How to create an outline for an amazing white paper

The ability to write an amazing white paper starts with your understanding of its overall structure. This article will identify the key elements of a white paper outline template and how you can write an authoritative white paper.

Writing authoritative content is a key part of every marketing campaign. Readers give more weight to white papers in comparison to regular blog posts and articles. White papers are excellent for providing product-related information. The systematic array of information allows readers to understand every single aspect of the product. However, before writing a whitepaper, it is important to understand the key elements of a white paper outline template.

How to Write an outline of a white paper

What are the key elements of a white paper?

Unlike the common belief, Title is one of the most critical aspects of a white paper. It should be concise and written in simple language. Think of your target audience while writing the title. Additionally, it is suitable to conduct online research and find out what type of information is most sought after by your target audience. Searching Google for relevant content is a good strategy to start with. Find out the existing content on the topic, but refrain from copying other white papers.

Abstract or Executive Summary
One of the most common questions to come across in the context of white papers is how to write an abstract for a white paper. Abstract or executive summary should answer three important questions:
1. What is this white paper about?
2. What are the most important findings of the white paper?
3. What are the key conclusions of the white paper?
Try to keep the summary between 150 to 250 words. Avoid wordiness and provide to the point information only. Some of the key points to discuss in this section include the primary industry problem that you're solving, brief high-level statement of your product/platform, market trends, and purpose of the white paper (fundraising or awareness).

The introduction section is meant to introduce the problem, industry trends, and potential solutions to these problems. You must clarify the objective of your white paper in this section. A good introduction uses multiple sources and data points to establish authority. Furthermore, this is the section where you should introduce a framework for the whitepaper. Explain the information provided in the different sections of the white paper. It is important to avoid digressing and take the primary pain points of your target audience immediately.

Background/Industry and Challenges
Once your audience is aware of the topic at hand, start by offering an overview of the industry. For instance, if your white paper targets piracy in the Hollywood/Bollywood industry, provide data points such as annual financial loss due to piracy, the growth rate of pirated content, and primary actors involved in this process. These statistics will establish the problem and the reader will get real insights into your target industry.

Moving forward, you need to list all the challenges of the industry and their respective repercussions. Highlight the benefits of addressing these problems and indicate how your solution can counter these challenges. You can use different models or frameworks to illustrate these problems. The key is to make it easier to grasp information for your target reader.

All the previous sections lead to the solution part of the white paper, and this is where you need to explain every single aspect of your solution. Start by providing a clear definition of your solution and introduce any model or ecosystem present in your platform. Take time to discuss every component of your solution and list their individual benefits to different customer segments. It is best to take a real-world problem and demonstrate how your product/solution handles/rectifies the problem. In case of a technological product, include a pictorial representation of the platform and its different sub-systems.
An example of a solution to curb piracy in Bollywood/Hollywood is to introduce an artificial-intelligence based crawling tool that identifies pirated content across the Internet. It could include multiple sub-components such as identification matrix/algorithm, content removal/blocking tool, and a compliance tool.

If your product/solution proposes a new technology or uses cutting-edge technologies, include this section in your white paper. Indicate the benefits of using these technologies and how your product is technologically superior. It is important to stay relevant and explain specific use of every technology. A generalised explanation could alienate your reader.

Financial Model
For white papers written for fundraising purposes, you must include a financial model. A financial model indicates how the platform or business is going to generate revenue. The investor should get a clear picture of different revenue streams and the potential for growth. It is best to seek expert help for creating a financial model. Use tables and graphs to indicate growth potential, revenue forecasts, and other financial matrices.

Having a strong team is an advantage for the company, and it is best to include your team in the white paper. Provide detailed professional bios of your team members. It is advisable to provide social media profiles of your team members as it enhances trust in your project. Your reader should be able to verify the identity of your team.

This section offers a short description of the entire white paper. You should start with the problems and mention how your product address these problems. In the end, provide a strong finishing statement that reflects the overall vision and goal of your company.

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