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Native vs Display Ads: Which Drives Better Engagement?

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Diving into the digital advertising world, you’re faced with a pivotal choice: native ads or display ads? While native advertising has become a staple in media plans, known for seamlessly integrating with user experience, display ads hold their ground as the familiar banners that have adorned websites for years.

Understanding the strengths of each ad format is crucial to maximizing your ad revenue. Whether you’re a seasoned media buyer or a publisher weighing your options, knowing when to leverage native versus display ads can make or break your marketing strategy. Let’s unravel the nuances that set these two apart and how they can work together to drive impactful results.

Native Ads

Definition of Native Ads

When you’re scrolling through your favorite websites, you might not even notice native ads. That’s because they’re designed to blend in. Native ads mirror the look, feel, and function of the content on the platform they’re on. Unlike traditional display ads, native ads don’t interrupt your browsing experience, which is precisely the point. They’re embedded so smoothly into web pages that they appear as natural content rather than a blatant advertisement.

Benefits of Native Ads

Let’s break down why marketers are gravitating towards native advertising. The overarching benefit is their stealthy integration, which leads to higher engagement rates compared to traditional ads. Studies show that native ads are looked at 53% more than display ads. Not only do they grab attention, but they also boast an 18% increase in purchase intent. Here’s a quick snapshot of the advantages on offer:

  • Higher engagement: they seamlessly integrate with the user experience.
  • Increased purchase intent: by aligning with content that the user is already interested in.
  • Combat ad fatigue: beat the blindness that often accompanies traditional display ads.
  • Consumer preference: people know they’re ads, but the relevancy and subtlety make them more acceptable.

Examples of Native Ads

Wondering what native ads look like in the wild? You’ve likely encountered them as sponsored articles on news sites, influencer endorsements on social media, or recommended content on a platform. These ads are masters of disguise, taking on the form of the content around them while gently steering you towards a product or service. Some of the most effective native ads are nestled within high-quality, editorial content that provides value, ensuring that even as an ad, they remain read-worthy and engaging.

Native Ads - Programmatic advertising

Display Ads

Definition of Display Ads

Display ads are essentially the billboards of the digital world. They come in various sizes and formats and are designed to be visually striking to catch your eye as you browse the web. Banner ads, the most common type of display advertising, are typically rectangular graphics placed at the top, bottom, or sides of websites. Their purpose is to stand out from the surrounding content and prompt you to take action, such as clicking through to a product page or learning more about a service.

Benefits of Display Ads

While the online world continually evolves, display ads remain a staple in digital marketing for several compelling reasons:

  • Brand Awareness: Display ads are highly visual and can increase brand exposure and recall significantly, helping to keep your business top-of-mind among potential customers.
  • Targeted Reach: You can target display ads based on a variety of factors, including demographics, interests, behaviors, and remarketing lists, ensuring that your message reaches the right audience.
  • Measurable Performance: With display ads, you have access to real-time data and analytics, allowing you to measure your ad campaign’s success and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Retargeting Potential: Display ads are effective for retargeting users who have previously visited your site, encouraging them to return and take action.

Examples of Display Ads

Think about the last time you browsed through your favorite news site or blog; chances are, you encountered several display ads without even realizing it. Here are a few examples:

  • Leaderboard Advertisements: These are the wide, horizontal banners you often see at the top of web pages.
  • Skyscrapers: Tall, narrow ads usually placed in the sidebar of a webpage.
  • Interstitial Ads: Full-page ads that appear before you’re directed to the intended webpage.
  • Large Rectangles: Boxed advertisements that are integrated within content areas and are large enough to catch your attention without disrupting your reading experience.

These graphic elements combine imagery, brand logos, and, sometimes, animations or videos to capture your interest and entice clicks. Each type of display ad has its own strategic use depending on your campaign goals and the website’s layout where they appear.

Display Ads Buffalo New York

Native Ads vs Display Ads

Deciding between native and display ads depends on your campaign goals and audience. If you’re aiming for a seamless user experience that fosters trust and engagement, native advertising might be your best bet. On the flip side, if increasing visibility and reaching a broad audience is your priority, display ads could be the way to go. Remember that both strategies can be effective when used correctly, and often the most successful campaigns find a balance between the two. It’s about understanding your audience and delivering content in a way that resonates with them. So weigh your options, consider your objectives, and choose the type of ad that aligns with your brand’s vision and marketing goals.

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OUR WORK

HoliMont Ski Club

Taking America's largest private ski club from the blue square to double black.

For almost 60 years HoliMont has been committed to creating an environment for generations of families and friends to adventure and build memories together. As America’s largest Private Ski Club, and WNY’s Premier Ski Destination, it was time for a change to reposition the club for the new season they were stepping into.

In partnership with their incredibly committed and passionate team, we’ve rolled up our sleeves to not only reintroduce HoliMont as an All-Season Club but to engage new members and remind existing members of how wonderful a place HoliMont is for family, friendship, and fun. 

Industry

Private Club Sports

Location

Ellicottville, NY

Services

Branding
Web Design & Development
Photo/Videography
Digital Marketing

Brand Identity

Refreshing their identity without reinventing it. 

HoliMont has a very recognizable mark with decades of history behind it – so our approach was focused on breathing new life into a timeless logo.

OLD LOGO

Logo Redesign

Simple & Structured.

Removing the dated styling (shadows, outlines) as well as the caps-case on the word mark helped to reveal a more timeless and versatile logo.

Color Studies & Typography

A high-end, rustic, and elegant take on WNY ski culture

Combining rich greens, rose gold, and a quality typographic system gives HoliMont the recognizable look it deserved.

Brand Texture

Topographic mapping of the 'Mont made for the perfect texture.

We converted a topographic map of Holimont in order to create a series of brand textures to add some intrigue and beauty to the visual identity.

Brand Texture

Topographic mapping of the 'Mont made for the perfect texture.

We converted a topographic map of HoliMont in order to create a series of brand textures to add some intrigue and beauty to the visual identity.

Brand Identity

Custom badges for all of the 'Mont's programs. 

We created unique symbols with illustrations to represent each program within HoliMont. You can see these around the ‘Mont any time you visit!

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WEBSITE

A premier destination: online and off.

We took the original site and did a complete overhaul, giving HoliMont the impact it deserves for current and prospective members.

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Mobile

A simple yet beautiful experience, even if you're browsing from the chairlift.

A partner dedicated to the outdoors needs a platform that’s easily accessible on the go. We created a seamless, simple design that makes getting the information you need a walk in the park.

Creative Assets

A simple yet beautiful experience, even if you're browsing from the chairlift. ​

A partner dedicated to the outdoors needs a platform that’s easily accessible on the go. We created a seamless, simple design that makes getting the information you need a walk in the park.

WM-PROJ-HMONT-MOBILE

Print Materials

A suite of promotional materials for the old souls who prefer something to hold on to. 

From brochures to flyers, signs to branded merch – we’ve done it all to roll out the newly refreshed HoliMont brand.

Photography & Video

Capturing the HoliMont experience.

Our photo and video shoots with the HoliMont staff and members are arguably the most fun any creative team can have while working. 

Photography & Video

Capturing the HoliMont experience.

Our photo and video shoot with the HoliMont staff and members are arguably the most fun any creative team can have while working.

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Play Video
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Iconography

Custom icons add an extra splash of fun and also function.

we created custom-branded iconography used throughout both web & print materials to illustrate features and activities offered by HoliMont.

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Social Media

All-season content for our favorite all-season club.

Keeping in touch with all of HoliMont’s members has never been so easy, or fun!

Social Media

All-season content for our favorite all-season club.

Keeping in touch with all of HoliMont’s members has never been so easy, or fun!

Digital Advertising

Driving awareness, engagement, and hundreds of new members with a multi-channel digital strategy.

Reintroducing HoliMont as an All-Season Club requires the right attention, at the right time. With a multi-channel digital strategy, we are able to present HoliMont as the perfect destination for family, friendship, and fun.

Digital Advertising

Driving awareness, engagement, and hundreds of new members with a multi-channel digital strategy.

Reintroducing HoliMont as an All-Season Club requires the right attention, at the right time. With a multi-channel digital strategy, we are able to present HoliMont as the perfect destination for family, friendship, and fun.

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12 Month KPI Snapshot

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LEADS GENERATED
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New Trial Members
0
New Members
$ 0 .1M+
in Lifetime Value
0 .4x
New Trial Members
0 .4x
New Members

12 Month KPI Snapshot

0
LEADS GENERATED
0
New Trial Members
0
New Members
$ 0 .1M+
in Lifetime Value
0 .4x
ROAS
0 .4x
ROI
wm-ed youmans

"I would not feel anywhere near as comfortable with the future of HoliMont as I do if not for Williams Media."

Ed Youmans

General Manager

HoliMont

LET’S WORK TOGETHER

Ready to take your company to the next level?

Get in touch to book a quick discovery session, where we’ll chat about your goals and see if we’re a good fit to help you get there.

OUR WORK

SingleSource Accounting

SingleSource Logo Main

Your one-stop shop for outsourced accounting services.

We partnered with SingleSource to create a forward-thinking, playful and engaging website to uniquely position the startup within the saturated landscape of financial services. SingleSource takes pride in making state-of-the-art accounting solutions accessible to businesses of all sizes using their unique people + technology approach. With powerfully simple visuals and effective user flow, this conversion-optimized site was built to foster their growth.

Industry

Accounting

Location

Buffalo, NY

Services

Web Design & Development

Digital Marketing

Custom Illustration 

SingleSource-fullMockup

Illustrations

Visualizing the brand.

It was important for us to convey the brand in the most accurate way, so our team also crafted a suite of 24 custom illustrations to demonstrate every aspect of the SingleSource experience.

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The Team

Custom headshot illustrations.

Business headshots are boring. We thought we would spice things up by hand-drawing everyone on the accounting team to create an inviting presence while maintaining brand consistency.