A cover story is for Advertorial, deliberately making themselves look like full-fledged editorial, blending the advantages of conventional print advertising with feature content. It’s a marketing tool to build awareness and click-through. With paid-content becoming increasingly transparent, but there’s still the danger that readers will automatically make the wrong assumption the article is commercialized in some way. In contrast, if you’re using an advertorial – which has no monetary value to the publisher, so can’t be said to be “paid” – your main aim should be to add value to the reader’s knowledge, not try to sell something.
So how do you write an advertorial that adds value? One of the most important things to remember when creating an advertorial is that it has to communicate good value to the reader. It doesn’t have to convince the reader of some central point, but simply needs to create a clear understanding. Many times, we get caught up in the mechanics of the advertorial – the layout, colour scheme, copy – and lose sight of what’s really important. That’s why we use words such as “appealing”, “impressive” and “cutting edge”.
Your advertorial doesn’t have to have a single message, but instead, can have several layers, each offering something of interest. At the top of the page, we’ve got the headline. Next we’ll usually find a few supporting facts, in the form of bullet points. These provide additional information about the product and are designed to persuade the reader to take action. If you’re selling something, they’ll act.
From here, we could talk about benefits or call to mind features. At this point, it’s worth remembering that some readers won’t feel compelled to act. Even if your advert is compelling, they may not feel that they need to buy immediately. So you may choose to keep your ad simple, or mention extra benefits, or benefits that apply to a larger group, such as a larger number of discounts. Another tactic is to use words that suggest an advantage: the prospect may well be aware that he/she has a superior price order, but they won’t be actively seeking that advantage.
The next stage of the advertorial is where you have the chance to make your customer understand how you want to benefit them. Often this is done with the help of pictures or charts, although sometimes it’s just a cut and paste job. One example would be to show the lowest prices for your products, followed by an offer to further reduce the price to a more appropriate level. This is an opportunity for the reader to see how your products will fit into their budget.
If you want to add more detail, you can use “opinion” or “experience” examples in the advertorial, if only to give the impression that the reader is seeing for the first time, and may be willing to explore your product in a more detailed way. Sometimes you will need to give the reader more than just a price, and explain why you are selling them a specific product at a certain price. However you present it, this is where many webmasters fall short of their advertorial success.
Finally, the last part of the advertorial is the call to action. You have now explained who you are, what you do, and what benefits will result if they purchase your product. Now all that needs to happen is to convince the reader to take the action that you have set out to perform. However, how do you get your readers to act?
There are two ways to encourage readers to act. The first is to make sure the copy contains clear instructions. It may seem like common sense, but people often read articles in a haphazard manner, without being given clear directions as to what the article is about or what they should expect after reading it. The second way to encourage readers to take action is to give them a link in the footer of the article to your website. Making your reader to click that link before finishing the advertorial will make them much more likely to make a purchase at your website. The newly launched TheAdvertorial.com is a one stop shop for all marketing and advertising needs.