Last week we talked about the purpose of the advertorial (which is NOT to sell your product)
As you now know, the purpose of an advertorial is to warm up cold traffic before they hit your sales page. So of course, you’re going to need a topic that resonates with your readers and speaks directly to their pain points, motivations, and mindset.
The question is…
How do you choose the best angle or theme for your advertorial?
The concept of developing this “big idea” is a huge topic of conversation in the copywriting world. In fact, some copywriters specialize exclusively in generating big ideas.
The “big idea” is the one main hook, theme, angle, story, etc that you’re basing your sales message on.
And it’s one of the most (if not THE most) important parts of the sales message.
Generating and developing big ideas is a whole ‘notha ball game (or….blog post), so today we’ll just focus on where to start.
Like most elements of copywriting, the best place to start is by researching your audience.
Remember, an advertorial is a story-based landing page.
So in order to create one, you need to write… you guessed it! A story!
How To Find Your “Big Idea” Story
Contrary to popular belief – the best stories don’t come from your imagination.
They come from REAL LIFE.
(you might think life is boring, but reality is WACK yo!)
And by digging into your audience and THEIR stories, you’re already guaranteed to create something that will resonate with them.
To find their stories, start researching their fears, frustrations, desires, and the reasons they haven’t addressed all of these already.
Start digging into what your prospect is currently thinking about…
… read their comments online on social media and in other forums…
…. join the lists and channels they’re following…
…. straight out ASK THEM or enter into discussions with them….
…. then connect those thoughts back to the solution you’re offering.
Let’s look at an example:
My partner has a business where he helps freelancers learn how to stop undercharging and get paid what they’re worth.
So he’s targeting freelancers who already know how to find clients and get to the point in the prospecting conversation where they’re ready to send a proposal.
We can start researching them by going to the places where these people would be hanging out and discussing their businesses.
We could join freelancer Facebook groups and online forums, sign up for successful lists that already market to them to see what they’re saying, read publications or blogs that they would be interested in, etc.
Anywhere you can see what questions and comments these guys are making about quoting, charging, or creating proposals for new projects.
We can even ask questions in these groups ourselves related to quoting and proposals to encourage relevant discussion.
Then we use their comments and questions to pull out a story.
Maybe one of these freelancers THOUGHT they considered all the costs required for a project but lost money and ended up paying the client to do the work because they underquoted so badly.
Or maybe someone is going through burnout because they’ve been working their tushy off and still end up broke at the end of each month.
Or maybe someone didn’t plan for contingency and something came up that caused the project to go WAY over budget…
All of these would make great stories that you could use as the theme for your advertorial.
Once you tell the story, then you can connect that to the solution you’re offering which helps your audience overcome these challenges (in this case… a tool that helps freelancers quote the dollar amount a project actually costs rather than what they think a project will cost)
If you’re struggling to connect your introduction story with your sales message, one great trick is to create a ‘bridge’ between the two ideas by framing the story as a narration. That means you or someone else is telling this story.
“Freelancer Laura constantly underquoted and her life sucked. She was broke, completely burned out, and ready to give up. But then she discovered a way to get paid what she was worth EVERY SINGLE TIME she quoted for a new project.
That’s when I met Laura, and since I was a freelancer struggling with the same problem, I knew I had to find out her secret to success.
When I asked her she said, “My friend sent me this quoting tool. Before I found this tool I constantly underquoted and was broke at the end of every month.
Now that I have this tool I can finally get paid what I’m worth and buy my own private jet.”
…. ok so that was a terrible story because and it didn’t have much detail (you’d really want to paint a picture if you were writing this story) – But you get the idea.
The Easy Peasy Sales Story Formula
So here’s the formula I just used.
Person A had a challenge that they overcame. We told a story about it.
Person B had a similar problem when they met Person A.
Person A tells Person B how they solved their problem using this formula:
“Before [the solution] I struggled with [problem] and [this is what happens and why my life sucks]
Now that I have [the solution] I can finally [benefit] and [this is what happened that makes my life awesome now]”
Writing The Headline Last?
Even though the headline goes at the beginning of the page, sometimes it’s easier to write it after you’ve hashed out all the nitty gritty details…. or at least got a theme and story to start with.
After you’ve written your story, it’s much easier to pull that big-idea out and use it to write a headline that catches attention.
A great way to do this is to start a bullet list and just start writing as many headlines as you can think of. This warms up your brain and gets the juices flowing.
- How this broke-ass freelancer stopped underquoting and bought her own private jet by using this one simple tool
- How one simple tool helped this single mother pay off all her debt and build the life of her dreams
- The must-have freelancer tool that will DOUBLE your profits
- Here’s how to NEVER underquote on a freelance project again
And if you can squeeze out at least 10 of these, I think you’ll find that the last few headlines you write are the best.
Learning how to tell great stories is a whole skill in itself which we’ll cover another time, but if you’re stuck on where to start, this is a great way to jumpstart your brain to start developing the angle, theme, or hook for your advertorial landing page.
1.) Find out what your audience is talking about.
2.) Use their stories to tell an engaging story that speaks directly to the pain points, fears, and desires of your audience.
3.) Connect the story to whatever you’re selling by framing your offer as the solution to the subject’s problem.
4.) Create a catchy headline that grabs attention (and it’s totally okay to write this last)
And once you’ve got this big idea nailed down, you can use the same theme throughout your entire funnel. In fact, I highly recommend it.
By creating congruency from your Ad > Advertorial > Sales page, you’ll help your audience get to know, like, and trust you much better.