Message from Agoda, a TBEX Asia Pacific 2016 Sponsor #TBEXPH
Content Marketing and Native Advertising tend to be used without distinction, as both aim to increase brand awareness. However, both terms, and actually practices, have different goals, KPIs and benefits. Content marketing is the process of creating relevant and valuable content to attract, engage and acquire a targeted audience while native advertising is a paid advertisement that matches the platform upon which it appears.
The SEO Grail
As everyone is doing SEO you have to do something different to gain traffic, and you should invest in fresh, relevant and useful content for your audience, as the chance of your site increasing traffic apart from unique content is about one in three trillion. In our previous post we mentioned the quote “Content is king” from Bill Gates in 1996, this is even truer today as the real source of traffic is content marketing. Content marketing also Support Search Engine Optimization though the use of keywords and links. The key is to focus on key words with a certain amount of search volume already exist so write about topics that people are already searching information for.
Native Advertising is engaging with an emotional or rational attachment with a brand. Engagement can be measured by the number of likes, comments and shares your content gets on social media. This is a good measure of how you are building relationships with your audience. But engagement does not necessarily mean conversion, as each brand has its own unique formula for what works. Content marketing aim to engage with interactions that lead to a sale by creating a user experience that leads to conversion. Its KPIs are much more significant metrics as they are measured on page views, time spent on a page and bounce rate, lead generation and conversions. Promoting affiliate programs within your content offers you to send traffic to a chosen brand you want to support and measure engagement and conversions.
Native advertising has to be labeled “sponsored”, as a brand is paying for the placement, and therefore guarantees you minimum incomes and/or free travel and accommodations, under specific terms and conditions. Content marketing is the blogger insight on a product or service based on his/her own customer experience, then link to a brand that offers it. This can make a big difference as both contents look different on a blog. If you get paid for placement on your blog, it is advertising and if you do not get paid for the placement, the content is not advertising. Readers are less engaged with advertising compared to editorial content for this matter, and metrics show lower trust in most cases.
Native advertising is a safe way to monetize your traffic, but with the downside of limited revenues (post budget/fee). The new FTC guidelines also makes it more challenging for publishers to post content on behalf of big brands:
Marketers and publishers are using innovative methods to create, format, and deliver digital advertising. One form is “native advertising,” content that bears a similarity to the news, feature articles, product reviews, entertainment, and other material that surrounds it online. But as native advertising evolves, are consumers able to differentiate advertising from other content
Content marketing remains the best way to monetize a blog and also has a higher ROI overall. It enables you to adapt multiple offerings to your content while native advertising focus on a specific brand’s offer. Share your unique travel skills and promote brands, products, services and companies that you know, trust and have an experience with. Provide a real insight with product or service information, customers FAQs, How Tos, ratings and reviews. Add visuals, such as your travel pictures, to support your content, attract attention and provide an emotional connection with your readers. Focus on owning your media rather than renting it. Tell don’t sell.