Repetition may aid retention, but too much repetition can get annoying. In the case of advertising frequency, it’s important to find that balance between ensuring you make an impression and trying to keep that a good impression.
When deciding what your frequency will be for a given campaign, we recommend adding the goal of “a positive user experience” to your list. If all you consider is ensuring you are memorable, you may lose the opportunity to be remembered in a positive light. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you put your order together:
How time sensitive is your message?
If you only have two weeks to make sure everyone knows you’re having a sale, you can get away with being a little repetitive. Since your message won’t be running long, there will be relief soon.
How well known are you?
If your intended audience is unaware of your brand or product in the first place, it may take more time for them to notice you. This means you may need higher frequency (and impactful creative) to get through. It also means they may not get tired of you as quickly.
How many ads can you rotate?
Ad rotation can be a great buffer. The same exact ad over and over will become tiresome much more quickly. Just think of the difference between listening to one song on repeat versus looping one album.
What mediums are you using?
Frequency caps are a little different depending on the medium. Here are a few examples to give you a starting point:
Linear TV & Radio
For linear television and radio ads (basically non-streaming, non-digital), you need to establish a minimum separation between your spots. For example, “no two spots within 20 minutes of each other”.
There are a multitude of types of digital ads, all with slightly different parameters, but to give you a starting point, try to limit impressions to something like 3-5 per day per person. This will be more difficult with a narrower audience or time frame, but by keeping your ads relevant (refer back to your buyer personas!) and rotating creative, you can relax that a little.
If you’re considering buying ads in a weekly e-newsletter and need to decide how many consecutive weeks to buy, start by looking at the open rate and positions available. On average, e-newsletters are opened by 8-30% of subscribers (and not always the same ones every time) so in general you can get away with more weeks in a row, especially at a lower position. There is an opportunity for your brand to “own” the space if you can afford to and it’s a good fit. We would still encourage you to rotate creative at least quarterly to reinvigorate interest (or at least avoid going stale).
At the end of the day, try to prevent your audience from feeling like you’re nagging them. And keep in mind that the more relevant and impactful your ad is, the less often they’ll need to see or hear it to remember you. Of course, frequency is just one component to building a solid advertising strategy. Click below to check out our infographic.