“Editorial-style implied content” copy has been a winning copywriting technique for decades.
Today, thanks to the current focus on content, its use is growing exponentially — and it continues to work like gangbusters.
“Editorial-style implied content” has two essential characteristics. First, “editorial-style” means the ad looks and reads more like an article than an advertisement. Second, “implied content” means the headline promises useful information.
A classic consumer example is a magazine ad that Duncan Hines ran years ago:
“The Secret to Moisture, Richer Chocolate Cake.”
“Secret” is a powerful selling word for “editorial-style implied content,” because people want to know what the secret is. It sounds like you are going to get a recipe for great chocolate cake — one that your friends and neighbors may not know.
But that first step in the recipe is to use Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix. So the ad accomplishes two things. First, it delivers on its promise of showing you how to make a great chocolate cake. Second, it drives sales of the product, because Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix is the key ingredient; others include eggs, butter, and milk.
Cultivating Your Copy
Now let’s look at a B2B sample of “editorial-style implied content” copy.
A postcard from Intech, a gear manufacturer, has this headline on the advertising side of the card: “How to Stop Teeth in Your Plastic Gears from Breaking.”
Engineers read and responded to this postcard, because the headline offers a benefit they are seeking.
“How to” is a strong phrase in “editorial-style implied content,” because it promises useful tips, ideas, or instructions.
The body then delivers the promised knowledge in a series of short bullets.
- “Understand the loads on the gear — our free Gear Card summarizes the load data.”
Engineers know what loads are and that they are important.
Copy tells them how to get the data they need:
- “For your FREE Gear Card call or visit URL.”
- “Select the right plastic.”
The engineer learns that the characteristics of the ideal plastics for gears include dimensional stability in moisture and secure attachment to the shaft.
On the reverse side of the postcard is the headline:
“Only Power-Core plastic-on-metal gears give you all these advantages.”
Then a short bullet list of copy reveals that Intech’s gears possess all of the characteristics needed to prevent the teeth from breaking off.
- No moisture absorption = no swelling.
- Metal core dissipates stress and heat to reduce thermal expansion.
- Intech helps you size the gear correctly for the load.
At the bottom is the offer:
“Intech engineers can help you size the gear to last in your application based on the load. For your FREE Gear Card call or visit URL.”
This specific copy technique used in the Intech postcard is called “setting the specs,” and it has two parts. First, it educates the reader on the specifications and features to look for when buying gears whose teeth won’t break off. Then, it shows that only Intech, with its unique gear design and engineering capabilities, makes a gear that meets all the specs.
If the reader checks other gears against these specs, no other gear meets them, making Intech’s value proposition unique.
So the engineer who finds the specs sensible and believable buys the Intech gear, because only Intech meets them.