Writing an advertorial

Are you a student and would like to start creating your own magazine? Have you thought about writing an advertorial? Or are you a teacher and looking for additional teaching materials or a new teaching approach? This article will explain the meaning of the advertorial, how it is constructed, and what to look for when writing an advertorial.

When you flip through a truly professional magazine, you might come across a column, interview, report or advertisement, for example. An advertorial is an article that is regularly published by companies in magazines. You can easily create an advertorial page with the Jilster online program. But what exactly is an advertorial?

See also: 44 sections for your own magazine.

What is an advertorial?

By googling "advertorial," you'll find out that the word is made up of two other English terms, namely 'advertisement' and 'editorial'.

An advertorial is an advertisement, created or edited by the editors of the newspaper or magazine in which the advertisement is placed.

The format of an advertorial is similar to that of an article. Because of this, it is not always clear to the reader that it is an advertisement. That is why the name 'advertorial' is placed above the article.

Why an advertorial?

Usually an advertisement text in a magazine or newspaper is not read by people. This is due to the fact that an advertisement has no news value. Why read a text if it is not interesting or if it does not contain something new? Also, most people do not like unasked-for advertisements, where they are expected to buy something. For many companies, this is a problem. They publish an advertisement primarily to get more exposure for their company, product or service. Many companies are therefore increasingly using advertorials.

An advertorial is read better than an ad and is therefore much more effective.

How do an advertisement and advertorial differ?

Both types of text share the same goal of turning readers into new customers. But the way they achieve that goal is different. The writing style and layout of an advertorial is different from that of an advertisement. Also, in an advertisement the commercial aspect is laid on thickly, while in an advertorial it is subtly placed in the background.



Take a look at the images above and read the texts.

The writing style
In the advertisement "SHAME BONUSES" the reader is actively addressed in imperative: "Grab what you can," "Run to the store now" and "Buy your Cup-a-Soup." In the advertorial "Enough vegetables for your toddler" this is not the case. Here the reader is addressed in passive form.

The content of the text
You can clearly see that the ad is aimed at selling the product. The reader is urged to run to the store and buy a pack of Cup-a-Soup. No information is given about the product itself. Why is the product healthy? Or what ingredients give the product a delicious taste?
The only reason given is that by buying the product you may win bonuses. But then you have to buy the product first.

In contrast, the advertorial describes in detail why it is important for toddlers to get enough vegetables and how Olvarit can contribute to this. The article is focused on facts. The writer is objective and writes about the benefits of the product. For example, in the first paragraph it says: "Did you know that 79% of toddlers in the Netherlands do not consume enough vegetables?" This immediately makes this article a lot more credible. The 'Vegetable Counter', which parents can use to find out if their toddler is getting enough vegetables, is also a useful tip. The word 'buy' does not appear in the advertorial.

The layout
If you look at both texts, the advertorial is formatted in calmer colors compared to the ad. The ad looks much busier and there is more going on. You see money coins, a hand with bills in it, an image of a cup of Cup-a-Soup and the title is in capital letters above the text.

##What are the guidelines of the advertorial?
If you are going to write an advertorial yourself, there are a number of things you need to take into account. These are also called guidelines. Below are five of them.

Give useful information to the reader
Despite the fact that you are using the advertorial for your commercial story, you must make the reader feel that it is not. Therefore, give the customer useful information that shows your expertise. For example, give tips, use quotes and give practical examples. Make sure the advertorial has news value and responds to the topicality and/or needs of your reader. Is there certain information that requires extra attention? Put it in a frame.

Write businesslike and factual
The advertorial is a story based on facts. So don't exaggerate and especially don't use it to report how good your product or service is.

The customer has his say
Your story comes across as much more credible when you let a customer do the talking. This customer tells about his experiences with your product or service. Preferably also include a photo of the customer and at least his name and/or company name.

Neat layout
Usually the advertorial is formatted in the style of the medium. If this is not the case, make sure the layout resembles that of an editorial. This makes your story more credible. Also place an image or illustration with your text. It will attract attention. In addition, use catchy headings and teasers (striking passages from your story that you magnify and thus make more noticeable).

Mention your contact details
In a few short sentences, describe your company profile. Use a separate text block for this. Don't forget to include your contact information and company name. If the reader is interested, he at least knows where he can find you.

Good luck with writing the advertorial. Be aware: An advertorial is a story that must sell. And where you make sure that the reader does not feel that this is required of him.