Whitepapers and eBooks have a lot of similarities. In fact, there are probably people out there who swear they are two names for the same thing, but that’s not exactly true. From the content created to the delivery method, whitepapers and eBooks have important differences.
In relation to business, a whitepaper is a persuasive, long-form piece written to provide a solution to a specific problem. Think of whitepapers like how-to guides to educate your readers on a particular issue, or promote a certain methodology –– they are all about problem-solving!
Typically, whitepapers are gated, meaning they require personal information (like an email) for readers to access them. People don’t want to offer up their information willy-nilly, which means you better make your content valuable.
Be careful not to make a whitepaper that essentially serves as an elongated product or service pitch. Going too “salesy” could really turn off readers and scare away leads. Ultimately, the goal is to inform, present facts, and persuade the reader of something. Whitepapers are detail-oriented, and, all-in-all, more “serious.”
eBooks, while similar, require less planning and, ultimately, fewer hours of work. They are more casual, interactive, and can be more fun in tone –– almost like an extension of your blog. Writing an eBook can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks while a whitepaper can take weeks to months.
You also generally don’t require any information in exchange for the eBook. You might promote it via social media or an advertising campaign, but not ask for an email, name, etc.
Whitepapers and eBooks should be longer than the average blog post, and both are generally considered “next level,” but neither one is better than the other. First and foremost, you should consider your ideal audience before choosing between the two. Are you looking to reach a wide, non-specific group? Go eBook. Are you trying to zoom in on a particular group of people? Go whitepaper.
You should also consider where you’re able to share the content. While whitepapers generally spread through a company or industry (a niche audience), eBooks are much more likely to be shared on social media, meaning, it’s generally easier to get eBook information out there.
Fortunately, we can help you decide which option is better for you –– whitepaper or eBook –– and if you’d like to work with us, we can walk you through our process. Give us a call if you’d like to talk about our content services.