organic and sponsored content

Native Advertising and Affiliate Marketing | Blending Organic and Sponsored Content

Today’s expansive digital landscape means there are countless different ways to promote goods and services. Two of the primary approaches to promoting products and affiliate links online are organic and sponsored content.

Organic, also referred to as native advertising, and sponsored content have key differences that you need to be aware of. We run through these differences in the article below, compare the pros and cons between both approaches and discuss which is best for your business. Read on to learn more…

Native Advertising: Pros and Cons

Native advertising involves running ads that blend seamlessly into surrounding content. For example, native ads on a social media platform will look just like a regular post, with the same formatting, font and style. Native ads come in many forms; they can be on social media, in search engine results or even in emails.

The biggest benefit of native advertising is that it does not disrupt the user experience. They blend in with their surroundings organically and never look out of place. Furthermore, the reach of native ads can be specifically targeted to impact particular customer demographics and geographic locations, making it a versatile approach.

The stats back up the efficacy of native advertising. For example, the click-through rate of native ads can be as much as 40 times higher than traditional display ads, and they receive over 50% more views.

However, if your native ads were to inadvertently appear alongside an offensive post made by a third party, this could have a negative impact on your brand’s image. A study of UK customers revealed that 59% would perceive a brand negatively if it displayed ads next to offensive content.

Additionally, if you want to use native ads, you will need to create them yourself, which requires input from copywriters and graphic designers.

Sponsored Content: Pros and Cons

Sponsored content is an approach that involves publications creating content for a brand to advertise its products and services. This content, often in the form of blog posts, articles or videos, is displayed on the publication’s website or social platform.

Rather than just a quick ad on social media, sponsored content is long-form, which means it can and should provide value. It could be a tutorial or a review, something that consumers can benefit from. This will ensure customers don’t feel used or pushed towards purchasing a product.

Another key advantage of sponsored content is that your brand will benefit from the association with a trusted platform or publication. For example, running sponsored content on a reputable news site can make your business appear more legitimate and trustworthy. Research from Nielsen highlighted that sponsored content can offer a 50% higher brand lift when compared to self-published content.

However, sponsored content can be the more expensive of the two approaches, particularly if you are looking to partner with major brands and publications. It’s also time-consuming, writers and creators will need to produce the content first, so it’s not the best approach if you’re looking for a quick sales push.

Which is the Best Approach for Your Business?

It can be hard to decide between an organic and sponsored content approach, particularly as both offer a range of different pros and cons.

For this reason, we believe the best approach can be to blend both native advertising and sponsored content. This way, you can benefit from the advantages of each and can maximise the results of your marketing campaigns.

With native advertising, you can enjoy the high click-through rates offered by a smooth and organic marketing approach. Combining this with a sponsored content strategy means you can benefit from improved brand image, and this can offset potential damage caused by your native ads appearing next to offensive content.

In Conclusion…

There are key differences between native advertising and sponsored content, and understanding these differences is essential for any affiliate marketer. Use this article to learn about both approaches and weigh up the pros and cons.

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