Most of us ignore ads that pop up on social media or while we are browsing - after all, it is a natural instinct to do so. We feel overwhelmed by the number of posts, banners, and brand messages we are exposed to, so our brain automatically stops paying attention to redundant information to ease the constant cognitive load.
This phenomenon, also known as ad fatigue, causes demanding challenges to marketers and often leads to poor campaign performance and reduced return on investment.
You'll love the four simple strategies we explore below if you want to overcome ad fatigue and cut through the noise. But first, let's uncover what ad fatigue is and how you can recognize it.
What is ad fatigue?
According to a Goo Technologies study, 82% of Americans ignore online ads, and 92% ignore at least one online ad every day, with banners, social media, and search engine ads topping the list. Those who tend to pay attention quickly get bored of seeing the same ads repeatedly and eventually start ignoring them subconsciously.
Ad fatigue kicks in when your audience sees your ads so many times that they get bored of them and ultimately stop paying attention. Ad fatigue leads to ad blindness or banner blindness, a form of selective attention when people consciously or subconsciously ignore redundant patterns and content.
When your campaign faces this problem, its performance drops off quickly. A decrease in the number of impressions or shrinking CTRs can be clear signs of ad fatigue.
How to break through ad fatigue
Here are four simple steps you can take to shake up your campaigns and support new routines.
1. Keep ads fresh and transform ad testing
The easiest way to fight ad fatigue is to reduce the frequency of your ads. The goal is to limit the number of times viewers see the same ad while keeping their engagement level rising. Easier said than done, that’s true, but even a few tweaks on your visual assets can make a positive impact.
Start with simple steps like creating multiple variations of the same asset. Even slight differences between versions like changing the background of your static ads or tampering with colors and text layout can significantly boost their effectiveness. Try different combinations, and once you have a large variety of ads within reach, sketch an ad schedule and rotate them indefinitely to get those high conversion rates.
It is not enough to create content variations. You will need to maintain high quality and effectiveness rates with the accelerated production. Test your ads to ensure that the right elements draw attention. This way, you can motivate your audience into action like recognizing and later remembering your brand or clicking on that CTA. You can swiftly compare the performance of different variations of your displays, video ads, packaging, web design, and other brand assets with customer prediction tools like Predict and discover what areas and elements draw your audience's attention.
2. Evoke emotions to influence behavior
You can also reverse the effects of ad fatigue and ignorance by sparking action and motivating your audience to engage with your content. Your ads can improve significantly when calling upon memories or emotions. The variability in the valence and arousal of an emotion is an essential source of information for our brain that helps people determine how to act.
Emotions affect our micro-decisions and urge us to escape or stop, take quick action or think carefully. Positive emotional states generally trigger a motivational drive in our brain that makes us approach an object or engage with a piece of content. On the other hand, ad fatigue generates negative emotions that serve as a cue for moving on and searching for something different.
3. Win your digital audience with a 1-second strategy
Our brain has evolved to navigate us through complex situations as quickly as possible. We have long assumed that this mechanism leads to instant responses and affects our unconscious choices, like whether we want to pay attention to a piece of content or we quickly want to scroll through it. We have also been told that ads must grab the audience's attention already in the first three to five seconds; otherwise people opt out. Now it appears that advertisers have next to no time to make an impact.
We have conducted an in-depth study in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association to test and challenge some of the basic assumptions of the advertising industry. The study, which is the largest of its kind, offered surprising results. We learned that 50% of all digital ads produce an emotional response already within the first second.
Emotional responses increase the likelihood of remembering a stimulus over time, strengthening recollection and familiarity. They also play a vital role in recognizing the ad and creating consumer engagement. The cognitive process of advertising is therefore incredibly fast: the human brain needs less than half a second to engage with mobile advertising and trigger a reaction.
Tackle this challenge by developing a 1-second marketing strategy, a plan to incorporate the correct elements from the very beginning of your ads. Put your brand into the spotlight, but avoid extensive narratives that require the viewer to spend time on your ad to follow through willingly. You can also test your concepts to understand what draws your audience's attention.
4. Predict customer behavior
Now it is time to plan for the long run. Consider making instant ad-testing an integral part of your creative process. Go beyond traditional methods and start predicting attention along with emotional responses so you can keep crafting compelling creatives that deliver.
First step to curing ad fatigue
These four methods are great for getting started with boosting your advertising efficiency. No matter what type of campaigns you run, at the end of the day, your goal is to win your audience and generate leads to turn them into loyal customers. You can quickly eliminate some of the adverse effects of ad fatigue by making simple design twists and running swift, actionable predictions on their performance. That way, you can ensure that your creatives are on the right track.
Thinking about where to start? Learn about the vast possibilities of customer prediction and book a free demo to chat about how we can help attract your audience.