Tips to implement to stay ahead of the competition
Ad fatigue occurs when prospective students get tired of seeing the same ads from your college or university over and over again. Lets face it: advertisements are everywhere, and they’ve greatly evolved from the days of print. Once a highly effective medium, traditional advertising captured the attention of everyone who came into contact with it, whether it was in a newspaper, on a billboard, on the television, or on the radio. But with the quick adaptation and implementation of technology, the boundaries for reaching potential consumers has drastically changed.
The opportunity to connect virtually with users online has become one of the most efficient ways to get your institution’s message across. Nonetheless, it has also become one of the easiest ways to become disregarded. In 2017, Forbes stated that as consumers, we see an average of 4,000–10,000 ads per day. Roughly two years later, we can assume this number has doubled. Today, we’re not just competing for a placement—we’re competing to be acknowledged, to break through the eye clutter and digital fatigue.
Fortunately, we have a few best practices that we implement across Facebook and Google Display and search ads that help avoid this. Here are a few tactics to avoid oversaturating your target audience with your messaging and branding.
Control the frequency of your Google and Facebook ads
This is the first and most important step in this process. For Google ads, frequency capping is when you restrict the number of ads that are served to a consumer’s search or Display platform each day, week, or month. Capping the number of impressions your ad will see a day from a specific user is a great way to avoid advertisement burnout and avoid a decrease in engagement. Simply put, your audience does not want to be shown the same ad constantly. Setting this limit can be easily achieved by going into your campaign settings and applying a limit to the day, week, or month.
On the other hand, Facebook doesn’t allow you to manually set a frequency cap. Instead, they internally optimize how many ads your users see each day and adjust accordingly. This is something to keep on your radar so you can consistently check on your ad’s performance. Facebook allows you to personalize your Ads Manager and break it down by delivery, performance, engagement, and so on. This is where you can keep an eye on your ad’s frequency. If the frequency starts to creep up toward 10, this is a sign that your ads are delivering too many impressions, and it’s in your best interest to consider pausing them or implementing a change.
Give your ads a creative refresh
As mentioned above, when your ad’s performance starts to decrease and you don’t see the user engagement that you’d like, applying a creative refresh is a great way to get your target audience interested and engaged again.
On Google Display and Facebook, this simply means swapping out your creative image with a different one. We recommend running two sets of creative to see which one is the most successful and then swapping out the underperforming one. On Google search, this means rearranging your ad copy to switch up what you’re offering. Rework your headlines and descriptions for a fresh, new ad.
Regardless of the tactic, creative refreshes should be implemented every so often to re-engage your audience and ensure they aren’t seeing the same images with the same messaging.
Swap out CTAs
Swapping out your call to action (CTA) can be another simple yet effective tool. Changing the language from something like “Learn more” to “Sign up” is a small tweak that can make a greater impact. Your CTA is essentially an invitation for your prospective students to take the desired action; pull them further down the funnel so they click through to your landing page and take that action. This new offer can be just the thing your audience is looking for to engage with your ad.
Create a remarketing bucket
In addition to swapping out your CTA, remarketing is another great way to avoid showing the same audience the same messaging. A more aggressive CTA that points your audience to take action will help move them further down the funnel, especially since they have previously visited your website. When creating a remarketing bucket, you pull in past visitors from your website and compile them into a bucket that specifically serves ads tailored just for them.
Calls to action such as “Apply now” or “Sign up” give a greater push for them to take action versus traditional “Learn more” or “Discover” buttons. You can create these audiences on both Facebook and Google ads. This tactic should not be overlooked, as it aids in the process of getting your target audience to engage further with your ad and products or services.
Re-engage prospective students with refreshed ads and targeting
It’s easy for ad fatigue to set in for prospective students. Determining how to navigate through “banner blindness” can be an intimidating thought. While there are a lot of moving parts that go into campaign performance, take control of what’s in your power by following these best practices to stay sharp and on top of your game.
Re-engage your target audience through creative refreshes, rearranged ad copy that’s still engaging, and new calls to action to ensure they don’t become numb to your messaging and branding. Implement a remarketing bucket to push prospective students further down the funnel to take action on your website. Ad fatigue is a silent killer, but with these tips, you won’t have to worry about letting it take over your campaigns.
Interested in learning more? Feel free to get in touch with our digital marketing experts!