By Merge

Whitepapers 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. The can also offer many SEO benefits. Although a whitepaper'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 whitepaper professional, pull the reader in, and give a quick overview of your whitepaper. For example, Merge always includes our logo, the white paper title, and a corresponding image. Our white papers are centered on 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 whitepapers 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 the text as a teaser to the content. Adding a pull-quote, like adding imagery, can give your 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 whitepaper's content. It can be used to link to 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-quotes and sidebars will give your readers 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 whitepaper. Readers might find their way back to your website and contact you there but it is best practice to include information in the paper itself. This allows them to contact you immediately if they are inspired to do so.

This article original appeared on the Merge blog and is used here with permission.

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