Fusing Native Advertising with Content Marketing – Part II


Despite all the hype, native advertising remains a fuzzy concept for most marketers.

According to our 2014 status report:

  • 49 percent of respondents don’t know what native advertising is
  • 24 percent are hardly familiar with it
  • Another 24 percent are somewhat familiar
  • Only 3 percent are very knowledgeable

So, given the lack of awareness (and people mistaking it for other things, like sponsorship), we thought it would be a good idea to walk you through a classic example of native advertising — and why it works.

David Ogilvy’s “Guinness Guide to Oysters” is the quintessential advertorial — like the “Guinness Guide to Cheese” above. When people talk about advertorials they usually mention this ad.

It's a brilliant piece of native advertising. Visually appealing and information rich, this sponsored content walks you through numerous variations of oysters, where they hail from, and interesting facts about each. The New Orleans, we learn, was the preferred oyster of Jean Lafitte, and is the key to Oysters Rockefeller. The sweet and succulent Tangier oyster captivated Captain John Smith when introduced by Pocahontas, and the rest is history.

Next, you're hit with the ultimate pairing sensation, as you imagine washing down these delicacies with a cold beer. Not just any beer, of course - a Guinness Extra Stout.

Even if you don't care for oysters, this sounds amazing right now.

Before you head to the latest buzzy media site to experience this case study in native advertising excellence for yourself, hold up. The Guinness Guide to Oysters was a magazine ad created by David Ogilvy … in 1950.

Ah, the advertorial: a paid message where the advertisement blends naturally within the user experience of its environment. What's old is the next big thing online, and more powerful than ever - when done well. This is not to say that online native ads are nothing more than a digital advertorial. As Ryan Skinner of Forrester Research points out, a native advertisement delivered by an online media platform provides benefits that have potential that Ogilvy could only dream of.

It's that power, and the ways it differs from other forms of advertising, that guarantees plenty of people will waste valuable time and money with native advertising.

Here are a few keys to doing native advertising right in the context of 21st century media and marketing:


The Internet is a direct response medium, and a native ad is a direct response advertisement. What this means is that your message must be geared toward getting the prospect to take some form of action right then and there. This makes sense when you factor in that a native ad is useful content more than a pitch. The thing you're "selling" must be contextually congruent with that approach, and it's rarely the best move to shill your product or service … at least not yet.

The best thing to sell with the kind of content that makes an advertisement "native" is more information. Provide independent value in your native advertisement that inherently creates a desire to discover even more.


When you realize that a media approach works better than traditional marketing, you understand that you want to build your own audience, not just pay to access someone else's. This makes native ads work perfectly for you, since you're not pitching products or services, you're promising more valuable information that results in audience building.

This is not some touchy-feely concept. Case studies show that getting people to opt-in for an educational content approach results in higher conversion rates compared with going for the sale immediately. This makes sense - many viable prospects will hesitate from purchasing immediately, so keeping them engaged over time naturally leads to more sales.

The impulse might be to go for the kill, using a harpoon approach for immediate sales conversion. Instead of hurling an all-or-nothing sales message as forcefully as you can, why not snare prospects in a net of useful, relevant content that feeds your business continually?

Accelerate Your Content Marketing

There's a third A that epitomizes how native ads work within an overall strategy. Native advertising is the perfect accelerator for a content marketing strategy. In other words, you create owned media that is accelerated by paid media, with the primary goal of building your own audience in the process, but at a much faster rate.

You'll convert sales from your native ads while the campaign runs, but also into the future. Even better, you're engaging an audience that you can present with other relevant offers and even new products and services - without running just another ad.

Take your mind off of touting your brand for a second & think about an ad you can create that is useful, interesting & that people would share with others - that's what Ogilvy did here. He was, after all, one of the pioneers of information-rich, “soft sell” ads that didn’t insult the intelligence of the prospect.

Permacharts is the leading creator of subject-based content that will be helpful, insightful, and interesting for your target audience. Wrapping your brand around and within our proven and effective quick reference content saves you considerable time and money. The concept of advertorial-based marketing conceived and created by David Ogilvy back in 1950 is, in my opinion even more important and measurably more powerful when used properly in today’s information overload environment.

Speak to us at Permacharts today so we can begin exploring together the considerable options available to harness our content and expertise to advance your marketing goals to built strong transactional relationships with your audience.



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  • Peter McGregor
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