What are Native, Sponsored, and Content Marketing ?

It’s tough being a marketer these days.  There’s no way you can ignore what’s happening online but how on earth do you decide where to place your bets?  Pintrest.  Facebook. Twitter. Linkedin.  YouTube. Vine. And/or the emerging next new thing.  All are viable social media outlets.

The number one question is as it always has been – who is your audience?

If you’re seeking a younger crowd – say under 35 – you’ve got a myriad of social outlets and campaigns to consider.  For the older folks, the outlets may shrink but you certainly can’t ignore digital even for the post 65 and beyond crowd.  My 83 year mother is active on Facebook, was online banking before I was and is a voracious reader of news on the web.  She’s got the time.  And she’s got a nest egg that I am sure many an advertiser wouldn’t mind getting their paws on – say healthcare providers.

Which brings me to the subject at hand – the new(isn) world of marketing online through content.  So many terms are being bandied about that it’s hard to keep track.  As someone who offers content I needed a better understanding to help my clients better strategize where to budget their creative.  This article more fully explains it but here are the main definitions in a nutshell:

  • Native advertising = advertising that appears on a specific outlet such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin.  They are part of the stream of information – like the “you might also like” posts that appear on your Facebook page.
  • Sponsored Content = where an advertiser sponsors an article but doesn’t unduly influence the content. That content appears on news or publishing sites and would have some kind of banner or line saying “sponsored by XZY company”.
  • Content Marketing = information materials such as white papers, videos, free tips sheets, newsletters, ebooks designed to inform consumers in hopes they’ll appreciate your insights and promote and/or buy your products/services.

I love web publishing – doing it, learning about it, and networking with those who provide various services in the online world.  It reminds of being a producer in my old TV days.  While I don’t need to know how to operate all the equipment I do need to know what the technology can do to ply my writing trade. These days, there’s a lot to know.  So I focus on providing sponsored content articles, content marketing, and publishing mostly through WordPress. It’s plenty to keep me busy and my clients happy.



Promoting your blog post is just as important as writing good content. If you build it they MAY come but if you promote they more likely WILL come. So, how can you attract more viewers? Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder/Strategic Director of Orbit Media says publicize your post through:

  1. Social Media
  2. Email Marketing
  3. Search Engine Optimization


Social Media means LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Vine and many others.  Each have their own unique spin.  For most, crafting the opening lines of your post so that it clearly defines subject matter in the first sentence allows you to blast out a coherent message to many media channels – at the same time – with a social media management tool. Hootsuite is such a tool. With it you select where you want to promote you post and it sends your headline, first sentence or two plus a link to your blog. You can also schedule when you want to send your announcements. It’s a fast, convenient and organized way to publicize your posts.


Email marketing can be as simple as creating a database housing all those business cards you collect and sending a summary and link to your post to those you think would benefit from it. If you have a newsletter, be sure to include a link and a one sentence description of your post in your email blast AND in the newsletter itself.  Another way to promote your blog post using email is simply to add a link and quick blog post description to your email signature line.


The details of how best to do search engine optimization (SEO) are constantly changing.  But knowing what terms people are searching for is helpful when you are writing your posts. Typically people type in a few words in the search box. The main words are called keywords. Which keywords are best to use?  There’s a tool for that too! When asked if there were any free keyword finders, Mana Ionescu, President of lightspandigital offered up Ubersuggest. Just put in the term and see what other suggestions pop up.

The rule of thumb is to include the keyword in the post’s title, within the opening paragraph, and at least three-four times within your post. Also be sure to include keyword tags. While the analytic details about which keywords are driving traffic to your site are changing you will still be able to see which pages people are visiting.

WordPress.org, the publishing platform I use, includes lots of plug-ins that will automate the publicizing process and even help with SEO. While it’s smart to optimize your blog posts, people will return when you provide them with relevant content that can make their work, home, and personal lives better.

According to experts at Social Media Week in Chicago, the ratio of writing and promoting should be at least 1:1 – meaning if you spend an hour writing your post, you should spend an hour promoting it.

How do you promote your blog posts?   Please share your ideas here.