What is an advertorial
An advertorial is a print or online advertisement that looks more like standard editorial content than traditional advertising. The purpose is to convey information about a product, service, or issue in a more credible format.
How advertorials work
Advertorials include more text than traditional advertisement so companies can include more information about a product or service than a regular ad. Political campaigns and advocacy groups often use advertorials to sway public opinion.
Labeled as advertising
Though advertorials take the form of editorial content, almost all news outlets will label advertorials as advertising for transparency purposes.
While advertorials are often identified with marketing products, they can present objective coverage of an issue and can be designed to gain credibility in the eyes of the consumer. For instance a company might buy an advertorial that details upcoming legislation that impacts consumers.
Advertorial best practices
Not too strong
Advertorials should convey an idea rather than directly sell a product. For instance, they might cover how a product has helped consumers overcome a challenge rather than talk about pricing, where the product can be purchased, etc. They should be more educational, less marketing.
Know the publication
As with traditional advertising, know the audience of the publication in which the advertorial is being placed. Make sure readership is aligned with target audiences.
Tell a story
Put a human face on the product or issue that's being covered in the advertorial. Newspaper editorials and news stories often present an idea or issue through the eyes of an individual or a family. Borrow from that standard journalistic practice.