3 Questions to Ask When Deciding Between Content Marketing and Native Advertising

Whenever you are confused about choosing between Native Advertising and Content Marketing, you should remind of 3 below questions. They indeed help you much in solving this complicated issue.

Magic versus Bird; Brady versus Manning; or Coke versus Pepsi. Each of them can be well known as a decisive and divisive battle. If you are a fan of one side, you will be surely set with your arguments. Therefore, you should be ready and prepared to defend your team' positions, regardless of their opposition took.


An impassioned, similar fight is indeed brewing much in the marketing world marketing, provided that native advertising and content marketing are set well to reach the budget funds. In fact, companies who want to achieve their best results still running mean and lean while the industry usually awaits to assess if a strategy may be delivered successfully.

How could each of them be defined? Well, it honestly depends much on who you are asking, yet the following idea should provide you a general idea of their differences:

Native advertising can be considered as paid content written by one advertiser, typically some articles. However, it appears mainly in the form of publishers as if this type of advertising was sourced and written by some editorial staffs located at several particular blogs or sources of online news.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content marketing is defined as the whole process of distributing and creating valuable and relevant content to engage, attract and acquire a clearly understood and defined target audience. Such activities are performed with the purpose of driving customer action in a profitable way. This content has many forms, such as entries of corporate blogs, posts of social-media events, infographics, and bylined articles distributed through digital ads media pitching or social sharing.

To help you to cut through the complexity of this matter, you should consider our suggested three questions before choosing whether native advertising or content marketing is the most suitable choice for the brand of your own:

Question #1: What are your goal and the way you will measure success?

You may see that metrics are merely abundant -- impressions, comments, click-through rates, shares, likes -- and determining the subject to measure may give you the most precise picture of your success for a specific campaign. In the case that you want to find the brand awareness quickly, native advertising may provide you many possible clicks and potential impressions back to a designated website, if it is served to your right audience. However, you should choose content marketing if you are currently looking for a successful engagement.

Let's go to details with some examples. You may see that social content is targeted to particular kinds of people with the decent analytics from the back-end platforms. Such structure may give you the quality demographics and metrics, providing your insights into the engaging subject with the most dedicated content. By combining such analytics software with data points, you can develop the decent picture for the success of your campaign. The content of native advertising is placed right on a site of the third party so that you should make sure and know the metrics a website can give before launching your campaign.

Question #2: How much is your budget?

By comparing to the traditional advertising's price, native advertising looks truly like a thief. However, in the digital advertising world, it is one heavy hitter. If you may read Moz's study before, sites like Time, Real Simple and BuzzFeed have minimum ranges for the form of native advertising in five figures. Even it is workable for some larger brands; other small businesses may not afford at least $30,000 lying around for investing in a content placed directly on Time.com.

In contrast, a recommended cost-effective marketing way is contributing pieces of thought-leadership to media outlets who are influencers to reach your potential customers. Such activity is arranged through an outside agency or your own marketing department. Then, social media may help spread the content. Even a digital advertisement which was spent on such platforms may likely reach your targeted audience and engage them with the above-mentioned content.

Question #3: Is it important to reach your targeted audience?

As far as you may know, reaching your right audience timely with the suitable message is not that easy in a lot of marketing rituals. You can achieve this influenced trifecta if your content is targeted in a proper way.

Campaigns of content marketing can provide you the control over your audience and when. In fact, Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow us to target and schedule marketing specifically to your customers' behaviors and interests. By this way, it can extend your content's life along with those engaged individuals. Leveraging your digital advertising's targeting abilities let you ensure that your audience with the suitable niche will see the content.

Also, your large audience is reached well through the form of native advertising. However, ensuring that they are your right audience is indeed tricky. Provided that different sites may offer various levels and modes of targeting, you should look into the ability to target the ad beyond several simple measurements for marital status, age, and gender. Besides, in most of the case, campaigns of native advertising stand alone. It means that they appear only on one of the potential sites. To extend the reach site, you should either promote such content on the channels of your own or execute other campaigns.

Nowadays, in marketing environment which is volatile and marketers struggle to search for their ideal mix, there are abundant options. Ideally, native advertising and content marketing are more like lovers, working well together to obtain the highest quality eyeballs for your content. It does not matter whether you choose one or another marketing mix, be sure to map them back to the goals of your organization -- not executing in some separate silos.