If you have not heard the term native advertising before, you will likely hear and see it more often in the future. Native advertising refers to advertising in the guise of an editorial—somewhat like an advertorial—that is published in a print or online publication. However, it is not necessarily produced by journalists at the publication. Instead, it is prepared and paid for by the advertiser in order to promote a product or a brand.
There are many forms of native advertising, from blogs and videos to graphics, but the most common type is a written article found in a B2C publication. Advertorials usually have the same look and feel as other articles in that publication, likely the reason it is called “native” advertising. And native advertising is becoming very popular, not only among manufacturers and other organizations, but among publications as well. Forbes Magazine and the New York Times, for instance, are just two of many publications that are actively involved with this type of advertising.
A publication that runs an advertorial is required to indicate that the native advertising is indeed a paid advertisement. For instance, the New York Times posts this disclaimer for native advertiser Dell Computer: “This page was produced by the Advertising Department of The New York Times in collaboration with Dell. The editorial staffs of The New York Times had no role in its preparation.”
This brings up the next point: in most cases, writing the advertorial is the job of the advertiser. If your company plans to enter the native advertising fray, follow these tips on how to write a winning advertorial:
- Become very familiar with how articles are presented in the publication that will run the advertorial. Note how the titles are written, the length of the articles, and how they typically start out.
- Know the audience. Are readers in the hospitality industry? Education? Health care? Slant your advertorial to speak their language.
- Understand your readers’ pain points. Pain points can be anything that readers in an industry may suffer. For example, facility managers in hotels, schools, health-care facilities, and office buildings would all be interested in an article about cross contamination and ways to prevent the spread of disease. You can use that fact to your advantage.
- Introduce the solution. Now it is time to introduce ways to alleviate the readers’ pain. Returning to the cross contamination example, a new type of cleaner, cleaning system, or cleaning method that can help stop the spread of contaminants may be just what readers want to know about at this point. But it is very important to handle the product placement tactfully. Overpromoting will defeat the entire process. Sure-but-subtle with proven examples can be very effective.
- Finally, end the article with a call to action. For instance, adding “For more Information,” “a free consultation,” or something similar with your company contact information is a perfect call to action.
By Robert Kravitz