Native advertising and display advertising are both important components of an integrated marketing strategy. However, these two terms are often used interchangeably, though they do not describe the same thing. Both display and native ads are paid ad placements, but the key difference is in each type of placement. Display ads are superimposed on the content and native ads embed themselves within it.

What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising blends promotional content with the rest of the content—the native content—of a web page. Native ads match the look and feel of the website that they are placed on, and they are less intrusive than other forms of digital advertising. The Interactive Advertising Bureau defines native ads as “a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”

What Do Native Advertisements Look Like?

Native ads are built into a site’s design and part of the site’s content. Examples of native advertising on websites and social media platforms include “sponsored” or “paid” content posts, pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing campaigns, “advertorial” articles in newspapers and magazines, and infomercials on TV. Native ads have an editorial look and feel and are less obtrusive and hard-selling than other forms of digital advertisements.

The Benefits of Native Advertising

Native ads are ideal for driving traffic to your website and have a higher click-through rating (CTR) than display ads. According to a recent study, native ads are viewed 52% more than display ads, and they contribute to greater brand awareness. Consumers also interact with native advertisements 20% to 60% more than they do with standard display advertisements.

What is Display Advertising?
Simply put, display advertising is a visual-based form of online advertising that communicates a commercial message and is superimposed on the users’ experience. Display ads help promote businesses or brands whenever people are browsing online, watching YouTube videos, checking their email, or using mobile devices and apps.

What Do Display Advertisements Look Like?

Unlike text-based advertising, display ads are found on websites, apps, and social media platforms—not in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The very first display ads were called “banner ads,” and they were hyperlinked, image-based ads shaped as a strip, and usually located at the top of a web page. Eventually, banner ads evolved into display ads, which are now a range of shapes and sizes, and include interactive elements such as videos, pop-ups, and more.

The Benefits of Display Advertising

Display ads can boost brand awareness and intent to purchase. Display advertising is especially helpful in familiarizing your audience with your brand and creating initial interest. In fact, a recent study found that brand awareness increased by 21% in campaigns that utilized digital display ads. Display ads also allow for remarketing opportunities. Remarketing allows your business to position targeted display ads in front of a defined audience that has previously visited your website as they browse elsewhere on the internet. Once a potential customer knows about your product or service, a well-placed display ad can remind them to make a purchase.

Display or Native Ads—or Both?

Programmic advertising—the automated buying and selling of online advertising space—has made placing native advertisements easier and more popular than ever before. And because so many consumers use pop-up blockers (or similar software), native advertising seems like a good work-around option to market to these consumers. However, because of the reasons we just outlined, display ads are still relevant and especially important for building brand awareness and remarketing opportunities. Smart marketers will use their budgets to effectively create a combined content distribution strategy that will leverage the strengths of both native and display advertising.

Planning and executing a digital advertising campaign can be overwhelming and time consuming. Let the marketing experts at Millennium Agency create a step-by-step plan specific to your business. Give us a call to discuss your marketing goals today.

About Millennium Agency

Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!

Linda Fanaras is the President and Founder of Millennium Agency ( located in Manchester, NH, and Boston. She can be reached at 877-873-7445 or