Sponsored Content vs Native Advertising: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to advertising online, the options are endless. Which can make picking the perfect type for your brand or business difficult. Your competitors are doing their best to acquire your customers, so you need to capture their attention with powerful ads and a positive impression of your brand.
Not sure what advertising options are available, or the type of advertising strategy you should use? In this article, we’re covering two incredibly effective advertising techniques: sponsored content and native advertising.
Don’t know what the difference between these two ad types is, or when you’d use one over the other? In this article, we’re covering the ins-and-outs of these paid advertising options, so you can pick the right one for your business.
What are Native Ads?
Native ads are media ads that look just like the content customers are already seeing on site.
They’re actually designed to look like the surrounding content so that they can naturally blend into the website. Most often, they’re presented with teaser copy and an image that then links to sponsored, owned, or earned media.
Native ads are a broad category of paid ads, and they can take many forms. They can appear as feed advertisements on social media platforms and media publications. They can even be promoted listings that appear on e-commerce sites like eBay and Amazon.
They can also link to a wide range of content types, including articles, product listings, and websites.
Here are a few of the major types of native advertisements:
As mentioned above, in-feed units appear as sponsored posts in social media feeds. They appear in-line with articles, posts, and editorial content.
Paid Search Units
Paid search units are native ads for search engines. They’re ads placed at the top of the paid search results page that look like standard search results.
Native ads are more contextual than other types of advertising because they’re seamlessly integrated into the user experience. They look and feel like the medium’s content, unlike display and banner ads which often appear off to the side or at the top of the page.
Promoted listings are paid product listings that are designed to look just like other standard media placements. This approach is often used for marketing new books.
Recommendation widgets are another popular type of native ad. You can find them on social media sites, as well as publisher sites and search engine results pages. They’re most often ads to the side of a page or at the bottom of an article that recommend additional content related to the page you’re on.
Why You Should Use Use Native Ads
While they may be paid advertisements, native ads serve up the relevant and educational content customers look for on the Internet. They can be a nice departure from standard ads, which customers have learned to ignore nowadays. They’re also a great workaround for ad blocking measures, which can make it easy for customers to avoid your other ads.
Native ads are also highly visual, and more likely to be shared as a result. They also tend to appear alongside other types of content, which makes them less disruptive to users. And because they look and feel like the content they’re already consuming, customers are more enticed to engage with them.
What is Sponsored Content?
Sponsored content is actually a form of native advertising. It’s not a traditional ad unit though, but rather a more enriched piece of content like an article, listicle, or video. They offer readers useful, relevant, and valuable information that can entertain or educate them or both.
Sponsored content can be created in one of two ways. It can be created by the website publisher or the marketer. The content can also be created by a third-party company that specializes in providing content for clients.
Like other types of native ads, sponsored content is naturally integrated into the website. The major difference, however, is that this content is clearly flagged as “sponsored” or “promoted” content so customers aren’t misled.
This content typically includes a call to action that entices the user to go to the product or service page being promoted.
Why You Should Use Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is great because it offers up content for customers who are interested in it without distracting or disturbing people who aren’t. It’s ideal for today’s consumers who will abandon websites if they’re hit with advertisements they can’t quickly dismiss.
Sponsored content also empowers brands and businesses to tell engaging stories. There’s only so much you can say with a banner ad or quick video clip. Articles, infographics, and long-form videos can help businesses showcase their brand, expertise, and point of view in a way that speaks to users.
Additionally, sponsored content is engaged with more than other types of ad content. Customers will spend more time reading an article than they will interacting with a banner ad. Sponsored content is also often interactive and shareable, which makes people more like to engage with and then share it with their network of peers.
Today’s customer doesn’t always trust ads, and many of them actually dislike ads altogether. But high-quality content can earn their trust and convince them to keep coming back for more.
Thinking about possibly creating sponsored content? If you do, make sure that your sponsored content is:
- Relevant to your audience
- Engaging or interactive
Whoever is creating your sponsored content should be an expert who understands your brand or product and distribution channels. They should know how to create content with your target audience in mind as well.
Final Thoughts on Paid Ads
It’s harder than ever to capture the attention of customers. That’s why you need to implement paid ads like sponsored content and native ads. They’re engaging, relevant, and useful to customers, which is what they’re looking for in today’s digital age.
Are you struggling with your advertising efforts? Looking to earn quality leads for less? Contact us to find out how you can make the most of your advertising and boost your online revenue!
President, Direction Inc.