4 Simple Ways to Avoid Ad Fatigue on Facebook & Instagram

Paid Media Advertising, Social Media

As Facebook and Instagram become more heavily ad-focused, ad fatigue is something that all advertisers need to be aware of. Ad fatigue happens when your audience sees your ad multiple times and becomes somewhat immune to it.

If your audience has seen an ad too many times, they’ll stop paying attention to it and won’t engage with it, meaning the effectiveness of your advertising strategy decreases significantly. One of the most important rules of marketing is to make sure you don’t exhaust your audience! Paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram can both be managed within Facebook’s Ad Manager interface, so the tips included below work seamlessly across both platforms.

Set a frequency cap

Facebook’s advertising interface has a metric called Frequency to measure how frequently a single person sees your ad. Paying attention to this metric and setting a limit for it will ensure that each person in your audience doesn’t see your ad too many times. We recommend ensuring frequency doesn’t go above 4-6. Once above 6, cost per click increases and conversion rate decreases.

Change ad creative

An easy way to repeatedly catch a consumer’s eye is to change up the look of the ad itself. When you launch your advertising campaign, you can create multiple ad sets that look different, and rotate through them so that your audience is served a visually different ad. Rotating and refreshing ad creative on a quarterly basis is a good benchmark to begin with.

Change the content

In addition to changing the ad design, it’s important to change the content and offer within your ad. Updating ad copy with a new sale or holiday-specific content is the easy part, but it’s just important to refresh ad copy for general ads that run all the time. We recommend testing different calls to action and headlines on a monthly basis.

Target a new audience

Another easy way to avoid ad fatigue with your current audience is to add a new audience to the mix. Facebook and Instagram have a Lookalike Audience option, where you can create a new audience that “looks like” a current audience you have in your account, but is made up of different users with similar online interests and behaviors. For example, you can create a Lookalike Audience that is based on your existing customers. This will serve your ads to people similar to those who have already completed a conversion. It’s common that Lookalike Audiences outperform the original audience it was based on.

Keep in mind that there are a few rules and recommendations for Lookalike Audiences. Your original audience must be made up of 100 people from a single country, at minimum, but Facebook recommends that source audience be 1,000-5,000 people to yield the best results.

Tips for Specific Verticals

At Intuitive Digital, we work closely with both nonprofit and higher education programs. Let’s take a closer look at how to apply the above tips to these verticals.


A large chunk of non-profit advertising on Facebook and Instagram typically goes toward general branding. This type of advertising, while very important, is prone to ad fatigue, as the goal is to get your nonprofit’s name out there and educate people about its purpose. In order to avoid ad fatigue, you must prioritize changing out the design and content you include in your ads. In order for branding to be effective, people need to see things more than once, but if one user sees your ad multiple times with the same design and message, they’ll ignore it. Avoid this by updating design and copy frequently so that your audience sees a new message and visual that grabs their attention.

Additionally, non-profits tend to have compelling and emotional stories to share, which is the type of content that resonates with audiences the most. Refreshing ad content by rotating between employee or volunteer features, stories about how your work affected someone’s life or improved a community, and features on current projects is a great way to repeatedly capture your audience’s attention.

Higher Education

Demand is very seasonally based for higher education (typically around application deadlines), so it’s important to have a predetermined strategy for budget and ad frequency around those high demand times. You want to also be sure to tailor ad copy and creative to the audience you’re speaking to. You can create different ads and audiences for different demographics. The messaging and imagery for a potential incoming freshman is going to be different than that of their parents. Make sure you carefully create and target users with different information that will appeal to their specific demographic and needs.

Still feeling lost?

Drop us a line. We’re experts in paid social advertising and would be happy to talk with you about how to improve what you’re already doing on Facebook and/or Instagram, or what you’re not doing but should be doing.

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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