White papers are important marketing tools for insurance wholesale brokers and anyone else for whom their expertise is a huge part of what they sell. White papers can be an important vehicle for showcasing your expertise and educating insurance agents about the coverage and markets you work with. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when writing one.
Not knowing why you’re writing. White papers can be vastly helpful to insurance agents who need to know about the types of coverage you specialize in. But their end goal is to convince those agents to work with you—by establishing your authority on a certain insurance topic, educating agents on a major change in the industry, or differentiate you from competitors. The topic and message of the white paper should be carefully crafted with your intended audience in mind—and what you want them to do.
Writing without a focus. Most people are pressed for time—and insurance agents are no exception. Don’t try to fit everything you know about a certain area of coverage into the paper, especially if a large part of that information is not applicable to a large percentage of the target audience. Don’t risk your readers losing interest before they get to the part of your white paper that applies to them.
Being too promotional. Your white paper is not about you. Keep the focus on the topic, and keep it educational—avoid mentioning yourself or your company anywhere in the paper. The exception would be at the end, where you should include text introducing your company and providing contact information.
Not doing your research. Yes, your white paper should highlight your own expertise. But it’s important to back up what you say with respected studies and other information that agrees with your conclusions. You don’t have to back up every assertion with outside opinions—especially if this is hard-won industry experience—but doing it at key points when possible will enhance your credibility.
Making it too text-heavy. Your white paper is, at its heart, a promotional item. In addition to being informative and helpful, it should be well designed so that readers can immediately pick out the most important information, with images, infographics, and design to back up your writing. This is especially important for insurance agents, who are often very pressed for time—shorter tends to be better for this market.
Not checking your paper. Never send a white paper to a publisher or put it up on your website without ensuring it’s error free. Even something as small as a spelling error can damage your credibility.
White papers can be extremely helpful to wholesale insurance brokers in getting the word out about their expertise—and reaching a whole new audience of insurance agents. Be sure to do some research into how white papers are constructed and how they should read, and you should be able to produce one that’s concise, effective, and targeted to the right audience.