When you see the phrase “native advertising,” what do you think? Do you think of content marketing? Well, a lot of people do … so much so, that I felt compelled to write an article about it.
When it comes to advertising, content marketing is where the real value currently resides. It’s central in cultivating audience engagement. In particular, native advertising, or advertising that blends in with typical content, has proven itself to be a true advantage for businesses and associations across the world. Quality is essential when it comes to native ads. You can’t just put up a sales page and get people to click an ad or button. You need to tell them how they benefit, build trust with them and get the right type of people reading in the first place. Quality content monetization is the only way you can do that
This is content marketing
Content marketing is a strategic marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action by changing or enhancing consumer behavior. Content marketing is an ongoing process that is best integrated into an overall marketing strategy. It focuses on owning media, not renting it.
This is native advertising
For most situations, longer-form native advertising is:
- A directly paid opportunity – Native advertising is “pay to play.” Brands pay for the placement of content on platforms outside of their own media.
- Usually information based – The content is useful, interesting, and highly targeted to a specific audience. In all likelihood, it’s not a traditional advertisement directly promoting the company’s product or service. This is where native advertising looks a bit like content marketing. The information is usually highly targeted and positioned as valuable.
- Delivered in stream. The user experience is not disrupted with native advertising because it is delivered in a way that does not impede the user’s normal behavior in that particular channel. Brands want their native advertising to look as similar as possible to the third-party site’s content.
To summarize, native advertising doesn’t disrupt the user experience and offers helpful information in a format similar to the other content on the site so users engage with it more than they would with, say, a banner ad. (This is good for advertisers, and if the content is truly useful, good for consumers.) In very simple terms, native advertising is one way content marketers can distribute their content.
A quick review
If you pay for placement of valuable, relevant content in a format similar to the third-party site, it’s native advertising.
If that content is valuable and relevant, designed to attract a clearly defined audience, and posted on your own or other unpaid platform, it’s content marketing.
Native advertising differs from content marketing in the way that it rents the space on the medium where the trust is already built, blending in and providing quality content to the readers. It is a short-term version of content marketing, as similar techniques are used.