Quick, and superficial glance: Last week described what makes this a good advertorial (this week will go into depth on how to make an effective online advertorial), so now let’s say this is a successful advertorial: it needs to look like, and fit within, editorial content. To be clear, I’m not talking about the layout, aesthetics or color scheme – those are important but not as critical as the text and images on your page. We’re looking at the actual content, which should (I’ve got nothing against copywriting, after all) convey its message in a clear, concise, and compelling way to website visitors, in the same way an article does.
So, what do we mean by this then? It means you have to be clear and concise, have a clearly defined target audience and a clearly stated sales message. You need to draw people out of your regular advertorial, which (if your company is well established) probably means using a native advertising format. This format can be anything from an informational article, white paper, a newsletter, a video, a podcast or an audio recording.
Now, you might be thinking “so what, it’s not native advertising, I can just cut and past my advertorial onto another page”. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. A catchy advertorial has to stand out, so you have to be 100% sure it will captivate the reader. Even if it’s indigenous advertising it still has to fit in with the site it’s on. Here are some tips on what to avoid when writing a really good advertorial for Facebook:
o Make your advertorials feel like they belong on a newspaper or magazine article, but fit in with the user profile. People who are on social media sites are used to reading articles that may seem a little bit controversial or biased. For this reason, having a fair balance of information is vital. Never go against what your audience is expecting to find.
o Use the correct tone of voice for your advertorial. You want to tell your users that you’re sharing their news, but at the same time you don’t want them to feel pressured. If your ad is too editorial it will take away from the experience, you’re trying to provide. Always use a clear call to action.
o Don’t be afraid to trump other similar ads. Branding your ad as being the best in the industry helps to give it a clear call to action. Branding your ad as being something readers won’t find anywhere else helps to create a sense of authority over your competitors. The more prominent you are as an expert, the more likely your ad will be clicked – therefore, you need to focus on strong benefits and clear benefits versus cost.
o Create a striking cover. This is possibly one of the most important aspects of any advertorial. Your cover will get your advertorial noticed, so make sure it stands out. A simple image that grabs attention can go a long way. Make sure your cover doesn’t look like you tried too hard to be hip.
Your native advertising skills will be put to test during the process of writing your advertorial. However, these aren’t mistakes you should worry about. These ads are meant to be engaging and informative. With a clear call to action and a captivating headline, your native advertising ads will help you earn your revenue goals.
It’s also important to remember that your native advertising needs to match your other editorial content. This means that your copy needs to have the same tone and voice as the rest of your brand. If you’re writing about the latest trends, for instance, your ad needn’t sound like a current affairs magazine. Write in a conversational language, as if you’re discussing an everyday topic. A tone that’s conversational is far more effective at getting your message across than simply stating facts.
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of including too many images in your advertorial. The rule is generally no more than four images, but many fashion ads get more than that! An untuckit cover is not necessarily better than a well-constructed one, so do balance your images between the two. It’s fine to have images that demonstrate the product in question, but they needn’t dominate the cover. Including images that show off the product in question, however, can really help sell it.
If you follow these principles, you’ll find that your design won’t clash with your other work. Your layout and your choice of words will still flow naturally and your pictures will retain their quality and appeal. You won’t need to spend a fortune to put together a good design. Using a bit of good practice will save you money and time in the long run, making your first few pieces very inexpensive indeed. A full color, simple design on four-page ads is just as good as an expensive, high-end one, so don’t let cost keep you from creating a great ad. The newly launched www.TheAdvertorial.com is a one stop shop for all marketing and advertising needs.