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5 Ways Native Advertising is Different from Content Marketing

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While content marketing is often touted as a critical online marketing strategy, there is less acclaim when it comes to native advertising. Many have written native advertising off as deceptive and potentially unethical. It might also be that many do not necessarily understand the concept and benefit

However, companies like RevContent are trying to change that impression and illustrate why native advertising should be included in an overall strategy. It’s just a matter of understanding the differences between these strategies and why native advertising can provide additional benefits:

  1. Payment: While content marketing involves free placement, native advertising comes at a cost. Although, it does not necessarily cost the same as traditional advertising, you are still paying to play on a particular platform. It’s just seen as sponsored content.
  2. Ownership: Content marketing is about owning media as an asset while native advertising is viewed as a rental relationship with content. With native advertising, you are renting the content distribution platform that belongs to someone else.
  3. Purpose: Content marketing is focused on providing useful information in the form of tips, steps, or recommendations in a non-promotional way while native advertising tends to veer on the side of promoting a company’s product or service through the guise of interesting information that is wrapped around that promotion message.
  4. Tone: Native advertising tends to try to sound like where it is published or it may be as obvious as to sound like a sales pitch. Content marketing tends to be more authoritative in its delivery and does not put any pressure on the reader to accept what is being said.
  5. Delivery: With content marketing, the user tends to control the experience they have with the content and decide when to access it while native advertising is delivered to the user on a channel where they are already viewing or interacting.

Both provide highly targeted, valuable information for their audiences. Companies that use native advertising are working toward making it look as close to content marketing as possible with the understanding that most of today’s consumers and businesses don’t want to feel like they are being sold something while they seek out content that helps or entertains them.

Content marketers don’t have to necessarily separate themselves from native advertising. If anything, the latest strategic recommendations by companies like RevContent is that brands work more diligently to improve content and offer it across both channels. The tone can be more closely matched to content marketing in order to build trust and encourage information sharing.

The idea is that native advertising can advance in terms of moving away from the idea of a deceptive sales tool and toward deeper audience engagement built from high-quality, valuable content. Now, even major publications are starting to accept the possibility that native advertising can work alongside regular content, offering a good revenue stream for publishers and benefits for the advertisers. However, yet to agree are consumers who will most likely need more time and more quality content to be sold on the idea of native advertising.


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