This article was originally published on Forbes.com in September of 2015.
If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or marketing professional, you should understand the relationship between Internet marketing and native advertising. One is often equated with other, but they are not the same. Understanding this is the case, and learning how to use each of these tools, can go a long way in protecting your brand and enhancing overall exposure.
The Distinction Between Content Marketing and Native Advertising
Let’s begin by redefining content marketing, so we can understand how it’s similar to and different from native advertising. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, provides the following definition: “Content marketing is a strategic marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action by changing or enhancing consumer behavior.”
That’s a great definition, but there’s plenty to unpack. For starters, note that content marketing is about both “creating and distributing.” In order for the content to be valuable, it must be capable of reaching a pre-defined audience. That’s the point at which native advertising and content marketing basically agree. Native advertising is also based on the premise that you have to go after a specific audience in order to be successful.
However, the two diverge from there. In content marketing, the brand owns the media; in native advertising, the brand rents the medium or media through which it reaches the target audience. In other words, content marketing involves the use of on-site content, original social media profiles, guest blogging, and other related activities.
The brand essentially owns each of these “virtual spaces” and is invested in developing them over a period of time. Native advertising, on the other hand, seeks out paid opportunities and financially compensates a third party in return for renting “virtual space” for a temporary advertising opportunity.
Read more at Forbes.com.