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[Case Study]- Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising

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Many advertisers are confused by the difference between native advertising and content marketing.

Native advertising refers to a single and detailed way for marketers to distribute content, and content marketing refers to a larger practice of advertising and content distribution overall.

The goals of content marketing and native advertising are very different. While both want to increase brand awareness, content marketing is also projected to drive conversions.

In this case study, will help you understand the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising.

Numbers don’t lie:

Despite the rise in native advertising, content marketing still seems to rule the digital world.

  • 86% businesses now leverage content marketing in one form or another.
  • Native advertising generates up to an 82% increase in brand lift.
  • More than 67% clients ask their content marketing agencies about native advertising.
  • 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day.
  • 70% audience wants to learn about products via content instead of direct advertisement.
  • Native ad headlines generate 308x more customer attention than images or banners.
  • 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing.
  • Native ads earn 53% more views than traditional banner ads.

The Difference between Native Advertising and Content Marketing

In simple words-

“Native advertising is like going on a date. Content marketing is like being in a relationship.”

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a marketing way that includes creating ‘valuable’ and ‘useful’ non-promotional content by brands.

Goals of Content Marketing

  • Educate your potential clients
  • Create brand awareness
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Long-term & Effective Search Engine Optimization
  • Establish Thought-Leadership

Types of Content Marketing

  • Blog Posts or Articles
  • Videos
  • Case Studies and Client Profiles
  • Thought Leadership or POVs
  • Social Media Posts
  • White Papers, eBooks, and Reports
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • How-To Guides
  • Email Newsletters or Nurturing Campaigns

Metrics to track the effectiveness of Content Marketing

  • Number of shares and likes
  • Number of backlinks/mentions to your content
  • Number of leads


Tips for an effective content marketing strategy

  • Identify the needs of your target audience
  • Create 10x content – make it better and more thorough than anyone out there
  • User-generated content needs to be a part of your content strategy
  • Content Amplification is important – creating content alone won’t help until it reaches the right audience
  • It’s a long-term game so do not expect quick results

Content Marketing Examples

  • Buffer’s Open Blog

Buffer is a social media-tracking app. It lets you schedule posts and tracks your growth via social media.

Buffer Open Blog is a perfect example of perfect marketing strategy.

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What You Can Learn:

  • Focus all your time and effort on value
  • Inform and educate your customers
  • Give behind-the-scenes solutions

What is Native Advertising?

Native Advertising is a form of paid advertising where the content put out seems similar to the native content of the platform. You would have come across one or the other form of native advertising daily – while reading an e-newspaper, browsing through an e-commerce portal or on your favorite Google Search Engine.

Goals of Native Advertising

  • Increase brand/product awareness
  • Drive traffic to your website or landing page
  • Boost lead generation and Sales
  • Supplement Content Marketing in amplification

Types of Native Advertising

  • In-Feed Units
  • Paid Search Units
  • Recommendation Modules & Widgets
  • Promoted Listings
  • In-Ad (IAB Standard) with Native Element Units

Metrics to track in Native Advertising

  • Reach or Impressions
  • Clicks or Traffic to your website/landing page
  • Cost per Click
  • Cost per Lead
  • Leads or Sales


  • Drive brand awareness
  • Drive brand engagement

Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising

Tips for Native Advertising

  • Properly label your content
  • Draw from social media when determining what types of headlines to use
  • Use body copy to smoothly lead the reader to your intended next step
  • Create Separate Landing Pages For Different Native Ad Ideas
  • Research your audience well to create and experiment with multiple hooks to see what works well for your audience.
  • Do not shy away from allocating a good budget for this to show results.

Native Advertising Example

Starbucks partnered with The Onion to promote its Doubleshot Espresso by sponsoring a post on productivity on the weekends.

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Native advertising can form a part of the content marketing strategy. It is one form of channel available to marketers to help distribute content.

However, content marketing is not native advertising. Instead, it is the bigger picture, in which all of your marketing comes together under one strategy to increase engagement, build deeper customer relationships and drive sales.

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