Many leading companies in the contemporary society rely on native advertising and content marketing to gain brand visibility. Native advertising and content marketing seem similar insofar as they are essential in providing information to customers, the public, and prospects in a branded manner. Nonetheless, there are critical differences between content marketing and native advertising. For instance, content marketing is owned media and non-promotional while native advertisement is a paid promotional message.
According to Libert (2015) and essay writing service content marketing provides relevant information of high quality that is void of any promotion. Therefore, content marketing is a form of owned media created by respective brands. Content marketing makes use of brand stories and attributes. It entertains whistle educates customers, prospects, the public, and influencers through providing useful information. Through this function, the company can build trust and engage with its audience via an emotional connection. Content marketing may be shared or placed on other media platforms such as the social media to broaden its reach. Since most business organizations do not own large media platforms, a base of readers who have the potential to become customers is the biggest challenge faced by content marketers.
Research studies, that are available through the reputable essay writing service, indicate that close to 90% of marketers assert that content marketing is an essential tool in the sector. More so, content marketing is projected to be the most significant digital marketing trend for the next decade, thus, increased budgetary allocation. For instance, Libert (2015) quotes from Smart Insights survey that polled eight hundred readers. From the sampled population, 30% cited content marketing as the favorite digital tool for the year 2015, ahead of other tools such as marketing automation, social media marketing, and big data. Furthermore, the study reports that the current content marketers aim at improving customer loyalty, enhancing engagement, and increasing brand awareness.
On the contrary, native advertising is an online marketing function, characterized by its particular advertisement placement and form (Libert, 2015). Therefore, native marketing is a paid media that appears wholly as the content of the media. Native advertisements blend with the content being fed by the media outlet. According to Lieb and Owjan (2012), native advertisements are designed to match and function with the content of the advertising medium. Native advertisements deliver appealing, shareable, and targeted content. Examples of native advertisements include sponsored tweets, sponsored Facebook posts, content recommendation tools, Google Adwords, and sponsored content on blogs. The literature on native marketing reveals that the system exists in virtually all large business entities (Liber, 2015).
The growth of content marketing and native advertisement is projected to rise in the next couple of years because of increasing consumer presence on digital platforms (Lieb & Owjan, 2012). However, it is worth noting that content marketing is gaining more momentum among marketers than the native advertisement formats. The popularity of content marketing is attributed to the fact that it is owned by the content creator (Lieb & Owjan, 2012). On the contrary, native advertisements are controlled by the third party media platform owners. Nevertheless, the two marketing strategies have associated advantages and disadvantages.
Vipat (2013) states that native advertisements pose better results as compared to typical banner advertisements. He argues that native advertisements offer exciting content to the readers, and the marketer is also subtle. This form of advertising receives attention as they are placed at the center of feeds. Nonetheless, native advertising also has its downsides. Despite the fact that native advertisements match the medium format, they require proper labeling such as ‘advertorial’ or ‘sponsored’ to allow easy detection by the audience. Lack of proper labeling may trick the readers to dismiss the advertisement as not genuine. Dismissal of an advertisement by the readers lowers the reputation of both the advertiser and the publisher. On the other hand, content marketing offers a long-term approach for the purposes of branding and audience building. Thus, a single article would not hurt the advertiser’s reputation. The other benefit of content marketing is the fact that it is not a promotional strategy. Vipat (2013) observes that promotional advertisements are ignored by customers, and they are a turnoff. Therefore, content marketing provides useful information sought after by the audience.
In summary, content marketing, and native marketing are similar in the sense that they aim at selling the respective brands and products of a business entity. However, the two differ regarding purpose and tone. For example, the purpose of native advertising may seem to be providing value. Nevertheless, provision of value is only but secondary to selling a service or product. Native advertorials solve a problem through buying the brand’s service or product. The content of native advertisements does not have an inherent value unless the reader buys a service or product. On the other hand, the purpose of content marketing is to establish consumer trust by providing relevant, important information. Thus, content marketing presents values to the readers that are independent of them purchasing a service or product.
Study Themes in Content Marketing Vs Native Advertising
Various studies have been conducted about content marketing and native advertising. While some studies focus on the individual marketing strategies, some explore a comparison of the subjects regarding effectiveness, value, and evolution.
Effectiveness of Content Marketing and Native Advertising
In their study, Brady, Fellenzm, & Brookes (2009) identified and analyzed the value of content marketing with keen on business-to-business companies. First, the researchers acknowledge that content marketing is not well developed because there is limited literature that suggests the otherwise.
It is assumed that marketing is full of proportionate relationships such that mass customization of commodities allows entities to produce according to the market segments. The study states that new technology has brought about new media that has given consumers a voice in the production processes. Therefore, customers actively contribute and seek information from online platforms before buying given products or services. Brady et al. (2009), assert that content marketing offers a means of addressing the new consumers’ empowerment. The assertion is based on the idea that content marketing allows for the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of marketing. The study observes that content marketing is an effective tool in ensuring that valuable information reaches and influences the target audience.
The study by Brady, Fellenzm, & Brookes found out that content marketing is effective in boosting the relationship between business-to-business companies. Content marketing ensures a mutually beneficial relationship between suppliers and customers in many ways. For example, content marketing allows an organization to offer an explanation of the complex and technical information about their services or products. Moreover, content marketing enables individuals to share knowledge and demonstrate competence; therefore, establishing long-term relationships with the customers and suppliers (Brady, Fellenzm, & Brookes, 2009). A robust relationship between the business players in turn enables the business to address specific, relevant information as required by the consumers. The effectiveness of content marketing is also demonstrated by its ability to complement other marketing tools. For instance, content marketing is used to support promotional mix of a business, thus enhancing the traditional advertising campaigns and promotional tools.
Similarly, the effectiveness of native advertisements is based on the empirical facts such as cost and viability. For example, in the study to assess the productivity of content management and native advertisements, Berthon, Hulbert, and Pitt (2011) note that the latter ensures high audience engagement. As compared to other businesses, third party media platforms tend to have a larger audience. More so, native advertising provides leverage on the existing audience. According to Berthon, Hulbert, and Pitt (2011), the ability of a business to present information about its products or services to an existing audience reduces the cost and work associated with building own audience. In fact, this benefit is the reason many marketers opt for advertising.
Value of Native Advertising and Content Marketing
Value is another theme addressed in academic studies about content marketing and native advertising. Berthon, Hulbert, and Pitt (2011) note that native advertising is a power tool for communicating about a service or product to a large audience. For example, the visual impact of television advertisement has a significant ability to attract and hold the audience just like audio advertisements. Native advertising provides a guarantee for placement with a favorite publisher, thus security to the advertisement. Native adverts deliver strong returns when they are aligned with the objectives of the campaign. Companies such as Unilever are at the lead because of the effectiveness of native advertising (Berton, Hulbert, & Pitt, 2011). The researchers admit that native advertising is a very effective way of executing and measuring promotional campaigns since it ensures a direct impact on the sales.
Similarly, content marketing also has associated values. According to Libert (2015), content marketing information is long-lasting and permanent. The real-time nature of online information may make content marketing seem a short-term measure. However, once the content is published online, it stays there forever in archives and caches even if the publisher pulls it down (Libert, 2015). The other value of content marketing is the fact that it increases the opportunities for the organization by extending the reach to customers on search engines. The published content benefits not only the readers but also the search rankings of the organization. Libert (2015) argues that the creation of high-quality content inform search engines that an organization holds authority within the industry. Thus, the probability of gaining potential customers through organic search is high.
The attributes of content marketing enhance the value of content marketing (Libert, 2015). Content marketing embodies the core brand elements of a business entity. The use of various platforms such as video, text, photography, presentations, audio, info-graphics, and e-books to transmit information about a product ensures a large audience is reached. Content marketing allows direct, ubiquitous connections to anyone; it lets companies and individuals establish interactive relationships with suppliers and customers, and deliver commodities at low costs. The value of a large audience is an improved probability turning potentials into customers, thus an increase in sales and good public reputation.
Theories used to investigate the Study Themes in Content Marketing and Native Advertising
Brady, Fellenzm, and Brookes (2009) use the B.E.S.T Formula Theory to demonstrate the effectiveness of the content marketing. The theory is a model representing the key aspects of creating a roadmap for content marketing. The researchers argue that all companies that employ content marketing use this formula to create valuable, relevant content for their target audience. The formula appreciates that a business entity ought to realize the objective of each communication it makes to the customers. According to the formula, it is also necessary to deliver useful information to the target audience.
The B.E.S.T Formula advocates for incorporation of content marketing into the whole business strategy. With the associated benefits of content marketing, the effectiveness of the strategy is realized. For instance, by ensuring content marketing in the business strategy, a business organization achieves increased organic rankings, optimized conversions, and drive brand awareness. Native advertising is perceived as pushed since it follows a definite one-directional flow within the communication models (Brady, Fellenzm, & Brookes, 2009). Therefore, in native advertising, a promotion is sent by a single source and viewed by many people without any chance for feedback. B.E.S.T Formula Theory encourages essential communication to customers through the internet. The theory identifies the internet as an empowerment tool to consumers since it allows the customers to provide feedback. The internet offers a non-linear communication channel where consumers, suppliers, and the business management share information as they pursue their respective opportunities (Brady, Fellenzm, & Brookes, 2009). Therefore, this theory insists that customer loyalty is developed from the strong engagement associated with content marketing.
Content marketing is about creating and distributing of valuable and relevant content to attract, obtain, and engage a definite audience with the goal of profitable customer function (Libert, 2015). The theory elaborates the effectiveness and value of content marketing through the aspect of “targeted.” The theory stipulates that an organization ought to identify not only its target prospects but also appreciate the motivation behind them. The theory also requires a business to understand the professional role and product perception of the target market. By implementing the proposals of the theory, a business organization obtains the necessary data to create a working marketing strategy.
Similarly, Libert (2015) applies the Four Pillars Theory of Successful Content to demonstrate the value of both content marketing and native advertising. The theory was developed by Tim Tucker and has a model of four aspects: readers’ goal, objectives of the business, content topics, and the tone of the voice. The theory insists on the significance of the tone of voice and strategy as factors for successful implementation of native advertising and content marketing. In fact, the strategic identification of the suitable tone by content markers is identified as the source of value of content marketing (Libert, 2015). Digital content can be devoid of tone resulting in less impact of the advertisement on the intended audience. Nonetheless, intonations attributed to the native advertising and content marketing leads to full messages being conveyed. The proposal in the theory thus improves the value of the two marketing strategies when the implemented.