is almost a no-brainer that the company has put out a white paper to further their own business initiative and showcase their authority in the subject.

 

4. The Insurance Industry: Supporting SMEs To Prosper

Published by: Allianz

Why do we like this?

This white paper is similar to other step-by-step pieces that lay down the number of steps that an organization must take to achieve a certain goal. Each page highlights a challenge that SME businesses face along with the remedial actions that they could take in a grey box to the right of these challenges which makes it easier for readers to know how to deal with these challenges. Moreover, this is a survey of 500 SME businesses to identify the top 5 challenges facing the SME industry.

 

5. Embracing the multi-generation workplace

Published by: AXA

Why do we like this?

AXA’s white paper has impressive statistics by experts about the ageing population in the UK (right on page #3) followed by an executive summary that is in bullet form (pretty unconventional, but seems to work). It then moves methodically into the challenge that ageing employees and the organizations alike face, covers the benefits of having a diverse workforce, recommendations for companies. It is not too long, neither is it very short and is perfect for a good read for human resource professionals who are dealing with an ageing workforce. Again, a good example of how a company talks about a cross-industry issue but does not advertise any of their services upfront because their knowledge about it is enough to drive leads and sales conversations.

 

6. Enterprise Counterparties: Mortgage Insurers

Published by: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Why do we like this?

This white paper is by the US government charters to  provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the mortgage market. So, it is a highly valued piece due to the fact that it has the US government’s stamp on it and will be used as a bible by many mortgage insurers, academics, policy makers, regulators etc. who want to get to the point straight. This document is in a free-flowing format without any pictures, but it has substantial intrinsic value. We included this piece just to show how government agencies prefer putting out their publications.

 

7. Accident Insurance

Published by: Prudential

Why do we like this?

Prudential’s white paper on accident insurance for the US market is extremely well structured and explains the various aspects of accident insurance, its finer details all backed by numbers and graphs, the reasons why people need accident insurance, what employers need to do etc. With 13 pages of impressive content, companies looking to provide accident insurance benefits to its employees can use as a handy guide.

 

 

The Best White Papers for the Manufacturing Industry

 

1. How ETERNUS DX contributes to energy efficiency, cost savings and a human-centric intelligent society

Published by: Fujitsu

Why do we like this?

Fujitsu describes how their disk storage systems provide energy efficiency in the face of rising energy costs in data centers. This is a technical paper replete with diagrams and process flows. Clearly, Fujitsu has explained technical concepts with a view to sell their solution that improves disk storage, saves energy, improves energy efficiency. Fujitsu also describes their green IT initiatives and what they're doing to reduce burdens on the environment. With 'caring for the environment' being a core topic of this white paper, their Green IT initiatives resonates well with the document.

 

2. Win more business with fewer sales resources

Published by: Infor

Why do we like this?

An example of a white paper that has been created solely with the purpose of marketing the company's own solutions. It explains the need for change in discrete product sales and other technical concepts very well backed by secondary research. A no-frills document that sticks to the point and conveys its key message within five pages. It offers suggestions on the way sales are being managed by manufactuers and how they have a choice to take advantage of the situation with fewer resources.

 

3. How Software solutions can help mining companies increase efficiency levels

Published by: Sage Business Solutions

Why do we like this?

A very well-structured white paper that moves in a step-by-step manner by explaining the challenges of improving mining efficiences in Australia, software solutions that are available, and mobile dashboards that can enhance productivity. It follows the inverted pyramid structure of laying down the biggest challenges and narrowing down on the ideal solution.

 

 

The Best White Papers for the Retail Industry

 

1. Dialogue Marketing: How to Enter and Succeed in the German Market

Published by: Deutsche Post

Why do we like this?

This interesting piece speaks about ways to enter the German market using dialoge marketing, i.e.,  all marketing & advertising activities aimed at starting a direct dialogue with customers. It explains what non-German retailers need to do to enter a new market (if they haven't) already done it. This white paper is published by UPS, who have a strong presence in Germany and it makes a lot of sense for them to do it. Why? Because if e-commerce companies were to enter Germany, shipments will go up which will ultimately benefit them.

 

2. Eligma - AI-driven and blockchain-based cognitive commerce platform

Published by: Eligma

Why do we like this?

Although this is a white paper that aims to harness AI and Blockchain to improve the decision making for e-commerce customers, it is applicable for all industries. This white paper has all the elements that is needed. An example of a product that has not yet been launched, it researches the market, opportunities that exist, the business model, the execution plan, the technology solution framework that leverages AI and Blockchain, loyalty program - all of which ultimately are linked to one core vision: to offer a set of solutions to discover, purchase, track and resell ecommerce items. Seldom do we find such white papers that have the depth and coverage for a solution that is yet to be launched in the market.

 

The Best White Paper examples in Technology

 

The Best White Papers in Technology

 

1. Design and deliver cloud-based apps and data for flexible, on-demand IT

Published by: Citrix Systems

Why do we like this?

In this no-frills white paper, Citrix Systems deals with the topic in hand straightaway: A better way to deliver cloud-based workspaces using Citrix Cloud IT. From a visual perspective, there aren't many pictures in this document, but it makes up for it with use cases that further give evidence of their proposed solution.

 

2. Hitachi Content Platform

Published by: Hitachi Vantara

Why do we like this?

A technical white paper bereft of any visual appeal, barring system architecture diagrams, it delves deeper into how Hitachi's solution can help minimize vulnerability and threat expsosure. A company-specifiic white paper which focuses on the problem at hand and how their solution can help overcome it.

 

3. Creating the Foundation for Digital Transformation

Published by: Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Red Hat

Why do we like this?

A unique white paper written jointly by HP and Red Hat that speaks about how their partnership brings the best of both companies, along with consulting and migration services to help companies achieve digital transformation. They've even highlighted the success story of how DreamWorks Animation were able to achieve this with the help of HP and Red Hat. A good example of how they're bringing their proposition to life.

 

4. Using Virtual Platforms for Pre-Silicon Software Development

Published by: Synopsys

Why do we like this?

This white paper is similar to the Hitachi Content Platform piece that we mentioned above, but does not propagate their own solution. Instead, they explain how in a variety of application domains like wireless, multimedia, networking and automotive, it has become more and more difficult to sell silicon without the associated software executing on the hardware. This is a common problem that many semiconductor companies are facing and explains how a virtual platform can be used to develop and integrate the software. The target audience for this white paper semi conductor engineers, IT architects etc. who know the nuances of semiconductor development.

 

5. Air, Fluid Flow, and Thermal Simulation of Data Centers

Published by: Autodesk

Why do we like this?

A technical document explained with diagrams on the usage of computational fluid dynamics cloud-based services within the Autodesk 360 platform. Published in 2013, this document is still very relevant due to the manner in which they command authority in their chosen niche.

 

6. 2018 Fjord Trends

Published by: Fjord (An Accenture Organization)

Why do we like this?

Fjord's white paper on global trends is a treat for those who track technology developments closely. Each trend has a section on what's happening around the technology, what lies ahead and Fjord's recommendations for enterprises looking to adopt the technology. Each trend has examples of how companies are leveraging it to prove why it is a major trend and references at the bottom of the document that have been used to arrive at it. The document stands out for its clarity, simplicity and depth of coverage of each trend.

 

 

The Best White Papers for the Transport Industry

 

1. Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation

Published by: Uber

Why do we like this?

An apt example of how a transport company predicts a bold new future. While Uber has sponsored the white paper, note how the white paper mentions reviewers from NASA, MIT and other elite organizations that provide air transport. They've coined the term VTOL - short for Vertical Take-off and Landing. Imagine a service that does not exist today and you have the opportunity to bring it to life. That is what this white paper extols. It introduces the concept of VTOL in urban cities, it talks about all aspects of this - barriers to achieve them, emissions, certifications, safety, performance, rider experience. They conclude by saying what steps they will take to bring this to life. A 98-pager, it sure is bound to appeal to the die-hard fans of futuristic transportation.

 

2. Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030

Published by: RethinkX

Why do we like this?

This white paper is bold in many ways, because its author, Stanford economist, Tony Seba is a man known for his bold, but accurate predictions. He predicted the rise of the solar industry when solar panels were a lot more expensive than they are today. He predicts the death of the automobile and the oil industry. He goes deeper in every aspect of these predictions and gives the reasons for his predictions. It is not so much about the predictions, but the statistics, the research and the sound logic that backs them and the recommendations which appealed to us. Every concept that they have mentioned in the report has been explained in the appendix section. This is an ideal example of a comprehensive  white paper that encompasses everything forecast they make. 

 

 

The Best White Papers Across Industries

 

1. A Four-Step Plan For Business Continuity - How to Develop and Maintain a BC Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Business Disruption

Published by: Sungard Availability  Services

Why do we like this?

In a simple way, this white paper tells us the 4 steps needed to plan for Business Continuity (BC). Each step is then further explain for everything that includes in it. BC applies to all companies and all industries, so the company has a very unique advantage in that it can appeal to any company in industry. It does not lean towards any particular industry, instead it is a generic document.

 

2. The Power of Design Thinking

Published by: Dassault Systemes

Why do we like this?

One of those white papers where the format used is in the first person and the author is an academic. This is another unique way of creating a white paper by getting academia or an expert from a different organization to write for you. It contains valuable advice especially because it comes straight from Philip Gray, an expert who has spent 4 decades in product design.

 

3. Data Resilience with Fallback Protection

Published by: Teradata

Why do we like this?

Teradata's technical white paper explains the need for a high-level discussion of the features of Fallback, a unique feature to Teradata Database, that enhances the availability of a single Integrated Data Warehouse system. The target audience for this white paper are data experts who will comprehend fallback recovery tools, performance impact due to Fallback, the benefits of having the Fallback.

 

4. Interactive content across the buyer's journey

Published by: i-on interactive, inc.

Why do we like this?

A common topic across industries, this white paper explains why interactive content is better than static content and the different tools that can be used in interactive content. While they don't talk about any new concept in content marketing, they've cleverly used the buyer's journey concept to further their case why businesses must use interactive content, which is their expertise.

 

5. 10 Best Practices for Writing Effective White Paper Titles

Published by: inSegment

Why do we like this?

An often neglected feature, this white paper features the top 10 best pratices for creating the best headlines. It is a short document and does not have a lot of content, but makes up for it via examples and good suggestions.

 

6. MONITORING 101

Published by: Solar Winds

Why do we like this?

A generic document applicable for companies across industries, it introdces the concept of 'monitoring' for someone who is familiar with computers and IT in general, but not with monitoring. As such, (almost) no former knowledge or experience is required before delving into this document. It talks about the FCAPS model of monitoring, building blocks of a monitor, techniques of monitoring,  and more. A seemingly technical concept has been explained in a simple way so that readers understand it easily.

 

What are your favorite white papers?

 

Do you have any favorite examples that you wish to be featured in here? Is there any white paper that has awed you? Let us know in the comments below and we will make sure it is part of this list.

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