How Long Should You Let Your Facebook Ads Run?

Posted on December 22, 2015 by

facebook ad campaign run

Facebooks ads, a marketing schtick? The better you target, the more they click.

That’s my rendition of the beans, beans song. [curtsies]

And now that you have that stuck in your head … let’s talk about an often overlooked factor with a Facebook ad campaign: For how long should your Facebook ads run?

But first, some basics.

Best Practices When Running Ads On Facebook

Your ad’s target audience should depend on the goals of your ad campaign. However, there are a few best practices we live by:

  • Know your audience and use their data to help you target both demographics (age, location, income) and psychographics (interests and behaviors). In laymen’s terms: Don’t target everyone!
  • ABT = Always be testing. From your ad copy to your ad images, try running A/B tests to see which ad layout gets the best response.
  • Use Google Analytics to better track your conversions by using Google’s URL Builder.
  • Use a Facebook Pixel to better track results.
  • Don’t be afraid to toss out low-performing ads.
  • Get granular when setting up your audience(s). Setting up 2 or 3 audiences within your entire newsletter list, for example, may yield better results. You segment your list, right? This is just like that!
  • Don’t forget your CTA (call-to-action)!
  • Colors play a big part in ad success. Be sure you test out different background colors.
  • DIFFERENTIATION matters here. Use copy and images that are uniquely you/your brand.

Like most social media strategies, there are no hard and fast rules. BUT there are a few things you should consider with your runtime.

facebook dark post

 

Why Longer Facebook Ad Runs Can Cause Trouble

Be wary of the following two common reactions of those who see your ads:

Ad Fatigue: Happens when your selected audience sees your ad too many times and a) glazes over them, b) rolls their eyes at them out of boredom c) becomes overly annoyed and hides all ads from your Page. This hurts you no matter what because you ad becomes less effective and your return on investment (ROI) suffers.

Ad Blindness: Occurs because consumers are inundated with ads. As ad copy and images are “copycatted” and users see them more and more frequently in their feeds, they become “blind” to stale ads and tactics. This is why it’s SO important to test copy, images, colors, and to make sure your ads put an emphasis on being unique.

We like to stick to two weeks max for most Facebook ad runs. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. You should let the data tell you what to do.

Here’s how:

  • Make sure your budget to audience size ratio makes sense. The smaller an audience and budget, the more your ad will be shown to chosen users, and more chance you have of ad fatigue or blindness.
  • Stay on top of it. We like to pop in daily to check on frequency, which is the average number of times your ad has been shown. The higher that number, the more likely your audience will get exhausted.
  • Be a watchdog with your click-through-rate (CTR) as well. Using this in conjunction with frequency can help you see patterns.
  • Rotate your images using Facebook Carousel Ads, or by changing colors and images.
  • Test, TEST, T E S T !

Here’s an example of two ads I ran for a realtor client.

  • We ran two listings for $25 each.
  • Though the listings were different, the pricing and location were similar.
  • We also used similar audiences (based on demographics and psychographics) since the houses were in the same area.
  • We tested different durations (a 7-day run and a 14-day run).

Here’s a quick glance at a few of our stats:

7-day run

  • Frequency: 1.18 times (on average) this was shown to the audience
  • 2,772 People Reached
  • 935 Post Clicks
  • No Negative Feedback (perhaps because of the shorter run)

7-day-facebook-ad-campaign-run

 

14-day run

  • Frequency: 1.54 times (on average) this was shown to the audience
  • 1,770 People Reached
  • 350 Post Clicks
  • Negative Feedback: 2 (people hid the post, perhaps because of the longer run)

facebook day ad campaign

You can see based on this small test that there’s a big difference between the small run and the longer run.

However, the results aren’t definitive enough to tell us for absolute sure that the shorter run was the reason the ad performed better.

This is why we live by ABT with our ads. More testing will hopefully uncover better patterns and show us which ads convert more and why.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but without it you’re really wasting ad dollars on Facebook. And whether you’re paying to play with your own money or someone else’s, that’s NEVER a good idea!

What have your Facebook ad campaign tests shown you about frequency? We’d love to know! Give us a shout out in the comments below.