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Ad Fatigue: Has your digital marketing lost its lustre?

The performance of your paid ads is bound to fluctuate. They may perform well during the first few weeks or months, only to experience a sharp decline in performance thereafter. If your digital marketing has lost its lustre, ad fatigue could be to blame. It’s a common problem that can affect most types of paid ads. Regardless of which online advertising networks you use, you should be conscious of ad fatigue.

 

Overview of Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue is a phenomenon that involves a target audience seeing the same digital marketing an excessive number of times. When a user is exposed to the same paid ad over and over, he or she may stop interacting with it. The user may, in fact, subconsciously ignore it. If your digital marketing suffers from ad fatigue, few users will interact with them, which can lead to a significant decrease in performance.

Ad fatigue is essentially the modern-day version of banner blindness. In the past, most paid ads consisted of image banners. While vertical and horizontal image banners are still offered by many online advertising networks, there are now other formats like text and video in which you can create paid ads. Ad fatigue encompasses all formats, whereas banner blindness is exclusive to image banners.

 

The Impact of Ad Fatigue

How can ad fatigue affect your digital marketing? With ad fatigue, you can expect low click-through rates (CTRs). Users will focus their attention on other paid ads, as well as organic listings while ignoring your paid ads. Ad fatigue will cause fewer users to click your paid ads, resulting in lower CTRs.

The average consumer is exposed to over 6,000 ads per day. The internet, of course, is filled with paid ads. If you show the same paid to the same audience, those users may stop clicking it. You need to make your digital marketing stands out from the countless other ads your audience sees.

With low CTRs, your paid ads won’t drive as many conversions. Ad fatigue can harm your paid ads’ CTRs, which in turn harms their conversions. Conversions can only happen after a click. Users must click a paid ad before they can complete the conversion task on the landing page. Ad fatigue is a common cause of low conversions because it involves fewer users clicking your paid ads.

Ad fatigue can even result in higher advertising costs. While most online advertising networks use a bidding system in which you set a maximum bid for clicks or impressions, they may use other factors to determine how much you pay. Many networks, for instance, use quality scores. The higher your quality scores, the less you’ll pay.

Quality scores are influenced by engagement metrics like CTRs. If your digital marketing suffers from ad fatigue, they’ll have low CTRs that promote low-quality scores. Regardless, ad fatigue can increase your advertising costs through quality scores.

 

How to Prevent Ad Fatigue

There are several things you can do to prevent ad fatigue. Creating different versions of your paid ads will protect them from ad fatigue. Text ads are particularly easy to customise. You can create different versions of a text ad by changing the words in it. For each text ad, create at least a half-dozen variants to prevent ad fatigue. You can change the headlines or body descriptions of these variants.

For image ads, changing the colours can protect them from ad fatigue. After running an image ad for a while, replace it with a new image ad featuring the same message but with different colours. If it has a red background, maybe you can change it to a green background. Alternatively, you can change the colour of the embedded text. Users will perceive the image ad as being new if it features new colours.

Another way to prevent ad fatigue is to enable frequency capping. Some online advertising networks offer frequency capping as a feature for certain sorts of campaigns. . You can use it when running a Display campaign in Google Ads, for example. Frequency capping allows you to specify the maximum number of times each user will see your paid ads.

With a frequency cap of once per month, users will only see your paid ads a single time during any given month. You can set a monthly, weekly or daily frequency cap. Users won’t see your paid ads more frequently during this period than that of your frequency cap.

Along with frequency capping, some online advertising networks offer ad rotation. Ad rotation is a feature that, as the name suggests, is designed to rotate your ads. If you have multiple paid ads, you can use this feature to ensure that they are evenly rotated. Choosing the “rotate indefinitely” option in Google Ads will evenly rotate them so that no single paid is served more than the rest.

 

Don’t limit your advertising strategy to any single network.

Exploring different online advertising networks can counter the effects of ad fatigue. If you currently use Google Ads, try expanding your advertising strategy into social media. Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads have become popular online advertising networks. You can use them to reach new users while simultaneously protecting your digital marketing from ad fatigue.

Targeting different audiences can prevent ad fatigue. You can target one audience with a set of paid ads, after which you can switch to a different target audience. Keep in mind that targeting different audiences may require further optimisation. You may need to optimise your paid ads, for example, so that they resonate with a new audience. Nonetheless, you can target different audiences to prevent ad fatigue.

Ad fatigue isn’t going away anytime soon. The concept of users growing immune to the effects of paid ads has been around since the internet’s early days; it was just known as banner blindness. You can prevent ad fatigue, however, by creating different versions of your paid ads, changing the colours, enabling frequency capping, using ad rotation, exploring different networks and targeting different audiences.

If you’d like to know how we can improve your performance, you can request a free digital marketing audit.

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Posted by Gareth Allen

Over the past 20 years, I have worked on magazine/newspaper design & pre-press production, advertising, POS, DM, brand creation and guardian. I'm a front end-digital designer (html/css), SEO & SEM with a passion for digital marketing.