Advertorials and Infomercials
An advertorial is a form of advertisement in a newspaper, magazine or a website which involves giving information about the product in the form of an article. Usually, a brand pays the publisher for such an article.
Advertorials are advertisements that appear in the media, be it magazines, newspapers or websites. Advertorials are paid content.
They are used by marketers to educate prospective consumers about the features of a product. It can be used to target a specific set of people by choosing the right medium to publish the advertorial.
For example, an advertorial in a business newspaper would involve educating a set of people who are more interested about economy, markets or financial products. It is an effective medium for a company to connect with its consumers through a story, unlike a traditional print ad in a magazine, newspaper or on a website as a banner ad.
An advertorial is more detailed than an advertisement and thus helps consumers understand more about the product. Advertorials are usually written by an ad agency or the client itself. They then purchase the ad space on the website or in a newspaper or a magazine.
It is important to note that as a rule of most publications, the word “advertisement” is mostly printed in small letters at the top or bottom of your advertorial. Some newspapers or magazines chose to push these advertorials in special sections.
Advertorial = Advertisement + Editorial Content
So, an Advertorial is an amalgam of advertisement and editorial.
Types of Advertorials
Advertorials are generally classified into three types:-
(i) Image Advertorials: In this type of advertorial, the organizations intend to spread the image of its products which can be remembered by readers.
(ii) Advocacy Advertorials: Here the organizations explain their view on a controversial subject.
(iii) Journalism Advertorials: These advertorials are intended to attract media attention to a subject or the organization itself.
So, Advertorials are paid content that can appear in newspapers, magazines, or websites and are intended to get a specific action from the reader. It could propel readers to donate to a cause, download a PDF, visit a store, and can even lead readers to subscribe to an email newsletter or to buy a product.
Every effective advertorial has a call to action and leads the reader to what to do next. Advertorials come in the form of lists or guides; they could be videos or print articles and could be one page or six. Most Advertorials are framed in the form of a story.
When companies use advertorials for promoting their product or service, they must ensure that it has the right tone and content to the consumer audience.
For example, an advertorial in a literary magazine which is primarily intended towards college graduates should have a different tone than an advertorial that appears in a celebrity gossip magazine that is intended toward mass readership.
Moreover, an advertorial content should match a publication’s editorial content in both style, and the way headlines and fonts are used.
Advertorials should focus on the reader’s problems and fears. It should describe how the product or service being sold can solve their problem. Advertorial should support the assertions with statistics, test results, or relevant facts.
It should conclude with a call to action informing the readers how and where they can purchase the product or service.
Sponsored eBooks are an excellent example of advertorials. In 2013, Hochwert had come out with an eBook named The Ultimate Craft Guide: 25 Free Craft Projects for Every Crafter that was sponsored by as much as 18 different companies. One of the main sponsors was Michaels craft store who had their name on the cover and also in other places within the book.
An infomercial is a form of advertisement which is aimed at educating the customer about a product or a series of products via television in the form of a program. Infomercial typically lasts longer than a regular advertisement and thus is more detailed.
Infomercials are good for those products which require detailed explanation about their features as they can run as a regular length television program. In the print media, infomercials appear as a separate supplement.
Infomercials are able to directly connect with its consumers on a real-time basis. They create that connect with the potential customer to make an enquiry about the product or place an order. Usually, various offers or promotions/discounts are pitched to customers at the time of product promotion.
A toll-free number is generally aired on the television channel as part of an infomercial with the product code to help customers order that particular product.
Another important feature of an infomercial is that it appears during off-peak hours, as compared to regular advertisements which appear during peak hours. One possible reason is that advertisement rates are generally lower around off-peak hours and because infomercials require more time, it comes out to be economical for them.
There is no defined category of products that use infomercials as part of their strategy to woo customers. Products ranging from clothes, cosmetics, sarees, home improvement, kitchen items, shoes, gym equipment, etc. use infomercial.
One of the major feature of infomercials is the reach and because of the way it is communicated, it makes an instant connect with consumers across regions. Homeshop 18 is one example which runs infomercials. It is a 24-hour television channel which only airs infomercials. Apart from that, it has some more shows which run on other channels such as Colors or Sony.