content comparision

Many people confuse native advertising with content marketing but advertising and marketing are two terms that differ in meaning as do the terms prefixed to them.Content marketing takes place on a medium you own. For instance, if you have your own website or you have an account on medium or elsewhere and you post your blogs/articles or posts there it is considered content marketing. You’re basically promoting your products or your brand through mediums that belong to you.


Term Native Ads Content Marketing
Meaning These ads are a form of online advertisement that blend in the platform. Each social platform offers their own kind of advertisements. This is a process of creating valuable content then promoting it on mediums suitable to your audience at any given time of the day. Usually, it is best to think of mediums like twitter, LinkedIn, Blogspot, etc.


There are also certain times where posts do better. It is said that 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. are highly engaging times to be posting content.


Goals Brand Awareness

Increase Social engagements

Brand Awareness

Increase Conversions

Improve Search Engine Ranking


Advantages Brand engagement improves

More Brand Awareness

Organic Ranking improves

More brand awareness

Conversions are more optimized


This strategy allows you to provide users with:

  • relevant information
  • knowledge
  • Authenticity
  • it helps you build trust
  • it doesn’t press the reader to procure your product or service
  • It allows you to engage with readers & create a rapport
  • You create valuable and shareable content through blogs, email lists, media feeds or social posts
  • These aren’t misleading


The latter (native ad) is the opposite; such advertisements are placed on other platforms and are based mostly on the concept of CPC (Cost per click) or PPC.

Such ads provide a lot of value though not intrinsic value. These are mostly:

  • Sponsored content
  • Featured content
  • Can be found on micro sites
  • They are used to sell your products and services in a sales pitch manner
  • They are always sponsored or promoted
  • They are also very misleading because it is an ad and ads usually require you to sell your product no matter what
  • You get attractive no. of leads, clicks and conversions

Types of Advertisements you could come across

There are usually 6 kinds of ads you might come across. Here they are, laid out in front of you:

  1. Recommended Ads: Usually once you look for a certain item online, an ad shows up on the sidebar and it also showcases content like Recommended/suggested for you. If you are fond of Facebook or Instagram, then I am dead sure you’ve come across such ads at some point whilst surfing these platforms.


Recommended Ad

  1. Paid Search Units or paid search ads are the ones that mostly show up on top of the search engine like the in the image below.

Paid search ads

  1. Promoted listings are meta-descriptions or classified ads that we post on other sites like Quickr, Tumblr, Amazon and other prominent sites. You basically just post directories on famous sites to get referral traffic. This is a very strategic and smart method; you could either opt for free listings or paid listings. Local and international listings can be carried out on most of the platforms so think about your audience then decide whether you’d like to stick to your realm or integrate.
  1. Custom Ads: These are customized according to your needs. You use your own visuals or banners to make your ‘branding strategy’ stand out. Such ads are most normally found when you install an application. They are nonintrusive and very pleasant (not always but in most cases).
  1. In-feed units: These are advertisements that are recommended in feeds to visitors like those from around the world. Sites like Forbes and Slate offer them. The ad is usually integrated into the text of an article or blog to make it seem like it isn’t any form of promotion.
  1. Interactive advertisements are those ads that allow users or viewers of the ad to give feedback. It’s like a problem-solution advertisement that allows a marketer to understand what really goes on in the mind of the consumer when he or she comes across the ad. Polls are an example. On Facebook, you could create polls after you have started your own page that way you get to know how users feel about a certain product or service, event or a current situation.

Here is how you could start a poll on ‘FB’

  • Log in to your account
  • Go to your page
  • Click on create poll

Create polls

  • Once you have clicked on it, you can ask a question or add poll options

Poll option

In add an option you can place an answer and let people click on it. An estimate of the answer will then be collected and you can base your services or products based on the poll results.

Totally unrelated, let’s say I post a poll on the elections in the US and I give you two options of who might be the new president. The name that gets the most clicks will be showcased and I might launch a campaign or give out freebies in the name of the winner. (This is just an example)

Facebook poll options

In a nutshell, native advertising differs from content marketing on many levels. A sponsored Facebook promotion is a part of native whilst blogs with backlinks is a part of content marketing.

You just need to keep in mind that anything that is sponsored, an advertorial, a video, a visual or post is part of the former. Even a sponsored explainer video comes in this category. Many experts usually find it a tough task in breaking down the difference between the two; I hope I was clear enough. If you did find this article interesting enough, check out our next blog that’s coming out this week on the importance of content writing.

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