When good old standard media relations does not work, a way to get into the media is a sometimes powerful marketing tools called an “advertorial.”
The term – a combination of the words “advertisement” and “editorial” – refers to a print or online advertisement that promotes a company’s products or services while at the same time reading like an editorial. The effect is that the reader often forgets that he is looking at an advertisement, so he ingests the selling points of the service offering, without experiencing the negative reaction readers so often have when stumbling across ads.
A perfect example of a very effective and strategic advertorial is used by Omaha, Neb.-based home care franchise, Home Instead Senior Care, advertising its services through an advertorial written about the relationship between caregivers and their clients. The piece focuses on Melisa Bours, a part-time caregiver who explains how working with her clients has enriched her life. She provides examples that demonstrate the closeness she feels with the seniors she works with, and the article ends with the contact info for her agency.
The piece is engaging, but more importantly, it provides a favorable view of the agency. Bours is not just another caregiver, according to the piece. She takes time to forge relationships with her clients. That’s enough to make prospective clients want to contact the agency.
Roscoe Barnes, author of Direct Response Advertising Made Easy, provides these helpful tips for writing advertorials:
- Study the publication the ad will be appearing in to understand its style.
- Double-check to make sure the publication accepts advertorials.
- Match the size of the advertorial with the size of the publication’s regular articles.
- Write a “newsy” (as apposed to ad-like) headline.