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The difference between native advertising and content marketing: what you need to know

Industry leaders and business owners may sometimes use content marketing and native advertising interchangeably. On the contrary, though, the two are completely different forms of marketing, and get different results with each. While you can use the two together to have a more comprehensive, integrated website full of quality content, there are too many differences between the two to bunch them together.

Native advertising

This form of digital marketing matches the function and style of whatever platform it’s on, making it difficult or altogether impossible for readers to differentiate what is real content and what is just native advertising. If you take a look at just about any website, though, it can be easy to spot where they are; examples really are everywhere. Native advertising has been separated into six categories of its own, in fact.

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Example of native advertising
An example of native advertising would be when an advertiser promotes their product on a website, but they use the same form as an article written by the staff of the website, or they get the staff member to write an article using their voice to promote the advertiser’s product. If a website is writing an article about custom e-learning, then there may be some recommendation widgets at the bottom of the article recommending other custom e-learning websites around the web.

Recommendation widgets
At the bottom of articles, you may have seen “You might also like,” “Elsewhere from around the web,” or any other variation of the phrasing. Those are recommendation widgets, typically owned by a third party source, although sometimes the website itself provides recommendations of other articles on the site.

Content marketing

The way content marketing works is a whole different ball game. Content marketing is simply providing relevant, quality content to attract and retain customers with one of the intentions being changing their behavior or opinion on something. In short, content marketing writes articles people actually want to read, and as such, attracts people to your website.

Search engine optimisation
Something that often falls under the umbrella of content marketing is specifically search engine optimization, or SEO. This is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a specific website by using keywords to get ranked in search engines based on those keywords.

Example of content marketing
If a website has a store that sells tires and steering wheel covers, a great example of content marketing would be to write a variety of high-quality articles based around tires and steering wheel covers. Using keywords you think someone might search for in order to get to the information on your website is how you would get those readers to find your website.

This works just as well in the B2B world. Say a training company has a message they want to divulge. Instead of Facebook or Twitter, they are going to want to craft content that will live better on LinkedIn or Slideshare. Here they will be able to create digestible bits of information and reach the correct market. Take this piece for example:

Over time, using a variety of marketing techniques, proper SEO, and having quality content, your website will rank higher and higher in search engines for each keyword you continuously provide content for. While this is not the fastest route to success, some might say that it’s the easiest, simply because of how simple the method for ranking is.

There is a very obvious difference between native advertising and content marketing when comparing the two side by side. While native advertising is useful for you to promote the things you sell using other websites and ads, content marketing is useful for you to promote the things you sell right there on your website. Both are great forms of marketing, but you can’t just choose one. Rather, taking advantage of both forms of marketing is the easiest and most assured way to have your business booming online in no time.

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