Content advertising is the process of producing content with the intention of promoting that content through paid distribution channels. This can include PPC campaigns, paid social, sponsored placements, and any other type of paid promotional opportunities. Any content format can be produced as part of a content advertising campaign. For example, you could create a whitepaper focusing on a problem common to customers in your industry, with the intention of promoting this whitepaper through paid social ads. As long as the content being produced is to be promoted via paid distribution, you’re using content advertising.
Content Advertising vs. Content Marketing
We all know that there are plenty of benefits of content marketing, but how does content advertising differ from “traditional” content marketing? In the grand scheme of things, the concept of content advertising should be something of a misnomer. After all, content marketing is a core element of inbound marketing, which itself is designed to be as minimally disruptive to consumers as possible. Traditional advertising, on the other hand, is often intentionally disruptive, designed to capture the attention of viewers and entice them to take action.
One element that both content marketing and content advertising share, however, is an emphasis on quality. Just because you’re distributing and promoting your content through paid channels doesn’t mean that the content itself should be any less valuable to your audience as your “organic” content. If anything, the quality bar should be even higher, since you’re paying to promote that content.
Additionally, just because you’re promoting content via paid channels doesn’t mean you should resort to sleazy, disruptive tactics favored by TV and radio advertisers – your audience expects (and deserves) better. This can dissuade prospective customers and tarnish your brand, even if your content is of high quality.
Another crucial difference between content marketing and content advertising is that content marketing campaigns often rely on SEO and organic rankings, whereas content advertising bypasses the challenges of declining organic reach by leveraging the strengths of paid promotional channels, such as highly granular audience segmentation.
We’ve warned against the dangers of relying on organic traffic for some time, and with organic reach diminishing every day, it could be argued that content advertising is the next logical step in the continuing evolution of content as a marketing tool