There are many metrics that a lot of Facebook advertisers don’t pay enough attention to, and Frequency is definitely one of them.

Frequency is the average number of times each person has seen your ad.

A frequency of 3 for example, means that on average, people within your target audience have seen your ad 3 times.

The key word there is average. A frequency of 3 most likely means that some people within your target audience have seen your ad many more times than that, and some have just seen it once, or not at all.

When frequency gets too high, ad fatigue starts to set in and results can drop off significantly.

This makes sense. Once the majority of your target market have seen your ad, they will either have already taken your desired action, or they just aren’t interested. Continuing to advertise the same ad to these people, just isn’t going to work.

If your previously successful Facebook ad campaign has all of a sudden stopped working, it could well be because your frequency is too high.

Frequency Benchmarks

When advertising to cold audiences, I often see my results start to drop off when I reach a frequency of 2.0-2.5.

At that point, the majority of the hyper-responsive prospects in my target audience will have seen my ad and my cost per conversion starts to increase.

I stopped running this ad when it reached a frequency of 2.88:

Ad frequency

Of course this drop off point does depend on the time-frames involved. If your ad takes 12 months to reach a frequency of 2, you can probably keep running it for a while longer.

Whereas if you reach a frequency of 2 within a couple of weeks, the drop off in results will be much more pronounced.

Warm audiences, such as website visitors or previous customers, have a much higher frequency threshold.

I’ve seen Facebook ads reach frequencies of 10+ and still generate great results with very warm audiences.

There’s no single number to watch out for with warm audiences. Just make sure that you monitor your results alongside frequency. When your results start to drop off, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your campaign.

Where to Find Frequency

Frequency is a metric that can be monitored at the campaign, ad set and ad level.

Most of the time it makes most sense to monitor it at the ad level. (Just be aware that frequency can become an issue faster, if you have very similar ads advertising the same thing.)

To see what your ad frequency is, navigate to the ad level within Ads Manager and select Delivery from the Columns menu:

Frequency Column in Delivery

Doing so will change your reporting columns and frequency will be one of them:

Frequency Column

Set An Appropriate Facebook Ad Budget

Setting an appropriate Facebook ad budget for your target audience size is a great way to avoid frequency problems.

If you’re advertising to a small audience such as a retargeting list, you shouldn’t use the same budget that you would with a much larger cold audience.

As a general rule of thumb, I would recommend that you keep your daily budget below $1 per 1,000 audience members. If you’re retargeting 10,000 website visitors, don’t spend more than $10 per day, if you want this campaign to have longevity.

Of course, if you’re not looking to run an ad to a particular audience for very long, as you would with a flash sale, then you don’t have to worry about frequency anywhere near as much. And you may want to use a much larger daily budget.

Change it Up

Rapidly increasing conversion costs plus high ad frequency, means you need to make some adjustments to your campaign.

There are a number of different ways to overcome Facebook ad frequency problems but the simplest is to advertise to a new audience, or change your ad creative.

Just make sure that any change you make is significant. Don’t just change the ad copy. You’ll see better results if you use a brand new image or change the ad format entirely.

Your Turn

What frequency number did you reach before your ad stopped being effective? How did you overcome the issue?

Let us know in the comments section.