Native advertising is a topic we’re hearing more about in marketing circles, and it appears to be making its way into the mainstream. Native advertising often is compared to content marketing—another blossoming marketing strategy. And it’s true the two share additional similarities, which could make them a powerful marketing pair.
What is native advertising?
Native advertising involves blending paid content into a user’s natural experience with a medium—both print and online. A native ad can take the shape of a guest post on a popular website, a sponsored post on Twitter, or an advertorial in a magazine.
How is it similar to content marketing?
When executed correctly, native advertising is:
- Content-based. Good native advertising draws readers in with engaging, relevant content.
- Natural. Native advertising doesn’t interrupt the user experience. Rather, it becomes a part of it. Similar to content marketing, successful native ads match the platform on which they’re presented and the subject matter is a logical fit for its audience.
- Adaptable. Like content marketing, native advertising can exist on many platforms, from websites and blogs to social networks and print publications.
How does it differ from content marketing?
The key difference is that content marketing uses earned or owned media. Native advertising is paid media — which is why it’s a form of advertising. And when done poorly, native advertising can feel a lot like advertising, too, focusing more on the product/service and sales pitch than providing information users want and need.
How can native advertising and content marketing work together?
Lexicon likes to use a “chicken-and-egg” analogy when trying to explain the relationship between native advertising and content marketing. Both have been around for years, but we believe an organization must have a strong content marketing strategy and quality content in order to create successful native ads. Once an organization has content, they can use native advertising to extend its reach and message to more potential clients and consumers.
Lexicon is an award-winning firm in Des Moines, Iowa, that specializes in content marketing.