We live in an era of endless media. This is a contrast to the old days when advertising and communication channels were limited to a small range of media. Today we struggle to influence people with advertising almost anywhere they are. But this subjects people to a barrage of advertising. Advertisers’ messages can get mixed up. More significantly, ads become trivial and uninteresting. People try to avoid them. Studies show that click-through rates on banner ads are dropping each year.

The marketing world is aware of these issues. So they’re pushing the boundaries of creativity and coming up with new ways to communicate messages effectively. Native Advertising is one these ways.

Since the pulse of the advertising world beats in the U.S., many marketing terms are in English. We can translate some into Turkish, but we don’t yet have a term for Native Advertising. There’s no single consensus in the world about what Native Advertising is. Let’s try to explain what Native Advertising means and how it differs from similar subjects.
There are a lot of discussions about the meaning of Native Advertising. Theoreticians define it in various ways: product placement, advertorial content, or artificial intelligence technology-related advertising. Others consider Google Adwords or Twitter ads to be Native Advertising.

The fact is all of them are Native Advertising. Nevertheless, it’s commonly believed that advertising-targeted content within editorial content is regarded to be one step ahead of all these. Accordingly, food programs presented Vedat Milor or Mehmet Yaşin, content that features product reviews by a bloggers, or a living magazine supplement prepared by a sports products seller can all be described as Native Advertising.

Based on all these views, Native Advertising can be defined as any type of promotional content in which a product or service is featured seamlessly in the context of regular editorial content and distributed by the content providers.

Many marketing ideas today are intertwined within the onslaught of digital in our lives. Native Advertising is one these. Content marking, influencer marketing, and PR are often confused with Native Advertising. Let’s study them a little.

Content Marketing and Native Advertising
Content marketing can be described as developing and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content that reaches the targeted audience directly and grabs its attention. Native Advertising constantly benefits and feeds off of content marketing. However, the main difference between these two approaches is element of consistent production. In content marketing, brands act as a “publisher” with the goal of consistent production. Native Advertising has no other purpose than campaign and consistency of message, since its sole objective is advertising. Moreover, in Native Advertising, content is published by the content provider, whereas the brand’s own platforms are commonly used in content marketing.

PR and Native Advertising
Public relations (PR) and Native Advertising are similar in that brand-related content is published on the publisher’s platform. However, in PR, the publisher has complete control over its stories. For instance, an interview with the CEO of a company is a PR activity. It can’t be Native Advertising because the publisher has his or her own questions to ask in the interview. Native Advertising, the content to be published is entirely up to the advertiser. PR is, in theory, inexpensive. On the other hand, Native Advertising is exclusively advertising, so a fee is incurred by necessity.

Influencer Marketing and Native Advertising
Influencer Marketing is generally described as the advertising-intended posts by people who are followed by a large number of people due to the content they create on the social media, blogs and vlogs. A widespread “phenomenon” in Turkey, Influencer Marketing is the most intertwined field with Native Advertising. In both fields, content is featured for advertising purposes by the content provider. The most significant difference is that influencers, known as phenomenon usually don’t do an editorial task and they may feature content that is not suitable to their context. That being the case, it may not be possible to preserve the regularity and context, most crucial objectives of Native Advertising. Influencer Marketing can be done only on digital medium, whereas Native Advertising can also be done on traditional channels such as magazines, movies and television.

Author: Sercan Çalbak