By Nouman Ali

The world of digital marketing has evolved tremendously in the past decade. Individuals and organizations make good use of this service to promote their products or services to potential customers.

As this digital ecosystem keeps expanding, marketers must progress along with it. This means familiarizing themselves with different terms and techniques for the distribution of content. Understanding these terminologies makes it easier to recognize the appropriate tools for each situation. Enter content marketing and native advertising. 

While they’re both used for the distribution of content, each comes with its own sets of capabilities and functions. Identifying the difference between the two concepts helps in coming up with the right marketing strategy for your business to increase sales. Below is a deeper dive into the comparison between the two methods.

What Is Content Marketing?

This is a marketing strategy that has a more long-term focused goal by providing valuable and relevant information to followers. Content marketing is a means to gain customers’ trust and build brand awareness through shared media. The ultimate goal is to increase the click-through rate and overall sales.

However, it’s not a single content piece but a constant circulation of fresh information that makes up your entire content marketing campaign. This has now become one of the most important marketing tools used by businesses on the daily. When relevant knowledge is shared on platforms regularly, it increases a brand’s credibility and boosts audience engagement. 

The preferred content is usually blog posts from your website, videos, infographics, newsletters, and whitepapers. Posting valuable pieces gains the attention of followers and tempts them to share your content on their profiles. This increases engagement rate, brings in fresh traffic and boosts sales performance. 

Implementing a fool-proof content marketing strategy would include active social media networks to circulate content, positive testimonials from clients, PR, and a blog run by business members and guest contributors. 

Benefits of Content Marketing

Here are some of the biggest benefits of content marketing.

1. More on-site content

The longer you spend content marketing; the more content is available on your site. This gives customers a chance to build a deeper understanding of your brand, products, and services and stay on your site longer. Appealing and relatable content always drives in more traffic and makes existing customers visit your website regularly. 

2. Higher chances of visibility in search engines

If you use keywords and topics that are frequently searched by users, there is a high opportunity for your blog to appear in those searches. The more posts you add on your blog; the more pages Google’s bots are going to index. 

3. Better customer relationships

Content marketing is a huge commitment but its benefits are long-term. It helps build a better brand reputation and allows customers to engage with your brand. Posting regular quality content forms a strong bond between your brand and potential consumers and increases their loyalty to your services. 

What Is Native Advertising?

It’s a type of online marketing that includes the subtle placement of an advertisement on a website, without disrupting the experience of the reader. Compared to other traditional advertising formats, such as pop-ups and banners which interrupt the user’s webpage navigation, native advertising attracts more attention by appearing seamlessly. 

This means that native advertising follows the main style and tone of the content on the page to promote a specific content piece or product. It follows a pay-to-play mechanism, which implies that one pays to access another individual’s audience. Also, this type of information seems more useful and engaging to viewers which enables the ad to reach a larger audience. 

With the abundance in online scams and virus threats, native advertising wins the battle over traditional advertising since they don’t include clickbait or misleading information. Native advertising messages have a higher probability of going viral on social media which is why companies opt for this method of advertising to attract clients. 

Benefits of Native Marketing

Here are some benefits of native advertising.

1. Captures more attention

An advertisement is useless if it is unable to grasp the attention of users. Native advertising lets you share content relevant to a website and its brand to offer higher viewing rates and audience engagement. Sometimes the audience does the marketing for you by sharing your posts on their social media channels and forwarding it to their friends. 

2. Empowers customers

Customers appreciate when brands post helpful and valuable content that they can rely on. It shows that you require more than their money and are willing to offer assistance to their issues. Native advertising present empowering content to potential customers in a convincing way so they are inclined to reward you with their loyalty. Happy customers lead to more sales. 

In the end, both provide digital marketing services that help in reaching consumers via useful content. Native advertising follows a procedure where the content is made to blend within an environment that merges with your brand’s objectives and purpose. While content marketing has a wider approach and prefers to build long-term relationships with followers to establish brand loyalty. 

The Verdict

Many small-scale or start-up businesses can’t afford to invest in both digital marketing strategies. Thus, it is recommended to understand the differences and purpose behind the two, to identify which method is right for your business. 

Content marketing requires a high-level commitment because there is a constant need for fresh blog posts and media to attract the attention of viewers. The time you put into content management is proportionate to the success rate. While it requires more time and investments, the results bring greater loyalty and leave an impact on clients. 

On the other hand, native advertising is specific and streamlined. You are aware of what you’re going to get which is a slot in a high-authority website. Having a deep knowledge of your target audience refining your content to fit the site environment is the key to successful native advertising. Due to its non-disruptive nature, the reader engages with the advertising content and escalates purchase intent. 

Once you’ve recognized these two aspects of digital marketing, it allows you to capitalize and market your business better. Combined, they can bring a significant change in a business’s content management and customer engagement. But, they also carry benefits when implemented individually with a solid content marketing campaign. 

Featured photo credit: Depositphotos