What is the Perfect Digital Ad Frequency? - Pulse Marketing Agency

What is the Perfect Digital Ad Frequency?

By Haley Cadran

Advertisement frequency is an important part of any successful digital advertising campaign, however it rarely takes the spotlight. Compared to more visible factors like powerful images, impactful wording, and accurate targeting, frequency is noticeably less glamorous, and is often one of the last pieces of a campaign to come together. After all, how much does the number of exposures to an advertisement really matter? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Unsurprisingly, being exposed to an ad only once is not enough to recognize a brand or offer. Brand awareness is developed through familiarity, which is only achieved by being repeatedly exposed to an ad campaign through frequency marketing. In other words, the goal of digital ads is reaching your audience as many times as possible, while avoiding fatigue that will reduce the effectiveness of the message.

If you have been in the marketing industry for a while, you’re probably familiar with the ‘rule of seven’, which told us that people needed to see our ads at least seven times to fully resonate with the message and brand. Today, this figure has increased to 8-10 times, depending on the target audience. As consumers in the digital age, we need to see an ad more times to process the message because the number of advertisement channels have substantially increased in the last decade, which consequently creates an abundance of media noise.  

On any given day, Americans are exposed to approximately 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements (including print, broadcast, and digital media) on average–depending on their lifestyles and locations. It’s impossible to pay attention to every ad, never mind remember them all!

In 2017, Nielsen found results indicating that a frequency of digital advertising ranging between 5-9 exposures helped to improve branding, and increased consumer resonance by an average of 51%. Ad frequency appeared to correlate directly with improvements in click-through rates (CTR) and decreased cost per action (CPA), though poorly tuned frequencies may have the opposite effect.  Showing an ad too few times will fail to leave a lasting impression with your audience. On the other hand, showing an ad too many times can attract negative feedback.

The takeaway from this study: ad resonance and intent increases with exposure until it hits a point where ad fatigue overwhelms the benefits of branding and resonance begins to decline, signaling decreasing effectiveness of the ad campaign.

Ad fatigue is a combatable problem — updating your ad on a monthly basis could be a simple way to combat ad fatigue and keep your audience engaged. You don’t need to start from scratch every time. Consider simply changing your image, background color, and rewording your call to action. These simple changes are enough to avoid fatigue during a digital campaign. To keep your audience engaged, you should look to completely change your campaigns every 90 days to stay fresh and relevant in the market. Remember, there is no one size fits all strategy when it comes to ad frequency and campaign duration–depending on your industry, audience, and goal, you may be able to stretch your campaigns longer, or reach a higher frequency without negatively affecting your results. Testing is the key to achieving the best results for your campaign.

Looking for help with strategizing your next ad campaign? Pulse Marketing Agency offers the largest menu of digital marketing services in Maine! Your first consultation is free of charge, so contact us today to schedule a consult. We’re here to help because we want to be a part of your success story!

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