Where do you stand on advertorials?

6 mins read

Advertorial vs. Editorial: What is an advertorial and how do you write them? It’s a question that gets asked a lot. Advertorials tend to cause considerable debate amongst editorial teams and writers alike. Usually, any discussion on the topic ends up with words such as morality and ethics being thrown into the conversation.

Advertorial vs. Editorial

Lots of questions arise when you look at the question of advertorial vs editorial. What is editorial content? What is an advertorial anyway?

The questions are not surprising. Neither is the debate about them. After all, ostensibly an advertorial is made to look and feel like an editorial. Some see this as a deception or some kind of trick.

Some writers avoid advertorials. Most publications have strict guidelines and policies about how they will allow them to be published.

In a print publication that features advertorial content, subtle differences can usually be seen. The content might be framed in a box. Sometimes the words ‘Advertisement’, ‘PR’ or ‘sponsored’ will be featured above or below the advertorial itself.

How do advertorials differ from other native advertising?

Often people get confused with advertorial and native advertising. So, what are the differences between these two formats?

Native Advertising, although not a new idea, has been taken to a different level in recent years through its use on social media platforms. It is used to augment a typical user experience. Native advertising is essentially relevant content that appears in the user’s browsing experience. Examples include promoted tweets (Twitter), featured videos (YouTube), and sponsored stories (Facebook).

The key thing is that they look exactly the same as a normal tweet, Facebook update, or YouTube video.

When looking at an advertorial or native advertising, there are different points of view.

Some see advertorial and native advertising as a new ‘branch’ of advertorials – a natural evolution (especially suited to social media channels). Others would disagree with the term native advertising and would see advertorials and native advertising as two distinct entities.

However, the main difference between advertorials and native advertising is the way in which the user experiences the content.

Native advertising is designed to make the viewer/reader feel like they are gaining a valuable insight or some important knowledge. Native advertising should not make you feel compelled to buy after viewing the advert. The call to action will be understated and subtle. This makes native advertising particularly suited for campaigns where the main goal is to achieve brand awareness.

Advertorials are more sales-focused, although it is still important that advertorials read more like editorials – which is why we think of advertorial vs. editorial.

Examples of successful advertorials

A blast from the past (and a fantastic lesson in how to write the perfect advertorial) is this example:

It is essentially an advert for Guinness, but that the product is hardly mentioned. It is the user guide to oysters that is at the forefront of the piece.

The Guinness piece is one of the most famous advertorials there is. Here is some more information about this classic campaign and many other great advertorials and native advertising examples.

Tips on how to write an advertorial

Of all the different types of content that you could produce, advertorials are one of the most difficult to create. It actually takes a fair bit of skill and craft to do well. However, there is a simple principle to stick to that will ensure you are on the right lines.

As you know an advertorial is part advert and part editorial. But the ratio of these parts and the way you blend the two is vital. Basically, an advertorial should follow a 70/30 rule. This being that 70% of the content of an advertorial should be high quality content. The other 30% should be the promotional aspect of it. If you overdo the promotional side of things, the ratio will be unbalanced and it will look too much like an advert. The sales content will be too high. This is a sure-fire way of turning audiences off.

Remember: with any online content, the content is the king.

Ordering services for writing advertorials

There are plenty of ways that you can order services for writing advertorials. Publications have their own guidelines. You’ll often find that advertorials are referred to with different terms. Examples of these include branded content, content sponsorship, or sponsored articles. These are all essentially the same thing.

Some of the most well-known publications provide advertorial services. Sites such as BuzzFeed, Gawker and Mashable are well worth trying to post your content on, as well as Business Insider launched by the former Wall Street analyst Henry Blodget. Perhaps the most obvious is the credibility of the title. It’s a world-famous and highly reputable name that people trust. This is really important when it comes to advertorial content.

You can order advertorial services from PRNEWS.io.

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Alexander Serkov

Alexander Serkov is the chief editor of PRNEWS.IO, has been with the company since 2013.

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