Content marketing vs. native advertising

For B2C marketers, there apparently is some confusion about the line between the hot strategy known broadly as content marketing and so-called native advertising (long paid placements made to look like articles). Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), takes to his content channel (otherwise known as a blog) to map out the differences.

The backstory to this is that the Wall Street Journal posted a blog entry citing CMI research where the WSJ’s writer indicated that content marketing and native advertising are the same. As Joe points out, content marketing is about creating your own audience, not paying to piggyback on someone else’s audience. The key point is that brands need to realize the importance of creating their own channel if they want to fully embrace a content marketing strategy.

And that’s where native advertising – placing long-form content in a publication – can be useful. As you develop your content marketing program, you’ll get a portion of the audience to call your own. This is particularly valuable for B2C firms that may not currently have enough audience to drive a content program. Native advertising is a great way to (legally) steal audience and work to drive it to your owned content marketing platform.

Similarly, as I commented in Joe’s article, it’s important that in addition to integrating content marketing and native advertising programs you ensure that your content marketing programs are integrated across all your marketing channels to provide your customers with a seamless and enjoyable journey at all touch points. Once your content strategy starts to take shape, you’ll have a lot of content that needs to be managed, and that’s where a CMS can be helpful – a theme you’ve perhaps heard a time or two from us.

What are you biggest challenges around content marketing? Creating a strategy that is adopted across your company? Or is it creating content or getting maximum value from your content investments? Looking forward to hearing from you.