The Reach, Engagement, and ROI of Content Marketing vs Native Advertising is the subject of new research just given to us on Moz. Kelsey Libert gives us a nice overview of the results and there is much to consider. Researchers took a data-driven approach, comparing the efficacy of native advertising to content marketing. A lot of data was gathered from over 30 different content marketing agencies and cost data from about 600 digital publishers.
The result is an in-depth look at the variables surrounding the waning efficacy of outbound marketing and the return on investing in content marketing and/or native advertising. Unsurprisingly, the takeaway is that it depends on your particular situation.
Content or Native?
The average content marketing campaign can deliver KPIs equal to or better than most native advertising campaigns, but there are distinct differences. If your budget doesn't have room for both, make sure you focus on what you want to accomplish for your brand:
- both boost brand awareness, but content will boost SEO and conversions while native ads encourage social engagement
- content yields a higher number of leads, high-quality links, and total social shares
- native campaigns yield higher views, site traffic, and social engagement
- average channels for content is 27 publisher stories, while native utilizes one publishing partner
- benefits of content marketing are increased organic rankings, optimized conversions, and brand awareness
- benefits of native advertising are brand awareness and engagement
- challenges of content marketing are the need for long-term investment and publisher partnerships
- challenges of native advertising are the lack of SEO benefit, cost of scale, and being perceived as an "ad"
Whatever we do in marketing, there will always be the need to evaluate and refine campaigns to increase the ROI. Investing in content marketing, native advertising, or any other online marketing strategy is an ongoing process that cannot be considered a "once-and-done" tactic.
Studies like this new research give us a perspective on the changing reach, engagement, and ROI of what is currently in use. They are helpful because they use data from many sources in the industry so we see the big picture of internet marketing.
But when the decision has to be made on investing your own marketing budget, it's like deciding on what to buy at the grocery store. You are the one who knows the people who raid the refrigerator, so you are the one who knows if that yogurt will be worth buying.
You know your business and your customers - so go with the marketing that works for your situation.