Frequency in Advertising: What You Need to Know

Frequency in Advertising: What You Need to Know

Ashwin Krishnakumar
Ashwin Krishnakumar

Chief Technology Officer, Airtory

Published on: 10 Aug 2022

Reading time: 3 minutes

Brand building is the main aim of every advertiser or brand. When you, as a consumer, can identify a specific brand through the brand slogan, this is when frequency in advertising is done right. A major component of marketing is building brand awareness, and this is where frequency advertising comes in. Reach and frequency are the two buzzwords that every advertiser has come across. Reach is the total number of viewers exposed to your advertisement within a set time. While frequency is the average number of times your ad is displayed to a unique user during a set period of time. The frequency of an ad is calculated by dividing the ad’s impressions by its reach and the metrics are used to understand how frequently the ad is viewed by the target audience on average. With the advent of technology, an advertiser can use various types of advertising platforms to reach their target audience, but measuring how the ad is performing on each platform is the key. Let us understand everything you need to know about ad frequency in detail.

What is Ad Frequency?

In advertising, ad frequency is the number of times an internet user will see your ad in a fixed period of time. Ad frequency is an important metric that helps advertisers to optimize their ad campaigns. By looking at the critical elements of the ad campaign, an advertiser can adjust his ad frequency to improve the campaign performance. Maintaining brand consistency while using unique ads on different channels improves a brand’s performance as they touch base with consumers through various platforms without overwhelming them with the same ads in a limited time frame. It is a common misconception that a consumer needs to see an ad multiple times before getting into the purchasing process. Whether it is an ad jingle on the radio or a video ad on television, any advertiser can run the risk of overwhelming their audience by over-exposing them with the same ad displayed repetitively in a small period of time. When it comes to the frequency in ad campaigns, more is not always better, hence the focus on finding the optimal ad frequency in advertising.

What Is Effective Frequency In Advertising?

The need to publish ads on various platforms is a must for brands today if they want an expansive reach and ROI. Achieving an optimum frequency in advertising is not always about directing people towards making a purchase but more about being noticed, remembered, and considered. Identifying and understanding your target audience is crucial for finding out the effective frequency of advertising for your brand, where users are exposed to your brand often enough, without being annoying. With the effective frequency of advertising, you will be able to set a benchmark for the engagement you require. Some of the important aspects that a brand must keep in mind in this regard include:

  1. Average Purchase Cycle

A brand must consider the average purchase cycle of its consumers. If a brand is promoting a product or a service that a user is most likely to purchase every few weeks, then the ad frequency must be high. If the purchase cycle is longer, like buying a car, then the ad frequency must be capped more intermittently.

  1. Size of Target Audience 

If a brand is targeting a small audience, it will experience ad fatigue faster as compared to a larger audience. The ad frequency must be set according to the size of the audience.

  1. Audiences’ Receptiveness

If the target audience likes the ad, a brand can experiment with a higher ad frequency. But if the audience is not taking the desired action, it's time that the brand must plan to retire the ad.

  1. Ad Campaign Duration

If a brand is running a long ad campaign, the ad frequency must be paced precisely. The same message can be overwhelming for the audience if it’s overused. 

Brand awareness is one of the most significant assets to building your brand. Having the right tool and technology is crucial in optimizing your reach and frequency to your target audience. Effective frequency advertising helps to build trustworthy relationships with the consumer and ultimately drives more consumers through the sales funnel. 

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