by Natalie Crouch
Jan 28, 2022
You’ve seen a recent dip in the performance of your campaigns, and you’re starting to look at what optimisations you can make. Initially, you might look at areas such as your age or location targeting, the audience structure, or the allocated budget. However, it could be as simple as ad fatigue.
What is ad fatigue?
Ad fatigue is the name given to your ads when they become exhausted – it might be that your target audience has seen the ad too much, the interest they are showing in the ad decreases or the relevancy of the ad drops.
When this happens it causes your campaigns to become less effective, prevents users from moving onto your website, signing up to your email list or making a purchase, ultimately having a negative effect on your businesss sales funnel.
How can I spot ad fatigue?
The main metric you’ll want to keep an eye on is your frequency metric. This can be found in your ads manager performance data. If your frequency hits 3, there is a high chance your ad is suffering from overexposure.
However, there are 3 other triggers to look out for:
1. Low CTRs:
Second to the frequency rate, your CTR is the most important metric you have in helping you identify potential ad fatigue. When ad fatigue begins to occur, the audience viewing your ad has become dis-engaged and will no longer react or engage to your ad. When this happens, you will see it reflected in your CTR.
Here’s an example:
In January you ran a campaign where the ad features a promotional code of ‘SOCIAL10’ for 10% off in a single image ad format. During the month you record the CTR at 15%, which is great! However, a few weeks down the line, you see the CTR continue to decrease over a matter of days. Here’s where you can identify ad fatigue.
The likelihood is that those interested in your offer have made us of it and those not interested have decided to ignore the ad. Continuing to deliver the same message to this audience would result in a further decline of your CTR and can be damaging for your brand.
2. Decrease In Engagement:
If you’ve noticed a dip in the engagement on your ad it implies that the audience your ad is being displayed to is not showing an interest in the ad anymore. When this happens it can lead to a little thing called ‘ad blindness’… sounds scary right?
This basically means your audience has become so used to seeing your ad, that even if they started off interested in the product but have been served the ad so much, they become blind to your efforts to re-engage them.
3. Lower No. of Impressions:
Like most things social media, relevancy is key and the algorithms for paid social campaigns are no different. The less relevant your ad + a dip in engagement, means your ads will not be favoured. Less visibility = less impressions, so if you see your impressions start to decrease it might be time to switch things up.
How to know it is ad fatigue?
The best indicator that your ads are suffering ad fatigue and not something more sinister is the previous performance of the ad. If you’ve previously had success with the ad but have recently seen a consistent decline in results plus the above metrics, then you’ll know it’s time to make some changes.
It’s important to remember that a knee-jerk reaction is not recommended – if you see your CTR take a quick dip or your frequency hit 3, give yourself time to understand what’s happening and read the data before making a decision.
How to cure ad fatigue?
So you’re probably keen to know the secrets to cure ad fatigue right? 🤓
Here are my top 10 tips to help say bye to ad fatigue:
1) Change the colours on your ad
Simple but effective, swapping the colours of your ad (in keeping with the brand) might just help your ad to stand-out more in crowded marketing space.
2) Tweak the copy
You don’t always have to go right back to the drawing board, it can sometimes be as simple as re-assessing your primary copy, headline or description.
3) Swap out your CTA (call-to-action)
We’re not just talking about the main CTA button right now. This could be your CTA within your primary text, headline or description. Trial CTA’s that have more urgency or motivate people to take action.
That said, reviewing and possibly swapping out your main CTA might also be the answer, so make use of the variety of CTA’s available to your in ads manager.
4) Update your images
A quick fix and easy-peasy to implement, swap out the images within your ad format to freshen up the look and feel of your ad. You might also want to consider the type of images you are seeing to deliver positive results across your other campaigns – if you notice that lifestyle images have a stronger return, try that!
5) Switch your carousel order
Once again, another quick win! Just swapping round the order of your carousel can have the desired effect. Look to implement a strong lead image and finish off your carousels with an inspiring CTA.
6) Exclude audiences that have previously engaged with your ad
A bit of a no-brainer right? You might be wasting precious budget on people who have already engaged with your ad and are now further into your sales funnel. There are two main reasons you’ll want to exclude this audience; 1) you really don’t want to annoy them (not cool), 2) it’s taking budget away from users who haven’t previously engaged with your ad and restricting the potential reach.
7) Create new audiences
It might be time to take a look at the audience you are targeting. Is it too narrow? Do you have another audience in mind that might be more responsive? Do you need to refresh the data you have on your target market to ensure you are not missing the mark?
Never rely solely on what has previously worked or what previous data shows – do some fresh research and where necessary look to test new audiences.
8) Check your audience overlap
Audience overlap is when the same people are targeted in different audience sets. For example, you might be targeting social media followers in one ad set and website visitors in another – if 30% of those social media followers have recently visited your website, you’ll be targeting them with ads twice – which would be pretty annoying right. Plus you are wasting budget advertising to the same person twice!
9) Utilise dynamic ads
This tip is for the e-commerce folks – if you have a Facebook Shop setup + an up to date Facebook catalogue (if not get one…) and can run dynamic ads, then go for it! These ads will deliver a more targeted ad to your users, helping to provide a more personalised experience.
10) Change the format
Switching out your ad format may be the way to go but before you make the change have a look at a few things first:
What’s your data telling you? Does your audience react best to video, collection or single image? If you know, then give it a go! If you’re not sure, test it!
What’s working within your industry? We know video is strong across social media right now but is there another format that also delivers results? Check out your competitors to see what they are doing.
TOP TIP: You can put rules in place to halt ads in their tracks if their frequency gets too high. As time goes on you’ll start to create a frequency benchmark (a frequency number that you have continually seen your ads hit when they become fatigued).
You can use this to put a rule in place for your ads so that when they hit your benchmark the ads are instantly paused. This prevents you from wasting money, gives you time to understand why the ad has become fatigued and make changes.
REMEMBER: If you’re making significant changes to your audience or ad then make sure to turn off your current one and create a new one (duplicate or brand new – the choice is yours), this stops your ad from being pushed back into the learning phase.
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