Finding the Balance Between Annoying And Informing: How Often To Run Your Ads

Lisa Schaetzel

Lisa Schaetzel About The Author

Oct 1, 2021 2:30:00 PM


Finding the Balance Between Annoying And Informing: How Often To Run Your Ads

The process of running ads requires a delicate balance that's largely dependent on the channels you use. Additionally, this balance will depend on how well your campaign exposes people to your ads and how it helps achieve your overall goals. You don't want to irritate audiences by overwhelming them with your ads, but you also want to keep your brand top-of-mind in a positive light. To help you strike the right balance with your campaigns, the following are some ad frequency best practices to keep in mind. 

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The Factors Affecting Ad Frequency 

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 9.05.26 AMWhen you're about to develop and launch ad campaigns, you're likely to wonder how often you should run ads. However, that answer depends significantly on multiple factors, like what you want to achieve, how you’re trying to achieve it, and who you’re trying to reach.  

 As you determine the right ad frequency, consider how established your brand is, your demographic, and your goals. Also, think about how competitive your market is and your customers' purchase frequency. Both reach and frequency work together to make sure customers have sufficient awareness of your products and company. For instance, you may notice that Super Bowl ads only play once because of the number of people watching. One commercial played during this game can reach millions. People also often continue to talk about the most memorable commercials long after the game ends. That continued exposure gives these one-time ads a residual, compounding effect. 

Frequency Depends on Your Channels 

 Each advertising channel has its own set of requirements regarding how well it reaches your customers. Ultimately, ad frequency will depend on whether you're using digital or video ads. Video ads could include both TV commercials and over-the-top (OTT) streaming ads. 

One example of a channel's unique reach and frequency requirements is Facebook Ads, which recommends two exposures per week for ten weeks. Meanwhile, TV recommends three to ten exposures, and radio recommends a flat rate of three exposures. If you're not getting the results you want from your campaigns, you're likely either not running your ads frequently enough, or you may be running them too frequently. To make sure your ads connect with the right audiences at the right time, select the channels that your audience actively uses and follow their individual recommendations. You can then ensure you advertise enough without risking going overboard by overexposing audiences, though mild experimentation may be necessary.  

More Frequent Ads Increase Exposure — To a Point 

Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 3.33.11 PMIncreasing the frequency of ads on TV, OTT, and other digital platforms helps maximize reach while effectively educating audiences about your brand and offerings. In the process, increased ad frequency can help offset viewers’ divided attention. Being more omnipresent in the media your audience consumes keeps them aware of you without coming off as too intrusive. It also increases the chances someone will notice your ads. Someone who heard one of your radio ads will more likely pay attention to a TV or OTT ad, even if their attention is initially divided.  

Keep in mind that for certain channels with captive audiences, such as OTT streaming platforms, it's best to avoid running ads too frequently. Ad frequency that's too high will only wear audiences out and may even lead people to turn away from you. To help keep ad frequency consistent and even, you can set a frequency cap to show ads a certain number of times per viewer.  

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To further help strike a balance with your ads and inform audiences without straying into annoyance, you can make multiple versions of your ads. Doing so will help create more variety in your ads to provide different information in a less repetitive format. In turn, you can increase the frequency of your ads without irritating audiences with the same one repeatedly. Meanwhile, people will come to recognize and trust your brand. 

There are certain guidelines to follow regarding how often you should change your TV ads and others. Generally, it's best to refresh your ad creative on a quarterly basis, maintain consistent strategies, and create an actionable plan to evolve your campaigns. Periodic content adjustments help meet your marketing goals while keeping your ads diverse to maintain audience engagement. You won't need to worry about losing your audiences if you can shake things up in your campaigns while preserving sufficient ad frequency. 

Keep Your Ad Campaigns Balanced with a Reliable Media Partner 

Many factors prevent you from getting the kinds of results you want from your ad campaigns, and ad frequency is one of the biggest causes of underperforming campaigns. Depending on your current ad frequency, you may need to adjust it either up or down. As you follow ad frequency best practices, you'll be able to get the most from your ads, engaging audiences and building brand awareness. At the same time, you can avoid annoying audiences with overplayed ads that people tune out.  

To help ensure you strike the right balance and achieve consistent frequency, consider working with an experienced media partner. A good partner by your side can help ensure that ad frequency stays at the right level on every platform. 

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Topics: Branding, Ad Frequency