Is Content-Based Advertising The New Advertorial?

Let’s define a few things

There are a lot of new terms being thrown around in public relations and advertising these days. Here are some tweetable definitions.

  • Native Advertising aims to change user experience by delivering valuable content in-stream. Think promoted Tweets and Facebook posts. Tweet this!
  • Brand Journalism is the concept that brands should act as newsrooms, producing branded interesting content that people want to share. Tweet this!
  • Sponsored Posts are paid posts that appear in blogs or mainstream news sites. Brands or journalists can pen these. Tweet this!

There are a few things everyone agrees on. Content-based ads should provide value, and they shouldn’t feel like ads. They should feel like part of the online experience.

What do native advertising, brand journalism and sponsored posts have in common?

Content-based ad advertorial BRGAs we’re participating in the evolution of advertising, and reading the many articles about the new world of advertising, we can’t help but think that none of this is truly new. Why not? Because these are all advertorials! Advertorials aren’t new. In fact, they’ve been around since 1947.

What’s an advertorial?

An “advertorial” is a content-based, paid advertisement that looks like regular news.  Have you ever seen the word “sponsored” in a regular looking print article or a magazine? That’s an advertorial! Have you ever seen an infomercial or heard radio DJs talk about a product? Those are advertorials too!

Now think about your online channels. Have you seen the word “sponsored” next to a Facebook post? How about “#ad” on a Tweet? Maybe you’ve seen Trusted Original Content from Fortune, BrandConnect content from The Washington Post, or a sponsored post from a blogger. Those are advertorials too! 

Now that we can all see that these “new” pay-for-play online ads aren’t actually new…

Native advertising, brand journalism and sponsored posts seem new for a few reasons:

  • We have new content sharing platforms, and we’re utilizing them. Out with the fax machine, and in with the social network! (There is still a time and place for a print ad, or a print advertorial.)
  • We don’t just look to print media, television and radio anymore for news. News is everywhere! Hello bloggers and social influencers!
  • Today we have crazy sharing abilities. Interesting news has always been sharable, but now it’s easy to share interesting content with more people.  Adios paper and scissors, hello “share” button!

BRG Communications has always worked with clients on advertorials, and other pay-for-play opportunities as an add-on to traditional PR campaigns. As communication platforms have evolved, we’ve incorporated many forms of content-based advertising into campaigns, when they make sense. Contact us here if you’re interested in learning more.

What do you think about the latest content-based advertising craze? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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