Build your brand: What is an advertorial?

Building brand awareness isn’t just for the giants in e-commerce. Discover how advertorials can help you create a lasting impression with this guide.

24 May 2023 Jason Kaye

4 min

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Building brand awareness is an important factor in a marketing strategy for both new and established businesses. Creating a recognizable brand is what the big players in the e-commerce industry have done for years, and many companies aim to replicate this recipe for success.

You might have heard of advertorials to get a product or brand placement, but what are they exactly? This guide will discuss what you can gain from an advertorial and how to use them to build your brand presence.

What is an advertorial?

An advertorial is a blend of the words ‘advertising’ and ‘editorial.’ The advertisement typically takes the form of an article (the ‘editorial’) in a newspaper, magazine, or website.

Typically, a business will pay the publisher for the article, which will contain information about a particular product or service the business offers. This type of advertising enables companies to connect with audiences using a narrative instead of a print ad with limited space.

Marketers use advertorials to educate potential customers about the features of a product. Businesses usually use them to describe benefits and how the product can solve a customer’s problem without being too much of a ‘hard sell.’

Businesses can use advertorials to target specific audiences by selecting an appropriate publication to publish the article. For example, if a company wants to reach a demographic interested in the economy or financial products, then a business newspaper or financial news website could be a strong choice. Using niche publications instead of ‘general’ news outlets means that the advertisement is seen by a targeted audience who is more likely to purchase the product or want to learn more about it.

It’s important to note that, as a general rule, most publications will include the word ‘advertisement’ at the top or bottom of an advertorial. Transparency in marketing is essential, and some newspapers or magazines promote advertorials in particular sections of their publications or specific areas of their websites.

Usually, advertorials are in a written format in a newspaper or magazine, as ‘editorial’ suggests. However, advertorials can expand into other forms of content, such as YouTube videos or Instagram posts that feature advertisements and are marked as ‘sponsored’ content.

What are the benefits of using advertorials?

Using advertorials can support your brand exposure, conversion rates, lead generation, and customer retention in the following ways:

Building brand awareness

Advertorials in online publications can be found by audiences long after the publishing date. Additionally, unlike other forms of advertising (such as social media posts), you won’t have to continue paying to boost the visibility of your ad. Instead, you can earn organic traffic continuously with an online advertorial, making it cost-effective in the long run.

Not only can the content give you a long-lasting impact, but your business name will appear in a trusted publication, adding credibility and expertise to your brand image, which will become recognizable to frequent readers of the website.

Pushing leads further down the sales funnel

It has been found that 71% of customers choose to buy from a company name they recognize. Using advertisements to educate readers about certain products can help audiences who have already heard of your brand learn more and can nudge them closer to purchasing.

Retarget your existing customers and build loyalty

Research shows that it’s five times more expensive to find new customers than to sell to your existing clientele. Additionally, current customers are likely to spend 31% more than audiences who are not already familiar with your brand.

So, it’s imperative to market to your current customer base to ensure long-term profitability. To do this, incorporate any advertorials into your marketing and retarget customers who have already purchased from you. For example, an advertorial could remind them of product benefits they have yet to take advantage of or introduce them to a new product you offer that they haven’t tried yet.

How to write a good advertorial?

So, if you’re thinking of using advertorials as part of your marketing mix, here’s how to go about it.

1. Write to give value, not to promote

Your sponsored content should offer value to your readers by highlighting the benefits of your product and how it addresses a common problem they may face. Avoid creating an obvious advertisement: your content should have the tone of an informative blog post.

Take advantage of your sponsored content to captivate your audience, not just to display your product or service. The more organic it appears, the better, as a pushy approach could discourage readers and create a negative association with your brand.

2. Stick to your title

When an advertorial title is accepted by a publication, check if your final draft delivers what the title promises. Make sure of this before you publish your content, and you won’t lose credibility for writing an out-and-out ad. Instead, you’ll be serving potential customers with something useful.

3. Inspire action

Although an advertorial shouldn’t read like a ‘hard sell,’ it is still marketing collateral. Therefore, to inspire the desired result, ensure your writing encourages the reader to take action. This could involve looking at a product page or signing up for a newsletter. Your ‘call to action’ (CTA) should be clear so the reader feels compelled to take the next step with your brand.  

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