How to Know the Signs of Ad Fatigue & Refresh Your Creative


Ad fatigue is unavoidable. Even the best-designed ad, with the best hyper-targeting, will experience fatigue during its lifetime. But identifying it, and readjusting your campaign before your ROI hits the ocean floor is any marketer’s biggest responsibility when it comes to paid advertising management.

First, let’s define what ad fatigue actually is…

Ad Fatigue: A phenomenon that occurs when an audience becomes desensitized to an ad set causing ad efficiency to decrease.

As mentioned, this epidemic eventually affects every marketer running paid campaigns. So knowing the warning signs can allow teams to regroup, and salvage an ad set before their ad budget is swallowed without any real beneficial return. But it isn’t always so easy.

In the digital era, it’s common to glance over a few reports and assume that your ad has just become fatigued due to time. However, in reality, many ads are just underperforming due to poor targeting, design, and delivery.

A general rule of thumb — ads that start off with growth in the first few days, and then see a sharp drop off in engagement are more often than not, insufficient themselves. Ad fatigue is more of a steady decline, where ad frequency increases, and conversions halt.

The Warning Signs of Ad Fatigue

As you can imagine, paid campaigns are sensitive and require daily monitoring in order to see successful results. So what are some of the key indicators that your ad campaign is experiencing fatigue?

  • High Cost-Per-Click
  • High Click-Through-Rate
  • Stagnant or Lowered Results
  • Negative Audience Feedback

“Many people are afraid of frequency, and often times mistake a high frequency for ad fatigue. Contrary to what many think, frequency is actually good for your campaign. Studies show that someone needs to see your brand seven times before they even remember your name. Ad fatigue is truly only found when you have had a successful campaign that begins to decline. This typically will show, yes with an increased frequency, but only when you are also seeing a consistent decline in conversions.”
Hannah Rubin, Venta Marketing Director of Digital Marketing

How to Refresh Your Ad Creative and Strategy

Before you tap the creative department to adjust the ad, the first place you need to start at is examining your target settings. A lot of campaigns struggle just because the wrong people are seeing the ad. Therefore, making a few tweaks to geographic location, age, education, behaviors, etc. can reverse the course of your ad’s performance.

It is said that creatives are the last competitive edge in marketing. Everyone has access to the same tools, so what sets one ad apart from another? Good design and good writing.

Here are a few ideas to tinker with when looking to refresh ads:

  • Change the Copy
    • Words are a big deal. The right words, even just one, can swing a buyer one way or the other. Mix and match wording to find a better performing combination.
  • Change the Offer
    • Maybe the offer the ad is displaying isn’t motivating or intriguing. It could be as simple as changing, “Free Shipping on Orders $50 and more!” to “Save $10 on Any Order Above $50!”
  • Change the Campaign Objective
    • Instead of conversions, maybe change the objective to a brand awareness campaign and focus on impressions. Then let your design team adjust the ads to be content that makes users want to share, instead of buy.
  • Rotate Ads
    • Any ad campaign needs to have multiple ad versions available to swap in-and-out. Ads grow stale in the eyes of consumers, so swapping out versions periodically helps keep a campaign stay noticeable with a target audience.
  • Use Video
    • Video performs better than text and photo. If you are looking to see a big jump in engagement, try a video asset.
  • Change Ad Schedule
    • If an ad campaign has been delivered on the same days and times for weeks, it may be time to try and catch possible customers at different times.

Need Help with Ad Campaigns?

At Venta Marketing, we are helping businesses meet their goals head-on. As leaders in the digital marketing industry, we know the ins-and-outs of how to maximize paid ad campaigns. Contact us if you are curious about how we can help you grow!