An advertorial (or “advert”) is a long-form ad used to sell a product or service written in the form of an informative journalistic article or editorial. 

Advertorials are significantly more high-touch than a viral news article or DIY listicle — they take a higher degree of research, fact-checking and industry knowledge on the part of the writer (that’s why they pay higher and are only accessible to 5-star writers). 

They are also more personal to the reader, very clear about the problem the reader is facing, and enthusiastic about the solution the client offers.

It’s easy to overthink an advertorial. While the details will vary per assignment, the success of every advertorial hinges on just a couple of really simple goals. 

The Anatomy Of An Advertorial

Every good advertorial MUST be these 3 things:

  • Persuasive -- The goal is to convince the reader to act on what you’re saying.
  • Authoritative -- Knowledgeable. Researched. Show you know what you’re talking about.
  • Urgent -- You must convince the reader that the opportunity requires action RIGHT NOW.

A client may have specific requests regarding tone or structure, but no matter what, every effective advertorial has to at least do those three things or it will fail.

The Formula

First half of the advert = THIS PROBLEM SUCKS
Halfway point =
Gosh, I wish there was a solution
Second half =
Here's the solution! It's amazing and here's how it solves every problem we just laid out!

Advertorials vary in length and format. Some are 300 words, others are 1,000. Some include testimonials from satisfied clients, others are formatted like listicles (10 reasons to go solar right now!). 

From Kopywriting Kourse (an article I highly recommend to go deeper into this), make an advertorial 70% good content, 30% promotion about your product as a rule of thumb.

There are a number of tricks you can employ based on what a client provides you to write a good advertorial. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these tricks are reliable and a great place to start!

Headlines
You need to give the reader three things: [What's the industry] + [What's the opportunity] + [an emotion, preferably curiosity/urgency]. 

  • “Homeowners [industry] Are Saving $500 A Month [opportunity] With This Expiring Loophole [urgency]”
  • “Tax Credits For Solar [industry] Reach All-Time Highs [opportunity], Here’s How To Act [urgency]”
  • “The Truth [opportunity] About Weight Loss [industry] Your Doctor Won’t Tell You [curiosity]”

This is the strongest piece of copy in an advertorial and does most of the heavy lifting.

Should be 8-10 words.

Body
Follow client requirements on the assignment page (some may want a listicle format, or something else).

Most clients will provide specific points they want to be addressed or sources that illustrate the benefit of their product or service. It’s your job to connect the dots between problem and solution in a way that makes sense and is persuasive and attention-grabbing.

  • Hook the reader with your opening sentence/paragraph -- something urgent, surprising data, a question that will resonate personally with the target demographic.
  • Define the problem, the pain point, in relation to the client’s industry. Make it personal and dramatic.
  • Use data, facts, statistics, whatever you can find to support your definition of the problem.

The more authoritative the sources at face value, the better. For instance, data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics carry a lot more weight than an op-ed with unsourced claims.

  • Transition into how the client we’re writing the advertorial for solves that pain point or problem. This is salesy and enthusiastic writing. If your first half is a dire warning about a problem the reader faces, the second half is the awesome solution they need NOW.
  • From copyblogger, (another article I recommend, especially from point 8. onward), explain why this solution solves the problem, results in the reader’s happiness, and invites them to the CTA.

Be sure to use calls to action (CTAs). 

  • Best practice is to use one early on, one in the middle, and one at the very end, but sometimes a more conservative approach is better (once in the middle when you introduce the client, once at the end). Typically we try to include information on where to place CTA’s in the advertorial notes section.

At minimum, create one CTA at the end of the advertorial.

  • Clients will provide CTA links. If they do not, indicate in the body where CTAs should go and draft suggested language.

Very Important Formatting Tips

  • Use a couple of strong H2 subheads to break the copy up. The purpose of subheads is to pop out at the reader scanning the page. Use important, persuasive, urgent points that make an impression.
  • Use 2-3 photos. Stock images are fine, and in fact preferred in most cases. Images should still be interesting, dynamic and high quality.
  • Summarize client solution/product benefits in bullet points. This is a good trick you may use to give readers a quick digest of why the client’s solution or product hits all the main pain points. 3-5 bullets with bold benefits and one-sentence descriptions are best. E.g. “It’s free. At Presto Media, we train our writers at no cost to them.”

Always close with a CTA.

Did we say this already? That’s because it’s important!

  • "To become a Presto Media writer today, click the button below to get started!”
  • “Don’t waste another minute. Click the link to see how you can start saving hundreds on your mortgage today!”
  • “To learn whether you qualify for a rebate, please visit our website at www.eazystreetcaptial.com.”

TL;DR

Advertorials are urgent and have an "act now" tone. This isn't a nice article for someone to bookmark in case they ever need it. Always assume the reader is here because they have this problem RIGHT NOW and need the solution RIGHT NOW.

Simple formula: 

First half of the advert = THIS PROBLEM SUCKS
Halfway point =
Gosh, I wish there was a solution
Second half =
Here's the solution! It's amazing and here's how it solves every problem we just laid out!

That's the gist of every advertorial ever.

Still Confused? Do You Need An Example Advertorial To Riff?

Okay, here you go.

http://presto.media/blog/business-owner-1-million-dollar-funding/

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