How to repurpose a white paper into 5 other formats

Want to know how to repurpose a white paper?

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

That’s a great mantra for stretching our resources and creating less trash. 

Did you know you can apply this mantra to your next white paper?

keyboard with recycle key to signify our idea to repurpose a white paper - That White Paper Guy

The 3 R’s for white papers

Creating a white paper takes a big investment of time and resources.

Here’s how to get the best return on that investment:

  • Reduce the chance of creating a poor white paper—aka “trash”— with the many tips on this site
  • Reuse your white paper research in other formats: blog posts, slide decks, and so on
  • Recycle the key ideas in your white paper in other pieces of content

Marketers, see more on the benefits of repurposing.

Copywriters, see more on repurposing here.

Ideally, you can repurpose a white paper into five more pieces. It’s not hard, once you get started.

We’re going to show you how. This post is #1 of a series that starts with an actual white paper and shows how we repurposed it into many different formats.

The original white paper

Our sample white paper was written to support the expansion of a new mobile app into the B2B market.

The client, Mental Workout, makes wellness apps by teaming up with doctors and other professionals who are the go-to experts in a particular specialty. The apps cover mindfulness, stress-reduction, sleep, quitting smoking, and social success.

The company’s aim was to expand the apps from the B2C market into B2B by selling bulk licences to HR and wellness directors in large companies.

You can see the finished white paper for yourself by clicking the thumbnail below.

photo of sleep white paper we used to demonstrate how to repurpose a white paper - That White Paper Guy

Some more background

This white paper focused on the Good Night™ sleep app, using a classic problem/solution format.

We gathered ample proof for each section, going all the way back to Thomas Edison.

For the problem, we found studies that quantified the cost of sleep deprivation per employee, per year.

Next we outlined the traditional solutions employees use to tackle the problem—including sleeping pills—and why these don’t work.

For a new, improved solution, we presented the evidence for the cognitive behavioral therapy approach embodied in the app, and how cellphone apps can spark changes in behavior.

The paper ended up 15 pages long, including five pages of front matter and sources.

A note on the design: The rather plain formatting of this paper was done deliberately. The target audience tends to look at medical and HR journals, and the designer wanted to match the same somber look.

How we repurposed this white paper

Now you know something about the original white paper. The rest of this series shows how we repurposed it into many different formats:

Click any link in the list above to see how to get a better return on your white paper marketing dollars.

In the meantime, why not repurpose a white paper of your own?

With a little practice, you’ll soon be using the 3 R’s to generate many more pieces of interesting content.

 


* We don’t actually consider a landing page or Tweets to be “content” on their own. We consider these to be ways to promote content. But since we already had them on hand, we included them in this series.


 

Have you ever repurposed a white paper? What other formats did you create? How did the project work out? Please leave your comment below. 

About Gordon Graham

Author of 275 white papers on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, for clients everywhere from Silicon Valley to Switzerland, for everyone from tiny startups to 3M, Google and Verizon. Also wrote White Papers for Dummies which earned 50 5-star ratings on Amazon. Reviewers call it "a must-read... fantastic... outstanding... terrific... phenomenal... the best book of its kind."

2 Comments

  1. Virginia (Ginny) McGowan PhD on September 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for outlining this process, Gordon. It’s also great to see this example of a well-put-together white paper.

  2. Garth Osborn on October 8, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Thank you for this, Gordon. It really got me interested in trying the Mental Workout app! I truly appreciate seeing a well-crafted and researched white paper.

Leave a Comment