Content Marketing Vs. Native Advertising – Which Is Best?

It’s not that native advertising is an entirely new concept. It has been around for a very long time, well before the Internet got nearly as huge as it is today. Part of the reason why it has become such a big buzzword in the last while is that we are seeing more and more of a “pay to play” model across many channels. Even if you were able to grow your Facebook following in a legitimate and organic way, Facebook wants you to open up your wallet if you actually want to reach all the people who clicked “Like” on your Facebook page.

In effect, buying one of those sponsored updates in a Facebook news feed is a form of native advertising. It’s meant to blend in with all the regular, non-paid content that the regular user would see on a daily basis. The native advertisement is designed in such a way that the style and look is virtually indistinguishable from regular content, except under those FTC regulations, it needs to be appropriately labeled as sponsored content.

But how is native advertising all that different from content marketing? Or are they actually the same thing? Well, there is some definite crossover between the two and you’ll find that some forms of content marketing can also be called native advertising and vice versa. However, there are also some notable differences and this continues to be a topic of debate among Internet marketers. Different people will tell you different things.


Native advertising is content that is sales-oriented and it is designed to look and feel like regular, non-sponsored content on an external website. If you’ve ever seen sponsored tweets or sponsored posts, you’ve seen some form of native advertising. This content can be written by the advertiser or it can be written by the website owner.

Another example could be an article about buying a digital camera and, embedded in the post are some “recommended” products from Canon. The ideal is when native advertising is custom-tailored to a single web property, as it aids in creating this indistinguishable nature. While native advertising can provide some value to the reader, its primary objective is to generate leads and sales.

Content marketing, others have said, is more about the creation of content on a brand’s own web properties, cultivating trust among followers and customers. A mortgage broker, for example, could have a weekly newsletter with tips about how to get the best mortgage or recent mortgage trends.

This helps to foster a long-term relationship. Each individual piece of content marketing isn’t necessarily geared toward generating a sale right that moment; it’s more about providing added value.The material is meant to be relevant and useful, guiding potential leads down a longer sales funnel.

That’s just one perspective. As you make your way around the Internet, you’ll surely find many more. It is just as legitimate to include guest posts as part of a greater content marketing strategy, for instance. Content marketing could also involve branded infographics that strive to get shared in a viral manner for free. And perhaps that’s another differentiating factor: the publisher will always be compensated with native advertising, but the arrangement with content marketing may not always be so clear. It could just happen organically.

Whatever you want it call it, both content marketing and native advertising are here to say and they will only become more commonplace in the years to come.

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12 thoughts on “Content Marketing Vs. Native Advertising – Which Is Best?”

  1. Great description Michael , it will change the way of advertising and so also boost the sale

  2. nice marketing strategy to boost your sale

  3. Rahul says:

    Hi Michael !

    You have put an amazing description of content marketing vs native advertising here.

    I personally think that Native advertising is a new content in the modern era of content marketing that will soon transform the way we market our content.

    Thanks for sharing !

  4. Hi Michael,

    I sway toward content marketing because I like creating on my own real estate. As for native ads, they have a place too as you noted. Find a mix or better yet, focus heavily on content marketing to brand you, to build your authority and to gain your audience’s trust. People are just begging for helpful, usable content, to use for their benefit. Be the guy or gal to share your benefits with others and you’ll grow your online empire steadily.

    Keep up the great work Michael, and have a fabulous day!


  5. Iman says:

    How effective the native marketing depends on each website. You need to test… test… test… products that you promote, CTR (click through rate) and also CR (conversion rate).

  6. khai says:

    For my fansite blog, content marketing are the best way, test and test can help.

  7. Sanjeev says:

    Thanks Michael, I prefer content marketing over native adverting.

  8. Edos Ubebe says:

    Thanks a lot Michael for this information, I appreciate you. Thumbs up

  9. Rudy says:

    The question is, which is more profitable between both?

  10. Caleb says:

    Benn hearing about native advertising for a while and found out it was a major topic at the most recent Traffic and Conversions summit BUT I am finding it difficult to get accepted ito the native advertising networks.

    Can you please list the best native advertising platforms as well as ways to get accepted faster ❓

  11. faisal says:

    both are here to stay, well said.

  12. Kamaldeep says:

    Content marketing is more beneficial than native advertising.

Comments are closed.