A whitepaper is a very broad term that covers everything from a simple two- or three-page paper on a specific topic to an in-depth report (traditionally it was a term used for a report to refute or support a legislative action).
For many publishers, the whitepaper is simply a downloadable report (PDF) used to generate leads. A reader is provided the whitepaper in exchange for their email address. This is a very effective way of growing your email list.
A whitepaper should provide clear value to the reader. A whitepaper should NOT be a promo or advertisement for your brand.
Common themes of effective whitepapers include:
- Best practices
- How-to guides
- Lists (Top 10 ...)
- Case studies
- A closer look at a trend or issue affecting your readers
- Collection of articles on a particular topic
Learn more about setting up whitepapers using ePublishing: How do I create whitepapers or other downloads requiring reader information or registration?