Native Advertising: Advertising Alive & Well Pt1

This is the first post in a new series I’m writing entitled ‘Advertising is Alive and Well’ in my previous post I introduced the series and explained why I’m still a fan of advertising despite the emergence of more cost-effective marketing methods.

Before I get to the main topic of this post a little media history…

In days past you had three types of medial; Paid, Owned and Earned media which were distinctly separate:

paid, earned, owned media

As  defined by Social Media Today:

Paid Media is positive publicity gained through paid advertising

Earned Media is positive publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising.

Owned Media is promotion channels that you control, such as your website, Facebook Page and Twitter account.

However in recent years the lines have blurred and the media landscape now looks something like this:

converged media

In times past advertising remained in the Paid – traditional ads circle. What this meant is that advertising messages were entirely dictated by the advertisers agenda and the ‘one-way’ messages that the company wished to send out. This is essentially what has turned people off advertising – the perception that it’s essentially propaganda, companies trying to push products and services down people throats that they really don’t need or want.

Things have changed, yes traditional advertising still exists and works well in the right context, but what you also have is advertising that straddles Paid and Owned media (promoted brand content) and Paid and Earned (sponsored content).

Example of Promoted brand content (Paid/Owned):

Promoted tweet

This is a Promoted Tweet, it’s Owned as it’s taken from HootSuite’s own Twitter
profile but also Paid because Hootsuite has paid to have it show up in relevant Twitter profile streams among relevant content. As you can see the tweets on either side of this Promoted Tweet are related to social media. What’s different about this type of advertising is that it’s relevant, it adds value and it’s targeted. It’s not intrusive but appears as a natural part of the content.

Example of sponsored content (Paid/Earned):

Sponsored content

On the surface it looks like editorial but it’s actually sponsored, in this case by
Dell, which means Dell has written it and paid to place it. It’s also Earned because someone else has spread the word about the content not the company who has sponsored it. Like the previous example, the content is relevant, useful and targeted. In many ways sponsored content is very similar to traditional advertorials.


Both sponsored content and promoted brand content are examples of native
advertising. A new era of advertising that I am incredibly excited about!

For more on native advertising there are some great posts on the eConsultancy

Speak soon,


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