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How to help your customers avoid ad fatigue

By Margo Waldrop, Content Writer

May 11, 2023 | 9 min read

Your brand’s ads should enlighten, engage and supercharge your metrics. Once that changes, it’s time to take a look at how to combat ad fatigue to keep viewers coming back for more.

Avoid ad fatigue

How to help your customers avoid ad fatigue

Between TV, social media, phones and streaming, consumers are used to seeing ads, so much so that they’ve become adept at ‘tuning’ them out. Consumer loss of interest isn’t something brands can afford to put up with. It’s a massive waste of budget, time and energy. Keeping viewer interest is a challenge that brands must delicately strategize considering the number of connective platforms that compete for the attention of consumers.

What exactly is ad fatigue?

Remember when you were a kid and your mom asked you a million and one times to do the dishes or take out the trash (mainly because you weren’t paying attention the first million times she asked)? After a while, you stopped hearing her altogether. Your brain shut off a response to the repetitive cadence of the same statement. Ad fatigue occurs in the same way – users begin to stop paying attention to ads, whether from ad repetition or just the sheer number of ads coming their way.

Ad fatigue can negatively impact a brand’s ROI, as well as its sales performance. If ads aren’t hitting their target market, that leaves other marketing methods to shoulder the burden of brand and product awareness. It’s a conundrum that brands must face as advertising budgets continue to burst at the seams and saturate all available channels.

How do you detect ad fatigue?

Despite understanding that consumers must see your brand several times before they achieve conscious awareness of your brand (the magic 7x), ad frequency is a difficult subject. That’s because it’s a lot more than just the repetitive nature of an ad that contributes to ad fatigue. The frequency of a specific ad isn’t always the issue, it’s the other variable of your campaign that must be cohesive in nature. The ad must be engaging, targeted and on point with its messaging. The entire campaign itself must hit its targets before it can be considered a success or failure.

The best ways to find out if your ad is causing viewer fatigue are typical campaign barometers that need to be studied:

  • High CPC (cost-per-click)

  • Less engagement

  • Reduced number of impressions

  • Lower sales

  • Steady decline in CTR (click-through-rate)

  • Little to no movement through the sales funnel

  • Lower conversions

Considering that many of user ad concerns are the sheer number of ads, as well as the intrusiveness of ads, worry about online privacy and data usage, viruses, slow loading times and irrelevant ads, it’s important that brands address these concerns in their own marketing strategies.

Ad blockers are also a concern to marketers with a 2021 study revealing that 34.2% of internet users reported the use of adblockers, however, that number has dramatically risen within the last couple of years to around 43%. This invisible roadblock costs advertisers billions of dollars yearly. It’s a difficult wall to climb over which is why recognizing ad fatigue is so important for your campaigns.

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How do you combat ad fatigue?

Sometimes fixing ad fatigue involves simple fixes, while other times an entire campaign may need an overhaul. Start with these simple fixes to keep your ads running strong:

  • Rotate your ads. Scheduling ads to rotate based on viewer demographics and preferences can freshen up a repetitive ad campaign. This also allows you to conduct A/B testing to see which ad performs the best, giving you insight into content for future ads.

  • Reduce your ad frequency. Using tools like ad schedulers and frequency caps allows you to control the number of times your ad will be shown. If your ad is hitting the same people more than six times, it’s too much.

  • Refresh the look of your ad. Switching out backgrounds, text, photos, or other visuals is a great way to update the look of your ad without putting money into a new campaign.

  • Convert the ad into a new format. Social media provides many ways to display your ads, from carousels to stories. Switching from a single post to a different format will show your ad in a new light.

  • Add filters or graphics. Taking a plain ad and adding text graphics, filters, or other fun elements can make it more engaging for viewers.

  • Adjust your target audience. Narrowing down, expanding, or switching up your target audience can get a fresh pair of eyes on to your ads.

  • Focus on engaged users. Choosing past users who have visited your site or clicked on ads in the past will help focus your ad on people who will most likely engage again.

  • Exclude users who have said no or already purchased. If you’ve already been turned down by certain viewers or purchases have already been made, make sure to exclude them from repetitive ads or reduce the frequency for these viewers.

  • Switch out headlines. Often enough, just swapping out one headline for another can recharge your ads and keep them from falling into the ad fatigue pile.

  • Change your CTAs. Call-to-actions are the cherry on top of your ads, so changing them to lead viewers down a different path can spark interest and keep users traveling through your sales funnel.

While brands may never overcome all of ad fatigue, it’s important to start simple and go from there. Completely changing a campaign can be an expensive endeavor, so try the above tips to help reduce your ad fatigue and keep your marketing mojo going strong.

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