Combat Ad Fatigue! Tips for Fresh Facebook Ads

Advertising on Facebook can be well worth the effort, for many types of businesses. Nonetheless, on this platform in particular, your campaigns are prone to something called “Facebook ad fatigue,” which can ruin your marketing effectiveness.

You can’t eliminate this situation, but you can definitely take steps to minimize its negative effects.

What causes ad fatigue?

Facebook users typically aren’t shopping, they’re connecting. So they’re automatically less inclined to notice your ad, let alone respond to it, producing inherently lower (sometimes considerably lower) click-through-rates (CTRs). With less CTR “wiggle room,” Facebook ad fatigue can do more damage, faster.

Unlike search marketing, where the user pool that sees your ad is constantly changing, Facebook users tend to check-in repeatedly and frequently, so they’re very likely to see your ad more times, more often, becoming “blind” to it more quickly. This is perhaps exacerbated by the fact that social media users expect novelty and therefore become bored easily with the non-new.

But it gets worse, because Facebook itself becomes bored with your ad after just a few days, and tries to combat that fatigue by reducing impression volume for “old” ads. This can cause both impressions and CTRs to drop precipitously.

Some people are simply less disposed to click on ads, whether they’re a bit more savvy about online advertising or they’re making a deliberate effort to ignore advertising in any medium. If your target markets include younger people that have grown up with the internet or anyone who is high-tech-oriented (gamers, gadget-lovers, IT professionals), you’ll have to work even harder to capture their interest.

Regardless of the causes, the very real issue of Facebook ad fatigue means you cannot allow your ads to languish.

You have to be good, and you have to be vigilant.

Rotate your ads.

Fresh content is the backbone of all successful online marketing. When it comes to avoiding Facebook ad fatigue, this takes on a more compelling sense of urgency, because your ads are deemed “old” in as little as a few days. You need a group of alternative ads you can rotate, to maintain your number of impressions as well as likelihood of click-throughs.

Some experts recommend you rotate ads weekly or every two weeks, others suggest every three days. Your business is unique, so the key is to watch your CTR carefully and change your ad when it starts to decline.

Change it up.

Create multiple versions of the same ad, altering the headline, body copy or image. Try these tips:

  • Change background colors.
  • Add a border to give your ad visual definition as well as greater impact. Try different colors and widths.
  • Vary headline wording. Use your brand name, a call-to-action, a question.
  • Do the same for text, using language that speaks directly to your specific targets. And keep it short. Studies show around 80 characters is ideal, over 90 characters starts to put people off.
  • Images are critical. Pick those proven to be most effective on Facebook – things like company logos or product photos, happy people or – weirdly enough – fruits and vegetables. Add borders all around or on the sides, or try extra touches such as rounded or highlighted corners. Integrate your call-to-action.

Test variations to pinpoint the hottest ones.  

Sometimes slight variations make big differences. The more you test, the more you’ll know which specific components work best and also which ones work best together.

Conduct A/B tests – changing just one element at a time — so you don’t confuse the results. Test your image, your message and your demographics, too, because the first two will undoubtedly play differently with different target groups. Testing different ads will help avoid Facebook ad fatigue while you’re finding the perfect content combination. And you’ll learn which details you can continue to tweak for ongoing freshness without sacrificing effectiveness.

Test several ad variations, then pick the top couple of performers and create variations on each of them. For instance, retain the image but vary the text or headline, or keep the text but change the photo or headline . . . you get the idea.

Be methodical and well-organized about your testing. And recognize that testing and fine-tuning your ads will be an ongoing and essential part of your Facebook ad campaigns. You’ll need to budget accordingly.

Even though Facebook users are primarily looking for connections, advertising can offer significant opportunities to engage with them, expand your brand awareness and, of course, increase your loyal fan base. Creating enticing ads and taking steps to mitigate Facebook ad fatigue can help make the most of your online marketing.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Owenwbrown.

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