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10 tips for Writing an Effective Advertorial


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Instead of the typical ads that you see in most publications--newspapers and magazines--think about using an "advertorial", the kind of ad that actually looks like a real news story or other editorial matter. Advertorials generally have a good track record. They are to print what Infomercials are to TV. They may be corny to the uninformed but, like the TV infomercials, they work just the same: they generate leads and sales!

Published in: Business, Technology

10 tips for Writing an Effective Advertorial

  1. 1. Paul Van Cotthem - 2008-06-2710 Tips for Crafting an Effective AdvertorialWhat every business should know about editorial-type magazine ads.There comes a time when all small businesses must pay for their publicity. Theyve exhausted their use of thepress release. Theyve used up all of their feature story ideas. Theyve depleted their finances for direct-mailpackages. Now theyre left with one final marketing tool to generate hot leads and push their profits to thenext level. Its advertising.When you reach that point, its not the time to think fancy. Its time to think response. Instead of the typicalads that you see in most publications--newspapers and magazines--think advertorial, the kind of ad thatactually looks like a real news story or other editorial matter.Advertorials generally have a good track record. They are to print what Infomercials are to TV. They may becorny to the uninformed but, like the TV infomercials, they work just the same.Advertorials work wellIn his classic advertising primer Tested Advertising Methods, John Caples rightfully noted that editorial-styleads get high reading. As an example, he referred to a test conducted by Readers Digest, in which an ad forAdolphs Salt Substitute was designed to look like a magazine article. Heres what he said:A split-run test of two mail order ads showed that an ad that looked like a magazine article pulled 81 percentmore orders than the identical copy, set in ad-style. They observed that "readers are up to 500 times morelikely to read an advertorial than a straight ad."Incredible, isnt it? Results like that would compel me to at least try the advertorial.Although much has been said about advertising in print media, it goes without saying that most of theconcepts provided here will also apply to the Internet.For instance, veteran copywriter Clayton Makepeace has been extremely successful in writing advertorialsfor the Internet. In an interview published in his newsletter, The Total Package (May 23, 2006), he surmisedthat effectiveness on the web was because people are used to receiving free information on the web. Heexplained:If you begin a promotion that says, ‘Hey, heres my product. Isnt it beautiful? Youre really saying, ‘Hey, youknow, if you read this Im going to try to sell you something. Whereas, on the other hand, if you go in with anadvertorial appeal and you talk to the person about fulfilling their desires or assuaging their fears or eliminatingtheir frustration, by the time you get around to the sales copy, youre their friend and advocate instead of asalesman trying to get them to sign the dotted line.
  2. 2. Paul Van Cotthem - 2008-06-27Tips for creating great advertorialsWhen was the last time you saw a good advertorial written for a small business? In my own case, I see few onthe local level but dozens on the international level that appear primarily in business opportunity magazines.Advertorials look and feel very much like the other articles appearing in a magazine. They have strongheadlines, a byline, photos with captions, and a NO logo (or a very small one at most). And thats the secret.To look like an article, your advertorial must be of a size thats similar to the actual editorial copy.Would you like to try your hand at developing a good advertorial? Then remember these factors:1. Study the publication in which your ad will appear. Get a sense of its style. Check out the competition--thekind of ads they use. Look at the typeface and size of the type. Study the headlines and graphics. Then, asmuch as possible, try to model your ad after those articles.2. Inquire about the policy on advertorials. Some publications frown on ads that look like their editorialcopy. As a result, they insist that ads have some noticeable differences. OK, thats understood. If you mustuse a different typeface or font, so be it. But you can still make your piece look like an article. As a rule, mostpublications will require the word "advertisement" printed in small letters at the top or bottom of your ad.Some will only use such ads in special sections.3. Determine an appropriate size. To look like an article, your advertorial must be of a size thats similar tothe actual editorial copy. Ideally, youd want it to be a full or half-page in magazines. In newspapers, considernothing smaller than a quarter page (unless, of course, your budget can only afford something smaller).4. Write a suitable headline. Unlike the commercial headlines in your brochures and direct-mail pieces, asuitable advertorial headline is one that is newsy or very similar to those in the publication in which itappears. In the typical newspaper, you wont see a headline loaded with fluff or superlatives that brag aboutan organization or business. Instead, you see headlines that are simple and straightforward. For example:“Flemish people eat more mustard than Dutch”, or “Oil price reaches record $142 a barrel”.5. Use a byline which mentions the name of the “author”. That gives your article credibility, particularly ifthe name is recognized by readers. Pen names also are useful. Even if the name is not well-known, theappearance of a byline will suggest that the piece was "authored." For example, you could write: "SpecialReport by Marga Jorissen".6. Use photos with captions. Typically, an advertorial is stronger when its photos have some kind of captionwritten underneath them, like those you see in newspapers. As with the "article”, mention the name of thephotographer, or the source of your photo, for example: “Photo: Corbis Image Bank”.7. Open and close with a captivating first paragraph. As with all forms of good communication, your leadparagraph should immediately hook the reader--just like the articles in the publication youve chosen. Dontforget to close with something that moves the reader to action.8. Write a “people story” and sprinkle it with quotes. Make sure you write a “story”, as if reporting onevents that resonate in people’s everyday lives, making for a captivating narrative which people like to read.Enliven your piece with quotes from real people, or real experts. Use the quotes as testimonials or to back upcertain claims. Insert them throughout your copy. Use them the way a typical journalist would.9. Break up copy with subheads. Depending on the length of your copy, subheads can make the materialmore reader-friendly. Use them to draw attention to crucial parts in your text.10. Include the "call to action" and contact information. Your piece may look like an article, but it still is anad. For that reason, dont slack in calling the prospect to action. Create a sense of urgency and tell themexactly what you want them to do--and when!
  3. 3. Paul Van Cotthem - 2008-06-27You may or may not use a coupon (and you probably shouldnt to enhance the realism of your advertorial),but if you do, include contact information on both the coupon and in the copy of the ad. That way, if thecoupon is torn out and another person reads the publication, he or she may still have access to yourorganization.With these ideas in mind, you should be able to create a winning advertorial. Examine your budget and see ifyou cant test an idea. Start small--with small publications or small ads--and work your way up.Advertorial ExampleHere is a good advertorial example. Layout is not provided, because this is adapted individually to the stylingof each magazine the advertorial will appear in, after approval by the magazine of course.ADVERTISEMENTHOW TO FEEL GOOD DURING YOUR MENOPAUSESpecial report by Margaret Jones.If you’re a woman, feeling good and holding on to the good quality of your life can be a challengeafter the age of 50. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia and fatigue are some of themore noticeable changes. But it’s the changes you don’t notice – bone thinning, increased cholesterol,high blood sugar and free radical damage to the body’s cells – that can be the most dangerous,contributing to heart disease, osteoporosis, premature aging, arthritis, diabetes and other disorders.The old solution – taking hormones – is now considered dangerous and ineffective. So how do youprotect yourself?The answer may lie in the juice of a Polynesian fruit called Noni, which when combined withcertain high-powered natural ingredients can help balance hormones, improve bone health andprotect the heart.What is Noni Juice?The Noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia), a native fruit of Tahiti, has been used for more than 2,000years as a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory. A sort of “jack-of-all-trades” botanicalmedicine, it is used to treat allergies, obesity, menstrual cramps, arthritis and other conditions,and is endorsed by increasing numbers of mainstream physicians and medical researchers. The Noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia), a native fruit of Tahiti,has been used for more than 2,000 years as a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory. Photo: Kazuo Yamasaki
  4. 4. Paul Van Cotthem - 2008-06-27Many women have used Noni juice to relieve menopausal symptoms, ease pain and slowpremature aging. But a fortified version called Bio-Noni targets these problems even morespecifically. Just 2 tablespoons of Bio-Noni contains a hefty 10,000 mg of Noni extract plus:  Black cohosh: an herb proven to suppress menopausal hot flashes  ChromeMate®: a scientifically-designed form of chromium that helps ward off heart disease and keep you slim  Polygonum cuspidatum extract (Protykin®): a potent phytoestrogen that helps ease hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.For women, this combination of natural botanicals and scientific extracts can be a recipe for relief.Let’s take a closer look at each ingredient.Cooling the Flashes with Black CohoshBlack cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) has been used by Native Americans to treat “female problems”for centuries. Today, hundreds of studies have confirmed that black cohosh is just as effective asestrogen in relieving menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, while easing the mood swings,irritability and sleeplessness that accompany them.Although no one really knows exactly how black cohosh works, it may be because it slows down theaction of lutenizing hormone (LH), which tells the ovaries that it’s time to release a ripened egg. Asmenopause approaches, more and more LH is released to try to get the ovaries to squeeze outanother egg. These blasts of LH can accidentally set off the brain’s temperature control area,resulting in blasts of heat to the face and neck. By dampening the action of LH, black cohosh coolsoff hot flashes.Slimming With ChromeMate®The mineral chromium is one of the body’s great unrecognized “housekeepers,” playing criticalroles in feeding the body’s hungry cells, metabolizing fat and turning protein into muscle. It alsohelps regulate the appetite, increase lean body mass and reduce sugar cravings. If that weren’tenough, chromium also lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol, helpingto protect the heart.Unfortunately, the typical American diet is low in chromium, and the body has a harder timeabsorbing this important mineral as it ages. And your precious chromium stores can be whittledaway by stress, infection, physical trauma, and a diet high in refined foods. As your chromiumsupply runs short, you’re more likely to suffer from poor insulin function, Type II diabetes, highlevels of cholesterol and blood fat, overweight, heart disease and a general lack of energy.While taking a chromium supplement may sound like an easy solution, most are poorly absorbedand not easily converted to their active form. But when chromium is combined with niacin in theform of chromium nicotinate (ChromeMate®), it’s absorbed and retained by the body six timesbetter than standard chromium supplements. ChromeMate® is also superior at enhancing insulinsensitivity, lowering blood pressure and fighting free radicals, thus helping to ward off diabetes,overweight, heart disease, premature aging and other degenerative diseases.Minimizing Menopausal Symptoms With Protykin®Protykin®, an extract taken from a Chinese herb, contains trans-resveratrol, one of the most potentphytoestrogens in existence. Phytoestrogens (literally “plant estrogens”) “even out” estrogen levelsthat are either too low (causing hot flashes, vaginal dryness and high cholesterol) or too high(causing depression, irritability and bloating).
  5. 5. Paul Van Cotthem - 2008-06-27New research suggests that trans-resveratrol (which is found in grapes) may be even moreeffective than soy or red clover at reducing hot flashes, balancing mood swings, maintaining bonedensity, promoting cardiovascular health and preventing premature aging. “In short, BioNoni products really rebalanced many of the upsets brought on by my menopause” said Cheryl Walters, 56, of Lakeside, Wyoming. Photo: James Kerr.A Great New BeginningMenopause may be inevitable, but exercise, a sensible diet, regular visits to your doctor, and a highquality nutritional supplement like BioNoni can help you feel good, look good and balance yourchanging system naturally, without the use of hormones.So our advice is: don’t wait, try these products. Contact either BioNoni or your local pharmacy.CONTACT INFORMATION FOR BIONONI: – 176 OCEAN DRIVE, WESTVIEW, CALIFORNIA 98723