Native advertisement and content marketing – are they alike?

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We have already dealt with different issues related to marketing on the blog you are on now. Today we will discuss the concept of native advertising and whether the content can be a tool to implement it in the most effective way.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising consists in presenting the product not only in the non-invasive, but also non-intrusive manner. The presented material, however, is not the main idea.

People associate traditional advertising with being forced. We meet them in the form of TV spots that interrupt movies and series the most often. However, those also appear as pop-ups on websites, interrupting messages and annoying songs on the radio, as well as the banners that we can see from our window and on the buildings…

In other words, an advertisement in form described above is invasive; its presence violates our perception, no matter if we are in the cinema, whether we scroll the websites and go sightseeing. In response to such image of classic advertising, a new concept has been created, and that is so-called native advertising.

Its assumption is to signal the presence of a product, its features potential benefits to a customer. This is not the main goal though – the most important are positive feelings and perceptions of a potential buyer. Therefore, the recipients need to be intrigued by the content at the first glance, and the information about the advertised element must neither dominate, nor overwhelm other ones.

What does it look like in practice?

Either article or film (it can be also other type of medium) which aim is to present sort of information is a base of well-structured native advertisement. In other words, it is not just the product, but also an issue that, for example, the product should solve. It is therefore in opposition to measures and concepts such as CTA (call-to-action) or outbound marketing. After reading the advertisement, the recipient should not know about yours intentions; the presented material should be a coherent whole, even after excluding the specific aspect.

The biggest advantage of such solution is elimination of well-known features that are negatively associated with advertising. Instead of exhorting, it suggests. It does not persuade – it introduces. No longer does it force, as we bet now on presenting something incidentally.

What is not a native advertising?

Let us explain this state of affairs. Firstly, adding few words about a specific product to every text is not a part of native advertising. The ad has to be implemented in a natural flow – it is an extenstion that is not the only factor that influence the validity of presented material. It is a reason why sponsored articles, even though those carry informations about a presented product, are not an example of native advertising. The difference is subtle, which is why we will discover it further together.

The product is not in basis of native advertising that we have mentioned – a specific issue can be its part; we could not say that about sponsored article, as its aim is to directly persuade to purchase the product or use the service. Such form of the article often contains comparisions with other alternatives that are available on the market. It might discredit those too. The native advertisement is unrelated to other elemented – no attempts to position the product in relations to them are made. We compare two different activities – it is a fight – persuasion vs suggestion. The former one makes use of more aggressive manners, while the second mentioned is based on associations.


Let’s present them on the specific example. We want to advertise climbing equipment. Should we commission the creation of content that describes some elements of the equipment (those are „The best alpine ice axes” on which we want to position our brand), we will be dealing with a traditional advertising article.

However, if we want to do it more subtle way, then we can have content about the most demanding UK mountain trails written – and add information about ice axes, as those are necessary for such challenge. The text presents its value even if we remove information about our product from it. In addition, this message will be a natural extension of the knowledge already gained by the reader. This is the core of native advertising.

Are native advertising and content marketing alike?

To put it simple – there are many opinions according to the discussed topic, so it depends.

Content marketing – in other words, advertising with content – in theory, its main goal is to provide recipients with substantive content on a given issue of the highest quality. It depends, however, on the type of content we create – for instance, we need to take its type, placement, length, and other factors into account. Remember that it should be associated with a specific field, for instance marketing. The aim of both is to present the product with content in an engaging and encouraging way.

Are those synonyms? Not necessarily – after all, content marketing assumes a wider range of activities. On the other hand, native advertising really is a useful concept in case of content activities. Content marketing is an effective form of implementing the given assumptions of native advertising.

Content creators are able to prepare texts according to the idea of native advertising. Such texts have their advantages – we discussed those above. Although not every product can be advertised in such a subtle way, it is worth keeping the method mentioned in mind, so as to plan and implement further marketing strategies.


  • Native advertising is a non-invasive advertising tactic that stays in opposition to traditional techniques aimed at persuading the recipient to purchase your product;
  • Its assumptions can be implemented through content marketing naturally.

Jan Susmaga

By education - philologist / linguist, by current profession - proofreader and copywriter, by interest - a bit of everything. He enjoys writing, reading both prose and non-fiction (mainly scientific), watching horror movies, training martial arts, trying new things.

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