Native advertising, also called sponsored content, advertorials or infomercials, does not seem to generate the user engagement that content marketing does.
Content marketing, otherwise known as brand journalism or branded content, strives to increase customer relations by providing more useful information that the customers can identify with. The idea is that content marketing not adopt the pushy sales tone that native advertising is known for, but instead offers solutions.
The biggest difference between content marketing and native advertising is in their SEO optimization. However, there are a lot of other differences as well, which prove how much more comprehensive content marketing is.
Whether you are using a native advertising publisher or a content marketing agency, you should always do what you can to refine your process to increase user engagement.
Fractl, a content marketing agency, teamed up with Moz to do a study about the differences between content marketing and native advertising. They created a survey of 14 questions, which they asked of at least 30 content marketing agencies. They also obtained native advertising cost data from almost 500 digital publishers, and from 100 top-tier publishers, all of which was based on the minimum rates quoted by the publishers, which may have differed from the final rate.
Content Marketing Drives SEO Value And Boosts Organic Rankings
One thing that the data showed was that, while content marketing drives SEO value, native advertising does not.
Forty-eight percent of clients measured their content marketing success based on the number of leads, high-quality links and total social shares they received through each campaign. The return on investment received by content marketing can be tracked based on the portfolio of high-quality links, but native advertising cannot be measured in any such way. The sponsored links (such as one placement on Buzzfeed) that native advertising is limited to, as well as the paid publisher partnerships, do not contribute to its ranking.
The Infographics and Articles Generated by Content Marketing Agencies are What Top-Tier Publishers Want
Data from the 500 publishers who were surveyed showed that content marketing publishers wished they saw more infographics and other data visualizations. Infographics and the like make up almost 60% of the campaigns produced by content marketing agencies. The majority of content marketing agencies produce up to 10 campaigns for each client. And for each campaign for the same client, the content marketing agency can use a different portfolio of press coverage. Native advertising would only secure placement from the original publisher, making it not as diverse.
Content Marketing Secures 27 Links Per Campaign; Native Advertising Secures Only One
Buzzfeed gets over 32 million different visitors every month. But Buzzfeed native advertising campaigns earned an average of one Buzzfeed link. Thirty-eight Buzzfeed native advertising campaigns were analyzed to find this out.
In a table showing five Fractl content marketing campaigns and five Buzzfeed natuve advertising campaigns, the data shows that the number of social shares each Fractl content marketing campaign got was much higher than the number of social shares that the Buzzfeed native advertising campaigns received. Only one Buzzfeed campaign got as many social shares as the Fractl campaigns did. Fractl's campaigns received between 17,934 and 937 social shares, while the Buzzfeed campaigns received between 12,481 and 230, with the one that received 12,481 social shares being an outlier.
Data also showed that the average content marketing campaign earns 27 links, while the most successful one for each agency earned an average of 422 links.
70% of Content Marketing Agencies Offer Monthly Retainers
Seventy percent of content marketing agencies offer monthly retainers, 60% of which are less than $10,000. A retainer cost can impact a campaign's success because that money goes to larger-scale and more innovative campaigns. A thousand-dollar press release about the launch of a company's newest product will get very limited engagement compared to an interactive campaign comparing user sentiment around the company's products. Though the latter may cost $10,000, it is a significantly better approach to getting potential customers. The campaigns that required a $10,000-$50,000 retainer fee generated the most links, according to the data, with the higher retainer fees than $50,000 not making much of a difference.
The Average Cost of Launching a Native Advertising Program With a Top-Tier News Publisher is $54,014.29
According to Fractl's study, the average cost of launching a native advertising program with a top-tier news publisher is $54,014. The average value of a native advertising program is $35,482, when the cost data for publishers with a domain authority greater than 80 was taken into account.
When all publishers and blogs below a DA of 80 are analyzed, it was found that the less valuable publishers are much cheaper. Therefore, the cost of native advertising has mostly to do with the publisher's authority and how many people they can reach. This could mean that the cost of native advertising has been inflated due to the publisher's need to recover the cost of advertising, especially because their audience size is not guaranteed.
In conclusion, native advertising is not as comprehensive or beneficial as content marketing is, and content marketing is essential for promoting your company or product to more people and generating repeat customers. Native advertising does not get as much online traffic as content marketing does, making content marketing worth the increase in price.
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Image credit: Canva & Big Stock Photo, purchased by the author