If you’re familiar with the restaurant or culinary world (like we are), then you’ve heard of palate fatigue. It’s what happens when you’ve been eating the same thing for so long that it no longer interests you or tastes good. The same phenomenon occurs in marketing and advertising, especially with search, social and display ads. Ad fatigue describes the apathy or brand ambivalence that sets in when audiences become overly familiar with your ads and stop engaging. This form of fatigue is the arch-nemesis of ROI, conversions and click-through rates (CTR).
Are You Putting Your Audiences to Sleep?
To effectively combat ad fatigue, you first need to understand the common symptoms of this digital marketing malady. The most tell-tale sign that your paid media efforts have lost steam is when a previously successful campaign begins to decline, seemingly without rhyme or reason. There are other qualitative symptoms of ad fatigue. If you notice any of the following, it might be time for an ad refresh.
- Declining CTR
- High Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
- Campaign Stagnation
- Higher than usual Ad Frequency Rate
- Poor Audience Feedback
Don’t Fall Prey to The Same Old Song and Dance
Paid media and other forms of internet marketing require a little bit of nuance and a whole lot of flexibility. Running a campaign in the way you always have simply because those tactics have worked in the past won’t cut it. Recycled messaging, bland or overused design treatment, high frequency, and the “set it and forget it” mentality are among the top contributors to ad fatigue. What do they all have in common? They’re rooted in sameness and are resistant to change. Avoid falling into the trap of complacency. Your ads need to stay fresh to continuously engage your audience.
Chase Change and Embrace Evolution
Fighting ad fatigue is simple, but it’s not easy. This is why so many marketers bear witness to declining campaign metrics and rising costs. Don’t worry. There are a few tried and true strategies that help you nip ad fatigue in the bud.
A/B Tests are best. Fight fatigue from the ground up with testing to determine which ads perform best with your audience. Be sure to test copy and design on an alternating basis, so you have a control variable in each ad set.
Differentiate prospecting and retargeting ads. Make different ad sets for prospects and retargeted audiences to ensure there are different ads at each phase of the funnel.
Use ad customizers. Google’s ad customizer tool is a great way to freshen up ads, increase urgency, and drive clicks with powerful calls to action (CTA) and messaging.
Schedule periodic messaging refreshes. Times change, and so do your customers. Updating and refreshing messaging is a great way to ensure you’re still speaking to a customer’s desires, needs and sensibilities.
Improve cadence. Leverage the power of analytics to identify when audiences stop engaging with your ads and tweak the cadence to get the most bang for your buck in the land of pay-to-play advertising.
Consider local and seasonal messages. Appeal to specific regions, seasons and trends with your messaging and ad design to keep a steady rotation with high specificity. This will help your ads resonate with audiences who are looking for something fresh and topical.
Bringing Your Ads to Life
Executing an agile paid media strategy requires a hefty time investment. Depending on the bandwidth and capabilities of your internal marketing team, you may need to call in reinforcements. Partnering with a marketing agency that specializes in SEO marketing and paid media may be the best option for bringing your ads back to life.
Roger West has been working with clients across all industries to plan and execute paid media strategies that increase interactions and drive high ROI. Our dedicated digital media team increased the interaction rate for Roy’s Restaurant by 116%. Learn how we did it in this case study, then head over to our paid media page to discover how we can help your business generate more leads and elevate critical metrics.
When you’re ready to step up your paid media game, give us a call.