Is Editorial Content Better than Advertorial Content?

Most businesses dream of being featured in a newspaper or magazine article, on a TV or radio show. Why? Besides the vast exposure, there is one main reason: Trust.

Most people have learned to believe and trust the information they read or hear on the media, especially on top-tier newspapers and broadcasting networks. From a young age, we have been told that journalists are unbiased and that what’s written in the newspaper is true.

Whereas the perception of “truth” has transformed dramatically since the emergence of social media, the majority of people still trust the information published by respected newspapers and media channels. It might surprise you, but this trust is not limited to editorial content alone. The credibility of a newspaper or business journal also reflects on its paid content.

To mitigate their declining revenues from advertising and subscriptions, publishers have started to offer paid content labeled as “sponsored,” which they incorporate within the news sections. This new advertising platform is an excellent opportunity for brands to make their way into traditional news magazines and sites. The look and feel of advertorials (adverts + editorials) highly resemble that of editorial content, making it difficult for readers to notice the difference.

Sponsored articles offer many advantages that are often overlooked by advertisers. Written by journalists as an interview or a news report, advertorials have a different effect on the reader’s mind than traditional advertising. What a newspaper says about you has a much greater impact than what you say about yourself on your website, blog, or social media ads. Therefore, when your advertising content appears in the form of a newspaper article, readers are much more likely to consume it, as it bypasses their usual defenses.

But unlike editorial content, where journalists are free to write whatever they want, sponsored content is written to serve your business goals. Whereas a journalist might sometimes be critical of you or your business, sponsored content highlights what you choose to emphasize and presents you in a positive light. You have complete control over the content, messaging, publishing timing, and selected photos.

A favorable article published on a highly-respected platform and promoted to a carefully selected audience affects the perceptions of customers and partners, employees, management, and board members. It builds the company’s public image and brand, creates awareness, and conveys the message you choose to share.

So is editorial content more effective than advertorial content? Not always, as we have learned. If you need to get to a broad audience and want full control of the publication’s content and timing, paid content is a great choice and will most probably do the work for you.

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