In this day and age when digitization is the norm, online advertisements have been rightfully replacing traditional advertising formats such as billboards, newspaper ads, TV and radio ads etc. Online advertisements enable publishers and brand advertisers to reach the most receptive audience in a more time-efficient and cost-effective way by the help different targeting and optimization tools. Now, digital advertising is an evolving and dynamic process that needs constant modifications and upgrades. What worked well yesterday may fail to garner attention today. This is why newer ad types and ad formats keep popping up to keep the users engaged. Banner ads and native ads are two of the most popular ad formats; knowing the difference between the two and implementing the respective ads is the key to website monetization.
Banner ads have been there almost since the inception of online ads and have stood the test of time. It is a long, rectangular image that can be placed just about anywhere on a Web page. Most banner ads are 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high (468×60). They may contain text, images or animation.
Native advertising is a relatively new advertising technology that has been growing by leaps and bounds. Some consider it the fastest growing advertising technology. It is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. In many cases, it manifests as either an article or video, produced by an advertiser with the specific intent to promote a product, while matching the form and style which would otherwise be seen in the work of the platform’s editorial staff.
In recent times, there’s a hue and cry when it comes to choosing between banner ads and native ads. Many people consider that native ads are the future and banner ads are dead, while there are many who think that banner ads can never go out of vogue. In this article, we will try to figure out the advertising technology that best suits your requirements as a publisher.
It is useful to keep in mind that no advertising technology will fulfil all your needs. Even though an ad format may deliver more hits than misses, every ad format has a certain list of pros and cons. Let us compare native ads and banner ads with respect to a few significant factors.
Banner ads silently sit on any edge of the users’ screens without interfering with the content. That is either on the top, bottom, down right or left sidebar of a site or app.
Ideal native ads do not look and feel like ads. They are typically in-depth sponsored content pieces that seamlessly incorporate the brand being marketed. A native ad is native i.e familiar to form, function and voice of the product. Research has shown that native ads ensure 60% more traffic than other ad formats.
CPM Rates- Native Ads vs Banner Ads
eCPM (USA): $1.2 on iPhone/$0.57 on Android
Fill Rate: 20-30%
CPM Rates: $0.7-$3 on an average (USA)
CTR(per 100K impressions): 0.38%
UX (User Experience)
User experience is the chief factor that drives the success or failure of an ad campaign. As an advertiser, all one wants to create is a positive impression on the users by engaging them with the ad in a way that will ensure clicks.
Banner ads are prone to a phenomenon called Banner Blindness in which users, unconsciously, ignore the banner ads. In such cases, banner ads fail to gain any attention with their passive existence. The users simply dismiss them. Also due to the size of the ads, users accidentally tend to click on it instead of closing.
Native ads have managed to somewhat tread the fine line between profitability and user experience. There are many great examples of adding value to a product with in-depth content. There are instances where native ads have had as much standalone value as an editorial piece.(Check out our list 10 Best Native Ads here.) Users generally take to good native ads fast and share them within their respective networks, irrespective of the product being advertised. Native ads ensure an optimized user experience as they do not blatantly spell out the product, but slowly build up to a subtle push towards the product.
Here’s a quick list of Pros & Cons of Banner Ads:
Time-efficient: The banner ads save time for both publishers and advertisers. It just needs to insert a line code and the advertiser’s website or the required link. A publisher can place a banner ad within a matter of seconds without being a technical wizard.
Ad Delivery: Banner ads historically have a high delivery percentage.
Ad Server: The banner ad format is universally accepted by all ad server solutions, which means you will not struggle setting up the ad as you may with more complex formats like Flash, Rich-Media, or Video. Pricing a banner ad is also simple because all ad companies frequently handle this format and have a set price already defined.
Cost-effective: Banner ads are cost-effective.
Less Noticeable: Banner ads are very small in size and almost all of them have a typical look that is not enough to attract users.
Less Engaging: Banner is the most common ad format available and users have gotten used to it to an extent where they simply ignore and dismiss it without giving it much thought.
Here’s a quick list of Pros & Cons of Interstitial Ads:
Cost-efficient: Native advertisements are much more targeted than most other ad formats and are thus very cost-efficient.
High Perception: Users are found to typically ignore the more traditional forms of online advertisements. Since native advertising better focuses consumers’ attention, these ads have a higher perception.
Less Intrusive: As native ads beautifully blend with the content on a website, they don’t hamper user experience as much as most other ad formats.
High CTR: Native ads can engage users very effectively by blending brand storytelling with content. Higher engagement ensures a high number of clicks.
Penalization: Search engines and advertisers, such as Google, often label web pages with native advertising as spam or ads, and then lower the rankings of the websites that contain native ads.
Confusion: Users often don’t realise if going through some sponsored content or some real piece of news or data. When they realise the truth, they tend to create a negative perception about the product being marketed. Publishers need to keep their respective niches and targeted audience in mind before implementing native ads.
There is no all-inclusive ideal advertising technology or ad format. Most ad experts know this and beginners are in the process of realising this. The ad format that will suit a particular website or blog depends upon a lot of factors such as niche, targeted audience, publisher requirements etc. Some publishers consider a high CTR to be more important than the amount of revenue generated. There are other publishers who are more focused on promoting a particular brand even at the cost of a high bounce rate. So, it is better if publishers tried out a combination of the different ad formats and then zeroed in on one depending upon valid results.