11 Steps For Finding White Paper Topic Ideas (With Examples)

Ed Pronley


March 26, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

two papers depicting information sit on a desk next to a computer

White papers are powerful tools for a content marketing campaign. They provide your target audience with insightful information while positioning you as a thought-leader in your industry. If you’re trying to create content that showcases your company’s experience in the industry, it’s important to find excellent white paper topic ideas that can help. Today, we’re covering:


7 White Paper Topic Ideas

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Image via Unsplash by @bk71

White papers aren’t only reserved for marketing companies or research firms. If you want to position your company to earn respect and trust from your target audience, white papers can be a great way to do it. Here are some white paper topic ideas to review to inspire your own:

  1. Industry trends: You want to establish your company as a thought leader in your industry, so writing about industry trends can accomplish this goal. With your team’s expertise, developing a white paper about trends should also come naturally. For example, since CopyPress is a content marketing agency, a white paper about the trends to look forward to in content marketing in the next year makes sense for us.
  2. Original research: If your company conducts research to improve your own efforts, consider sharing them in a white paper if the results will help your target audience, vendors, or any other partnership you may have. For example, if you own an insurance agency and perform your own research on auto accidents and how having insurance made a difference to the car owner, you may want to publish this report and others in a white paper.
  3. Guides: You may have guides and how-to articles on your website, and if they work for you to bring in valuable traffic from online search queries, a more comprehensive guide via a white paper can make sense too. Think about what you have to teach, then create a paper with steps the reader can take, backed by statistics and other helpful information about why they should do so.
  4. Education: Sometimes, you don’t need a thorough how-to or comprehensive guide to make an impact on your readers and target audience. Think about a purely educational piece you can develop that shows how integrated into your industry your company actually is. Other leaders in the field may actually use this type of white paper to learn from. Educational pieces build topic authority.
  5. Best practices: If your company has identified a particular problem and has been able to develop solutions that work, think about creating a white paper that includes all the best practices you used to accomplish this feat. In this white paper, you can also talk about the products or professional services you offer as a way to soft sell to the reader.
  6. Product-based: When you develop a product-based white paper, you’re telling your readers more about a product you sell, including its benefits and features, how it works, and how it compares to seemingly similar products on the market. This white paper can be particularly helpful for those potential customers who are ready to make a purchase but need just a little more convincing.
  7. FAQs: You can even create a white paper of all the FAQs your company receives. Ask your sales, marketing, and customer service teams to take note of common questions they get and how they answer them. This is to establish the questions to include but also to make sure the answers your team gives are uniform so you can do the same in your white paper.


Read more: How To Write a White Paper (With Tips)

Steps to Find White Paper Topic Ideas

Here is a list of steps to help you find white paper topic ideas:

1. Research Your Target Audience

Researching your target audience allows you to better understand the challenges or problems they’re facing. This helps you find relevant white paper topics to address and provide your readers with helpful solutions. There are a few different ways to effectively research your target audience, including conducting questionnaires and surveys with your customers. These can help you see how your audience perceives your brand and content, and what problems or pain points they don’t feel your company can help with.

It’s also beneficial to talk with your sales and customer support teams. There might be common questions or complaints that customers make to these teams and you can use that knowledge to create more effective white paper content. By understanding your target audience better, you can help with these problems, complaints, or pain points by addressing your customers’ challenges directly and providing them with various solutions.

2. Repurpose Content

Repurposing your old content includes taking some of your popular blogs, resource articles, or other forms of content and using their topics as a starting point for your white paper. Taking a piece of content that’s already performing well can ensure you that there’s an existing audience who wants to read the information. That helps you create a more successful white paper and gives your audience more of what they want to read. As you repurpose content into white papers, simply focus on conducting more thorough research and providing your readers with more detailed information and solutions on the topic.

Related: How To Repurpose Content Effectively

3. Listen to Social Media

Social media is a great place to generate ideas because you can see what people are talking about and analyze trending hashtags and topics in your industry. This allows you to see what questions customers are asking and the problems they might have, which you can solve. Use this information to create stellar white paper topics that address these issues and provide your customers with quality solutions.

Using social media is also helpful because people are already using the platform to discuss your chosen topic. You can then use social media to share your white paper when it’s complete, marketing it and your brand more easily.

4. Analyze Your Competitors

Analyzing the competition helps you see how their content is performing and the different keywords they choose to target. If you use similar keywords or topics yourself, you can attract a similar target audience to your brand and find more effective white paper topics. Consider examining your competitors’ websites, blogs, and white papers to see what they discuss and how they address their audience’s problems. This can help you generate new ideas and see how you can address the same problems in a different, more effective way.

Start by using CopyPress’s new content marketing analysis tool, which compares your website and content with your top three competitors. We can show you which top keywords your competitors rank for and help you find gaps in your content marketing strategy. Request your analysis today to start finding new topic ideas and ensure your brand stays competitive.

“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”

Kevin Doory

Director of SEO at Auto Revo

5. Understand Where You’re Losing Leads

Talk with your sales team to see where you’re losing potential customers and the questions they’re frequently asking. This helps you create a white paper that addresses those questions or concerns. You can then send that paper to potential leads and squash their hesitancies before they even talk with a sales representative. However, because white papers often focus less on advertising a company’s products and services, it might be more effective to focus on general solutions to their problems and ways your company fits those solutions versus promoting your brand and business outright.

6. Talk With Experts

Talking with experts in your industry can help you understand how your business can best showcase your authority and expertise. Experts can talk to you about your current industry trends and brainstorm white paper topic ideas that you can create. You can even hire different industry experts as freelance writers to create the white paper themselves under your brand name and image.

You can also talk to experts outside of your industry who can help in other ways. For instance, talking with a content marketing company like CopyPress can help you develop a stellar white paper that’s sure to attract your target audience. CopyPress has a team of expert writers, editors, and quality assurance specialists who know how to create high-quality written content that positions companies as a thought-leader in their industry. Schedule a free call with us today to see how we can boost your content marketing campaign with powerful white papers.

7. Read Other White Papers

Reading examples of other white papers helps you see the best way to structure your own content. It also helps you generate strong ideas for your white paper topics and what might attract your target audience. Start by looking through white papers from your own industry. What do other companies focus on or talk about? Consider the ways you can talk about similar topics, but add your own expertise and knowledge to the subject.

It’s also helpful to read white papers from other industries. See what topics those businesses cover and how they relate to what their companies do or offer. Were you receptive to the information? Did the white paper make sense? Would it convert you into a customer? Reading more white papers from all industries can help you see what works and what doesn’t when talking to an audience and how to use that knowledge in your own content.

8. Read Industry Newsletters

Reading newsletters from your competitors and other leaders in your industry allows you to stay up to date on current trends. Understanding those trends and other popular industry information helps you generate new white paper topics. For example, let’s say you own a real estate agency and you read a newsletter on the recent hesitancies of owning a home. You could research the topic and develop a white paper that discusses those hesitancies and why buying a home is still beneficial for your target clients.

Newsletters from marketing companies can also help you better understand how to develop key content marketing strategies and effective white papers for your business. CopyPress currently sends out a newsletter that delivers helpful marketing knowledge to your inbox every two weeks. Sign up for our newsletter today to start creating a more powerful content marketing campaign for your business and write high-quality white papers.

“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”

Kevin Doory

Director of SEO at Auto Revo

9. Conduct Your Own Research

Conducting your own research and studies helps you demonstrate your thought-leadership in your industry. It also helps you discover exciting or intriguing data that your audience might want to read. Consider sending out surveys or retrieving data from your marketing analytics and seeing if there are any topics worth talking about. Creating a white paper based on your own research can help you provide evidence to the claims or arguments you make in it and also position you as an expert on the topic more effectively.

10. Pair Your White Paper With Other Content

Pairing your white paper with other content, like webinars, videos, and online courses, can help you create a supplement that people can reference during and after those tutorials and classes. This gives your audience something to use and read with your course, which can help demonstrate your experience while providing them with quality information they can use to learn and grow. It’s also a document they’re more likely to keep and review after the class is over with. That means your brand and business stays at the forefront of their mind whenever they open your white paper.

11. Compile Popular Data on a Specific Subject

There’s a lot of information, statistics, and studies online, especially surrounding certain topics. Compiling that information and creating a white paper about it can help you organize the most crucial data people need to know all in one place. For popular topics, this helps you create a document everyone wants to read, which can help position you as an industry leader and a go-to for other industry information.

For example, let’s say your company is in the automotive industry. There might be a lot of information online about car upkeep and maintenance. That might include topics like, how often to get an oil change, when to see a mechanic, and how often do you need to purchase a new vehicle. Researching this information and compiling it all in one place can satisfy your customers who might be searching for these frequently talked about topics. If you ask people to give you their email address or information before accessing the document, you can also create an efficient way to generate quality leads.

White Paper Examples

Here are some white paper examples to help you generate topic ideas and understand the best way to craft them:


Creating high-quality white papers is an effective content marketing strategy. But it can be a challenge to find topics you know your audience will find interesting. Start by reading other white papers and use the list of above steps to generate strong topic ideas. Then, talk with a content marketing company, like CopyPress, to help you craft it. We have a team of creatives who can help you organize your data and produce high-quality white papers we know your audience will want to read.

Author Image - Ed Pronley
Ed Pronley

CopyPress writer

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