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.