There's no doubt that we're living in the age of social media. In fact, studies show that at least seven in 10 Americans use social media today to connect, and 88 percent of businesses use social media to build relationships with customers and expand their brand.
Because social media is now so popular, it has also become a powerful platform for advertising. With a wide and varied reach, companies can expose their materials in both organic ways – using posts, content, and more – and via social media ads, which get shown in the feeds of interested users.
Despite the popularity and effectiveness of using social media platforms as a place to put ads, there is one potential drawback of social media advertising: ad fatigue. Like on other advertising channels, audiences who encounter a company's ads enough may get sick of that ad – causing potential customers to desert or become disinterested in a company, instead of convinced to buy.
What Is Social Media Ad Fatigue?
Audience ad fatigue on social media channels is a real thing – and it has a quantifiable, tangible impact on the results and metrics of an ad campaign. Studies have shown that the more a person sees your social ads, the less likely they are to click on them; ultimately, that means that your click-through rate goes down and your cost per click goes up (meaning each ad is packing less of a punch and you're getting less bang for your advertising buck). Here are some signs that your audience might be experiencing social ad fatigue:
• The frequency rate of your ad is very high (meaning people see it frequently when they log on)
• Your CPM goes up, meaning you're spending a lot to advertise but not getting as many impressions
• Your click-through rate gets lower and lower, despite not lowering your bid or budget levels (meaning, people are no longer interested in seeing what you have to promote)
Strategies to Combat Audience Ad Fatigue on Social Media
If you think that you're experiencing social media ad fatigue, here are six strategies that you can try. These techniques can help you can ensure that you're not boring or bothering the people you're hoping to sell to – and that you're creating ads that build interest in your organization.
1. Creative Refresh
Your ad creative is the content of your ads – what makes each unique. In order to combat ad fatigue, try actually refreshing the content of the ads so that people get to encounter new, relevant material, which they haven't seen before. For best advertising practices, a social platform like Facebook recommends refreshing your creative every one to two weeks.
2. More Ads During a Campaign
You can refresh your creative weekly, but help reduce the chance that potential customers experience fatigue in the first place by placing more ads during each social campaign – which means that each time a potential customer sees one of your ads, there's an increased chance he'll see something he hasn't before. By including more ads in each campaign, you provide more content from the get-go, naturally diversifying the ads that users will see and decreasing the chances that they'll get sick of one.
3. A/B Testing
A/B testing is the controlled process by which you can test an element of an ad to see if it performs better one way – or the other. You can split test social media ads for things like copy, layout, targeted audience, headline, creative, CTA and much more. Once you finish an A/B test for a social ad, you'll have a good idea about what appeals to your audience, and thus how you can maximize your ads' ROI. Then, you can use more of the ads you know will work – and less of the ones that users will get sick of.
4. Better Segmentation
If you want to make sure your ads work, you need to make sure you're appealing to the right people with them. To do that, make sure you're segmenting your audience specifically and accurately. Then, rotate your ads through each specific segment, so that each group sees a different, relevant ad. By rotating your ads and segmenting accurately, you can determine what content appeals to what group – and ensure that no group sees an ad long enough to get sick of it.
5. Use Dynamic Ads
Social media platform Facebook now allows companies to place Dynamic Ads – which means that you can target people who've looked up products on a competitor's site, relevant Facebook pages, and more. This means that, rather than retargeting people who've already seen your specific ads and products, you're targeting people who've expressed an interest in something you sell – but who haven't explicitly seen your content – which means there's a good chance they won't be sick of you yet.
6. Change Basic Design Element – Like Color
Colors are one of the most basic parts of a social media ad. However, they can have a huge psychological impact. So, by changing up something simple in your ad – like its color (rather than overhauling the entire creative), your word choice, or even the layout of your text and images, you can elicit a different response in a viewer. This will help ensure you re-attract the eyes of people who've started skipping over your ads, and that you can revamp ads in a way that doesn't require much time and energy.
Placing social media ads is a powerful way to attract people to your company – but they lose their effectiveness if people see them too often. However, there are some simple steps that you can take to combat ad fatigue in your social campaigns, so that people are happy to see what you're offering each time it appears in their feed, and so that the investment you put into your advertising ends up paying off.