Many small business owners seem to think that because they have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts integrated within their website they have their online marketing campaign all figured out. So many dream of being Google page-rank rock stars and having thousands of friends, fans and followers that their real marketing plans fall flat.
A targeted, captivating and trackable marketing plan is the heartbeat of any successful business, online or off. Each individual brand needs to determine the goals of their specific marketing endeavors and plan accordingly. However, if the goal of your company is to increase engagement, to increase brand awareness, or to increase sales, advertorials should be a part of your strategy.
An advertorial is an editorial style advertisement that allows you to engage on another brand’s platform with editorial power. An advertorial on television is called an infomercial. Commercials contain basic company information and calls to action, the advertorial (like the infomercial) seeks to go further. Advertorials will allow you to educate your potential consumer and promote your product simultaneously.
Why should your brand use advertorials?
1. Advertorials are cost-effective
For small business owners and soloprenuers, television and radio commercials prove to be too costly. However, you can still take advantage of advertorials. You can run advertorials on 3-5 blogs for the cost of a 30-second commercial on your local radio station. The cost of an advertorial will vary depending on the blog, the services you need, and the reach each blog has.
2. Advertorials can help you reach your target market.
I recommend starting with blogs whose brands and target markets fit well with your brand. You want to be sure the traffic you gain will be interested in your product or service. For example, if you sell television sets a video game blog, a celebrity gossip blog, or a home decor blog could all be good choices. It also depends on the blog’s audience, overall reach, and theme.
3. Stay in control
Unlike traditional forms of advertising, when you purchase advertorial space you have complete editorial control over what is published. Most bloggers will accept prepackaged advertorials as long as they fit within certain parameters. Others bloggers will want to partner and collaborate. Choose what works best for you. However, at the end of the day you are paying for the space so you get the final say so. Bloggers who create graphics, edit, or provide content may charge more.
4. Your advertorial will be seen
Advertorials are considered non-intrusive advertising. Many advanced online consumers use Ad-blockers, and side bar advertisements don’t always show up on mobile and other handheld versions of websites. Advertorials will not be blocked or get lost in the mobile version of your website. Your post is integrated with the rest of the primary content on the blog. Successful advertorials are personal, multimedia, and have calls to action.
5. Advertorials are recyclable content
Advertorials are generally not time sensitive. They provide a narrative for your brand that you can use over and over again. It gives your brand a personal touch that other popular advertising methods cannot. This saves the business owners time and money. A written advertorial can easily be converted to audio for radio later.
6. Advertorials are track-able
If you negotiate a return-on-investment report from your blog partner, they will share the reach and engagement the post receives. Plus, you can measure your own click-through rate in your own analytics. This type of data will prove valuable in other parts of your integrated marketing plan.
In conclusion, you can use advertorials to help you climb the Google ladder, to fill your social media with sharable content, and to expand your business digital footprint.
Have you heard of advertorials before now? Do you feel they will be beneficial to your business?
If you think an advertorial will add substance to your integrated marketing plan, here are some important things to consider
Who: Who is the blogger talking to?
Ask for a media page or an analytic report from the blogger. Don’t be alarmed if the blogger’s analytics of choice isn’t Google. There are lots of ways to track blog statics out there.
You should also check the comments section of the blog and the social media comments for engagement. Sometimes these even lead back to social media profiles. This is a great way to learn more about the blog’s audience.
What: Does the content on the site resonate with your ideal client or customer?
Content is king! Good content is what makes readers flock to blogs. Not only should the blogger’s content be good, but so should your advertorial. You want to make sure that your product or service will entice the blog’s readers. For example: if the blogger does a lot of thrifting posts, a luxury brand may not be a good fit for the blog. The readers come to this influencer (the blog) to learn about saving money. A high fashion blog would be a more natural fit.
When: When is the advertorial going to be published? When will it be taken down? When can you expect a return on investment report?
In other words, make sure that you are clear on the agreement between you and your blog partner. Get all the details. Some bloggers may charge extra for ROI reports. However, the extra money is worth the information. Most ROIs include reach, shares, views, and other useful statistics.
Where: Where will your advertorial be posted and promoted?
Make sure you are in agreement with the section of the blog that your post will be featured in. Additionally, be sure to find out where the post will be promoted. This way, you will have an understanding of the marketing strategy. Bloggers generally post on consistent days. You want to do your part by sharing, liking, following, etc… Your current friends, fans, and followers might end up becoming repeat customers.