Advertorials are a specific type of promotional material: they appear in newspapers and magazines – both in print and online – and while they promote a product or a service, they should look and read like an article. It is not easy writing a good advertorial, especially after a long time of writing sales copy.
Readers have developed a sixth sense for promotional materials and ads and, if they feel that all your advertorial is about is selling them something, they will stop reading. It is also difficult to create compelling advertorials because your usual starter information is the list of features and characteristics of your product, plus the desire to close as many sales as possible.
Today we will discuss the key aspects of writing a compelling advertorial which will get published and bring you the sales you want.
- Study the Publication and Its Audience
The first step in writing an advertorial is adapting your tone of voice to the publication and the people reading it. A simple search will show you that the same product has different advertorial approaches in Vogue magazine versus The Economist.
People who read this publication expect a uniform approach and tone of voice. If your advertorial stands out – it will stand out in a negative way. The readers will spot the “intruder” in the content mix and turn the page or click on another link.
- Build Your Story
As we have said in the introduction, advertorials should read like articles. And what do articles do? They tell stories. They have characters, a plot line, an intrigue and an end, where everything is tied up properly. Your advertorial should do the same: introduce a character – your user’s persona – their problems and the way they moved from a difficult situation (the pain point) to overcoming it by using the product.
- Stir Emotions
In advertorials you get more text space to elaborate on the emotions which lead the reader to the call to action. Insist on the pain point, agitate the readers with vivid descriptions they can relate to. Keep your readers engaged and plan the emotional build-up carefully: there is such a thing as overdoing it and losing readers by playing too hard on their emotions and being overly dramatic.
- Bring Proof for Everything You State
Advertorials are supposed to be a clever mix of information, emotions, and proof. Once you state that your product will solve your readers’ pain points, you should bring evidence for this statement.
This is why it is important to collect testimonials, to analyse sales data and build statistics concerning your customers’ level of satisfaction with your products. Verifiable statistical data and testimonials are incredibly valuable in adding veracity to your claims.
- Hone Your Heading and Subheading to Perfection
Many successful advertorial writers know that most of the time spent on writing such a material is dedicated to the main heading and subheading. The heading of your advertorial will compete with the rest of the content of the publication. It has to be eye-arresting, to promise interesting and useful information, and to be catchy enough to make people curious.
Subheadings are also very important. They break the text into paragraphs which are easier to read, and help people scan through the advertorial and get the salient points. Based on this initial visual scanning, most people decide whether to keep reading or not. Therefore, you should include some of the most important keywords defining your advertorial in the subheading.
Last, but not least, forget all those sales slogans you have been using so far. People do not want to know that you offer top quality at the best price, that you offer a 100% money back guarantee or anything of this kind. They want to read an interesting story. If it lives up to their expectations, they will follow through with the call to action at the end.