Monday, February 8, 2016

Oftentimes, the terms Native Advertising and Content Marketing are used interchangeably. While these methods do share some commonalities, it is important to understand the differences between the two.  

So, what are the similarities and differences between native advertising and content marketing?
And when does one work better than the other?

In both native advertising and content marketing, the content is interesting to the target audience--it provides valuable and shareable information to viewers. For example, Netflix utilized native advertising to promote its original series, Orange is the New Black, with an article in the New York Times. Video hosting and analytics company Wistia utilized content marketing by providing tutorial videos for its users with a resource page on its website. If you’re unclear about what exactly these techniques are, take a look at these brief definitions:

  • Native advertising is content that aims to blend in with the surrounding organic content, but is paid for on a publisher’s site.
  • Content marketing is creating relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience and sharing it on your company’s owned media.

The most notable difference is that in content marketing, the brand owns the media. Whereas native advertising involves renting someone else’s content distribution platform, such as a publisher.

So which is right for your brand? This will depend on your desired outcome.

If your primary goal is to increase product sales, then native advertising is a better choice.

For example, your content could include tips for solving a problem, while incorporating your brand’s product or service. Therefore, the content does not necessarily have value unless the reader purchases a specific product or service.
Alternatively, if your main objective is to build trust and establish credibility among your audience, then content marketing is the way to go. Content marketing materials take on a knowledgeable and genuine tone to provide readers solutions to problems, even if those solutions don’t involve the brand’s product -- there is no pressure for the reader to buy anything.

While it may seem odd to advertise without directly including your product, your audience may prefer it that way. 

In fact, 70% of consumers prefer to get to know a company via articles rather than ads. For example, corporate training company InsideOut began using content marketing in 2012 with email, social media, its website, and PR. The result? A 20% higher click-through rate, 87% lower opt-out rate and 388% more leads generated.

It’s important to choose media that suit your goals and priorities for your brand. Contact Archer today for help designing your plan of action.