Difference between Sponsored Content and Native Ads

Key Difference: Native Ads are types of ads look similar to the original content on the page. Hence, they do not always stand out as advertising. Sponsored Content is a sub-category of native advertising. Sponsored content is nothing more than a native ad that has been sponsored by the brand on another platform.

Native AdsSponsored Content and Native Ads are two different types of marketing strategies that can be utilized by a company. The two are considered to be buzzwords in the industry. Both are used to promote digital content, and hence the terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a bit of confusion as to what each one means.

Native Ads, or native advertising is as its name suggests; i.e. they are native. These types of ads look similar to the original content on the page. Hence, they do not always stand out as advertising. They look natural and hence are more likely to have more of a positive influence on the audience, rather than something that blatantly looks like an ad, and is more in their face with its selling tactics.

Technically speaking, native advertising looks and read more like a news story, it does not promote a product, nor does it include a call to action. The native ad can be either an article or video. It is primarily produced by an advertiser to promote a product.

However, it does not look like an advertisement, as in today’s day and age people are vary of traditional advertisements. People will look away or go away even before the ad has gotten to the product. Hence, native advertising has gained popularity. It promotes the product subtly while also giving the audience some quality content to digest. Think, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. Native advertising has also proven to be more popular and effective than traditional advertising particularly for this reason.

Sponsored Content is a sub-category of native advertising. Sponsored content is nothing more than a native ad that has been sponsored by the brand. The distinguishing characteristics of Sponsored content, as opposed to other forms of native ads is that they are sponsored by the brand, but they are not produced or published by the brand. Instead, the company pays someone else, such as a blogger or YouTuber, etc. to create content on their behalf that will feature their content.

Sponsored ContentLike all native ads, the sponsored content also does not look like an ad; however, it can promote a product or include a call to action. It is just like a native ad, except for the fact that the company does not create or publish it. Nor does the content appear on the company’s pages. Native Ads, on the other hand, can be created and published by the brand, and on the brand’s pages. However, sponsored content is explicitly not.

It should be noted that as it can be hard to notice Sponsored Content and Native Ads amongst the other content, it is generally required that these contents and ads be marked by understated labels, such as “Advertisement”, “Ad”, “Promoted”, “Sponsored”, “Featured Partner”, or “Suggested Post.”

Comparison between Sponsored Content and Native Ads:

 

Sponsored Content

Native Ads

Type

Type of native advertising

Type of digital marketing

View

Looks like the content around them

Look like the content around them

Promotion

Created and promoted by the brand

May or may not be created and promoted by the brand

Description

Brand-sponsored articles and videos that appear on the sites and social platforms of publishers and influencers

Any and all advertisements that look like the content around them.

Characteristics

Looks and read more like a news story. Can mention a product or service and include a call to action.

Looks and read more like a news story, it does not promote a product, nor does it include a call to action.

Benefit

Look natural and hence are more likely to have more of a positive influence on the audience. Is generally just content that mentions or includes the brand.

Look natural and hence are more likely to have more of a positive influence on the audience

Examples

BuzzFeed listicle of 12 tweets about being hungry, sponsored by Wendy’s

Google search ads, in-feed Facebook ads

Reference: Wikipedia, Outbrain, Content Marketing, Contently
Image Courtesy: advertisemint.com, clickrain.com

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