What metrics do you pay attention to when you’re running ads on Facebook? You probably take note of the number of people your ad is being shown to…and I’m sure you look at the cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM).
But there’s another metric you should be watching as well: frequency.
Frequency refers to the average number of times your ad was served to each person.
There are two reasons frequency is really important.
- You’ll seriously annoy your audience.
There have been two different marketers in the last few weeks whose ads have made me crazy, where I literally thought to myself, “ugh, not this again! Stop showing me your ad!”
Has this ever happened to you?
Let’s be honest, by the time you’ve seen an ad 8 or 9 or 10 times, you’ve either already clicked on it because you’re interested or you’re starting to get really annoyed at seeing it in your newsfeed AGAIN. As the frequency increases, the likelihood of angry comments from annoyed Facebook users will go up. Trust me.
And if you needed another reason to monitor the frequency of your ads…
- People will stop noticing your ads the more often they see them.
According to Comscore, the average internet user is exposed to 1,707 banners each month. That’s a whole lot of advertising. So what does the brain do in response? It starts to filter out the ads!
This means if you’re showing the same ads to Facebook users again and again they’re going to stop even seeing them after a while, which means that as the frequency increases your click through rate will go down and your CPC will increase. Not good!
So not only will you have an annoyed or angry audience, you’ll actually be spending more as well!
So what is a good number for frequency?
Well, like most things, there is no hard and fast rule. If the frequency hits five you should start monitoring the ads closely. If it hits eight it’s time to make changes, which may mean increasing the size of your audience (are you targeting between 500k and 1M people?) or changing the audience altogether. If it hits 10 or beyond, stop your ads immediately. You can always save the audience and target them again in a month with a new ad that has a different graphic and a different call to action.
Frequency is a rarely discussed metric and yet it’s VERY IMPORTANT if you want to have successful ad campaigns (and not make your audience angry). If your frequency is low and your ads still aren’t performing try testing out a new image or a new call to action. Remember, even the best Facebook advertisers rarely get it 100% right the first round. Great ads take a lot of testing and tweaking to have real success.