The dynamic proliferation of the Internet has become a stage upon which the evolution of advertising has played out. New technologies and concepts are emerging daily and as businesses adapt to this technological evolution, customers’ needs have evolved and businesses’ advertising needs have evolved with it. One such concept that has evolved to fit today’s requirements is Native Advertising. Native advertising involves camouflaging the ads along with the look and feel of the website. It is a non-intrusive way of reaching to the consumers and gives them a better browsing experience. It is one highly rewarding medium that is gaining popularity among businesses. With the audience craving content as much as they do, this doesn’t come as a surprise.
However, quite frequently it has been confused with Content marketing. The terms are even used interchangeably in some cases. Thus, it is important for the market to know the clear difference between the two.
In the simplest of version, Content Marketing is the umbrella term and Native Advertising is a specific branch of Content Marketing. While both involve the use of content for marketing, understanding the clear difference between the two will enable brands to study and strategize better and invest their resources in a better-informed way in the medium that suits their strategy. On that note, let’s dive right in!
The concept of native advertising is in stark contrast with that of Banner ads that appear on the web pages, in the dedicated ad space, to attract the consumers’ attention. While Banner ads are meant to stand out and grab the attention of the audience, Native advertising is meant to merge seamlessly along with the website content and its overall look & feel. Native Advertising involves a streamlined and non-intrusive ad placement. It provides valuable information to a specified demographic, which is the brands’ desired TG. Their placement within a website is such that they don’t disrupt the browsing experience of the viewer. For instance, native ads are strategically placed in-between the content and usually don’t appear as the intrusive traditional ads. Native ads may or may not directly advertise the service. Native Ads also work as strategies to convey a brand’s story. They take you to a page containing related content and subliminally mention about the advertisers brand. This helps in spreading brand awareness amongst the audiences and influences the viewer’s brand perception and purchasing decision.
Content Marketing is a much bigger concept, with much wider and long-term goals. Though both work towards providing valued knowledge, all the while improving the brand awareness and targeting a specialized group of potential customers, the important distinction is that the content shared in Content Marketing is owned by the very business sharing it. It is, thus, a valuable asset of their own. Content Marketing, for brands, helps to strategize and deliver its brand communication and it makes sure that it is constantly used to persuade the customers in a planned way. For this, multiple facets of digital and content marketing are utilized. This can include basics like internal communications, websites, blogs, how-to-guides to the advanced communication tactics like influencer marketing, reputation management, social media and many more.
Learning the difference between the two allows brands to channelize their resources into the right marketing tactics. One can perceive how Native Advertising and Content Marketing work hand-in-hand. While both have similar end goals, which is Brand engagement, the directions to achieving it usually differ. Together they can collaborate in spreading brand awareness and improvising the brand image.
Native Ads along with Content Marketing confers a very synergistic one-two punch and when combined with other retargeting funnel tactics assures a strong ROI for those that invest the time and resources in getting it right.