Native advertising, aka advertorials, is a type of earned media. This information-based content is crafted to appear as traditional copy promoting goods or services in a way that does not disrupt the user experience.
Content Marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing relevant and consistent messaging at the right time, to the right persona, with the right content type and frequency. This is considered owned media — think company website, press releases, blogs, social media and YouTube channels, etc.
So which is right for you? If engagement is what you seek, native advertising has seen a significant rise due to higher engagement rates than traditional banners — 20 to 60 percent higher with retention rates that are 3x higher. But there are many challenges and pitfalls to overcome including ad quality, ad avoidance, transparency, social fatigue and scale — so review your approach carefully and its competitive advantage.
When done successfully, content marketing can turn a website into a traffic and lead-generation machine. But it requires time and effort for persona development, sales cycle analysis, unique content production and content promotion via multiple channels. And creating content doesn’t come cheap as marketers are spending more time, money and resources on development than ever before so consider your goals, resources and budgets first.
So what’s the takeaway? Understanding the difference between the two and identifying your business goals will help inform which tactic will help you make the most of your marketing strategy.