Advertorial… Writing Advertorials

Advertorials… what are they?
An advertorial is the beautiful love child born as a result of an intimate relationship between an Advertisement and Editorial. Really it is! I’m very fond of advertorials because it allows the writer to use a vast amount of space, in which to create a story about what is basically an offer. Of course, the trick is not to make the story appear to be an advertisement, which it is.
When you think of a newspaper story as having a headline, sub-headers and interesting factual content together with a photo, then that’s how to construct an advertorial. It needs to look like news and read like news. It needs to tell a story and grip the reader in a way that will lead him or her to take action. This could be to pick up the phone and place an order or visit a website for more information or complete the form below it and send it off.
Advertorials work very well if they are done right. Here’s one I wrote for a heating oil distribution company based in Northern Ireland: SpeedFuels. If you look at the way this is laid out you’ll see it is made up of several short stories all linked together. Each is designed to build credibility for the company and portray them as a local, friendly, trustworthy and caring business right in the heart of the reader’s community.
I know for a fact that this advertorial worked so well, the company had to expand to meet the additional demand for their products. They also came back to me for another one to help them get a foothold in the very competitive and well established domestic fuel market of a much bigger town. You can see this one here.
I think advertorials, like press releases, should be incorporated into every business’s marketing strategy, but surprisingly very few businesses actually use them. I wonder if this is because very few businesses today actually know about them. It’s fair to say that everyone seems to be totally focused on internet marketing and tend to ignore the more traditional means of getting the marketing message across. However, I’m certain that as long as there are newspapers, advertorials still have their place.
I’ve tried in the past to incorporate advertorials in online newsletters but they don’t seem to work as well as their printed counterparts. I’m not sure why this is but it’s probably something to do with people’s attention spans being much shorter online than offline. An advertorial would work well in a magazine but not an ezine. They would also work well in a printed newsletter or as a standalone brochure. With many free papers still in existence, the advertorial would not only cost very little to have inserted, but it would also pay for itself and make a tidy profit too for the business owner.
If budget allows, the best possible place for an advertorial would be in the Sunday papers. People buy more papers on a Sunday than any other day, and of course, people buy papers to read. And they expect to find news in their papers so the advertorial would be well at home here.
Ever considered an advertorial for your business?
For compelling advertorial copy that gets read and gets results… contact me.