Battle Of The Best- Whitepaper vs. Article
If we peek into the world of marketing, the real king is content! Nowadays, a humongous amount of content is created and consumed constantly. Even the article you are reading is content, but you must be curious that are there some forms of content that are better than others, or are there any comparison among them? We will discuss two of the most common forms of content that are the whitepaper and the article. We will cover the differences among them and when you should use each but before that, let us see what they are.
What Exactly Is whitepaper?
The terminology 'white paper' dates back to the 100-year-old practice of government reporting in the UK. When instructed by the Parliament to present data or report to make informed decisions, the government agencies would offer a short, focused reports and documents on a single topic with white covers. A concise document with useful information to solve a problem came to be the formula for what is now known as a 'white paper' in most of the industries. In the current scenario, these are produced for resale by companies, making them a marketing tool that is often confused with a neutral scientific paper. It is presented with an insistence on the narrative edge rather than designing. Therefore, it neither has a flashy artwork nor photographs, but statistics, if applicable, are presented in black and white tables or graphs. It generally takes 6 to 12 pages with citations, either as footnotes or endnotes. Formatting includes section headings with a summary, background, analysis, and presentation of data. If we look at the marketing world, these are usually professionally designed, which can be easily downloaded as PDFs.
Now, What Is Article Then?
An article is usually a 1 - 2 pages piece of content. It usually takes the form of a press release, an editorial (an article that educates about something, these are in trends nowadays), an opinion piece (an item that takes a position and tries to convince the other party one's perception), or different variations which offer information in the most precise and shortest method. The article can take the form of formal or informal. It can be educational, informative, or entertaining. An article can be stitched as a guest post on other blogs and shared on platforms like LinkedIn, which increases one's reach. It is usually an in-depth, insightful piece of content which is handcrafted in the second or third person. It can have a tremendous amount of information in the form of data points, analyses, and reports to support the article's aim. A good composition should comprise at least 500-1000 words. It is like a direct conversation with the reader. For an article to perform well, it has to be engaging enough to read all the way through and down. The article makes it easier to get a good impression of your writing. Add humor, real-life, or made up examples is good practice in article writing.
Differences Between Them
· Explanation: The difference between an article and a whitepaper mainly boils down to the length and level of explanation of the subject title. An article is supposed to summarize a topic and usually goes up to two pages. A white paper is lengthy and covers all topics revolving around the subject. It gives an in-depth detailed explanation of the case or research work, mostly written in 2nd or 3rd person. A typical white paper has at least 3000 words and is powered with images, data charts, and references to prove its genuineness and powerful arguments to support or reject a subject.
· B2B: Research says that 79% of B2B buyers are more likely to share white papers with colleagues than articles. One highlight of a whitepaper is its capability to generate credibility and trust for their publishers. It comes with another feature; it can redirect direct traffic to a company's website by making readers curious about a business and what the industry offers. Whitepapers are an excellent source for B2B lead generation. Articles are generated more quickly and include opinion and entertainment, which eliminates the need for extensive research. Articles are a gateway to raise awareness for B2B companies. When articles pop in trade publications or mainstream media, they can put a company on the radar of prospects who wouldn't have known about you earlier, which indirectly increases B2B sales.
· Publisher: white papers are prepared by a company's employees or through a freelance writer under contract. The content team is in sync with marketing staff to discuss the information to be presented, determine angles, and set parameters on facts and logic. The entire timeline can take anywhere from 25 to 50 hours to complete (1-2 weeks), from planning out to actual publication. The white paper reflects directly on the company that manages it and not directly to the author. While many authors can publish an article, and it can be on any topic under the sun. The article is an essay or story which may or may not involve over one person. These are written about specified topics and are structured using short paragraphs. They contain visuals like images or videos but only to reflect the central theme of the article. Examples of an article are newspapers, press releases, etc.
Commercial white papers are helpful. A potential company to boost its customer engagement can present a lot of information and statistics in a streamlined manner, a boon for the company to convince customers to look for their product. Article writing is a way to express a subject keeping aside all the facts, statistics, logic, and therefore it gives a personal touch to the piece of content. It depends on the requirement of which one fits in. If you want to showcase some professionalism, then go for a white paper else article.