By Laia Cardona, on 12 December 2016
When designing your digital marketing strategy for 2017, be sure not to forget to include native advertising and content marketing in your plans. These two methods have have discovered non intrusive ways to get close to their consumers and, as opposed to more traditional and intrusive ads, they strive to create advertising that users actually want to see. For you to use these techniques even better than ever this year, today we are going to talk about the similarities and differences between content marketing and native advertising, and take a look at the best marketing practices to make the most of them.
Content Marketing and Native Advertising: what exactly are they?
As we have already mentioned, both are strategies that work to reach out to the user via content that is not obviously promotional, and that attempt to naturally blend into the navigators experience - basically, adblock-proof ads. But what are the differences between the two?
To put it in very simple terms, I like to say that native advertising is more like a date, whereas content marketing is more like an engagement.
In Native Advertising, the goal is to integrate a piece of content into an environment that is in sync with our brand’s tone and objectives. The content is seen as “just another article” (or video, infographic, etc.), within the editorial line.
In other words, much like on a date, native advertising is our chance to impress. We choose the perfect restaurant, a nice wine, some candle light, and get all dressed up. The goal is, of course, to seduce the consumer… but the first date is just the beginning.
Content Marketing, on the other hand, has a much wider range. It is not limited to just one technique or special occasion, but rather a series of tools and material which we use to build a long-term relationship with consumers. Your content marketing strategy for next year can include, for example, publishing guest authors’ articles on your blog, video interviews with important people from your sector, infographics, case studies, etc. The goal is to gain the user’s trust and establish yourself as a reliable source of information in your sector.
The best native advertising and content marketing practices
- Tag your content well. Not only will you make search engine’s and your users’ lives easier, but your own as well, when creating content.
- Create content that blends into your users’ lives. The goal is that users share your content with their contacts, as part of their day, their jobs, their personal lives…
- Don’t overuse the sensational and moving titles. Let’s be honest, we are all tired of those “You will never guess what will happens next” clickbaits. Instead of these, look for titles that catch people’s eyes, but that are original. And be sure never to forget that a title is a promise that your article then has to live up to, so don’t disappoint!
- Align your content with your business objectives. For your content strategy to be successful, you need to know exactly how you are going to measure your results: what is it that you want users to do after they read your article (or watch your video)? Once you know your goal, you can design your content to subtly guide your users towards it.
- Publish practical content that will be useful to your users. The best content is that that encourages the reader to take immediate action, without having to invest too much effort or money to see results.
- Don’t only create articles based on duplicated or affiliate content. Content creation can be useful to maximize your marketing efforts, but if you really want to connect with your users, you need to be original.
- Emotionally connect with your audience. Aristotle said it back in his time: one of the best ways to get people to act is via pathos, by appealing to their emotions. When used intelligently, this technique can change user’s behavior and opinions, stimulating trust and loyalty towards brands that they connect with on an emotional level, and in terms of values.
- Don’t cheat! Ads or images that try to pass off as organic content may be a way to quickly increase your click count, but will harm you in the long run.
- Tell unique stories. If you want to create an unforgettable brand, you will have to tie it to unique values and personality.And there is nothing better than storytelling to get users to connect to your values and personality.
We hope these practices can help you native advertising or content marketing strategies in 2017! :)