Native Advertising vs. Content Marketing

There are two popular strategies, native advertising and content marketing strategy. Native advertising refers to online advertising that matches the structure and function of the platform on which it appears. Conversely, content marketing refers to a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action and improve search engine rankings.

While native advertising and content marketing share some similarities, there are also key differences that marketers must be aware of. Keep reading to learn more.


What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising generally involves paying for a website or media platform to showcase content related to the brand. This digital marketing aims to provide users with a more natural experience without disrupting them while providing value to the advertiser.

Native ads can take many forms, such as sponsored content, promoted listings, or recommended products. Native advertising has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its seamless integration of the platform businesses feature it. It creates a natural user experience that is not disruptive compared to traditional banner ads or pop-ups for organic content.

Companies design native advertisements to match the look, feel, and style of the platform they appear on, making them more successful at capturing consumer attention and engagement on search engines. Despite being an effective marketing tactic, people always criticise native advertising due to its potential to deceive users who may be unaware they view promoted content.

Benefits of Native Advertising

Higher engagement

Native ads effectively reach consumers without compromising the user experience with intrusive or irritating messages. Because companies design these ads to blend in and match the layout of a website, they have higher engagement rates than traditional marketing tactics.

Better user experience

Because companies design native ads with search engine optimization in mind to match the look and feel of the platform they appear on, they provide a more seamless and natural user experience. As a result, native advertising works to increase user satisfaction and loyalty. on owned media.

Increased brand awareness

Native ads can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness because they are often seen as part of the content rather than as an advertisement.

Increased click-through rates

Because companies design native ads to be more engaging and less disruptive from browser ad blockers, they often have higher click-through rates than traditional ads.

Improved targeting

Businesses can use native ads to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviour, leading to more effective and efficient advertising.

Increased revenue

Publishers can benefit from native advertising by generating additional revenue streams without compromising the user experience.

Types of Native Advertising

In-feed ads

These are native ads that appear in the content feed of a website or app. They look like regular content but are marked as sponsored.

This type of native advertising involves creating content sponsored by an advertiser and published on a website or social media platform.

Promoted listings are native ads that appear in search results or product listings on e-commerce sites. They are designed to look like regular search results but are marked as sponsored.

Recommended Content

This type of native advertising involves suggesting related content or products to users based on their interests or behaviour. It can appear on a website, social media platform, or within an app.

In-game ads

In-game ads are native ads in a video game or app. They can be product placements, sponsored levels, or branded virtual items.

Branded Content

Branded content is sponsored content that involves creating content specifically designed to promote a brand or product. It can be articles, videos, or social media posts for your internet marketing.

Tools for Native Advertising

Several tools and platforms are available for creating and managing native advertising campaigns. Here are some popular options:


Outbrain is a native advertising platform that enables advertisers to promote their content on premium websites and social media platforms. The platform uses advanced targeting and optimisation techniques to maximise engagement and ROI.


Taboola is a native advertising platform that provides advertisers access to a global network of publishers. The platform offers advanced targeting and optimisation features to help advertisers reach the right audience at the right time.


AdRoll is a programmatic advertising platform that offers native advertising capabilities. The platform enables advertisers to create and manage native ad campaigns across various devices and channels.


Nativo is a native advertising platform that provides publishers and advertisers with tools to create and distribute high-quality native content. The platform offers advanced targeting and analytics capabilities to help advertisers reach their desired audience and measure the impact of their campaigns.


Sharethrough is a native advertising platform that enables advertisers to create and distribute native ads across various websites, social media platforms, and mobile apps. The platform offers advanced targeting and optimisation features to help advertisers maximise engagement and ROI.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager is a powerful tool for creating and managing native ads on Facebook and Instagram. The platform provides advanced targeting, budgeting, and optimisation features to help advertisers reach their desired audience and achieve their marketing goals.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Content marketing aims to drive profitable customer action by providing useful information that solves problems, answers questions, or addresses the target audience’s interests.

When used strategically and thoughtfully constructed with the target audience in mind, these different mediums can effectively drive engagement. The content should be created in a way that seeks to offer some knowledge or entertain the target audience and not solely promote a product or service.

Content marketing is an effective tool to build brand presence, boost credibility, and engage customers. It can be used as a long-term approach to increase visibility and foster relationships with target audiences. Businesses can develop relationships, position themselves as experts in their field, and ultimately drive more leads and sales by creating valuable content that satisfies target audience needs.

Notably, high-quality content marketing is essential for connecting with and delighting customers. However, you have to know what your target audience like and what they need to be able to create content that meets their needs. Also, identify the most effective strategy that you can use for better outcomes. Content marketing can be an incredibly effective tool for engaging and converting leads – if done correctly.

Benefits of Content Marketing

Improved brand awareness

Content marketing can help increase a website’s online marketing visibility and reach among its target audience by providing valuable information that resonates with them.

Increased website traffic

Producing real and organic content will increase the number of people reading them, increasing a website’s traffic. 

Increased lead generation

Online content marketing can effectively generate leads by providing useful information that helps address potential customer’s pain points and questions. Be sure to head over to our blog post all on lead generation if this sounds like something you may be interested in.

Improved brand reputation

Providing valuable content that helps customers solve problems or learn something new can improve the reputation and credibility of a brand.

Increased customer engagement

Businesses can increase customer engagement and build stronger relationships by creating relevant and interesting content for their target audience.


The search ads can be more cost-effective in the long run than traditional advertising methods when you distribute content. Besides, the content can run long on organic search results, making it possible for many people to view it, generating leads.

Increased customer loyalty

Businesses can build trust and loyalty by consistently providing valuable content that helps customers solve problems or achieve their goals.

Types of Content Marketing

Businesses can use several types of content marketing to reach and engage their target audience and existing customers. Here are some of the most common types of content marketing:

Blog posts

Blogging is one of the most popular types of content marketing. Companies can utilise blog posts to inform, educate, and captivate the targeted audiences regarding numerous topics related to the business or industry. They are an effective tool for disseminating information to stakeholders. Properly crafted blog pieces are invaluable assets that can contribute to a successful marketing strategy.


Videos are a highly engaging and shareable form of content marketing. They can showcase products, provide how-to instructions, or offer insights and commentary on industry trends. Be sure to check out our blog post dedicated to video marketing to find out more information.


Infographics are visual representations of data or information that can help simplify complex topics and make them more accessible to the target audience.


E-books are longer-form content pieces that can provide detailed information on a specific topic related to the business or industry. They can be used as lead magnets to attract potential customers and capture their contact information.

Case studies

Case studies can showcase how the business has helped solve a problem or achieve a goal for a specific customer. They can be a powerful way to show potential clients the product or service’s effectiveness.

White papers

White papers are authoritative reports that provide information or solutions to a specific problem or challenge in the industry. You can use them to establish thought leadership and position the business as an expert in their field.


Webinars are live or recorded presentations that businesses can use to educate the target audience on a specific topic related to the business or industry. It allows companies to engage with their target audience easily, which can generate leads.

Tools for Content Marketing

There are many tools available to help businesses with their content marketing efforts. Here are some of the most popular tools for content marketing:

Content management systems (CMS)

A CMS is a software platform that allows businesses to manage and publish content on their website. Popular CMS options include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

Social media management tools

Social media management tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Buffer allow businesses to manage and schedule social media posts across multiple platforms.

Email marketing software

Email marketing software like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber can help businesses create and send targeted email campaigns to their subscribers.

Keyword research tools

Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush can help businesses identify the keywords and topics their target audience is searching for.

Content creation tools

Many tools help businesses create and optimise their content, including Canva for creating graphics, Grammarly for checking grammar and spelling, and Hemingway for improving readability.

Analytics tools

Businesses can use powerful analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics to track and assess their website performance, content effectiveness, and more. These tools provide valuable information about your customers’ behaviours, thus helping generate content that meets their needs.

Collaboration tools

Trello, Asana, and Google Docs can help teams collaborate and manage their content creation process.

Similarities between Native Advertising and Content Marketing

Native advertising and content marketing share several similarities, as they aim to provide valuable content that resonates with the target audience. Here are some of the similarities between native advertising and content marketing:

Both aim to provide value

Native advertising and content marketing aim to provide value to their target audience by creating useful, informative, and relevant content.

Both focus on the target audience

Both native advertising and content marketing focus on reaching and engaging with the target audience rather than simply promoting a product or service.

Both are non-disruptive

Native advertising and content marketing aim to provide a non-disruptive experience for the target audience by integrating their content into the user experience of the platform they are on.

Both require quality content

Native advertising and content marketing require high-quality, well-written, informative, and visually appealing content.

Both require a strategy

Both native advertising and content marketing require an approach that considers the target audience, the content format, the distribution channels, and the measurement of results.

Differences between Native Advertising and Content Marketing

Native advertising and content marketing have a lot of common aspects. However, they also differ in some ways. Here are some of the main differences:


With native advertising, a business can promote a product or service through integrated sponsored content that fits within the native user experience of a platform. Content marketing involves creating beneficial content to inform, educate, and entertain the public.


Native advertising is typically distributed through paid channels, such as social media ads or sponsored content on a publisher’s website. At the same time, you can spread content marketing through paid and organic channels, such as blog posts, social media, and email.


Native advertising typically takes the form of sponsored content that looks and feels like the surrounding content on a platform. In contrast, content marketing can take many formats, including blog posts, videos, infographics, e-books, and more.


Companies can Native advertising created in collaboration with the platform or publisher, which may have certain guidelines or requirements for the content. Content marketing is typically made and controlled by the brand.


Native advertising typically targets a specific audience based on demographics or interests, while content marketing may have a broader target audience.


Native advertising may have a more promotional or persuasive tone, while content marketing is typically more informative or educational.


Which is more effective, native advertising or content marketing?

The effectiveness of native advertising versus content marketing depends on the campaign’s goals and target audience. Native advertising can be effective for increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to a website. Content marketing is an essential tool that helps build customer relationships and increase conversions. Businesses should use content marketing and other digital strategies together in the most effective way possible to maximise success.

What should you consider when deciding which platform to use for native advertising?

When deciding which platform to use for native advertising, some factors include the audience, format, pricing, integration, user engagement, and brand safety. You can use these factors to determine the kind of platform to use for your advertising campaign.

How do I start content marketing?

You can start your content marketing by defining the goals of your marketing campaign. Secondly, you must research your audience better to understand their needs, pain points, and interests. Conducting market research, analysing customer data, and creating buyer personas can help you better understand your audience. Third, establish a content strategy to guide you in creating and distributing your content for an effective outcome. Adopting a smart content strategy enables you to create and share quality information with the maximum impact; effective implementation is essential when reaching your target audience. Fourth, develop quality, informative, engaging content that meets your audience’s needs. Fifth, share your content on various channels, including social media, email, and your website. Consider using paid advertising to reach a larger audience.


Both content marketing and native advertising are important business tools. They are similar in using natural, relevant, and targeted content to reach an audience. However, they differ in their goals and execution. Native advertising is a promotional tool used to market products or services, while content marketing provides valuable and pertinent information to readers. Digital marketers use both strategies to engage with target customers in different ways. Businesses should use native advertising and content marketing to reach their target audience.

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Dan Grant