- 86% businesses now leverage content marketing in one form or another
- 70% audience want to learn about products via content instead of direct advertisement
- More than 67% clients ask their content marketing agencies about native advertising
Outbound and Interruption Marketing is losing its sheen in favor of Content Marketing and Native Advertising. Though they seem similar but there is quite a difference between the two forms of marketing. This article will help you understand the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating valuable and useful non-promotional content by brands. The important part in the first sentence is “valuable and “useful”. Self-serving and promotional content cannot be placed in the content marketing bucket: Value-add is the only secret.
Goals of Content Marketing:
The goals for content marketing can be broadly categorized as follows:
- Educate your potential customers
- Create brand awareness
- Generate qualified leads
- Long-term & effective Search Engine Optimization
- Establish Thought-Leadership
Different Forms of Content Marketing
Content Marketing can be done in varied formats but some of the key ones are discussed here.
- Videos are one of the most engaging form of content on the web. The consumer web video traffic is expected to reach ~80% by 2019-2020. For a long time, video marketing was considered a game for the big brands. But off late, this trend has been broken with small businesses and startups leveraging the medium to showcase excellent meaningful content. OYO Rooms launched a video on the occasion of Independence Day that garnered more than 3 lakh views in a couple of days. The Madras Song by Murugappa Group was launched as a tribute to the city of Madras on the occasion of Madras Week. The video stole the limelight during the 375th year celebrations of Madras.
- Blogs are an excellent way to build an engaged audience, showcase your company as an industry thought-leader and the same time boost search engine rankings. According to a recent Hubspot Survey, regularly blogging boosts lead generation by ~126%. It also provides fresh, unique content to your website that is an important factor considered in Google search rankings.
- Infographics are graphics that showcase long content in a visual and interesting manner. Our brain absorbs and process visuals faster than any other form of content. Hence, infographics as a form of content can be a great way to showcase information and make your blog more engaging.
- Slideshares and Case Studies are another fascinating form of content marketing. These are more suggested for B2B businesses. Companies are looking out for specific information and if your case study or a Slide Share can help fit into the gap, you will gain a relevant mindspace among your potential customers.
- Relevant and Informative Social Media Content can go a long way to help create an engaged community of potential customers. Innovative and clutter-breaking content can help your brand quickly carve out a niche on social media. Petwish – a startup in the pet food space, did an interesting content series around different dog breeds in India. The content quickly became viral among the pet lovers across India, which was an excellent audience for the brand.
- Podcasts or audio telecasts are possibly one of the most underrated content marketing tactics. It gives you access and visibility to a different set of audience – who are tuned to short content in a format where they can multitask “on the go”. For example, a motivational podcast while on the way to office in the morning or solid investment advice from an avid investor that will help you plan your investment strategy for the coming week.
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-fire results
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 ecommerce portal or on your favorite Google Search Engine. According to Business Insider, The global native advertising spend is estimated to cross $21 billion by the year 2018.
Goals of Native Advertising
- Increase brand / product awareness
- Supplement Content Marketing in amplification
- Drive traffic to your website or landing page
- Boost lead generation and Sales
Different Forms of Native Advertising
- Content Recommendations are one of the most prominent form of native advertising. You would have seen sections at the end of news articles under the title “Recommended Articles” powered by recommendation engines. These native ads are done via platforms like Outbrain, Taboola and Content.Ad.
- Influencer Marketing is a rapidly growing form of native advertising. Under this, the influencers and bloggers talk about your brand or product on their blogs or social media channels with a backlink to your online property. The articles are seeded along with the other articles on the blog.
- Search Engine Ads are those that surface on top of your search results. This form turns out cheaper than the other forms of native advertising, based on the cost per lead or sale.
- In-Feed Ads are presented within the list of natural articles from the publication. Though these ads are well-blended within the native experience of the reader on the platform but they are marked as sponsored ads for the benefit of the customer.
- Promoted Listings are the product listings that show up on top of the category page on ecommerce websites.
Metrics to track in Native Advertising
- Reach or Impressions
- Clicks or Traffic to your website/landing page
- Leads or Sales
- Cost per Click
- Cost per Lead
Tips for Native Advertising
- Create separate landing pages for different native ad ideas. The hook to get people on your landing page and the content on the page need to speak the same story.
- Research your audience well to create and experiment with multiple hooks to see what works well for your audience.
- Make it interesting. Only bragging about the brand doesn’t work anymore. Show the content and convince the reader that you are the one who can deliver the experience or service to the user.
- Do not shy away from allocating a good budget for this to show results. The cost per lead or sale from native advertising is traditionally higher from content marketing.
- If SEO is a prime goal for your experimentation with Native Advertising, then you should pause it immediately. There is no SEO takeaway from this exercise.