I just read a terrific piece penned by the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi, in which he stalwartly explains the differences between native advertising and content marketing. This is probably the most sound and lucid explanation of why these two strategies are in fact, not one in the same. Kudos Joe. I implore everyone to read his article.
Joe does a great job of calling out the differences. The one thing I have been saying to anyone willing to listen is that there is content marketing, and then there’s content advertising. And these are two very different ideas. Content marketing, as Joe explains, is the technique of creating valuable information to influence or educate a clearly defined audience. Content advertising is the method of distributing and sharing the information so that it is in front of the right audience. And native advertising is just one of the methods of sharing content that can be employed. That does not mean native advertising is the bearer of the content itself.
Whew, I am so glad someone else feels this way, and was able to do a better job of breaking down the differences of these unique strategies. Now it will be important to get the entire industry on the same page. Because comparing native advertising and content marketing is like saying amateur wrestling is the same as professional wrestling. Sure, there are some similarities in the holds that are used, but one of them is an Olympic sport, while the other features people being hit with steel folding chairs.