With Facebook ad frequency, it’s important to strike a balance

We’ve all been there. You visit a company’s website one time and all of a sudden it seems like you’re seeing their ad on Facebook 20 times a day. At first, you thought it was pretty cool they found you to tell you to buy their product. Then, after you’ve seen the same ad what seems like a million times, you find yourself swearing off the brand for life. Can you say, “Stage Five Clinger”?

As experts in social media advertising, this really grinds our gears. Sure, it’s good to get the message out there. But, there’s a fine line between non-exposure and over-exposure. Determining the right ad frequency is integral in the success of your Facebook paid media strategy.

So how should you optimize ad frequency? The process is simple: measurement. If you’re not measuring your ad frequency, it can lead to your audiences being over or under-served. Also, if you’re not factoring in how many times you want someone to see your ad(s), it can lead to incorrect assumptions on the size of the budget you need. In paid social, there’s a big difference between wanting your specific fans to see something three times versus wanting the entire state of Oklahoma seeing something three times. Also, if you don’t know how many impressions you would like to make per person (or if you don’t know the size of the audience you’re looking to engage), you’re probably missing the mark.

Another piece to consider is the cost associated with getting a person to act on something. For example, you place an ad in the hopes of a purchase and set the frequency to two or three over a 7-day span because you know that this is generally when most of your purchases are made. If you don’t set the frequency and it climbs upwards of ten or twelve in that same week span, as that person is served the ad more, your cost to gain a purchase could begin to skyrocket. (This is also referred to as Cost Per Acquisition or CPA.)

Another part of the budget allocation process is identifying your audience size and deciding how many times, optimally, you would like them to see your ads over the span of the next three months. At Koch Comm, we know how frequently someone should see our ads and we’re able to make informed decisions on how many pieces of copy and creative we need to produce so we’re not serving the exact same ad to the same person each time they log into Facebook. We also keep tabs on this metric as the campaign goes on to make informed decisions on if we need to increase our ad portfolio or increase audience sizes to reach new blood.

Why is this important? Because ad frequency directly affects your Click Through Rate (CTR) and Cost Per Click (CPC), and ultimately your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). If your ad is shown too sparsely, it runs the risk of being missed or forgotten by your audience. In a recent retargeting and lookalike modeling campaign, we discovered users who saw our client’s ad and converted were served the ad 3.2 times before conversion. This won’t be the formula for all brands and campaigns, but understanding how frequency influences your ad strategy is an evolving model which should always be reviewed.

One final thing to keep in mind is all of the factors we’ve talked about affect your ad’s Relevance Score, a system that Facebook uses to rate your ad. The system is simple – the more efficient your campaign is in regard to CTR and CPC, the higher the score. The higher the score, the more effective the ad. Ad optimizations can be done by tweaking several different things, but paying extra attention to the frequency metric is one way to truly make the most of your advertising efforts.

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CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Marek Cornett

Social Media Strategist