Native Advertising is a Content Marketing strategy where you pay to publish content that appears to readers as if it is of organic origin, thus increasing user engagement. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of native marketing, how it differs from Content Marketing and how you can develop a successful Native Advertising strategy.

Over the past 15 years, the world of online marketing has seen immense growth. As digital ecosystems continue to evolve and grow, so do the terms that we use to define various components of those ecosystems. This is where ‘Native Advertising’ enters the picture and forms its association with Content Marketing.

Native Advertising refers to the paid content that marketers use to distribute their content. In contrast, Content Marketing refers to the broader practice of using content in advertising and distribution of that content as a whole.

It is important here to point out the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising, as many people mistake them for the same thing. These two are not the same and mean very different things, and understanding the difference between the two is important to understand the continuously evolving nature of internet marketing.

Difference Between Content Marketing and Native Advertising

Native Advertising is the use of paid/third party advertising that supports a brand and its goals. In Native Advertising, the content matches the form and function of the media in which it appears. On the other hand, Content Marketing is the strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content consistently to attract and retain a well-defined audience and ultimately drive profitable customer interactions. It is distributed on the brand’s own platforms on social media.

Native Advertising

Native Advertising is most often found on social media platforms in the form of paid ad placements, in a way that mirrors the appearance of regular content on those platforms and thus does not appear to be advertising at first glance. Critics of native ads claim that it is a way of tricking users into thinking that the content they are seeing is not being advertised. However, when it is done well, Native Advertising is both non-disruptive and non-deceptive at the same time. The end goal of Native Advertising is to fit into the natural flow of the rest of the content on social media while presenting paid content to the users.
Marketers prefer Native Advertising over more traditional forms of social media advertising because it does not take the readers away from their online activity. There are numerous examples of Native Advertising being done in a poor way, such as when it yanks the reader’s attention away from their browsing patterns and makes it obvious that they are being redirected to advertisements. However, there are also many examples of Native Advertising being done right in the form of high-quality content that engages the reader and does not feel deceptive.

Marketers prefer Native Advertising over more traditional forms of social media advertising because it does not take the readers away from their online activity.

Native ads are beneficial because:

  • They increase the brand awareness and recognition of those brands
  • They reach targeted audiences
  • They educate the market about the products and services being offered by your brand
  • They are invaluable in acquiring new customers

The following are some relevant statistics about the usefulness of Native Advertising:

  • Native Advertising has a click-through rate that is 40 times higher than traditional forms of advertising.
  • According to one study, 52% of people consume Native Advertising, which is much more than the consumption of traditional advertising.
  • Native ads are 62% easier to understand as compared to display ads. They are also much easier to understand than ads on social media platforms. The ease of understanding helps in making your audience more amenable to doing business with your brand.
  • 77% of people who consumed native ads said that they didn’t feel as if they were consuming an ad.
  • It is predicted that over 25% of the industry will move to Native Advertising in the coming years.

Examples of Native Advertising

Stranger Things

Native Advertising is not limited to textual content in social media posts. An example of this is in the 2017 collaboration between the Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’ and Spotify. Users get custom made Spotify playlists that are created from customised playlists based on their listening history and music they have liked in the past. Users were given the option to enable the ‘Stranger Thing’ mode, which gave them a playlist based on a character from the show. Users got Stranger Things themed playlists based on their own user data to create highly specific and customised playlists for each user.This use of Native Advertising proved to be extremely successful at promoting the show and its related artwork and music. It also resonated with consumers who were able to enjoy thematically linked music associated with their own musical tastes.

Snapchat and Instagram Story Filters

The Story filters on Snapchat and Instagram provide an enjoyable way for users to connect with brands in an engaging and personalised way. Audiences have been found to eat up enjoyable content in the form of filters, whether it has been sponsored by a brand or not. Examples of filters are augmented reality makeup overlays, interactive quizzes, background graphics etc.

An example of how filters can be a way to advertise products and services is Nickelodeon’s Spongebob filters for Snapchat during a 2019 campaign to promote the show. These filters, which were only available for a limited time, let users place their likeness within some of the Spongebob memes that were already famous on the Internet. The lenses used for the filter options were exclusively designed by Nickelodeon, and it paid off for the Network with an influx of new viewers to the 22-year-old cartoon.

Tools for Native Advertising


NativeAds is an online network that provides marketers with useful tools to enhance and refine their marketing campaigns. NativeAds allows for improved coordination with other platforms that marketers use, such as AdSense, which increases the scope of marketing campaigns. Their curated ad approval process also makes sure that only high-quality content is approved, which helps marketers avoid the mistake of publishing low-quality content. These and other options make NativeAds a great platform for marketers to polish their content and streamline their marketing efforts.


Digg is an online portal that labels itself as the home page of the internet. It is a curated collection of high-quality articles and video content that is trending online. It is similar to BuzzFeed by allowing marketers to publish Native Advertising on Digg and provides an effective way to drive traffic to their own website and potentially go viral.

Content Marketing


Content Marketing is defined as marketing that engages the audience in an attempt to increase the number of customers for the products and services via content that is seen as valuable and useful. An effective Content Marketing strategy has the capacity to attract and involve consumers in an active manner, which leads to an improved brand image. It is a great way to improve your brand’s perception, generate more business and increase its relevance in the market.

In today’s digital age, being active on the internet is not enough for a brand’s continued growth and success. A brand has to do more than just have accounts on social media platforms. It is important that the brand’s content is seen by the target audience and is also seen as valuable and useful by that audience.

Having a strategy for Content Marketing can act as a foundation for your overall digital marketing strategies. Content Marketing is particularly useful as a base for your brand’s presence on social media platforms. Similarly, it is an effective tool for email marketing, corporate blogs, and other online activities. Content will always be needed wherever you are looking to make a mark and establish your brand in the online domain.

Content Marketing is an effective way to accomplish a multitude of goals, from teaching your consumers how to use your products to announcing new and upcoming products and offerings from your brand, all of which works towards setting the right tone for your brand.

It should be kept in mind that consumers today have a large number of options to choose from when it comes to online content. The average consumer today is inundated with a sea of content and information that they have to sort through in the hopes of finding something that is valuable and useful for them. Content Marketing is the method by which you can tell consumers how your brand can solve their problems and improve their quality of life.

The basic elements of Content Marketing are as follows:

  • It attracts visitors to your website and social media accounts
  • It tells the audience how your brand can be of use to them and add value to their life
  • It engages your audience in an active manner
  • It develops a positive perception of your brand in the minds of the audience
  • It drives sales and increases your bottom line
  • It lowers the cost of acquiring new customers
  • It adds to the total value of the client lifetime cycle and the clients’ engagement with your brand

Examples of Content Marketing

Coke’s ‘Share A Coke’ marketing campaign

Coke’s campaign of ‘Share A Coke’ is a great example of Content Marketing done right. In this campaign, people could personalise their coke bottles with a name of their own choice. This campaign has been a success for Coke all over the world. The beauty of this campaign was that it let customers feel special when their own name was printed on a Coke bottle. This kind of personal touch is the core of Content Marketing. Instead of tracking the behaviour of consumers or tracking other metrics, this campaign went right to the heart of what customers considered to be important.

McDonald’s ‘Question Time’

This was a campaign from McDonald’s Canadian branch which took on the challenge of answering ALL the questions their customers had about their products. At the peak of this campaign, they were answering about 10,000 questions from customers per DAY. The result was the formation of strong relationships with their customers, and the brand was seen to be transparent and open. This campaign managed to build strong trust and belief in the McDonald’s brand and was extremely beneficial to the brand’s reputation.

GoPro and ‘Visual Content’

Looking at the market today, all signs point to visual content being king when it comes to effective content. GoPro capitalised on this fact by making extensive use of infographics and visual content to boost traffic and engage customers. GoPro’s marketing strategy put quality visual content at the forefront, which was backed by their high-quality products. The success of this campaign can be seen from the 3+ million subscribers on YouTube and over 7 million followers on Instagram.

When done properly, visual content such as infographics and quality photo content can DOUBLE the traffic to your website. Posts that use photos to back up the written content have proven to be extremely effective at engaging users compared to content without visual components.

Tools for Content Marketing


BuzzSumo is a tool that lets you analyse topics that are trending on the internet. It tells marketers which brands are the main competitors in their industry and how they are marketing their content. Using BuzzSumo, you can level the playing field and find out which topics you should be concentrating on and which influencers you should get in touch with to market your content on their platforms. BuzzSumo provides insight about content and gives information about what content is being shared by people on social networks, and it provides detailed analytical reports.


Evernote is a great tool for organising and brainstorming ideas when planning for future content. Evernote can be used as a platform for sharing your ideas with your team and lets others share their own ideas with you in a way that makes collaborating easy and intuitive. Evernote is available on all devices, including mobile phones and desktop machines. You can save your ideas and access them later at any time and from any device. Evernote can serve as an invaluable tool to formulate your marketing strategy.


Kred is a tool that helps you find and connect with influencers who can amplify your message on various social media platforms. Kred works by measuring your influence based on your activity on Facebook and Twitter and lets you connect with the influencers who match your messaging. When it comes to building trust and credibility in the minds of consumers, there is no better tool than Kred.

Analysing The Best Fit For Your Company

By now, you should have a much better idea of how Native Advertising and Content Marketing can be used to increase your customer base and build your reputation on the internet. By using both Native Adverts and Content Marketing where appropriate, you can establish your brand as a market leader and keep your customers engaged throughout their customer lifecycle.

  • Native Advertising works best for new products and makes consumers aware of your brand’s upcoming products and services. It also helps to reach new audiences and drive traffic to your website and social media accounts.
  • Content Marketing is best used to engage with your existing customers and enhance the brand’s appeal.


The examples provided above and the tips on how to do well at Native Advertising illustrate just a few of the ways it can be used to help brands increase the visibility of their content. Increased visibility will lead to an engaged audience, which will move your marketing goals further towards fulfilment. Whether you are actively considering Native Advertising or have further questions about it, feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below or reach out at our email address.

Let your brand take the lead by getting in touch with us at Apex Pro Media today. We have the Marketing expertise you need to realise your brand goals!


  • Native Advertising is defined as paid content on external websites and platform channels, that is disguised as organic content.
  • It is different from Content Marketing as it does not directly promote your brand.
  • The benefits of Native Advertising are:
    • It increases awareness about your brand
    • It reaches a larger amount of people from your target audience
    • It educates readers about your products and services
    • It drives new customers your way
  • Different brands have used Native Advertising in different ways. You need to analyse which type of content you should include in your Native Advertising strategy and find the best fit.
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