Regardless of industry, venturing into starting your own publication is definitely a daunting task —you’re ready to compile and share your startup’s deep knowledge of your industry, and you don’t even know where to begin.
A white paper is the natural choice to explore, as it allows you to not only highlight your business’s expertise, but also works as a valuable tool in marketing. But how can you put all your knowledge into a white paper? And how can you even compile worthy information about the fintech industry given the pace at which it evolves?
The White Paper: Uses And Value
As mentioned above, white papers are text-heavy, data-centric documents. As a fintech startup, you will need to provide large amounts of data and research. Remember this format is a deep read, which is why it should be written with a formal tone. Although they are a tremendous tool to attract leads, they are also far from being a sales pitch. The main function remains to provide industry knowledge and highlight your company’s expertise. Let’s make a quick experiment: can you tell the difference between these two headlines?
- 5 Ways XYZ Marketing Will Save Money In Your Digital Ads Budget
- Digital Ads: Matching Marketing Needs Across All Platforms
Sentence A is a sales pitch, whereas sentence B is a white paper title. As you can see, sentence B focuses more on providing specific knowledge about a topic, and it’s not trying to sell you anything. Your fintech white paper should allow the reader to understand an issue, solve a problem, or even make a decision.
Let’s say that you have already considered your topic. You have already explored how fintech can change millenials and their healthcare; how fintech can turn upside down the mortgage industry; or even how fintech provides clarity for the blockchain and crypto industry. Stop there just a second. Choosing the right topic is no less than key, which is why you need to consider three major aspects:
Just like any other publication, your audience should be your first consideration. A white paper must be written with reader-persona in mind. You can perhaps focus on addressing long-time customers familiar with the fintech industry, or target new buyers who are entirely foreign to this kind of business.
Being fintech a rather new industry, explore within the topics that converge into the definition and look for ones that have not been fully addressed or investigated. For example, let’s say your fintech company focuses on mobile payments. Although it seems every single human being possesses a smartphone, not until recently the mobile payment industry market started to be on track to surpass $ 1 trillion this year.
Therefore, you can target people who are interested in the use of technologies and services that allow them to exchange money and payments online or on mobile devices, or who are interested in new apps or payment platforms. That way you will not only showcase how your product or service improves the current consumer journey, but also will attract the attention of investors.
Your white paper should match and showcase your startup’s fintech expertise. This type of publication normally provides a complete investigation including both internal and external research. Your startup’s own know-how dictates how the content is going to be compiled.
Let’s continue with the example mentioned above: as a fintech company focused on mobile payments, you need to compare yourself with your competitors and see how your product or service differs or mimics theirs. This will give you an insight on how you want to compile the information about your company —what features of your product or service give your company a competitive edge?
The Problem And The Solution
As mentioned earlier, white papers should address a particular problem. The problem, of course, should be not only relevant but also timely in the fintech industry. You could focus your publication on common dilemmas, new trends, industry comparison and new techniques within the fintech industry, and then provide readers with a solution or recommendation as an answer to these problems.
Since your main focus is mobile payments, as mentioned in the example, then, in simple terms, your line of thought should be elaborating around why should a consumer choose your product or service over that of a competitor. This decision has to be driven by how you’ve compiled and showcased the information —how your mobile payment product or service has acted for the betterment of consumer experience.
Before recklessly typing words like a madman, you should do proper research. After selecting your topic, you must research, pulling information from different sources and references. Remember a white paper is data-centric, which is why you’ll need to support your claims with significant research.
And since you already work within the fintech industry, you’re certainly aware of what’s going on, so scope out what issues are the ones generating pain points or hitting the spotlight for you to elaborate on.
White papers traditionally follow a standard format. The content order may seem similar to a business report, but there’s a key difference —a white paper provides a conclusion at the end.
Your fintech publication should pay special attention to how the reader ‘desires’ to receive the information. The content and research will be the ones that informs your audience and increase their understanding of a certain issue throughout the whole document.
For the sake of this blog, let’s say that you have presented in your white paper all the issues around traditional banking and traditional mobile payment, and how new products or services like yours has provided consumers and businesses with a much better experience.
If possible, add data-backed conclusions. Something along the lines of: “how X technology/product has enabled X industry to achieve X% growth in X partnerships/transactions, and more”.
All this information should allow consumers to not only understand the current state of that particular sub-segment, but also to make a decision.
White Paper Skeleton
- Title —should be enticing
- Abstract —brief overview of your publication’s main points
- Problem statement —specifies the issue the white paper will try to address.
- Background —provides crucial information for readers to grasp the problem and, finally, the solution
- Solution —based on the information and the evidence contained in the white paper
- Conclusion —summary of the publication’s major findings
- References —all sources must be cited.
A Final Word
Writing an enticing and really informative white paper is definitely no easy; however, the effort, time and skills you put into producing this valuable type of content will definitely contribute to the overall education of your customers and your prospects. Remember: a good white paper increases business opportunities, your brand recognition, reinforces your place within the industry, and will help you with your fintech PR strategy.