Did your Facebook Ad campaigns perform great initially, but have you noticed a dip in their performance in the last couple of days?
You may be experiencing a Facebook Ads problem called ad fatigue.
Luckily, Facebook ad fatigue is a problem that can be solved.
In this article, you will find 13 tips to combat Facebook ad fatigue!
But before we get into that, let’s start with taking a detailed look at what “ad fatigue” exactly means.
What is Facebook ad fatigue?
Facebook ad fatigue can be explained by looking at a process almost everyone has experienced: buying a new shiny item, like a smartphone.
During the first days after buying a new smartphone, you are constantly fascinated by it and all the new features it offers.
Since it’s new, you use it and look at it whenever there is an opportunity!
However, after some time, the experience of owning a “new” smartphone fades away and you get totally used to it.
Eventually, many new phone models come out that grab your attention and form new desires.
This is exactly what happens with ad fatigue.
If your audience hasn’t seen your ad yet, it will be new for them and grab their attention.
However, after displaying the same ad to them multiple times in a short period, that audience will eventually get used to seeing that ad.
It’s like they have gone “blind” for your ad. They see it, but they will just scroll further as if there was nothing there.
As you may guess, your Facebook campaign’s performance will decrease when more and more people start doing this.
This is precisely the effect of ad fatigue: a declining performance of your ad campaign due to your audience seeing the same ad multiple times and becoming “blind” for it.
How to recognize Facebook Ad fatigue?
Here’s a first sign that ad fatigue might be occurring for you:
Your Facebook Ad campaign has performed amazingly during the last few weeks but is suddenly slowly dropping in performance.
There is also a more exact way of recognizing Facebook Ad fatigue, which is by examining Key Performance Indicators (KPI) like:
- Frequency. The average number of times each person saw your ad.
- CTR (Click-Through-Rate). What percentage of people clicked on your ad after seeing it?
- CPC (Cost-Per-Click). What does it cost (on average) for one person to click on your ad?
Generally, the more your frequency rises, the more your CTR will decrease, and the more your CPC will increase:
To see if ad fatigue is happening to your campaign:
- Go to your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard.
- Customize your columns to include “Frequency”, “CTR”, and “CPC” metrics.
- Analyze your campaign’s performance over time and see if you can spot the symptoms of ad fatigue I’ve described above.
One last thing to note; remember that for some forms of advertising, a high frequency is regarded as a great thing.
For example, if you’re watching a sports game such as the Super Bowl on TV, you will probably see the same ad get repeated over and over again.
After the tenth time seeing it, you will probably remember everything they say from the top of your head.
Still, it does get really annoying seeing the same ad so many times.
So, if you could stop it, you probably would.
That’s exactly the reason why this strategy doesn’t work with Facebook Ads.
When sitting on Facebook, someone can just scroll past your ad, or even worse, hide your ad.
When this happens, Facebook will likely show your ad to fewer people, and your ad’s performance will decrease.
How long should you run your Facebook Ads?
A common question people have when hearing about ad fatigue is if there is a maximum limit on how long you should run your Facebook Ads.
And for that, my answer is pretty simple:
In my opinion, you can leave your Facebook Ads running forever, as long as they are profitable.
However, if you do see a large dip in your profitability (or ROAS), and you think it is due to ad fatigue, I think it is always worth it to try one of the tips on reducing Facebook ad fatigue given below:
13 tips to prevent Facebook Ad fatigue
Suppose you have been monitoring your Facebook Ad campaign’s performance and have noticed symptoms of ad fatigue. In that case, these 13 tips can definitely help you to prevent and solve ad fatigue!
After applying these tips, I hope that your campaign’s performance will improve again.
However, don’t think that a poorly performing Facebook Ad campaign is always due to ad fatigue. There can be many other causes for that!
For example, take a look at some of the most common Facebook Ad mistakes people make.
Done? Then let’s get started and combat ad fatigue!
1. Don’t target audiences that are too narrow
First of all, I should note that the right audience size is different for everyone. It depends on your budget, industry, and marketing objective.
Luckily, Facebook includes a dial that shows you if your audience is broad or narrow:
One thing is for sure; if you want to prevent ad fatigue, you should keep your audience on the broad side.
It makes sense that when advertising to a broad audience, Facebook can “spread out” and show your ad to more people.
This can’t be done when targeting a small, narrow audience and is the reason why ad fatigue kicks in much faster for narrow audiences.
For example, if your ad has 100,000 impressions in an audience of 5,000 people, each person will see it 20 times on average. In this case, ad fatigue will definitely start kicking in!
However, if those 100,000 impressions are made in an audience of 50,000 people, each person will have only seen it two times on average!
Remember that your audience can become too broad as well, which causes other negative effects. You can read about those effects here.
2. Target new audiences
Another way to combat ad fatigue is to continuously target new audiences.
This way, you will constantly show your ad to new people that haven’t heard of your brand before!
You can target new audiences in several different ways.
For example, you can try using LAAs (Lookalike Audiences).
A Facebook Lookalike Audience is an audience picked by Facebook’s algorithm, which is expected to react similarly to your ad as your sample audience (from your Facebook Pixel).
Alternatively, you can target other audiences by targeting other countries.
I suggest taking a look at our list of the best countries to target for inspiration!
Finally, you can also target new audiences by targeting different interests on Facebook.
For that, I will refer you to our Interest Targeting Guide for Facebook Ads.
There, you will learn about some great strategies that will go over finding new interests and about picking the ones that will result in the best performing audiences!
3. Make (small) changes to your Facebook ad
Instead of solving ad fatigue by showing your ad to a different audience, you can also try to make the ad “new” again for your current audience by making some changes to it.
Unlike popular belief, these changes don’t have to be huge.
Small changes to your ad copy will already help prevent ad fatigue a lot.
For example, consider changing your:
- Primary text
- Call to Action
You can also make changes to your ad creative, as that’s usually the first thing that people will look at in your ad.
Here are some things you can do to change your ad creative:
- Change the ad format. If you’ve been using image ads, you can try switching to video, carousel, or collection ads.
- Change the thumbnail. While it may sound like a small change, this is a great way to combat ad fatigue as it is often the first thing that people see!
- Change the colors in your ad. For example, change the color of the font or background in your ad.
By making these variations to your Facebook ads, you create “new” elements that help to prevent ad fatigue!
Here are some examples of some small ad changes:
4. Set up frequency rules
As you could see from the chart at the beginning of this article, AdEspresso found that ads with a frequency of nine had a CPC that was 161.7% more expensive than ads with a frequency of one.
That’s why setting up frequency rules is a great way to combat ad fatigue.
These rules will automatically turn off ad sets with a high frequency.
So, if you were just asking yourself: “How do I reduce the frequency on Facebook Ads?”, you will find the answer here:
Start by heading to your Facebook Ads Manager dashboard, and click on Create A New Rule.
Then, fill in the conditions that Facebook should follow:
Obviously, you will have to fine-tune these conditions for your business and industry. But for example, you can let Facebook turn off your ads when the frequency from the last 7 days is higher than 5.
5. Decrease budget for ad sets with a high frequency
The method I mentioned above can be great to prevent ad fatigue, but what if that campaign is still somewhat profitable?
In that case, you wouldn’t want to turn it off completely, right?
If you agree, you can use some slightly more advanced features of Facebook’s automation rules to let it automatically decrease your ad set’s budget if the frequency becomes too high.
For example, this rule will decrease an ad set’s daily budget by 25% per day if:
- The ad set frequency in the last 7 days becomes larger than 5.
- The ad set Cost Per Result in the last 7 days is higher than €10,- (in this example, this is the point at which an ad set won’t be that profitable anymore).
- The lifetime impressions are larger than 8,000. This is to account for the more varying results in the first phase of the ad set.
6. Don’t target people that have already seen your ad
For some advertisers, a great way of avoiding ad fatigue is simply to avoid targeting the people that have already seen your ad.
Doing this is pretty simple, from the Facebook Ads Manager, head to the “Audiences” section.
From there, create a new Custom Audience, and select Facebook Page as the data source.
Then, set it up as follows:
Once the audience is created, head on over to your ad sets, and simply exclude the custom audience you’ve just made from your targeting:
Don’t forget that you can also use these audiences and make separate Facebook retargeting ad sets for them.
In those ad sets, you could use custom-tailored ads for warm audiences to avoid ad fatigue!
7. Use the “Reach” campaign objective
If you notice that one of your campaigns is suffering from ad fatigue, you could consider changing the campaign’s objective to “Reach”.
When the campaign’s objective is set to “Reach”, Facebook will try to deliver your ads to the maximum number of people within your audience.
Naturally, this will automatically combat ad fatigue!
8. Optimize for “Daily Unique Reach”
Be aware that the tip I’ve shared above may not be for everyone.
Although it can be worth trying, I would advise against using the “Reach” objective for most ecommerce stores. Often, the “Conversion” objective will still lead to better results, despite ad fatigue.
If you don’t wan’t to try the “Reach” objective, here’s an alternative:
It’s called optimization for “Daily Unique Reach”. It limits the frequency of your Facebook Ads to one per day and will therefore show your ad to more people.
You can find this option in the “Optimization & Delivery” section of your ad set’s settings.
9. Duplicate your ad set
We don’t know how the Facebook algorithm works exactly yet, but we do know that some people have found that duplicating an ad set can reset its performance.
When starting a new ad set, Facebook will segment the audience into smaller groups and go into a “learning phase” trying to find out which group brings in the best results.
So, sometimes, it can get stuck testing the same group for too long, causing the frequency to rise and ad fatigue to occur.
This is why duplicating your ad set can be a quick and easy solution to see if it helps to combat ad fatigue!
10. Tailor your ads towards the time of the year.
Tailoring your ads towards the time of the year definitely helps to keep them refreshing for your audience.
And, the fact that they are relevant can also improve your ad’s performance!
For example, if it’s summer, you might want to display your product being used during summertime.
Or, if it’s Christmas, you can do something creative with snow and Christmas trees in your ads.
You can also create ads for other special events throughout the year, such as:
- New years
- Black Friday
- Valentine’s Day
- Cyber Monday
- Holiday periods
Here are two examples from Facebook’s Ad Library:
11. Keep retargeting budgets small
I’ve already explained that ad fatigue kicks in the quickest for small audiences.
Well, guess which audiences are often the smallest?
That’s right, retargeting audiences!
Depending on your other campaigns’ ad spend, it’s not uncommon for audiences in your retargeting campaigns to consist of less than 1,000 people.
This means that you will have to be careful with that campaign’s budget.
Retargeting campaigns are often regarded as being the ones with the highest ROAS (Return On Ad Spend), but that’s only the case if you can handle the budget carefully.
With too high of a budget, ad fatigue will kick in within a few days, and your ROAS will drop significantly.
12. Use Facebook’s dynamic creatives
Within your Facebook campaign’s ad settings, you can use Facebook’s dynamic creatives to automatically cycle through different ad primary texts, headlines, and descriptions to find the best-performing ones!
For any ad, you can select up to five variations of primary texts, headlines, and descriptions.
Facebook will then automatically show them to your audience in all possible combinations and will try to converge to a combination that performs the best.
Since your ad is constantly changing, this is a great way to prevent ad fatigue!
13. Use Detailed Targeting Expansion
Whenever scaling your Facebook Ads using interest targeting, it can be difficult to prevent ad fatigue from happening since you will need a pretty large audience to avoid a high frequency.
A Facebook Ads setting that can help you with this is “Detailed Targeting Expansion”.
It’s a setting on the ad set level that will allow Facebook to target people outside your specified interests.
Normally, and in our Facebook Ads Interest Targeting Guide, we recommend turning off “Detailed Targeting Expansion” because you won’t be able to judge whether a certain interest is working for your ad if you don’t even know if Facebook targeted people from within that interest.
However, turning this setting on can actually help you to combat ad fatigue, as Facebook will target people from outside your specified audience.
Therefore, your audience size increases, and your frequency should decrease!
As you can see, there are quite some ways to combat Facebook ad fatigue.
Some are simple, and some require a bit more effort.
What makes ad fatigue so challenging is that you constantly have to think about it to prevent it.
To really avoid ad fatigue, you should continuously try targeting new audiences and creating new ads for your winning audiences.
Don’t think it’s all for nothing, though.
By utilizing all the tips I’ve given above, you may lose some time, but you will end up saving a lot of ad budget and continue (profitably) advertising your product or service for a much longer time.
If you have any questions left, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
I hope that this article helped you to combat ad fatigue!
Have a great rest of your day!