Sales Funnel Magic: Supercharge Your Advertorials

Cover image for a blog post about advertorials and how to write them.

What is an advertorial? To answer that question properly, we have to learn more about the ancient art of storytelling.

Everyone loves a good yarn. For thousands of years before the internet, traveling storytellers spread news, illuminating urban and rural communities by firelight. People waited excitedly for them to arrive, and then huddled together to learn about the wider world.

Advertorials draw on the same storytelling magic to tell consumers about a product or service. They tug at the curious inner child in each of us, beckoning us closer and then whispering into our ears. In short, advertorials are modern tales from outside the town walls.

In this guide, we’re going to tell you exactly how skilled copywriters use human instinct to weave magic into their native ads. Ready? Let’s begin.

What is an Advertorial?

Advertorials are native ads that use editorial content — articles and blog posts — to sell products or services. They disguise themselves to match their surroundings, and draw readers in with the promise of information. By the time they’re done reading, site visitors feel well-informed, excited about the product or service, and ready to make a purchase.


“What is an advertorial? Advertorials, or ads published in the form of editorials or documents, enable advertisers to communicate credibly alongside trustworthy material from publishers.” Matt Scott, owner, Termite Survey.

The best stories have a message buried within them, and essentially, that’s how advertorials work. They take readers on a “hero’s journey” and turn products into protagonists.

How to Write a Breakthrough Advertorial

Simply put, advertorials are marketing chameleons. They blend in with their surroundings and deliver messages on the down low. You can write compelling native ads in just six steps — and we’re about to show you how.

Find Your Voice

Before you begin to create an advertorial, you need to find the right disguise. To do this, read through the rest of your content. Your advertorial must sound like your brand voice: if it doesn’t, consumers will notice the difference immediately and move on.

Some publishers use levity (The New Yorker), while others stick to the facts (The Economist). Effective advertorials sound exactly like the rest of the content on their host sites, so readers don’t know they’re reading ads at all. What is an advertorial? Your readers need never find out.


Good native ads read like any other piece of content your audience might expect from you. They should deliver similar value despite also nudging people towards a purchase.

Choose a Format

To keep customers on the hook, make sure you use a format they’re familiar with. If they enjoy reading how-to guides, create a guide-based advertorial; if they prefer a question-and-answer format, include a Q and A section. If you get a strong consumer response to Facebook ads, make a social media-centric advertorial part of your marketing plan.

Whatever you do, don’t include fluff. Your advertorial must be based on real, helpful information rather than hot air.

Write a Great Headline

Headlines are everything in marketing, so make your advertorial header as irresistible as possible. You can write your headline after you finish creating your advertorial, or you can write it in advance to give yourself an inspiration boost. Whatever you do, make sure your advertorial headline matches your brand voice.

If you’re stuck, try headline analysis on for size. Tools like CoSchedule help marketers come up with potent headers for free.

Don’t forget meta information: Include a meta title and a meta description to create a good first impression and improve your Google ranking.

Tell Your Story

Throw away that over-hyped sales pitch and forget about QVC: advertorials are not the place for hard sales tactics. Native ads use a far softer approach: engaging narrative. To write a really stellar advertorial, you have to channel that traveling storyteller we spoke about earlier.


“Advertorials are not salesy ads — they are great stories that provide value.” Ian Kelly, VP, NuLeaf

Think about your favorite story. Why do you enjoy it so much? The answer probably has to do with emotion. As you write your advertorial, don’t be scared to use feelings like amusement, fear, anger, frustration and surprise to your advantage.

Think about what makes your reader tick: are they likely to respond to humor or do they favor outrage? Are they driven by excitement, or do they prefer a quiet life?

A Word About Customers: If you haven’t yet done so, create a customer profile for your company (or a buyer persona for your product). Advertorials are far easier to write when you “know” your audience.

Provide Value

To build credibility with your target audience, you have to promote the human impact of your product or service. Focus on benefits rather than features.


“The rule of thumb is that an effective advertorial should have 80% of valuable content and 20% product promotion.” David Morneau, co-founder, inBeat

If you’re not sure about what you’ve written, try removing all mentions of your brand name from the content. Is it still helpful? Does your story stay intact? If your native ad revolves only around a sales pitch, it needs a little more work.

Close with a CTA

Always close your advertorial with a call to action. Great headlines draw readers into an article; great CTAs encourage them to learn more about a product — or to make a purchase. Some CTAs invite readers to visit product pages, while others push consumers into sales funnels with special offers.

Robust CTAs create urgency and inspire confidence by restating a product’s value. Here are a few CTA examples to get you started:

“Sign up now to get 10% off your first order!”

“Feel more energetic in just two weeks with X Wonder Supplement — 15% off for the next 15 minutes!”

“Get your free guide to X today with our super bonus special offer!”

If someone has taken the time to read to the end of your advertorial, chances are they’re engaged. That CTA could help them make a purchase decision right away.

Where to Promote Your Advertorial

So, you’ve crafted a perfect advertorial that leans on human emotion and compels readers to buy. Great!

What next?

You need to get it in front of your target audience in a way that looks natural to them. For instance, if your advertorial looks like an article, promote it where your readers are seeing articles.

Here are some great channels to promote your advertorials in:

1. Facebook / Instagram

Facebook offers great advertising tools for targeting very specific audiences. Be sure to create a post on Facebook containing your advertorial and then pay to promote it to your target audience.

2. Twitter

Similar to Facebook, Twitter lets you promote your tweets to well-defined audiences. Take some time to define your audience in their platform. Then, craft enticing tweets that you can promote to get eyeballs on your advertorial.

3. Content Promotion Networks

Services like Outbrain and Taboola let you pay to have your articles featured on major websites while making the content look like native articles. This is powerful and you should definitely explore this channel.

4. Reddit

Reddit is notorious for users suspicious of advertisements. But, their targeting tools are powerful and let you reach members of very specific sub-Reddits. Paying to promote your advertorial to these audiences can pay huge dividends. Because it looks like native content, you’re more likely to get good engagement.

5. Quora

Another smaller but powerful channel is Quora. It lets you advertise to specific themes and questions that have already been answered on its site. Take some time to explore some important questions related to your advertorial and then promote your content on the question page. People visiting this question page clearly need the info your advertorial provides.

You might even post your advertorial right on Quora’s question page, but you have to be tactful when doing this.


In Conclusion

What is an advertorial? In a nutshell, it’s a rich story that blends valuable information with product promotion. Some advertorials are long, while others are short: regardless, all of them provide value and end with a strong call to action.

The best native advertising builds a connection between a brand and its consumer base. You can use the six steps in this guide to create advertorials that drive up your AOV and create lasting relationships with customers, too.

ALSO – Is Long-Form Content the Way to Go?

Meghan McKenzie

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Meghan heads up Enterprise Sales with Crowd Content and comes with 10 years of sales and marketing experience. She loves selling awesome writing services that are proven to work, because she'd rather express herself through eating cheese and drinking wine and leave the writing to the pros.

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