Sometimes it’s hard to draw a line between native advertising and content marketing when we talk about everything in the abstract. The main distinction is that native advertising is usually designed to sell something before the consumer gets the content he or she seeks (think of a sponsored email); while content marketing gives away that content, and over time, the consumer builds a relationship with the brand (think of a monthly online magazine). The disadvantage of native advertising is that some consumers perceive it as a sleazy gimmick and hate it even more than straightforward advertising. The downside of content marketing is that warm and fuzzy relationships don’t always turn into sales, especially if your competition is warmer and fuzzier.
Adapted from Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, Design, 4th edition, Tom Altstiel and Jean Grow