Market, Message, and Media Factors in Frequency Marketing Campaigns
Choosing the right ad frequency can make or break a marketing campaign. If your audience sees your ads too rarely, they won’t remember them. But if they encounter them too frequently, they’ll begin to have ad fatigue and view your brand negatively. The costs of choosing the wrong ad frequency, especially when you choose a number that’s too high — are severe and incremental. In the example of Facebook ads, Creadits says this:
“On Facebook, ad fatigue can devalue your ads and cause their relevance score to drop. Facebook auctions cater to the ads that create the most value. This means that the more your ad’s CTR drops, the fewer auctions it can participate in – and as a result, your impression volume will drop as well.”
Finding the right middle ground isn’t easy; every campaign will have its own ideal ad frequency number, and even using your previous campaigns’ data won’t help you arrive at the perfect answer. However, the more data you have and the better you understand your campaign, the faster you can figure out and maintain the best possible ad frequency. Take note of these three factors that should weigh in on your effective ad frequency.
1. Market Factors
First, you need to anticipate how your product or service will interact with the industry and your target market. Consider these elements:
The age of your brand impacts how much understanding your core audience already has about your company and products. Older brands with an established target market should aim for a lower ad frequency — enough to keep themselves top-of-mind for the audience. Newer and less established brands should increase their frequency to stay top-of-mind and educate the audience about what their brand represents.
Market share is what portion of the market for a particular good or service your brand occupies. Brands with a large market share (for example, national and international brands) don’t have to have very frequent ads for their shoppers to still keep them in mind as a solution.
But brands with a smaller market share will need to increase their ad frequency to become relevant (especially to a larger audience) and to compete with larger brands. Your target market might also be less familiar with your brand, so a high ad frequency won’t be as repetitive or overwhelming.
How often should your customers be buying your product? Are your products and services seasonal, or do shoppers use them year-round? Your unique answers to these questions determine how frequently your audience should be exposed to the advertisements. If customers should be buying your services and products frequently, aim for a high frequency to keep them on track. Because high-frequency purchases also tend to be smaller, the conversion cycle should be shorter; high-frequency ad campaigns can help with that.
2. Message Factors
The unique message you’re trying to convey will also impact your ideal frequency level, which is why you can’t simply copy your frequency from one campaign to the next. As you’re crafting your message, consider:
Sometimes your message will be hard to understand, and that’s okay. Nuanced products and services are hard to break down into a single ad and, just like with every other type of complex message, hearing it multiple times helps the recipient better understand it. Aim for high-frequency ads if your message is hard to understand. With proper market segmentation, only the audience that needs to hear it will.
A highly memorable ad should have a low frequency. Part of this is positive: a highly memorable message will keep your brand top-of-mind longer than a run-of-the-mill ad. But it’s also out of caution. If your ad is startling or too unique, your audience will have a low tolerance for seeing it multiple times. Start posting this ad with a low frequency rate or consider putting it in front of test audiences so you can recalibrate without risking ad fatigue.
Uniqueness and entertainment value are two separate elements, though they may often coincide. If your advertisement is genuinely enjoyable to listen to or watch, maximize the value of your accomplishment. Put it on a high-frequency track so you can get a high ROI from that engagement. If your analytics show that a high percentage of your audiences are letting the full ad run without skipping it, that’s a good sign it’s time to increase the frequency.
3. Media Factors
Media factors are the factors that come from the marketing campaign itself. The platforms you use (and how you use them) play a large role in determining how high of a frequency you can use.
Decide if your campaign is going to be a long-term campaign or a short-term one. Long-term campaigns are for evergreen products and services that apply to your audience in almost any situation. These work best with a lower ad frequency because your campaign’s momentum builds up over time based on a long history of engagements.
Short-term campaigns, on the other, work best with higher frequencies. There’s a shorter window of time for your audience to experience ad fatigue, and short-term campaigns generally have a specific call-to-action with a short conversion process that demands shoppers’ immediate action.
Number of Channels
We frequently discuss the benefits of omnichannel approaches, which allow you to reach your target markets in multiple different contexts without missing large segments of your market. But there’s another benefit: you can maintain low frequency rates on each individual platform in the omnichannel campaign because they all add up together. When your ads are on social media, OTT streaming services, radios, and podcasts, you don’t need to have a costly ad frequency rate on any of them.
Find Your Effective Ad Frequency With Help From Strategus
These general considerations can help you get close to the ideal frequency rate for your next ad campaign. The closer you are at the start of the campaign, the better you can revise it without wasting ad spend or risking your brand’s relationship with your audience. Strategus can help you get even closer by providing in-depth marketing analytics and support for OTT/CTV campaigns and more. Contact us today to get started.
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