Content marketing secrets

Is native advertising and content marketing the same thing?

By 5th July 2019 No Comments
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Native advertising is a popular, fast growing and successful advertising format. But is it the same as content marketing? The answer is no, and this can’t be stressed enough. Björn Owen Glad explains. 

Native advertising is experiencing a boom at the moment, to put it mildly. The developments we have seen in the USA in recent years have now hit Scandinavia with full force.

Both advertisers and media bureaus are scrambling after this new efficient advertising solution and seeing how it produces fantastic results.

In the wake of this (obviously positive) development however, there is some confusion that threatens to damage the perception of content marketing, which Joe Pulizzi offers his insights into here.

Distinguishing between the two concepts is important, for several reasons.

Partly because content marketing is a complex apparatus that, if it is to work, can’t be simplified. And partly because popular concepts – which content marketing currently is right now – are often hijacked by overly eager consultants who want to do quick business without delivering long term results.

What is native advertising (really)?

Native advertising is one of many ways to distribute content.

It involves buying editorial space in the media and filling it with relevant, interesting and engaging content. It is published in, and harmonised with its surrounding environment, and therefore creates added value for the recipient without interfering with their experience.

Just like content marketing – and in contrast to traditional adverting – native advertising focuses on giving the audience added value, rather than information on prices, products and services.

Content that does not take into account its context, is irrelevant or placed in the media’s traditional advertising spaces is not native advertising. Then it is closer to advertorials, a (perhaps rightfully) ridiculed concept that rarely provides added value to the recipient.


Native advertising can be a part of a broader content marketing strategy. But native advertising is not content marketing.

Content marketing is about creating and publishing interesting, relevant and engaging content that recipients want to receive and will seek out for themselves, often in channels owned by the sender.

The sender wants to establish a mutual and loyal relationship with the recipient in a way that traditional advertising can’t.

Which is why it’s so important to not confuse the two concepts.