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10 things to think about before writing an advertorial

So, you've just shelled out some cash to pay for some space on the pages of an illustrious publication to show that your latest service/bit of kit/recruit/project is worth tuning into.

Great! Now, what are you going to do with the opportunity?

NZ Construction News

Tempting as it might be to cut and paste vast chunks of your marketing brochure and drop them onto the page, please don't. Stop. Back away from that idea.

Why? Because your intended customers would like you to tell them a story. If you tell, rather than sell, you stand a much greater chance of engaging your reader, and thus of achieving your objective.

But how? If you follow these simple guidelines you'll write advertorial that people will want to read:

BEFORE YOU START YOUR COMPUTER:

First, speak to the publication's editor to check what is required and when. Then, ask yourself ten questions:

  1. Who are you trying to reach with this information?
  2. What do they really need to know from you?
  3. What's the focus of your story - and why is it relevant to the readers of this magazine? There's no point in writing about your spectacular new crane if you're writing an article for NZ Pig Hunter, for example…
  4. How is your thing going to change (or is already changing) your client's world?
  5. What's not important to this story?
  6. What do you want the reader to do when they read it?
  7. Who from your company is going to be quoted? Quotes are always good for adding human flavour and providing context.
  8. What sort of stories, evidence, images and quotes can you use to illustrate your points?
  9. Have you got a story about how your thing is achieving something specific? Achievement is a powerful tool, particularly if your clients are prepared to say something useful about how you changed their world forever.
  10. Critically: when is the deadline, how many words are you allowed, and do you have any good images?