We’ve all been there – you get to the end of a really interesting article, then, in the footer it reads ‘Sponsored content.’
As our hero, Richard Branson, once said, “Good publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” But what’s the difference – any exposure is good exposure, right?
In simple terms, editorial content has to incur an Editor’s last wrath before going to print, whereas advertorial content is pre-written by the organisation with little or no input from the publication. Let us go into a little more detail.
Advert + Editorial = Advertorial! Advertorials deliberately make themselves look like editorial, combining the benefits of traditional print adverts with feature articles. With paid content having to be clearly disclosed, however, there is the danger that readers might make the assumption the content is biased.
That’s not to say that advertorial doesn’t have its place. It often forms part of a wider marketing campaign and can secure coverage in a high tier publication. However, they often price smaller businesses out. Advertorial can be expensive and it isn’t always value for money, and isn’t always the best use of your marketing budget.
Consumer brands are beginning to favour ‘advertorials’ or sponsored content and paying for content or links to be placed on blogs or on social media. With many professional bloggers and influencers out there, the only way to get seen is to pay up.
Editorial is our area of expertise. Editorial comprises of anything within a newspaper, magazine or website and it can be written by a journalist, or, a PR company – like us! Editorial coverage isn’t paid for and can be less sales-y, especially if it falls into the thought leadership category.
Our clients get plenty of editorial coverage, with journalists favouring the thought leadership stance. This raises your profile significantly more than a front-page advert. By positioning yourself as the expert within the industry, people are more likely to take note and remember you.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of editorial coverage is that it presents organisations in a neutral manner. Yes, you are showcasing your opinion, but as we like to say, advertising is saying your good; PR is someone else saying you’re good.
Advertorial has its place but naturally, we champion editorial coverage! With the right PR agency who have the right media relationships, securing that coverage is a breeze, and there will be no need to get the chequebooks out.