The writing in your white paper needs to be easily readable. Your reader needs to be able to read it within minutes. This is the reason why the writing needs to be very simple.
What's the difference between your marketing material and a story, a magazine article or a novel?
People make time in their life to read stories, magazine articles and novels. They entertain them and they enjoy reading them. If they find them hard to read and understand, they don't mind spending some extra bit of time thinking about it. They enjoy doing this part. It won't stop them from reading it.
Your white paper on the other hand is read at work and sometimes it appears out of nowhere.
It's a 10-14 page document. Your reader will be inclined to read it, if they find it beneficial. After they start reading it they want to finish reading it as quickly as they can and get back to work. They don't want spend their time thinking about it. This is the reason why it needs to be simple. If it's too complicated, your reader will avoid it.
Once they feel that they find it hard to read it and it is taking up a huge chunk of their valuable time, they are going to get rid of it and start reading something that is easy to read. This is the reason why you need to keep it as simple as possible. The simpler the white paper the higher is the chance of it being read completely.
And when it is read completely, the higher are the number of leads it is going to generate.
You need to keep everything in the white paper to the reading level of a 7th grader. Your readers will normally have a higher reading level. But when they read marketing materials, they are going to try and finish reading them as soon as they can. During this time they will be reading it at a level of a 7th grader and this is the reason why it needs to be written at the level the 7th grader.
If you can write your white paper at a level lower than the 7th grade. Then it is going to function better. It's not as easy as you think, as we have already seen on television that it's hard for adults to compete with 5th graders.
So the next time you write a white paper make sure that it's easily readable. The easier it is to read the better is its ability to generate a lead.