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Many of us haven’t got a clue what the term native advertising means, though it is certain that the majority of us will encounter examples multiple times a day.


Even amongst professionals, there seems to be a large amount of confusion on what native advertising is, so much so that the term is often used interchangeably with content marketing. However, there are distinct differences between the two. Knowing how native advertising and content marketing vary from each other is crucial when it comes to utilising them for your business needs, particularly when it comes to using them in coalition with each other- it is by doing this that you will find the best results.

The Difference Between Native Advertising and Content Marketing

Open your social media channel of choice, be it Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Have a scroll through your newsfeed. How long is it until you come across an advert for a product that catches your eye? This is a prime example of native advertising- a form of paid ad that’s specifically designed to blend in with the channels it’s published on. While all adverts are required to be labelled, this is usually done with a surreptitious “sponsored” in the small print, so the intended audience feels far less ambushed by sales tactics and more ambivalent towards what you have to offer. In general, they look and feel like normal published content, camouflaged within wherever they may be positioned, and are not just prevalent on social media, but search engines such as Google or Yahoo or in printed media in the form of magazine editorials or articles.

Native advertising is popular with marketers because it works- studies have shown native advertising can be up to 53% more effective than traditional ads. Often containing links to the advertiser’s site or bold imagery to captivate the intended audiences, the targets are far more likely to engage with the content. Native advertising provides exposure on a grander scale, reaching the dashboards of those who have never heard of you or your brand before and helping you to ingrain your business into their subconcious.

Whilst native advertising does rely on the standard of your content, and therefore can be considered a branch of content marketing, it is clear that they are not the same practices. Content Marketing, which is what we offer here at Truly Content, is a marketing approach that relies on a strategic marketing approach, focussing on targeted creation, optimisation, and implementation of high quality, reliable and consistent content to help reach and retain audiences. This can take many forms, but the best content marketing strategies utilise all of these together to form one “umbrella” strategy, usually compromising of blog posts, social media maintenance, imagery, SEO and email marketing and newsletters. Native marketing can, and does, involve these types of content, but with an entirely different, platform-based focus, whereas content marketing is primarily concerned with an overarching, multi-channel plan that is developed and strengthened over time.

Integrating Native Advertising Into Your Content Marketing Strategy

Native advertising and content marketing both have their own unique set of pros and cons when it comes to exposure. Whilst native advertising can aid in reaching a far bigger audience, you are exposing yourself to those with no familiarity or loyalty to your brand, which can result in hit-and-miss results. Not to mention, the paid nature of native advertising means that content can often be caught and hidden by ad-blocker software, reducing the amount of people who even see the ads in the first place. On the other hand, content marketing is a fantastic way to build long-term relationships with your audience base, helping to foster client loyalty and retention, and the use of “owned” platforms, such as your website, newsletters, or social media channels mean that content is unlikely to ever be detected by ad-blockers. However, without native advertising, it can be tricky to grow the audience you already have. Using the two together is the best way to cover all bases, and in turn, gather the most potential leads.

How Truly Content Can Help

At Truly Content, we’ve planned ahead so you don’t have to. Our bespoke packages combine the aspects of content marketing you really need, with both our intermediate and advanced tier including native ad campaign management. For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.