ad-fatigue

Today, people have to wade through a sea of search hits before finding exactly what they’re looking for because of dynamic keyword insertion and other methods to get their page at the top of someone’s latest search. Everything looks the same, so people find simple ways to ignore or avoid them.

So, how can you avoid the fatigue advertising places on your audience? Simple: stand out. Read on for a few tips on how you can make your campaign jump off the page over and over.

1. Focus On Your Audience

Companies constantly mess up their ad marketing by failing to understand who their audience is. To keep fresh content in front of people, you need to know what they like and find interesting. But how do you figure that out, short of asking them? Well, for one thing, try asking them. That can mean a direct survey, but people don’t like doing those. You could try a survey service that pays people to answer questions. However, there’s an easier way to figure your audience out. Read their behavior patterns.

The internet provides unprecedent access to information and content, which people partake in profusely. Everything they do tells you something about them, if you know how to take advantage of it. This doesn’t require using the creepy level ad targeting that Facebook and Amazon use, arguably effectively. You can target ads on information you only get about them from your website metrics. Times of day, landing pages, high traffic times, total audience members, where they linked from, and what they do on your page gives you the insight into your audience.

After you know who your audience is and what pushes them to click something, you will have almost everything you need to deliver the right ad at the right time to the right customer

2. Schedule Regular Ad Rotation

With insight into how large and who your audience is and what behavior you most likely will see from them, now you need to plan what ads get shown when. This includes knowing the appropriate display rate and when an ad needs to be retired from the current audience. This helps you spend your money wisely by matching balancing your audience size and impression distribution sensibly across the platforms.

To determine the right ratio, use the total number of your reachable audience to divide the impressions on a channel. As an example, divide 100,000 ad impressions by your 10,000-member audience and you get an average frequency ratio of 5. If your campaign is focused on conversions, your goal should be to drop that ratio in your awareness efforts and increase it in the channels targeting conversions.

With the knowledge gained on your audience, impression ratios, and duration of campaigns, you have the tools to set a proper ad rotation to keep your audience from growing tired of your ads. With the right cadence, you can keep fresh ads feeding to the same eyes, building up to the desired conversion goals. This cadence will vary, but a good rule of thumb is to get your ad frequency ratio to 3.

3. Learn From Your Work

Be wary of just creating all your ads up front, then using the crunched numbers to set a schedule that meets that ratio. This hampers your campaign’s potential for growth because you rob yourself of valuable experience and date gained in ongoing ad efforts. You will be able to maximize impression loads for high performing ads, but, as your content is limited to what you already made, you risk audience fatigue, which kills performance.

Your serve your campaign better by creating an opening round of content, working your ad campaign with that content to start, measuring the metrics to see what worked and what didn’t, and then creating new content based on that data. Repeat this going forward on a schedule, giving your campaign a steady flow of high performing content that your audience isn’t tired of seeing.

Consider your last viewing experience on Hulu or any of the major network streaming services. How often did you see those ads change and how often were you treated to the exact same set of ads over and over, show to show, day in and day out? It didn’t take long for you to start hitting the mute button or picking up your phone during the forced commercial break. Don’t make that mistake and drive your audience away.

4. Optimize Your Metrics

When you examine your ad campaign, you need to make sure you use the right metrics to guide you. Don’t assume that an ad working well in one slot will perform well elsewhere. You need to consider why it performs well in that slot. If you use a paid media platform, you will receive a plethora of information to peruse, but not all of it will matter for all of your ads.

If your campaign operates as a call to action, you may think that metrics showing click through rates (CTR) and cost per clicks (CPC) figure large. However, higher numbers do not always equal high performance. You need to have high numbers among the right audience at the best possible time. Rather than focusing on clicks, pay attention to action rates and the cost per each action. This helps you differentiate between ads generating a lot of visits, but few tangible results, and ads generating a lot of results, but fewer total visits.

5. Constant Ad Monitoring

So, you’ve got your campaign running. Your content is created, you’ve got updated content to roll out, you’re on schedule, and you’re thinking “hey, I got this!” Stop! Don’t think that. Never think that. While you should be confident with your successes, never slip into thinking you’ve figured it out. This is a dynamic game, marketing, and you should always be growing and learning. The key to that is constant vigilance.

Every ad that goes out needs to be monitored, both live and in post-op. Each ad gives you critical data that can help make your next ad even better. Why risk hitting auto-pilot and letting your schedule roll out? What if a random ad you didn’t realize would hit well because previous data indicated it likely wouldn’t suddenly starts bringing in large amounts of visitors with tangible, measurable results? If you aren’t constantly watching, you will miss these lightning-in-a-bottle moments.

The more you keep an eye on your metrics, the sooner you will spot shifts, drops, and other changes. A spike in traffic could indicate a shift in audience or just that something you put out hit the right moment for capturing the zeitgeist. A drop could mean an ad is dead or that you simply placed it in a bad time slot or showed it to the wrong crowd, despite your best efforts. If you don’t keep on top of the data as it comes in, you will miss out on chances to improve your reach.

Take an anecdotal example. At a large convention in Atlanta, GA, a panel/podcast show required the help of a British citizen, one wearing a shark head in this instance, in proper enunciation of British towns. As the panel went on, the “British Shark” quickly became the most popular part of the event and one person in the room got on Twitter and made a British Shark account. Soon, everyone was tweeting to the handle, and, by the end of the convention, people posted several images of the British Shark across the event. Now, the British Shark is a popular meme across the podcast community and call for fun at events, all because one person had the foresight to seize the moment and create one social media account.

Getting your ads to stand out requires a lot of work that, done correctly, will bring you tangible results and a good return on your ad money investment. Don’t get caught in the sea of identical results or with ads that just fade into the page. Use these steps to help make your next campaign the success your business needs to go to the next level.