How Important Is Frequency In Facebook Ads

February 20, 2024

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Your Facebook ad campaigns will generate a plethora of data, but most people tend to focus just on 1-2 metrics they think mean the most.

Some of these metrics can be seen right on the post: the number of likes, comments, shares. High numbers in all of them equal a high engagement, which makes the advertiser pat themselves on the back for a job well done. And of course, if the goal from the beginning is to raise engagement, it is a job well done.

But other goals may not be reached, and business owners and advertisers alike will look for answers to see why their ads are underperforming, and therefore not taking them closer to their business goals.

One metric to really consider is “ad frequency.”

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How Important Is Ad Frequency?

In a nutshell, it’s really important. Facebook described ad frequency as the number of times users see your ad. Though it will also say the metric is estimated, so a more faithful description would be the average number of times a user sees your ad.

As a Facebook advertiser, this is an important metric to pay attention to, as it can show the number of times a user sees the ad before they (1) engage with it and (2) take action. The frequency of an ad is calculated as impressions divided by reach.

So, if you have an ad with 2000 impressions (number of times the ad appeared in news feeds) and 1500 reach (number of unique users), the frequency is calculated as 2000/1500, which equals 1.33.

This means that, on average, the ad has appeared 1.33 times in users’ news feeds before they’ve interacted with it in some way. But because the number is estimated, it can also mean some users interacted 2-3 with the ads, while others interacted less.

In any case, high-frequency rates essentially mean you are showing the ad to the same people over and over again. This can lead to three main problems:

1. Banner Blindness

Banner blindness is a term that essentially refers to people becoming unresponsive to ads because of their prevalence. If you go into a busy market where there are countless posters, banners, and shop signs all trying to grab your attention, you’d likely ignore all of them and look for more pleasant scenery.

Facebook tries to cut down on banner blindness as a way to both help advertisers and give their users a better experience. On Facebook, a person will not see an ad from a single Page or app more than once every 2 hours, to give everyone a well-needed break.

But if you have a high Facebook ad frequency, it means your ad is getting too much airtime with the exact same audience. This leads to ad fatigue, which in turn affects your results, and may lead to the second problem:

2. You May Annoy Your Audience

Think of yourself: if you’ve seen an ad (the same one, mind you) for the 10th time, wouldn’t you get just a little irritated? If you’ve seen it a few times, clicked on it, and decided to move on because the product or service wasn’t appealing to you, it’s really frustrating to keep seeing the same ad over and over again.

And users may react negatively to it, by blacklisting you. Facebook allows people to control the kind of ads they want to see in their newsfeeds, and if you annoy them, they can hit the ‘Hide all ads from this advertiser’ option, and you’ve just lost an audience member.

3. Your Relevance Score Can Decline

When people see your ad over and over again but don’t act on it, that sends Facebook a pretty important message: your ad is not relevant to the selected target audience. The relevance score (which is now called the relevance diagnostics) doesn’t just affect your results. They can also affect your ad spend, as you’ll end up paying more, for less buzz.

What increases ad frequency and how can you fix it?

It’s difficult to estimate what’s a good ad frequency, but most marketers agree it should remain around 1-3. Going over might mean something is wrong with the ad, which can mean any of the following:

  • Wrong target audience;
  • Lacklustre ad copy and visuals;
  • Poor placement;
  • Budget issues.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to address poor Facebook ad frequency and fix the issue:

a. Add a Frequency Cap

You can actually tell Facebook how often to show your ads to people. When you go to your Ads Manager to set up a campaign of ad set, you have the ‘Optimisation for ad delivery’ section where you can write down how often you want people to see the ad.

This way, instead of always showing the ad to the same people, Facebook knows to stop delivering the ad to them after 3 news feed appearances, or how many times you prefer. The frequency cap is one of the best ways to make sure your ads get to a more diverse audience.

b. Leverage Custom Audiences

Your ads may be lacklustre because you’re not targeting the right people. Instead, you may want to leverage the ‘custom audiences’ option, which allows you to add your own customer list to Facebook and target them.

These lists need to include ‘ideal customers’, meaning those people who are most engaged with your brand. After you create these lists, upload them to Facebook and use them as a target audience for your ads. This will greatly improve ad performance.

But wait, there’s more! A custom audience is already made up of people who know you, but you can use it to create a ‘lookalike audience’. This way, Facebook will deliver your ads to people with similar interests and profiles to your ideal customer base.

c. Change Ad Creative

Lastly, your ads may just not be interesting enough. Frequency metrics generally point to unenthusiasm regarding your Facebook ad campaigns. One explanation could be the wrong audience. But if that’s not the issue, then the ad itself is the problem.

And now we arrive at an even bigger topic, which is what exactly makes a good ad? Well, generally speaking, it needs to meet a few requirements:

  • Writing copy with the specific audience in mind. If you’re targeting boomers, millennial slang won’t be appropriate;
  • Appealing, eye-catching visual, be it video, photos, or GIFs. Then, it’s important to make sure the copy and visuals match;
  • Add a call to action to let people know what to do. Facebook ads can include buttons like ‘Contact now’ or ‘Sign up’, so be sure to leverage them;
  • Be direct, clear, and short. Don’t bore people with book chapters. If your ad is about a 50% off promo, then write that;
  • Test it, and perfect it.

Over to You

The life of Facebook advertisers isn’t easy, but it can be really rewarding. Hopefully, now you can understand why it’s important to keep an eye on your frequency metrics, and what to do to correct them.

Contact Australian Internet Advertising now if you need an extra hand in creating effective Facebook marketing campaigns that bring in leads and conversions!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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