Display advertising – time to find a new solution?

So, about display advertising…

What is it? Online ads in the form of images, banners, video or audio. Where is it? Next to unrelated content on websites, apps, or social media. Do customers like it? No!

This is a fact. And this, among other factors, has made display ads ever less viable for the online world of today. Yet those who declare this form of advertising ‘dead’ are wrong. It is, surprisingly, still very much alive – making up over 50% of digital spending (over £16 billion) in 2017. Clearly, then, many of us are still plugging away at this outdated form of marketing.

For now. As we reach a crossroads in online advertising, those with an eye on the future – and indeed the present – are moving ahead of the game and abandoning display ads. Why?


Crucially, the visibility of display ads has plummeted. They are simply not seen anymore. During the noughties, when everyone was still relatively new to this ‘Internet’ thing, display ads were a novelty which bored eyes would frequently stray to. But over time we have developed “banner blindness”. Our eyes completely pass over these adverts, and sometimes don’t see them at all.

LinkedIn states that 92% of banner ads go unnoticed or ignored, while research by Google DoubleClick puts current click-through rates at 0.05%; comfortably the lowest they have ever been.

Their visibility is further harmed by Ad-blocker, which means many display ads never even see the light of day. 615 million devices currently use some form of ad-blocking software, an increase of 30% on two years ago.

Negative emotions

But when display ads do manage to be both visible and noticeable, they are obstructive. Users visit a web page in order to do something; be it to shop, watch a video, or maybe find a certain piece of information. Having large ads in the way obstructs and slows this process, ultimately causing irritation.

This is just one of the negative emotions consumers relate to display ads. Research carried out in 2016 states that 60% of all banner clicks on a mobile are accidental.  Naturally, this causes annoyance, frustration and anger. And when affected users come across your brand again, those same sentiments are brought to the surface. This ultimately means that display advertising can actually worsen a situation and damage a company.


Of all these emotions, the worst that can be attributed to your advertising is mistrust – something display ads breed in abundance. When asked why they don’t click on banner ads, 54% of users say it was because they didn’t trust them.

This comes as little surprise. The businesses featured in these ads have come from nowhere, with nothing to validate their products or services. Consumer trust is further harmed by the frequent stories of display advertising’s shady practices and its well-known use of bots to further profit.

Native advertising

So, these are display advertising’s primary issues. But how are some companies escaping them and moving into the future of marketing? One way is through native advertising.

These are ads that mimic standard content, and so are camouflaged. They match the look, feel and function of the platform upon which they appear – think of ‘sponsored posts’ on your Facebook newsfeed, for example. Eye tracking studies have revealed that 25% more users noticed native ads compared to display ads, while Dedicated Media states that native ads are viewed 53% more than display ads.

This is because they blend in, so are less affected by ‘banner blindness’. They also don’t interrupt the user experience, and so the emotional response to the ad will be better.

The best, and most ‘native’, of these is influencer-based marketing. This almost doesn’t act as an advert at all, and users can enjoy them just as much as the surrounding posts. This form of advertising often appears through brand placement on influential Instagram accounts and Youtube channels, for example. The ‘influencer tactic’ is considered effective by 94% of marketers, while it also delivers 11x higher return-on-investment (ROI) than traditional forms of digital marketing.

But how can a company employ this hugely effective method?

Swayy’s solution

For those in the hospitality sector looking to move towards influencer-based marketing, Swayy’s tool is essential. It is the leading influencer booking, campaign and relationship tool in the industry, winning the 2018 Disrupt Awards at TTE (Europe’s largest travel tech event).

Influencer activation is becoming increasingly crucial for leisure business and hotel PR. Swayy provides an easy way for companies and influencers to find each other, connect, and negotiate in a simple closed-loop system. Swayy not only gives you access to the world of influencer-based marketing, but saves huge amounts of time and hassle, with no complications.

Instagram Influencer accounts are scanned using Swayy’s software, detecting fake followers and separating genuine, valuable influencers from the crowd. Influencer profiling is completed by pre-vetting influencers for quality control and displaying them, along with prospective leisure businesses and hotels, in Swayy’s unique and easily-navigable database.

Swayy has a focus on Instagram, which is the fastest growing media platform in history, and now boasts over 1 billion monthly users. Influencers on this platform have earned their popularity, meaning that marketing through them is naturally highly productive. In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust earned media above all other forms of advertising.

No longer effective, display advertising’s heyday has come and gone. Influencer-based marketing is the future of online advertisement, aiming at the future of consumption – millennials. This generation is set to account for $1.4 trillion of global spending by 2020. The time to tap into this and move ahead of the game is now.

If you would like to be matched with a number of pre-vetted influencers sign up to Swayy here. Or, if you would like to learn a bit more about what we do here at Swayy click here.