Creative fatigue is the equivalent of Brett Favre’s last season with the Minnesota Vikings. It’s not that your creative wasn’t brilliant at one point, but it’s past its “use by” date, and it’s time for it to retire.
In the inaugural episode of our podcast, which we endearingly named Up Your ROAS, two of our ad optimization leaders break down creative fatigue and what you can do to get ahead of it and prevent it in the future.
WHAT IS CREATIVE FATIGUE?
Simple: when your audience gets tired of seeing the same version of one particular ad over and over again and thus becomes “blind” to it.
This degradation of your creative no longer motivates the audience to pay attention and performance drops off: CTR drops significantly, CPC increases, and ad frequency rate rises.In other words, you’re paying more but getting less. Not a good look.
HOW CAN I PREVENT CREATIVE FATIGUE?
We break this down in detail in the podcast, but here are some of the ways we get ahead of creative fatigue:
(1) KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT METRICS
The first rule of optimization is keeping watch over ad engagement day after day. Your important metrics (usually CTRs and CPCs) should be staying at an optimal level.
When you start to see a downward trend, it’s time to put a stop to it and do some testing to improve performance. In the podcast, we talk about isolating ad elements so you can properly identify what’s dragging down performance, and the simple ways you can iterate to give more runway to high-performing ad creative.
(2) STAY AHEAD OF FACEBOOK AD PRODUCT ROLLOUTS
Always be willing to test new formats out and to keep testing it as it continues to be refined by the brains back in Menlo Park.
Sometimes a new ad format won’t catch on right away, but shortly after that, it might end up blowing the hinges off your ad’s performance.
Little tip: Facebook tends to give preferred delivery to their latest ad products.
(3) BE THE WHOLE FOODS OF YOUR VERTICAL
By this analogy, I mean all your ads should feel as organic as possible. The best way to prevent creative fatigue is through conveying a sense of familiarity with your ads.
It should feel like your best friend is sharing the awesome product she tried versus an invasive pop-up ad which refuses to go away, no matter how many times you click it. Keeping creative fatigue at bay means tailoring your ads to who you’re targeting.
By knowing the way in which you’d target someone in their 50s might not be the same as how you’d target someone in their 20s, you can keep ads from failing to resonate with your audience. This might sound so obvious, but you’d be surprised how many brands don’t truly know who they are trying to reach.
(4) FIND THE RIGHT FORMAT
The ad format you use when delivering your creative in the News Feed can make a major difference. Lead ads and link ads can work well for one vertical while video ads or carousels work better for others. DPAs throw another wrench into things.
You need to know what works best, not just for your industry, but also for ensuring your message and products stand out to your target audience.
(Regarding verticals, listen to the podcast to hear what’s working for e-commerce and lead gen at the moment.)
(5) PAY ATTENTION TO THE WORLD AROUND YOU
Besides this being just a great general life tip, paying attention to what’s occurring in the world around you can help stave off creative fatigue.
Major world or national events can have an impact on how your ad is delivered. When there’s a large amount of engagement happening around things organically, it can skew how, when, and to whom Facebook shows your ad.
Seasonality can impact ad delivery in the same way as major events.