Health care marketers know white papers are one of the most effective tools for lead generation.

When done right, white papers educate your potential customers on a pain point and then—only then—offer the solution.

When it comes to planning and writing white papers however, many health care marketers miss the mark. They make crucial, obvious mistakes that crush their credibility and send leads looking elsewhere for the right solution.

Here, read on for 5 of the most common white paper mistakes health care marketers make and what to do instead.

1. Poor white paper planning

As with any type of content you create, you must take the time to plan out your white paper before you start writing.

It’s vital that you have documented buyer personas so you can understand who your customers are and their goals and pain points.

Before writing your white paper, you need to get everyone on board including your c-suite and marketing and sales teams to ensure the topic is something your leads want to learn more about.

2: No creative brief for your white paper

Every piece of content you create should have a creative brief or a synopsis of your goals, ideas that must be covered, studies and/or surveys you want to include and a specific call to action (CTA).

If you hire a health care content writer, the creative brief also ensures the person understands your goals and will nail the copy the first time.

3: Skipping the white paper outline

You might think having an outline will stifle your creativity, but it’s a crucial first step for writing a white paper because it makes the writing process much easier and faster.

The outline ensures you know what the story is and how it will flow and it allows your team to provide feedback and make revisions along the way.

4: Heavily plugging your business in your white paper

The primary goal of a white paper is to educate your leads about a potential problem or challenge they’re facing, not to promote your business.

Leads that download a white paper are in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey so they’re looking for information, unique insights and data. You can still make a sales pitch, but leave it for the end.

5. A lack of quotes in your white paper

Relevant studies, surveys and data are a good start but they’re not enough to back up your message.

Besides, it makes for a boring read.

Think of your white paper like a news story and be sure to interview c-level executives, your sales team and key stakeholders to get compelling quotes that build your credibility and make the white paper a piece of content your leads will want to read.