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Content Advertising

Content Advertising: Brief Summary

The term “Content Advertising” derives from online marketing and describes a method of distributing content with the help of active advertising measures. Due to the terminology and methods used, Content Advertising is often equated with Content Marketing and Native Advertising, but this is not correct. While all three forms of online marketing share certain characteristics, there are also some important differences, which are described in more detail below.

Content Advertising: Detailed Summary

Content Advertising is a variant of online marketing in which high-quality content is distributed through regular advertising channels. This definition is deliberately broad, as Content Advertising uses a wide variety of content and advertising formats. The only decisive factor is that it is high-quality content that is actively distributed via an advertising channel.

This also demonstrates the difference from Content Marketing because this variant is classified as inbound marketing, while Content Advertising belongs to outbound marketing. Accordingly, SEO plays an important role in Content Marketing because the content you want to present has to be able to be found. Since with inbound marketing, the customer comes to the company, with Content Marketing, you have to lay out a trail for the reader by optimising the page and the content so that they are led there by the right search terms. With Content Advertising, it is different; here, the content is deliberately advertised without the user having to embark on a big online search.

Of course, promoting your content does not mean that you should resort to cheap tricks or puffery. Cheap showmanship tends to damage a company’s reputation and can devalue even the very good quality content being promoted. Ideally, content and advertising should be on the same level. The exact form of the advertising should, of course, depend on the content being advertised, but content and ads must be of equal quality.

The distinction between Content Advertising and Native Advertising is somewhat more difficult, and the two terms are often used synonymously. Native Advertising is about merging advertising with the editorial content of a website so that the reader can no longer easily distinguish between paid and natural content (“paid content vs. organic content”). This method is controversial even within the marketing industry and – if not used wisely – can damage the image of the companies doing the advertising. With Content Advertising, there is a clear demarcation between paid and editorial content, although ideally, the latter plays no role at all. If you download a white paper, a guidebook or something similar because you think the content is convincing, it ultimately doesn’t matter how you got to this content. The user may not even notice that they have followed a paid link to get the desired content. The advertising, therefore, only serves to attract the reader’s attention – they are then persuaded by the high-quality content that is hidden behind the advertising.

What Are the Advantages of Content Advertising?

One of the biggest advantages of Content Advertising is certainly the fact that you don’t have to worry about making the content easy to find. SEO measures, keywords and the like play no role whatsoever in Content Advertising and can therefore be completely ignored. Instead, you simply choose the distribution channel that you think is most suitable for the respective content and buy corresponding quotas of advertising space or advertising time. This not only makes the whole thing very simple, but it also allows ads and content to be used in a very targeted way. This is especially helpful on social media because social media sites like Facebook usually know a lot about their users. On Facebook, for example, you could target tech-savvy car enthusiasts between 20 and 40 with a guide to doing home oil changes. This helps to limit the costs of Content Advertising and also usually ensures a high conversion rate.

The ability to target content also brings another advantage: very specific topics and small target groups can be served, for which Content Marketing measures would be far too costly and inefficient. In addition, Content Advertising can usually be effectively scaled; after all, there is a suitable advertising channel for every target group and every reach. This also contributes to making Content Advertising cost-efficient.

What Are the Disadvantages of Content Advertising?

One of the biggest disadvantages of Content Advertising is the fact that the budget determines the success of the campaign. This is also true for Content Marketing to a certain extent, but once the content has been created and optimised, campaigns in this area are largely cost-free self-runners. With Content Advertising, in principle, the effect of the advertising stops as soon as the budget is used up – no further ads can be placed, and the content “disappears” into the depths of the web. This can be a problem, especially for small projects with a limited budget, because if an advertising campaign is terminated too quickly, a good part of the potential remains unused.

Of course, there can also be a problem that is common to all Content Advertising campaigns: In order to achieve a continuous effect, one must also continuously produce high-quality content. This is very time-consuming and difficult to achieve, especially for smaller departments. Alternatively, you can also buy corresponding content, but this is at the expense of the budget.

Furthermore, the potential to serve small target groups can also lead to difficulties. It is necessary in such cases to achieve a high conversion rate so that the advertising measure remains profitable. However, small target groups are difficult to further subdivide, so advertising can only be roughly targeted to the target group and not based on other criteria. This means that many potential customers can be lost, and in the worst case, some users may even find the advertising annoying, which means that it will miss its mark completely.


Content Advertising can be a very useful tool for advertising with high-quality content. The biggest advantage of Content Advertising is that you don’t have to rely on being found by others – thanks to paid advertising channels, the content appears exactly where you want to place it. You no longer have to worry about SEO rules or page rank; instead, you can concentrate fully on the quality of your own content.

Generally, Content Advertising is a very efficient method, so you don’t usually have to worry about the budget. However, if money is very tight or if you’re aiming at a very small target group, Content Advertising still works, but the campaign must be very well thought out and properly planned. If not, the advertising can fizzle out without much effect.

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