Most Facebook marketers are well aware of the dangers of audience fatigue when it comes to your ads. A campaign that can be running extremely well for a couple of weeks suddenly just… stop performing. Quite often (and especially when you have larger budgets targeting smaller audiences), it’s simply a case that your targeted audience has simply been exposed to the same ad creative too many times, and have stopped responding to it… or, worse, they start actively “hiding” your ad in their feeds, leading to poor relevancy and feedback scores, increasing your costs.

Likewise, most Facebook marketers are aware of the “Frequency” metric available in Facebook reporting, and keep an eye on this metric to get a very high-level overview of how often people in their chosen audience are seeing their ad on average.

However, what I find most marketers aren’t aware of, is that they can get far more granular insights into potential audience fatigue by using Facebook’s “Delivery Insights” tool.

Keen to find out more? Read on…

Where to find Facebook Delivery Insights

The first thing to note is that Delivery Insights are only available with your Ads Manager at an ad-set level, so don’t bother looking for it at the upper campaign level. Once at an ad set level, you’ll note that your active ad sets either show an “Active” or “Active (Learning)” status under the “Delivery” column.

If your ad set is still in the “Learning” phase, you won’t be able to access your delivery insights yet, as the ad is still gathering data to optimise from. If, however, your ad is out of the learning phase, you should see something similar to the below when you hover over the “Active” in the delivery column:

Obviously from here, you want to click on the “See Delivery Insights” link to… well, see the delivery insights!

What Delivery Insights Can Tell You About Audience Fatigue

Once you’re inside the Delivery Insights tool, you’ll see the below four tabs for Audience Saturation, Activity History, Auction Overlap and Auction Competition.

Almost all of these deserve their own posts, but for today we’ll just focus on the “Audience Saturation” tab.

A reminder: what we’re looking for here is an understanding of how fatigued (or tired of seeing our ads) our audience is becoming. The Audience Saturation tab gives us the exact metrics we need to start getting a more granular idea around that fatigue.

Here’s an example of the daily table you can find on this page:

In particular, 2 columns we want to look at are the “First Time Impression Ratio” and “Audience Reached Ratio”.

First Time Impression Ratio

Put simply, this ratio tells you what percentage of people are seeing your ad creative for the first time.

It’s simplest to think of it this way: when you first launch your ad, it will start off with a number of 100%, ie. 100% of people are seeing your ad for the first time. As people see your ad more and more, that number will decline. Now, there’s no hard and fast rule as to when you want to have a cut-off point (after all, you don’t want to focus on individual metrics over actual sales!), but as the Facebook tip itself says above, “If your first time impression ratio is dropping significantly along with your ad set’s performance, this may mean it’s time to broaden your audience or find a new one”… or, alternatively, simply refresh your ad creative.

Audience Reached Ratio

This metric will tell you how much of your potential audience you’ve reached.

Again, taking our example above: if you’ve just launched a new ad, the “Audience Reached” ratio will start at 0%, and climb upwards as more people see your ad (so the reverse of the “First Impression Ratio”). As this number begins to climb, this means more and more of your audience has been reached, and fewer people are seeing your ad for the first time. Again, if performance of your ad set drops as the “Audience Reached” ratio climbs, it might be worth considering broadening your targeted audience.

Once You’ve Identified Audience Fatigue, What Are Your Options?

Essentially, the two options you have are fairly obvious:

  1. Change your ad creative to show new ads to the existing audience
  2. Extend your audience/target new audiences

These don’t need to be as difficult as they may originally sound. For new creative, changes as simple as new images or new headline combinations can lead to a completely new experience for the user. And in terms of audiences, using existing audiences that have performed well for you to that point as a source audience for more lookalikes can be a simple and effective course of action to take.

If you’ve been experiencing issues with a previously-well-performing ad set, and then make these changes and see better ad set performance along with a higher First Time Impression Ratio, it’s likely you’ve identified the problem. Keep on monitoring the above metrics to make sure your audiences (or, alternatively, your ad creative) are fresh.

Have you had any issues with audience fatigue in your Facebook ads? Let us know in the comments below!

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