The Advertorial: Advertising to the Ad Averse | A Guide

Writing an advertorial: copywriting services

How to Write and Publish Awesome Advertorials (That Sell!)

Use an advertorial to advertise to people who don’t like ads! 

The average internet user sees an overwhelming amount of ads on a daily basis. Consumers are becoming desensitized and blind to traditional online advertising. Combine ad banner boredom with the advent of ad-blocking software, and your paid marketing is heading towards a digital blackhole. 

Increased online competition means innovation is crucial. A staggering number of marketers depend on alternatives to conventional digital advertising to push their products. An advertorial is a marketing tactic that combines creative storytelling with subtle selling techniques to advocate for a brand or product. 

An advertorial is most often written as an autobiographical narrative, detailing a first-hand experience with a product. An advertorial is designed to be an entertaining, engaging, and relatable read. The content must appeal to an audience’s emotions without being an overt advertisement. 

Even people who despise ads tend to get sucked into a compelling read, even if it is, at its core, a commercial. 

The Ethics of Advertorials

There is an ongoing debate among marketers on the ethics of advertorials. Are advertorials ethical? That depends on intent.

If your content makes outrageous claims without a way to truthfully back them up or is designed to make a quick sale to readers desperate for a solution, your advertorial is swimming in unscrupulous waters.

An ethical advertorial substantiates claims. That means including facts, statistics, case studies, and any other relevant information showing the audience the proof behind the claims in your narrative. 

If your intention is to entertain and inform your audience without misleading or deceiving, your advertorial is ethical. 

Writing an Advertorial that Gets Results

Publishing an advertorial is effective in generating leads, engaging an audience, and strengthening your brand reputation. 

An advertorial is a form of native advertising that matches the tone, voice, and function of the media platform on which they are published. Advertorials are placed in the sidebar, newsfeed, or found under “Recommended for You” tabs on popular websites.

Because they are placed so that they match the look and feel of the rest of the content, advertorials don’t look like an ad.

If done correctly, an advertorial looks just like an editorial. (Advertisement + Editorial = Advertorial)

The most captivating advertorials have the following in common:

Formatted for a Fun Read and Structured to Sell

Properly structuring an advertorial is key to retention. People click on your advertorial because they want to be entertained while they are being informed.

If your readers don’t have an immediate reason to keep reading, they won’t.

Two ways to ensure an engaging and effective advertorial are to:

#1. Immediately Resonate with the Reader

An advertorial needs to identify with the audience in the first sentence, following the problem-solution method. The character in your advertorial has a relatable problem that was solved by a product or service. For an advertorial to be effective, the opening must creatively explain exactly why the content is applicable to the audience. 

#2. Interspersed Soft Sell

The core purpose of an advertorial is to advertise. A narrative that drones on bores the reader. Strategic and subtle calls-to-action placed at high points throughout the narrative encourages the reader to click. 

It is crucial to tread carefully when placing your calls to action. Too many of them, too pushy, or awkwardly placed calls to action will cause a reader to disengage.

Write Your Advertorial with a Tone that Harmonizes with the Publication

Native advertisements must appear just that: native.

To avoid looking like an overt advertisement, an advertorial must amalgamate with the voice and tone used in content that is actually native to the platform.

Blend your content in with the publication’s voice and tone by:

Scrupulously studying other published pieces

If your content doesn’t meet publication guidelines, you won’t get your piece published no matter how much you’re willing to pay. High-traffic platforms selling native advertising space have worked strategically to build a solid brand, and content that isn’t cohesive won’t make the cut.

Study the content approved by the platform’s editorial team. Take note of the diction, phraseology, and overall tone. Write your content so that it ties in with the platform’s branding seamlessly.

Heeding Headlines 

Maintaining a consistent voice is only part of the puzzle in writing brand-cohesive content. The headline of your advertorial must match that of the other content on the site. 

It is essential to know how to write a great headline. Knowing how to match headline styles with an established publication makes your content even more click-worthy.

Pay attention to how a publication structures its headlines. Some websites prefer short news story-style snippets, while others prefer headlines to be authoritative and concise. Write your headline so that it doesn’t seem out of place among the others.

Before You Write Your Advertorial: Analyze Your Audience

An advertorial is not all-purpose. 

Who you’re advertising to should dictate how you’re advertising it. It is essential to have a deep understanding of the demographics and psychographics of your intended audience. 

Many native advertising platforms will provide you with various market reports upon request, but doing your own research will better help you develop your content.

For your advertorial to truly resonate with an audience, you must familiarize yourself with who they are, what they want, and how, when, and why they want it.

Study the most popular article on your intended platform. Read through comments and feedback. Visit the platform’s social media channels to find out how the audience responds and interacts with content. 

Native advertising often isn’t cheap. Go as in-depth with your market research as possible.

Where Do You Publish an Advertorial?

There are a multitude of options for where to publish an advertorial. Among the most reputable include:


Arguably one of the most respected native advertising platforms, Outbrain runs on a CPC (cost-per-click) pricing model and has nurtured relationships with the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, and BBC, as well as an extended network of publishers. Trusted by brands like Adidas, Merck, Exxon, and Disney, Outbrain has proven itself among the most effective native advertising partners worldwide.


Partnered with Bloomberg, BusinessInsider, CBS, The Weather Channel, and USA Today, Tablooa advertisers have access to premium placement. With options for search, social, and open web placement, your advertorial has the potential to reach 1.4 billion people across Taboola’s network. 


Part of a younger generation of native advertising platforms, Nativo’s network includes names like Rubicon, Yahoo, and Popular Science. Nativo boasts content workflow automation and proprietary performance optimization to help advertisers achieve the maximum ROI for their investment.

Advertorial Copywriters

Advertorials effectively expand reach and increase brand awareness with the correct orchestration. Partnering with native advertising platforms is a significant investment; protect your investment by enlisting a copywriting agency with experienced advertorial copywriters for gripping content that converts.