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Creating Custom Advertorial Content for Advertising Partners

A guest post by Paul Vitale, Marketing and Business Development Director of Sweet Paul Magazine, Issuu’s April 2019 Publisher of the Month.

Advertorial Content

Selling full-page advertising can be a challenge for small and independent publishers these days. When we first launched Sweet Paul Magazine as a print quarterly in 2009 we had a small core group of advertisers who supported us in our early efforts. Companies like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day still had print budgets to invest in full page advertising for small magazines like Sweet Paul. We loved this period and grew wonderful long-term relationships with brands we admired.

Over the years print budgets got smaller and smaller. We found it to be very challenging to sell ads to the same folks who had supported us in the past. At the same time the print budgets were disappearing, influencer budgets were growing. At this point, we realized that what we needed to do to fill our magazine with beautiful ad content was to stop trying to sell ads and start selling Sweet Paul as an influencer. I began crafting content development pitches for brands we loved and bonusing pages of advertising in our print and online magazines instead.

Magazine Advertising

Now, nearly all of the advertising that we publish in Sweet Paul is based on a content development project. We develop recipes and craft projects, shoot gorgeous photo and video content, design advertorial pages in the magazine that resonate with our readers, and then give the content to the advertiser to use as they please. Not only has this allowed us to maintain and grow our advertising program, but it’s also allowed us to provide our readers with more content that they have come to expect from Sweet Paul.

Tips for Creating & Selling Custom Content to Partners:

1. Reaching out via Instagram is not a bad idea. Often times the folks who manage the Instagram accounts also control some of the content development budgets.

Advertorial Content

2. Pitch the idea of creating the content and then add on a page or spread of advertorial in your publication as a bonus.

3. Always conspicuously mark custom content as advertorial. We always mark advertorial pages with “ADVERTISING FEATURE”.

4. Develop ideas to highlight your partner’s content that you think will resonate with your reader. If it’s not a good fit, don’t try to force it.

Want to learn more? Check out some of our other blog posts related to Advertorial Content:

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