Native advertising has come a long way.

Just a few years ago, it was reported that almost half of those surveyed were clueless about what native advertising is: Only 3% nodded in the affirmative. Today, this innovative method of promoting brands is being used by top organizations, including Yahoo and Facebook. In fact, most major brands use native advertising to some degree.

Though native advertising is certainly effective, too many marketers are using the terms "native advertising" and "content marketing" interchangeably.

What a shame. If you don't distinguish between the two, you won't get the most out of either.

Let's fix that.

The Difference Between Native Ads and Content Marketing

Native Advertising

Native advertising is a form of paid ad that is dressed up like an editorial and designed to match the publication where it's published. The ads are required to be clearly labeled, and they often contain self-promotional references and links to the advertiser's site.

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image of Ryan Gould

Ryan Gould is VP of strategy and marketing services at Elevation, where he helps clients solve their problems and achieve their business goals through integrated marketing solutions distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement, and conversion.

LinkedIn: Ryan Gould

Twitter: @ryanscottgould