Recent research shows us that an advertorial is 500 times more likely to be read than a normal advertisement. It is 50 times more likely to result in a consumer lead or sale. Pretty incredible stats, I think you’ll agree.
Creating A Great Advertorial
As a form of native advertising the danger in creating a great advertorial is making sure that the reader feels conned at the end of the content. If he/she has read through 500 words about the joys of a particular type of red wine say, only to be hit with ‘Buy it here! We’re really cheap!’ as the concluding line – the risk is clearly that the reader will feel conned or tricked and become annoyed rather than engaged. Like so much of native advertising the sales pitch must be very soft.
Talented writers, of course, will regularly pen articles or opinion pieces which appear not to be selling anything. Humorous or engaging editorial which engages and entertains without even mentioning a product or Brand. In this instance the writer may be simply promoting himself or the company he works for. Somewhere in that article will be his contact details or that of his firm. The sales pitch is extremely subtle. However we are not all Stephen Fry or Russell Brand and a more direct approach has to suffice.
A word to the wise though:- If you do not feel confident in writing a decent advertorial a safer option is outsource it to a competent writer or marketing firm who specialise in this form of content. A poorly written piece can cause serious damage. It you do chose to do it yourself below are a couple of links containing some excellent advice. Perhaps you should contact Magnificent Stuff (soft and subtle enough?). Good luck!
Four or five years ago a select group of journalists were approached and asked what they looked for in a Press Release. Contrary bunch that they are they changed the stress of the inquiry and answered what not to write. Remember, a press release is a presentation of facts aimed at the media with a chance that it gets read and published. Here are a few tips to improve that chance.
Do not make the title of your press release tedious, over-verbose or over-excited. Use a subtitle. Make it interesting. Do not use puns unless Oscar Wilde is responsible for your PR.
Do not forget graphics or photographs. The media receive hundred of press releases written by professionals every day. An image of your product and perhaps of good, head and shoulders portrait of yourself will often help you stand out. Do not imbed or attach these images – servers will often regard this as spam and your press release will be blocked.
Do not write in the first person. It sounds rubbish.
Do not drone on. Short and sweet is the way forward. If your press release stretches to a second page it’s too long. Remember ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. You can add a ‘how ‘ and a ‘why’ if you really have to. You can bulk out the details in a second paragraph but do not add spurious information just for the sake of it.
Do not over hype. Avoid superlatives. Avoid CAPITALS. Avoid exclamation marks!! Do not use ‘World-Beating’, ‘Unique’, ‘Industry-Leading’ or similar. Do not use management speak. Do not sound like you are in marketing. Journalists and content curators can spot BS better than most – they are used to receiving it from the very best.
Do not mess up your punctuation. Do not spell incorrectly. Check things. Check them a second time. Journalists are terrible grammar snobs and nothing winds them up more than….doing:- This (sort Of thing).
Do not forget quotes. Ideally use something that doesn’t sound like your Mum made up on your behalf. A good quote from yourself or a customer will do or better still one from an expert in the field.
Do not forget dates, contacts and the boilerplate. Date at the top. Town and country. Full name, landline and mobile numbers, e-mail and perhaps your postal address too. In the boilerplate at the bottom of the press release add your website URL with a small personal summary.
Do not put headings in pointless bold-type just to look interesting. Er…