Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable, and useful content about certain products or services in order to retain an audience and lead to action.

Traditionally, the sales funnel of content marketing consists of 4 stages:
  1. Discovery
  2. Consideration
  3. Conversion
  4. Retention

Top of the funnel (TOFU)


At the discovery stage, you provide consumers with viral or educational content in order to increase the brand awareness and make people aware of the problem or a challenge via blog posts, webinars, guides, emails newsletters, social media updates, infographics. You can also communicate product solutions and the end benefits of the product.

Middle of the funnel (MOFU)


At the consideration stage, your goal is to convert problem- or solution-aware consumers into leads via case studies, checklists, templates, toolkits, free software downloads, promo codes for new sources, quizzes, surveys, webinars, or events. At this point, you should educate people with problems and challenges they can overcome using your product.

Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)


At the conversion stage, consumers know what you offer them and how your product or service can solve their problem or satisfy a certain need. Your goal is to make them purchase it. So, you should provide people with reviews, testimonials, and product comparison charts, explaining why your product or service is better via USP.

Finally, the retention stage is about making your consumers loyal via providing them with new product launches, newsletters announcing new products, discounts, customer support, special offers, emails, feedback forms, and surveys.

As we see, content marketing is a complex strategy, that is used to provide consumers with valuable information about the product or service. This approach helps to build a trustful long-term relationship with consumers, increase brand awareness, and generate engagement on different platforms.

Does content marketing overlap with SEO?


The answer is YES. As you know, Search Engine Optimization is used to drive more traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Google or other search engines crawl the content, indexing and ranking it, then users can find your website in the search results. So, you see that the content, keywords, and links are crucial elements on which SEO is based.

Simply putting keywords without any reasonable approach won’t work. In addition, if you want your content to be rapidly indexed and ranked higher, you must ensure it is fresh, creative, and provides unique information for users.

SEO could provide content marketing with relevant keywords, thus improve search rankings and make your content more discoverable on the Web. At the same time, content marketing provides SEO with content and backlinks.

What about Native advertising?


Native advertising is a kind of different thing. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines native advertising as ‘’a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. These paid ads aspire to be so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong’’.

Native ads are placed on third-party websites and involve payment for the ad placements. By doing so, you can push your content marketing strategy far beyond the brand-owned channels and get a bigger audience. Then, native ads have a few specific goals like getting more readers, more subscribers, or more views, which in turn affects the design of the advertisement. When you are focused on more views, you can use shock content and catchy headlines. When your goal is to increase the number of readers or subscribers, you should work on the quality of your content and frequently post useful or engaging information.

Native ads are widgets, usually titled as “Recommended by”, “Sponsored by”, “ Promoted content” etc.

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Widget formats include Header, Sidebar, In-article, and Under-Article.

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Widgets should be fully consistent with the design, content, and functionality of the website on which they are placed. If you want to have a higher CTR, I strongly recommend using high-quality larger images and captions featuring a call to action.

Both content marketing and native advertising should provide users with relevant quality content. However, the difference is that the content on the brand-owned platforms can be stored for a long time, whereas the sponsored ads have temporary restrictions dependent on the payment. On the whole, native advertising could be one of the additional techniques to complement the content marketing strategy by offering articles on similar topics. This approach will enable you to diversify your site’s content and expand the audience. Furthermore, according to the study, consumers looked at native ads more than original editorial content.

So, the question is where does one find third-party websites? Self-searching can take you a lot of time and nerves, making native advertising platforms a great solution. Most popular native advertising platforms are MGID, Taboola, Outbrain, and RevContent.

Keep in mind that MGID offers a 25% bonus on top of your first deposit! So, sign up via this link and start making money on affiliate marketing ;)