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Native Advertising vs. Content Marketing

You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed– passing the latest picture updates from old college friends and political views from extended relatives. Ad after ad keeps popping up between posts and occasionally on the sidebar of your screen. How did these get here? Why do some ads look different than others? While it can be difficult to distinguish the differences between ads, and the purposes behind them, there are actually two distinct types. When it comes to content strategies, native advertising and content marketing are at the top of the list. 

Native Advertising

Native advertising is generally more appealing to the eye and at first glance, you probably don’t even realize it’s an ad!  This type allows consumers to stumble upon ads more organically. Social media users tend to like native advertising more because it feels less intrusive to their personal feed. Paid advertising doesn’t require you to follow the company for the ad to appear on your timeline. Yet, native advertising strives to blend into its given platform rather than emerge as a typical advertisement.


What looks like editorial content, is actually known as “advertorials” in native advertising. This is one of the most basic types of advertising. It has a clear call to action and can be embedded into a blog, newsletter, or site. Advertorials can also come in the shape of a video, just as long as the sponsor clearly addresses their intention. Branded and sponsored content, product placement, and Google text ads are all also different types of native advertising.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Consumers have come to strongly dislike advertisements and will try to avoid them at all costs. Whether using ad blockers for the internet, skipping commercials on TV, or choosing an aux cord over the radio, well you get the point. The advantage to native advertising is that these kinds of advertisements do not look like traditional ads, so consumers are more inclined to engage with them. However, since native advertising is meant to camouflage within a users feed, this can sometimes confuse consumers. Some individuals have raised ethical concerns when native advertising has appeared to be too difficult to discern with their feed. These concerns have brought some controversy into the advertising field. 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing, which can be easily confused with Native advertising, is not actually advertising at all. It is the strategy behind attracting customers by regularly creating and publishing content that they will want to share with others. A huge part of content marketing is building an audience, and then creating specific content with that audience in mind. According to the content marketing institute, 96% of the most successful content marketers say audiences view their company as a trusted resource. 


Appearing in many different forms, content marketing can primarily be blog posts, graphics, and videos. Each different type is meant to bring in new customers as well as continually engage them. It occurs on a variety of platforms such as social media sites, email marketing, and youtube.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Content marketing revolves around planning out strong content that will evoke a response from the consumer. This response usually  turns into a follow, and a modthink marketing curating contentloyal follower at that. Since this content is widely trusted by its audience, its credibility is likely to get passed along. However, since it’s not the most traditional form of marketing, it can be difficult to think originally. It takes a lot of dedication and preparation to pull off good content marketing, so make sure you are ready! This will mean investing time and money into the people and tools that help with your content marketing plan.

So, now what? 

So, there you have it! Whether you’re the consumer avoiding advertisements, or the corporate marketer implementing them, now you can spot the differences. No matter your role, it’s important to be aware of what you’re seeing and how it’s affecting you. Being able to distinguish the different kinds of content strategies is crucial with today’s technology.

If you want to know more information about content plans or marketing strategies, feel free to contact us!

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