Ad Fatigue, and the Cure

ad fatigue sleepy chick feature

Has ad fatigue struck again? (Photo credit: Zohre Nemati on Unsplash)

Are your ad campaigns receiving fewer clicks than they used to? Are you having trouble generating leads? Are you dissatisfied with your current lack of engagements? If so, your digital marketing may be suffering from ad fatigue. The good news: It’s fixable.

And you’re not alone ― ad fatigue is more common than you might think. It happens when a person becomes sick and tired of seeing the same ads repeatedly; think someone hugging a pillow in a blue color scheme, for instance. The monotony turns them off; they become disinterested, distracted or even irritated, and they tune out. Simply put, they stop paying attention to your ads and those precious ad dollars you’ve spent become wasted.

Ad fatigue is diagnosable. A close look at declining click-through or listen-through rates, fewer views, fewer impressions, and lower overall engagements are all recognizable symptoms. All of this can be disastrous for your ad spend, raising your CPA and decreasing your ROI… two things no marketer ever wants to hear.

Not only will it drain your budget internally, but it will tarnish your brand’s external reputation, too.

Given that Americans became increasingly comfortable spending significant amounts of time online while stuck at home during the pandemic, screen fatigue also became prominent. It’s no surprise either.

If seeing just one ad too many times isn’t enough to wear on a person’s attention span, the other 10,000 banner ads we get looped on a typical day will.

As you might expect, all of these ads and all of this time spent online has been detrimental to your visual marketing. It’s so bad that most internet users develop banner blindness as a result… again, another phrase no marketer wants to hear.

Fortunately, ad fatigue is treatable. Here’s how.

Change Up Ads, Platforms; Go Multichannel 

Nobody enjoys seeing or hearing the same thing over and over. Break up the monotony intentionally. Create multiple versions of your ad and rotate their placement to give users the sense that they’re getting new messages.

Take it a step further by switching up your platforms. If you’re used to exclusively running Facebook ads, you might want to add some Twitter ads into your mix. And even if you’re only doing search and social marketing, you should consider creating a streaming ad presence, too. Diversification is a good thing.

Go even further and add digital audio to your marketing campaign to further boost your metrics. Digital audio ads are an efficient remedy for the banner blind and the screen-fried. In a survey conducted during the epidemic, 20% of adults reported that they were listening to more podcasts, 45% said they were listening to more online music, and one-third claimed digital audio provided a much-needed break from screens. Podcast listeners are uniquely absorbed in their content, becoming captive audiences to the ads that play in between all of that content as well.

Tailor Your Message to Gain Relevance 

The best approach toward keeping people interested in your brand or business is to give them exactly what they want to hear. They want messages that are specifically tailored to them. That’s one of the most effective ways to get someone’s attention–speak to them in ways that matter to them in spaces that they frequent.

Focus on the different targeting options—ranging from basic demographics to advanced-level choices like zip codes, interests and user profiles—to help segment and laser in on all of your different audiences, whether they are homeowners, car buyers, local job seekers, college students, or anyone else. Customization is key.

Analyze Your Data

Many marketers have a “set it and forget it” attitude. Essentially, they create a campaign and then move on. Months later they’ll wonder what they could have done to make things more effective but by then, it could be too late.

Don’t waste time. Real-time data is available through digital media dashboards; use it. Check the weekly and daily statistics. Keep track of progress. If the outcomes aren’t to your liking, you’ll know it’s time to try something else. Experiment; get creative. Flex and pivot.

Justin Ohanessian is Director of SMB Marketing at SiriusXM-owned AudioGO