Sponsored Article vs Advertorial: A Quick Guide

Marc de Zordo • 28 September 2021 • 9 min read
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Sponsored articles are different from advertorials. Yet, they often get lumped in the same category by advertisers. 

For starters, both are marketing methods. That said, it’s important to understand that each method has a unique purpose and benefits and that there may be times when one format is favored over the other. 

This guide discusses the differences between sponsored articles and advertorial content and when, depending on your objectives, you should choose one over the other.

What Is a Sponsored Article?

A sponsored article is written content an advertiser pays a publisher to feature on its website. 

Let’s break this down:

The publisher is paid to write the sponsored article on behalf of a brand. The advertiser, or brand representative, also pays the publisher for the visibility of the writing on the publisher’s website. 

But, why are sponsored articles so appealing? 

The answer is simple: They fit seamlessly into a publisher’s website and align with other content available to the audience. 

Sponsored articles don’t distract the reader. On the contrary, they offer readers the freedom to be in control of their ad consumption.

What Is An Advertorial?

An advertorial is a type of advertisement written in the form of editorial content. Contrary to sponsored articles, the brand produces this content and sends it directly to the publisher.

Originally, advertorials were featured solely in newspapers and print magazines. Nowadays, they’re more likely to be used as a part of a digital marketing strategy. 

Again, advertorials should fit into a publisher’s website, though perhaps not so seamlessly as sponsored articles, as the brand may not be able to capture the publisher’s voice. That makes it evident to a keen, loyal reader that the advertorial isn’t a direct copy from the publisher.

Advertorials vs Sponsored Articles: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between sponsored articles and advertorials is the author. While the brand writes advertorials, sponsored content is written by the publisher. On top of this, the type of content results in different responses from the audience. 

For example, advertorials look like advertisements and might discourage readers from reading them.

article quote

When Should You Choose an Advertorial?

If you want complete control over your published content, writing your advertorials for publishers could be the best option for you. You can choose exactly how to communicate with a publisher’s audience, which may turn out essential if you offer a product or service that’s too technical for the average blogger or journalist to explain adequately.

However, keep in mind that if your content isn’t in line with the other articles featured on the publisher’s site, readers are less likely to trust, or even care about, what you have to say.

When Should You Choose a Sponsored Article?

A sponsored article is the more suitable choice if you aim for content that fits precisely with the publisher’s editorial line. Having the publisher’s brand approval is more reassuring for an audience and may encourage more reader engagement. 

While you have to be okay with letting a blogger or journalist publish content on your behalf, generally, sponsored articles tend to be the smarter choice. Readers are more likely to trust a sponsored article written by a publisher they respect. At the same time, they might be hesitant to even click on an advertorial if it looks noticeably different from a website’s editorial style.

writing a sponsored article

In Summary

Can you still gain the trust of an audience with advertorials? 

Absolutely.

But, first, research your publisher’s audience and look at the type of content already on the publisher’s site to understand the style and tone that the audience expects to see. In addition, remember that advertorials take more work than sponsored articles since you have to write the copy yourself. 

And, if your article doesn’t resonate with the publisher’s audience, there’s no guarantee the audience will read it or even check it out in the first place. 

If you hand the job over to a professional blogger or journalist who knows precisely how to win the audience with sponsored articles, you save valuable time and are guaranteed a better angle or approach. 
So, if you’re new to sponsored articles, don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to spend hours sourcing your own publishers and sending them personalized emails. Just visit getfluence.com, where you can collaborate with the most influential media in your field and get the best value on sponsored projects of all sizes.

Now that you know the main differences between a sponsored article and an advertorial, learn how branded content can benefit your brand

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