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Which marketing channels are right for your business? Advertorials

Which marketing channels are right for your business? Advertorials
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Which marketing channels are right for your business? Advertorials
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

If you’ve ever run a PR campaign you probably know how difficult it can be to get editorial in your target media.  That’s why you might consider advertorials, which give you guaranteed coverage. However, there are some drawbacks and it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. 

The benefits  

Getting in front of your target audience

One of the biggest advantages to running an advertorial is the ability to choose which publications you are featured in. Research which newspapers or magazines your target audience is reading most. For example, if you run a restaurant with a catchment of 15 miles, you might want to appear in a local newspaper or magazine, but you’ll need to narrow that down to the publications that are targeted at your ideal customers, either based on age or income. If you are a high-profile restaurant that people are happy to travel to, you might want to look for a publication with a wider geographical coverage.  

Guaranteed coverage

You control the size of your feature, when it appears and what it says.  You will be given the chance to approve the design and can ask for redesigns if you’re not happy with it. This gives you a lot more control than you would if you were to just send them a press release, where you hand editorial control to the journalists.  Advertorials give you the chance to continue telling your target customers about your brand, products or services – even when you don’t have a big story that justifies a PR campaign to secure coverage based on editorial merit.   

Building a relationship

The news agenda should be determined by editorial merit, but editors look upon people who pay for advertorials more favourably than those who don’t. The more of a relationship you build with publications, the more likely they are to pick up on your media campaigns and run your other stories. 

The drawbacks  

Cost

PR campaigns where you have a really good story that deserves to be picked up on can be a very cost-effective way of securing coverage in multiple outlets for much less than it would have cost you to pay for an equivalent number of advertorials.  However, you can normally secure better rates by committing to a series of advertorials. 

Limited control

While you can control what your advertorial says and how it looks, you can’t control where in the publication it will appear.  Your paid-for feature may be opposite an editorial piece about one of your rivals.  You will have no control over this, unless you opt for one of the more expensive, identified pages, such as an inside cover.  If you are being featured in a themed supplement, such as an education or health special, you can almost guarantee that you will be featured alongside direct competitors. 

Losing readers’ attention

It’s possible for readers to get annoyed by the same message being repeated over and over, therefore it’s important to make sure your content is fresh each time. To do this, you need to make sure you’re telling a different, more compelling story each time, while still reinforcing your key messages and brand values. 

Using advertorials to build brand awareness comes with ups and downs, like any marketing channel, but they can be an effective way of positioning your business in front of your target audience.  

To find out how CapitalSpace business premises could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667

MEET THE EXPERT

Siobhan Stirling is the director of Sharp Minds Communications, which provides strategic marketing communications for small- and medium-sized business across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London.  A published author, former BBC presenter, reporter and producer and writer for national newspapers and magazines, Siobhan has a background in public relations.