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Native vs Display Advertising: What’s the difference?

June 15, 2020
Mekealy Gecsek

There are many forms of digital advertising readily available at our fingertips. The ease of using programmatic platforms makes purchasing these advertising formats more stress-free than ever. However, as more businesses undergo the navigation of creating advertising campaigns on their own, one question that frequently arises is the difference between native and display advertising formats. In order to understand this difference, we first need to know what each format is.

Native advertising is a form of paid advertising often purchased on a news or publication website. Unlike other forms of digital advertising, native advertising is made to match the look and feel of a website, blending in with other internal articles and site features. Native ads can often be found within social media feeds or as recommended or sponsored content on a site. This form of advertising can be described as non-disruptive, meaning that it doesn’t interfere with the user’s experience of a website as it is subtle and often more contextually relevant to what they are viewing.

An example of a native advertisement can be seen here. PayPal has bought a native advertisement slot on this webpage, that sees their advertisement blend more seamlessly into the website layout when compared to the display advertisement to the right of the page by Dell.

Source: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog What Is Native Advertising? The 6 Universal Types & How to Use Them

Display advertising carries significant differences to the native advertising format. Unlike native advertising, display advertising’s objective is to stand out and catch viewer attention.

Display advertising can be defined as banner advertisements containing graphics or text that are placed in a selected fixed position of a site or social media platform.

It is sold in a range of sizes, with the most commonly purchased being MRec (300 x 250 px) and Leaderboard (728 x 90 px).

Native or display?

In 2019, native advertising accounted for more expenditure than display advertising, according to an IAB (Interactive Advertising Beurre) Australia report.

However, this doesn’t mean that display advertising is dead. Where native advertising is stronger in its ability to seamlessly blend in with a website, display ads are more useful in standing out.

Native advertisements are more likely to get clicks; however, display advertisements are more likely to get more impressions as they are often in premium positions on a webpage and therefore receive higher exposure.

There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to choosing an advertising format. Different brands will have different objectives and therefore different purposes for their online advertising. Both native and display advertising are valuable assets to consider when it comes to your marketing mix.

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