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Archive of ‘Definitions’ category

The Differences between Native Advertising and Sponsored Listing

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Native advertising and sponsored listing are two terms that you may have come across recently, especially if your company is involved in any form of paid advertising.

But unless you have been paying close attention to how online advertising has evolved over the last couple of years, you may have missed the distinction between the two. (There’s no shame in that; even AOL and Yahoo are playing catch up.)

To get you up to speed on the differences between native advertising and sponsored listings, we offer you a concise explanation that you can just as easily adapt for the next stakeholders meeting or impromptu networking.

Native Advertising

The simplest way to explain native advertising is that it is paid media that takes on the feel and function of the site where it exists, almost always a publisher or platform like Facebook, The Wall Street Journal or Mashable, for example.

Now, because not all sites are the same, how one site integrates native ads may be completely different from another site.

Case in point: Facebook native ads are placed in the newsfeed, whereas Google’s native real estate is within search results – although ads are placed along the top and sidebar.

The reason: it flows more naturally with the rest of the content. Rather than disrupting the user experience, native advertising caters to it.

Native advertising is about how the content looks rather than what it does.

Sponsored Listing

Sponsored listings, on the other hand, are paid ads that are prominently featured on websites in order to drive traffic to specific landing pages.

In many cases, the website that hosts the sponsored listing will place it naturally within existing, non-paid, content so that it mimics the qualities of the site.

If you noticed, we said that the content takes on the characteristics of the website…remind you of anything?

That’s right; sponsored listings can also be a form of native advertising.

The sponsored listing is more about what the content does rather than how it looks, although it can be considered native if the ad is placed accordingly.

Have any questions?

We invite you to ask us any questions about paid advertising in the comments below, or just leave a comment as to your thoughts.

Acquiring New Business

The Differences Between a Lead and a Referral

I often hear the terms lead and referral used in the same context when, in fact, they are two very different things. Both are used to acquire new business. Yet one far outweighs the other in its effectiveness in getting closer to a sale. Entire marketing campaigns are built around finding new business using leads. Likewise, sales processes build in methods for finding new business using referrals. One method, leads, works off volume while the other, referrals, works off quality.

So what’s the difference between a lead and a referral and how should a company and, more importantly, a sales person take advantage of each? Additionally, why is it important to distinguish between the two? To begin with, a lead and a referral should be treated with different priorities since a referral is at least one step closer to the prospect than a lead. In other words, leads are strangers, referrals could be prospective customers. If a sales rep receives a lead, he shouldn’t treat it like a referral. And more importantly, if he receives a referral, he shouldn’t treat it like a lead because referrals have a higher priority than leads. Knowing the difference between the two is vital to knowing how each should be handled by a salesperson. (more…)

What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Sales?

Let’s think about this question for a moment. Without Marketing you would not have prospects or leads in which to follow up; yet without a good sales technique and strategy your close rate may be somewhat depressing.

Marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects. The sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. By strategically combining both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token, if the efforts are unbalanced it can detour your growth.

Your marketing will consist of the measures you use to reach and persuade your prospects that you are the right company for them. It’s the message that prepares the prospect for your sales team. It consists of advertising, public relations, brand marketing, viral marketing, social media, trade shows, direct mail, and more. (more…)

Advertising vs. Marketing: What’s the Difference?

It happens all too often. We’re standing around at the annual company holiday party, throwing around these technical terms about our organizations’ marketing efforts, and then someone asks, “What IS the difference between advertising and marketing?” Cue the awkward pause and stumbling babble.

Advertising and marketing are very closely related. Knowing the distinct difference between the two can save you from embarrassment at your holiday party and, more importantly, can propel your business on a path of success in market research. (more…)

Twitter Jargon: Get in the know

Twitter can be a confusing tool if you don’t know what you are doing. The number one reason why people create an account, post once or twice, and just let the account die is the lack of an instructor manual. Thankfully, the twitter community is great and always looking to help their fellow users out, and today you can find a wealth of knowledge that was not available to us early adopters.

That being said, I think one of the things that most people struggle with is the jargon associated with twitter. You hear users and non-users alike struggle when trying to converse. If I had a nickel for everytime I heard someone struggle with how to describe a post on twitter, I would be a rich man. We’ve all heard it…twit, tweet, twitting, twittering.

I understand the confusion. So much of twitter today has come organically from the users. The word ‘tweet’ was user created and driven, and it wasn’t till recently that the company itself embraced it. So to chime in and do my part in helping my fellow users, I created this list of common twitter terms and jargon. I hope it helps.

Hashtag: a way following a topic or term just as you would a person. It is allows you to follow everyone discussing that topic or term, just as you would a person, i.e. #ussoccer. Anyone can create their own hashtag at any time, just be sure to see if there is a previous use of the hashtag before associating yourself or your business with it.

Follow Friday: Typically seen as #FF, each Friday users recommend other users to follow. It was organically created by Twitter user to make the service more usable through knowledge of others. It is a way of recommending other users

Retweet: Seen as RT @username, this is passing a long someone else’s tweet. It is saying ‘Yes I agree’ or ‘I like this.’ If you can’t say it better than they did…retweet it. Remember that twitter is limited to 140 characters, so leave room on your tweets for someone else to retweet. A good rule is to use 120 characters to account for users with long usernames. If you retweet someone, it will appear to others as @yourusername RT @originaluser their message here.

Direct Message (DM): A message sent directly to another use that is not displayed in either of their timelines, and is there for not seen publicly. This is a private message between two users. One thing to remember is that default settings in twitter cause people to get an email notification when someone DMs them. For most new, and less technical users they are not setup to get notification of a Mention. They would have to login and check for mentions to see your message. I know several people that I specifically DM because I know it will trigger a faster response. A Mention to these same people could go unnoticed for quite some time.

Mention…a.k.a. Reply: A message sent to another user (or users…it could include many) that is included in the timelines of all the included users. This will be seen publicly, so consider the message and content and decide whether a DM or Reply is more appropriate.

Avatar: This is, for the lack of a better term, your profile picture. It can be changed at any point, depending on the status of the twitter service (which currently is not allowing you to change your avatar, but I imagine this will be resolved shortly). Often times you will see causes and fundraisers you Twibbons or images added to your avatar to raise awareness of their cause.

URL Shortener: The service allows you to take a link and replace the URL with a much shorter number of characters. Instead of your link being “” the new URL generated by would be something like One of the most popular URL shorteners. You can use tracking parameters within your original URL, as well as the tracking available from within There is also the option to get a vanity URL if it has not already been used, i.e.

Tweetdeck: Probably the most popular desktop application that allows you to manage your twitter account. It also allows you to manage your Facebook account as well from within the same application.

Hootsuite: A web-based application that allows you to manage your social media accounts. You can manage twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. There is support for multiple accounts for the same network, i.e. your personal and business twitter accounts, as well as team functionality and some analytics.

Tweet: A post on twitter. It is the information you are sending out to your followers in a 140-character format. It can include links, as well as photos and videos that will appear in the form of a link that takes the person to a service where that photo or video is hosted.

OH: Stands for ‘Overheard.’ In most cases this is used when commenting or posting remarks heard at conferences or while traveling.

BTW: ‘By the Way.’ This term originated in the texting world, but has found its way into social media and other shorthand.

FTW: Most frequently means ‘For the Win,’ but several less PC and work appropriate meaning are sometimes seen, so look at the connotation before you RT.

IRL: Stands for ‘In Real Life.’ Again, this is another shorthand that found its way from Instant Messaging and other technology-bases shorthand. Often times you see IRL when posting about how great it was to finally meet someone with whom you already have an online relationship.

FTF or F2F: Means ‘Face to Face.’ Most times this can be substituted with the more common IRL.

b/c: Shorthand for ‘Because.’ Again, this is another term that found its way from texting, IM and other forms of online communication.