Content Marketing & Native Advertising

November 5, 2015

Modern Technology Concept: young man reading a trends blog at tablet pc on the sofa

There’s been a lot of talk about both Content Marketing and Native Advertising, but also a lot of confusion about exactly what they are and how they differ. They each offer unique benefits and complement each other with differing goals.

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Content marketing is a long-term, ongoing strategic marketing technique for attracting a specific, defined target audience. It does not stand alone, but is part of an overall marketing strategy. The media (website, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) is owned. Content marketing is designed to influence customer behavior so that they will take a specific action. Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are employed to increase the organic (unpaid) ranking of the website with Google, Bing and the other search engines.


  • Higher search engine rankings;
  • Increased brand awareness;
  • Conversions (such as leads or newsletter sign ups).

Key Performance Indicators

  • Number of leads generated;
  • Number of high quality links;
  • Total number of social shares.


  • Generates an average of 27 stories from publishers.


  • Increases website visibility and traffic by increasing organic search engine rankings
  • Drives consumer brand awareness;
  • Generates conversions.


  • It can be difficult to secure high quality publisher partnerships;
  • A long-term commitment and investment is needed.

The Benefits of Native Advertising

Native advertising is a form of online advertising that is information-based, somewhat like an infomercial. It is more attractive to consumers than banner ads because it “fits” or is “native” with the platform (website) on which it appears. On an editorial page, it would appear as an article written in an editorial tone. Unlike content marketing, which appears on owned media, it’s necessary to pay for native advertising to appear on someone else’s platform.


  • To sell a product or service;
  • Increase brand awareness;
  • Generate social engagement.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Campaign views;
  • Increased site traffic;
  • Social media.


  • Only one publishing partner.


  • Offers helpful content in a “native” format;
  • Drives consumer brand awareness;
  • Increases consumer engagement.


  • Can be costly, depending on publishing partner;
  • The “sponsored” tag indicates an ad to consumers;
  • There are no SEO benefits (higher search engine ranking, etc.) since it appears on a partner’s platform.

To summarize, content marketing is a long-term “soft sell,” providing useful information so as to build trust with consumers. Native advertising also provides content to consumers, but it’s a “hard sell” when compared to content marketing, designed to sell a product or service.

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