Skip to main content

Ebooks or whitepapers?

por December 23, 2022No Comments

Even if it is seen on a screen, the text remains a formidable weapon of communication. Today, ebooks and whitepapers are having a lot of success in the field of content marketing. How do we decide which one to use?

In this digital age, content marketing requires great diversification. Videos, photos and presentations are added two widely accepted formats to delve into certain information and add value to the niche to each company’s efforts: ebooks and whitepapers.

As there is often confusion between the two, it is worth knowing their similarities and differences. What do they share in the first place?

Similarities between Ebooks and whitepapers

  • They generate culture around certain products or services; reinforce consumer loyalty to businesses, and persuade their customers and potential partners.
  • They contribute to companies being perceived as opinion leaders in their respective fields.
  • Its purpose is to educate readers, not sell them products or services.
  • They are aimed at very specific audiences.
  • They are oriented to the needs of customers, not companies.
  • Their success is measured by the usefulness that users find them.

If you have such clear similarities, what is the point of differentiating them? Why not choose either of the two denominations and apply it broadly to content marketing posts that meet these characteristics?

To answer those questions, it’s worth deling into your differences.

Differences between Ebooks and whitepapers

Ebooks are widely used in the business to consumer (B2C)market, as: ebooks

  • They address rather general topics and are often easy to read.
  • They usually focus on the latest ideas and trends.
  • Its tone is casual, colloquial and even fun.
  • They favor different levels of reading: they include several subdivisions so that a reader who has little time can choose which parts interest them.
  • They use abundant graphic resources – photos, graphs, extracts, infographics… – to support text and speed up reading.
  • They can be as extensive as required, as you just download them to a device to read from 10 to 200 pages or more.
  • They rarely require user registration.
  • They are usually concentrated in the awareness and consideration stages of the sales funnel.

Ebooks tend to be more visual and are used more for B2C

Whitepapers are widely used in the business to business (B2B) market because:

  • They work as guides to help users of a particular product or service solve problems and concerns related to them.
  • They are ideal for serious, blunt reporting and measurable data.
  • They are based on thorough research.
  • They are formally worded and may be more technical.
  • They have a simple and linear format.
  • They give preponderance to text and less importance to graphic elements.
  • They commonly cover five to 12 pages.
  • In many cases, they require the user to register in order to download them, which enriches the database of the person who publishes them.
  • They are usually concentrated in the conversion and purchasing stages of funnel salts.

Whitepapers tend to have more text and be used for B2B


The decision of which to choose depends on the overall marketing strategy and the amount of data to be disclosed, the level of detail you want to reach, the profile of the target reader and whether the information is potentially very visual, among other considerations. Therefore, it is also important to know what the types of ebook and whitepaper are so that we can decide which one best lends itself to our particular goals.

Types of ebook and whitepaper

Generally speaking there are three types of e-books and three types of whitepapers.

Types of ebook

  1. Presents useful information on general topics
  2. Explains concepts related to the activity of an industry or company
  3. Exposes characteristics of certain types of product or service

Types of whitepaper

  1. Explains a solution that provides a product
    or service (problem/solution)
  2. Describes technical traits of a product
    or service (backgrounders)
  3. Provides tips or lists of data for a product or service (numbered lists)

Did you know that whitepapers originated in England?

Simple in their format and economic impression, whitepapers were born in the twentieth century in English government offices with the aim of disseminating official positions so that the public could better understand and even discuss them. They owe their name to the white color of their cover, in contrast to the blue of the “books” of the British parliament. Currently, they are mainly disseminated in electronic formats.

At ICO we develop branded content and journalism strategies for clients in sectors as diverse as film, tourism and education. If you want to know more, we invite you to take a look at this site, to write to us through the Contact section or leave us a message on one of our networks (

You may also be interested in:

E-books: Mina de oro

6 pasos para asegurar un buen vuelo a tu próximo e-book


Facebook Comments

Jorge Ruiz Esparza

Author Jorge Ruiz Esparza

Devorador de libros y películas, y entusiasta de los medios electrónicos, Jorge desarrolla proyectos especiales con contenidos multiplataforma.

More posts by Jorge Ruiz Esparza