Advertorials (sponsored articles) are not new. However, for content marketers it represents one of many different promotion channels that can get branded content in front of new audiences. The word “advertorial” itself is the marriage of the words “editorial” and “advertisement.” Merriam-Webster recognizes the first known use of the word in 1946. Advertorial content has been produced for decades in magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
They’re different from traditional advertising because the content mimics real editorial content, but serves to accomplish the goals of a brand. Infomercials masquerading as talk shows and business owners talking about their products and services during an interview on the radio are all examples of advertorial content.
While these forms of advertorials have been around for a long time, for today’s digital content marketer they represent a relatively new and untapped channel. For digital publishers that struggle to drive revenue, they represent a way to break out of the traditional digital revenue model of banner advertising.
Banner advertising is proving to be less and less effective over time, too. According to Solve Media, you’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad. David Ogilvy, known as the Father of Advertising once said, “It has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement and the more it looks like an editorial, the more readers stop, look and read.”