Gone are the days when an article was just an article. In the 21st century, innovation is key and blending two – or three or more – things is standard practice. Take the case of advertorial, though it has been around since 1946. It is a blend of advertising and editorial. It came to be when companies wanted to give their company, products, and/or services some exposure on media that were considered trustworthy and epitomized integrity.
And being featured on such media rubs off on them in a very positive way. Thus, advertorials were born. They may be spinned as images, articles, or videos. It allowed magazines and broadsheets to maintain their content, albeit not as hard-hitting news but more lifestyle and features, and accommodate content required or sponsored by clients.
So what differentiates advertorials from other forms? First, an advertorial features a company, product, or service and weaves it into a story that puts it in a positive light. After reading, watching, or listening to it, you are motivated and encouraged to support the company or purchase the product or service. Usually, the content of advertorials have to be approved by the client companies.
Unlike regular editorial articles, the publisher and/or editor have full control over the content. Advertising content, on the other hand, come from companies or advertising company which can come on strong with messages like, “Buy me. Buy me now.”
What makes a great advertorial is the content. It has an almost sneaky way of promoting the product without saying it directly and it is done so smoothly that it does not come off as if the audience is told what to do. To make an awesome advertorial, remember the golden ratio: 70% content + 30% sales pitch.
How to write an advertorial
To write an effective advertorial, study the company, product, or service. Find some way to relate to it. As you write your advertorial, share a story that will engage readers, talk about a problem or an issue that they can relate to, and a solution to that issue. Then, lightly mention the company, product, or service that can help them solve that issue and how it will benefit them to address the issue. And voila! You’ve got yourself a kickass advertorial.
Many advertorials have found their way into trusted publications and they have invaded the internet. Some great image advertorials are seen on magazines in the form of great gifts to give and several products from one brand are shown. Or how to decorate your home using a certain company’s products. Ditto when you see sponsored content online about bad lunches then a name of a restaurant is casually mentioned where you can grab fast and delicious meals.
At the end of the day, your advertorial should be informative, engaging, and relatable in order to be effective.