Business are often told that blogging is one of the best ways to get organic, engaged traffic to your website while also helping your website rank for keywords. And that is all true, but you may have also heard about guest articles and advertorials. If you have ever wondered what a guest article is or how it can help, support and grow your business then read on..
Is an Advertorial Different?
A guest article is different to an advertorial. Advertorials are paid for posts, blogs or articles that are paid for and directed by the advertiser and must be labelled as such so the reader knows the bias this type of article can hold. Often, they take the form of makeup tips from a big brand make-up company or recipes from well-known butter or flower manufacturers. These advertorials finish with a call to action to buy the butter, or lipstick mentioned in the article. This type of marketing has been around for a very long time but as social media has grown so has the sophistication around this type of what perhaps used to be called product placement and the ever increasing role of the publication to be transparent about who is paying for which article and what is an independent view.
Also known as by-line articles, guest articles are different to their advertorial counterpart and can work in conjunction with or independently of this type of brand awareness marketing. A guest article is much more of an information giving exercise, offering information, tips, predictions, trends or general comment without the call to action included in an advertorial. These type of guest articles are often placed to help define your company’s expertise or talent. If your company are experts in manufacturing a specific type of product then an article in a related publication discussing where the best use of this product can be found cements your company’s reputation as an expert, and helps you become the go to company for that type of product (or service).
Guest Article Tips
For those who sell non unique products then getting your name out there as the best place to shop for these products is also important, homewares and furniture stores for example can make connect with the wide and varied interiors and DIY bloggers to style and share their products in guest articles placed on their blogs showing your products and perhaps offering an incentive to shop (e.g a discount code).
Here are some tips for considering on where to place these guest artivles once you have decided what you want to say:
- Always do your homework on the publication you are going to use. Check that they align with your brand and also that they accept guest publications in your field.
- Add value to the audience of the publication. Your guest article must be interesting or useful otherwise no one will want to read it and finding publishers for it will be harder.
- Avoid self-promotion. Instead of focussing on your company to make it look like an out and out advert, use limited references to your company specifics.
- Offer exclusivity – Offer an exclusive deal, idea or information that a publisher will want to publish as it will be of interest to their readers.
Guest articles work well for businesses when they are published for a specific audience to help build brand recognition and reputation in those areas. Keeping to these guidelines these guest articles can become part of a long-term P-R strategy as they have good longevity and excellent return on the investment you put into them.