I just experienced a simple, but well-conceived marketing funnel in the form of an advertorial. If you don't know what an advertorial, it's pretty much what it sounds like… an ad in the form of editorial content.
In this case, the ad was run on Facebook by Wikibuy, an app that helps shoppers find discounts on online purchases (in reality, it's a data collection tool owned by Capital One – but that's a discussion for a different blog post).
The ad promises to show viewers how to avoid paying full price on their next purchase of an Apple computer. If they were smart, they're running this ad specifically to people who own Apple devices.
Since I'm an Apple user, it caught my attention, and I clicked.
When I arrived on the page where I was expecting to find an article, it was a short explanation of how to use the Wikibuy Chrome Extension to find discounts.
Nearly all the links on this short piece of content directed me to one place… the Chrome Extension Store – so I could add the extension to my browser.
Not a bad way to get new users, right?
Advertorials can be very effective. Especially when they're well targeted and promising a specific outcome, just like the example I've just shared. It's all about ensuring that there is alignment between the “hook” that prompts someone to click on the ad, and the offer that's being promoted in the content.
For instance, I often use advertorials to promote service-based client businesses where a free consultation or similar special offer is being promoted.
This can be especially effective in the insurance and financial planning arenas (where I do a lot of work). Here's an example of an advertorial I wrote for a client to appeal to first-time new parents.
The ad, which was specifically directed toward new parents in Portland, Oregon (where I live), promised readers important information on how life insurance could help protect their family – and how a newborn might impact their insurance needs.
It went on to explain the complexity of the subject and offered a “free child protection review.” The flow from the ad to the offer was aligned and made sense to those who registered for calls.
There are many other ways to use advertorials, including opt-in promotions for lead magnets, webinar registrations, and other “free gifts.”
And unlike overt sales pages, advertorials typically find readers dropping their guard. This means they are willing to be sold more easily because they've (hopefully) been provided with useful information of good value in the content they've consumed.
So the next time you're thinking of creating about running an ad on Facebook or LinkedIn, consider going “native,” and running an advertorial ad.
And, of course, if you'd like assistance from someone who has seen success with advertorials, feel free to reach out for a chat.