We’ve all been there: You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see an ad for a product you’re interested in. You notice the ad creative, take a second to read the offer, and continue scrolling. Hours later, the same ad pops up. But this time, your eyes glaze over and you don’t take the time to read (much less click on) what’s now a familiar, repetitive ad.
This is an example of ad fatigue, boring for consumers and damaging to companies’ engagement rates and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
Read on for ways to recognize and prevent Facebook ad fatigue.
What is ad fatigue?
Ad fatigue is a reduction in ad engagement resulting from the same ad or set of ads being shown to the same set of individuals.
Ad fatigue is most often identified by a reduction in engagement rate, often tied to an increase in cost per click (CPC) or CPM (cost per every 1,000 ad impressions). Another indicator of pending ad fatigue is audience saturation. In Facebook Ad Manager, this refers to the metrics dealing with the number of people who have seen your ad compared to the number of people eligible to see your ad.
Facebook ad engagement rate and audience saturation can be found by inspecting an ad set within the platform:
Identifying and working to minimize ad fatigue will improve engagement rates and increase ROAS. As most bidding platforms charge less per engagement for higher-engaging ads, you save money by preventing the loss of engagement that comes with ad fatigue.
How can you prevent ad fatigue?
Every company and campaign is different, and there is no one best practice to prevent Facebook ad fatigue. Depending on your campaign goals, we recommend a combination of creative and strategic solutions to keep your ads fresh and appealing to targeted audiences.
1. Regularly create new ads and rotate ad creative.
Creating new ads gives you the best chance of improving your engagement rate. New designs, copy, and offers are eye-catching as users scroll through their Facebook feeds.
For some clients, creating new ads can be time consuming and expensive. Revamping existing ads by changing colors and images can go a long way in boosting engagement. You can delay the onset of ad fatigue by providing multiple versions of creative initially, using varying text options within the ads, or leveraging dynamic creative to generate optimized combinations of videos, images, titles, etc. This allows Facebook to change up the creative shown to users automatically, and can improve workflows.
How often to rotate ad creative is dependent on a combination of campaign objectives, audience size, and budget. In our experience, ad fatigue typically starts sometime between two and eight weeks, unless your campaign is targeting a very large audience.
2. Optimize ad frequency and placement.
Facebook does not give advertisers frequency controls for all ad objectives in auction buying. For ad objectives that are available, reducing frequency can slow the process of ad fatigue, though this is frequently not the objective of branding campaigns.
Make your ad available to all placements and networks (e.g. Facebook News Feed or Facebook Marketplace) that have proven successful for you. Being available to more placements means your ad will be shown to more users and in a wider variety of formats, increasing the time to ad fatigue.
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3. Adjust your budgets.
Budgets should be reflective of your targeted audience size and the goal of the campaign. Evergreen campaigns with a small audience size should be funded with conservative budgets to reduce the time between ad creative changes.
4. Expand or reduce your audience.
Expanding your audience size allows your ads to be shown to new users. Reducing your audience size to focus campaigns on the highest performing audiences allows you to bid more per engagement, which will make your ads eligible in more placements and keep your ads running longer.
Ad fatigue is detrimental to engagement as users ignore repetitive ads. With Facebook Ad Manager, you can recognize low engagement and saturation rates to proactively develop strategies that combat ad fatigue. Using creative variations, optimizing ad frequency and placement, adjusting budgets, and targeting the right audiences will help you meet your campaign goals and drive effective ad reach.
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