Entrepreneur and founder of PurpleBlack, an international, award-winning native advertising agency.
Native advertising has emerged as a relatively new way of marketing. As the word “native” suggests, the advertorial looks and feels just like an article to the reader with similar features of content marketing, which is why it’s gained traction among businesses and marketers to accomplish their marketing goals and accelerate growth.
A recent consumer study by Semify shows that 67.2% of users are more inclined to click on sponsored articles than banner ads. The future of native advertising is bright. At my agency, we help our clients reach their marketing goals—such as generating leads—by writing native ads about their products or services. With that, I’d like to offer some steps and insights to help guide you through the process of writing copy for native ads.
Step 1: Research your audience.
The reader of the article should be well known to the writer. A prerequisite for good copywriting is to get into the shoes of your target audience. Figuring out their pain points, interests, frustrations and what they truly need enables you to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be, with the aim to capture their interest. Researching your audience can be done with social listening tools, browsing YouTube or Reddit, using Google Analytics or going through Amazon review pages.
Step 2: Define the purpose and goal of the advertorial.
Creating goals will help you structure the ad and write with clarity later on. These questions should be asked:
MORE FOR YOU
1. What do I want readers to do after reading my advertorial? What is the advertorial going to accomplish? For instance, your advertorial should be a driver for people to click on your product page and leave their contact information.
2. What angle will be used? You can approach your native ad in a few different ways:
• Editorial style: Product or service presentation, written as a regular newspaper article.
• Story (fake or real) from a person who used the product in the past and solved their problem with the product.
• Interview with an expert about the product or service.
• Product test or review: Reviewing the product from a customer’s point of view or comparing it to other products.
Step 3: Start writing.
Here’s the general structure of an advertorial:
• Captivating headline and subheadline.
• Your chosen angle of advertorial.
• Reasons why the reader needs the solution now.
• CTA with urgency.
Start with an attractive headline. Then, write with your goals in the back of your mind. Lead the reader through—from the beginning pain points up until the end, including the solution that you provide. The article should be interesting enough to be read on its own without bluntly promoting the product or service.
There are two things to keep in mind during writing:
• Write to be understood and not to be clever.
Your article should be a light read, and it should digest easily since you are reaching a wide array of readers who are prone to skimming rather than reading meticulously. Get to the point and be direct. Being too wordy or beating around the bush might engulf the reader and they will leave. One way to make sure of that is to read your writing out loud.
• Write to entertain and inform.
You can provide value to the reader’s life by making them laugh or by teaching them something relevant. By ensuring they have a good time while reading and adding interesting facts and insightful numbers from credible sources, they will want to continue reading. Still, share information, but not too much. The aim is for them to follow through with the CTA that is linked at the end of the advertorial because they feel the need to know more about the subject or the product.
Step 4: Provide a sufficient call to action.
A call to action works as an enabler for the reader to act upon the solution suggested. The right placement and the creation of pressure are important. The CTA should be positioned at the end—after the most valuable and relevant part of the advertorial. Generating urgency can be done by working in FOMO (fear of missing out) in a tasteful way by providing realistic and beneficial steps for the reader and what might happen if they don’t act now.
Step 5: Test your native ads against various platforms.
Testing is crucial in native advertising. The advertorial can be written fantastically well and tick all the boxes, yet still not generate any clicks. It’s only through trial and error that you can understand what people read and what they don’t.
Figuring out which ads work and which don’t means typing out multiple angles and short and long forms, which are then published simultaneously. For instance, one advertorial can include an interview and testimonials whereas the other includes a shorter version and only involves the former. Their success rate can be tracked using an affiliate tracking software.
Native advertising isn’t rocket science, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Yet, adhering to certain steps will make the writing process easier for you. Make sure to research thoroughly, find the right angle, stick to the structure, write in a clear voice and add some honesty and urgency. Be curious and try out different angles and versions of your advertorial. The numbers will tell you whether you’re on the right track.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Marcel Sattler, Forbes Councils Member