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Native Advertising vs Content Marketing

A marketer from Switzerland emailed me recently to ask me about the difference between content marketing and native advertising. This was my response:

 

“{Name Redacted},

Content marketing is, exactly like you said, a way for a brand to tell a story in an editorial format. For example, Toyota could write a piece about a happy family road trip and pay a newspaper to publish that story. (This is also sometimes called “advertorial”).

While content marketing allows a brand to completely control the message, there are two fundamental problems with it: it’s hard to scale, and it can be┬áperceived by many people as deceptive.

So, to broadcast a message at scale, advertisers rely on traditional display networks, which suffer from the opposite problem: they “spray” millions of cookie-cutter ads across the web, usually unrelated to the content of the page they are on, and disruptive to the users’ browsing experience.

Native advertising is out to bridge that gap: deliver seamlessly integrated, relevant ad experiences at scale. Usually that means customizing the ad delivery platform to fit into the design and functionality of every publisher’s site. Sites likes Facebook have this functionality from the start, using “sponsored posts.”

Traditional publishers however, do not, and companies like TripReactor help them create “native” inventory that extends their editorial narrative with relevant advertising. In our case, advertisers send us raw images and text, and we dynamically display it within each publisher’s format in real time.”

(This post is the first in a series about the differences between advertorials, content marketing, and native advertising).