Navigating the Content Landscape: Free vs. Paid Content 

Ever wondered about the key differences between editorial, advertorial, and advertising content?  You’re not alone. It’s a common question and one which people often feel they should know the answer to, but don’t. Here’s our guide to all you need to know. 

Editorial Opportunities:

You send a story idea to a journalist for consideration in the shape of a press release, an article or interview opportunity. It’s unpaid information offered to media outlets, and their decision to use it depends on its newsworthiness, audience interest, and timing. Journalists are bombarded with information on a daily basis, so making yours stand out is key. It’s important to remember that it might take some time to see your story published, and the journalist has full editorial control. 

• Pros: Unbiased, high credibility, longer shelf life.

• Cons: No guarantee of placement, depends on relevance and timing.

The Advertising Advantage:

At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are looking for a way to boost your brand or to bring attention to a new product, then advertising is your direct line to an audience. Advertising is a paid for piece of contentpredominantly image-led and therefore usually works better for simple messaging.

• Pros: Targeted reach, controlled messaging and timing.

• Cons: Can be expensive, primarily image-driven, limited information sharing.

3. The Advertorial Blend:

Think of an advertorial as advertising disguised as a feature article. You craft the content(within reason, remember, most publications will have guidelines to stop anything too overtly sales-led) and write about whatever topic you choose. This paid for content, allows you to put across more complex messages to the publications audience.

• Pros: More detailed information compared to ads, controlled message, timed publication (perfect for launches).

• Cons: Paid content, requires clear “sponsored” or “paid for” labelling.

When it comes to working out which approach is right for you, each option has its strengths. The best approach will ultimately depend on your goals and budget. 

Building strong relationships with journalists and their commercial counterparts is invaluable for both free and paid content opportunities and what agencies such as Torque do day in, day out.  

To find out how Torque can help you deliver the perfect message to your media audience, talk to us at: