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Non-invasive Marketing to Engineers – Native Advertising and Sponsored Content

Marketers can leverage publications to improve engagement

Both native advertising and sponsored content for engineers are powerful tools that marketers can use to increase engagement with their awareness campaigns.  

Native Advertising is Display Advertising that gets way higher CTR

You may have heard people use the terms native advertising, sponsored content, paid content and even contracted editorial interchangeably. While there’s still some confusion over terminology, some useful definitions are developing. Most marketers now agree that “Native advertising” refers to display advertising. 

In this context, Native Advertising is intended to overcome “banner blindness” by placing ads that are either in an unusual place, format or blended seamlessly within an editorial stream. Here’s an example from Dell and the NY Times.


Banner blindness occurs when display ads are in in the usual spots and of the usual size, which leads viewers to ignore these sections of a web page entirely. Given this audience behavior, any time you can work with a publisher to change the size or location of your ad, it will get more engagement.  Think of page take-overs, wallpaper, expandable box ads, or ads in unusual locations within the editorial. 

When we’ve run native advertising for engineers that is tightly related to the story content we have found CTRs that are 30%-300% higher than standard ad performance.

Sponsored Content tells the engineering stories you want told

Sponsored content in written or video formats can be an effective tool to bridge the gap between content marketing and advertising. So long as you allow your publisher some creative flexibility, you can lend your brand credibility by telling the story on a 3rd party site. 

The editorial will inevitably have some negative comments to balance out the marketing speak.  This is something that marketers just can’t bring themselves to include.  However, some negative commentary is helpful to reduce the audience’s skepticism about the rest of the article.  It helps explain why publishers have their own audiences that you won’t reach with content marketing alone. 

You can increase brand awareness and conversion by using creative calls to action (just in link form) or native display ads within the body of sponsored content.

We’ve seen a lot of positive response in our client work with sponsored editorial and also in native advertising, but only when it’s complimentary to the editorial content. The goal is to have well-placed, non-invasive advertising that targets your prospects at the right time.

Do you have any insights to share about native content or sponsored content? I’d love to hear from engineering marketers about what’s working for you. While emailed replies are always welcome, if you want to share your comments with other marketers please respond in the comments section or in the LinkedIn group.

Thanks for reading,



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