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Do You Need To Worry About Frequency Metric With Facebook Ads?

How much should you stress over that frequency metric with your ads? That's what I’ll help you answer today in this episode of Online Confidential, where I take you behind the scenes of ‘Secret Ad Manager’ business. 

The Facebook ads manager platform gives you some fantastic reporting data. All those columns show you the performance data that will help you make the best decisions about whether to scale up the ads or stop them.

There's one metric, Frequency, that I get a lot of questions about in our weekly Elite Ad Manager calls and our slack channel, and you might also be wondering how much attention you should pay to the frequency metric. 

How does Frequency affect the impact of your ads? 

The way you interpret the frequency metric depends on which part of the funnel your ads are targeting. For example, top of funnel campaigns are where you’re out in front of fresh eyeballs to attract people into your audience.

With top of funnel ads it’s typically good practice to keep the frequency number low, around a frequency of two would be the ideal number. If the frequency starts creeping up and up, that's when you have ad fatigue and the performance of your ads will start to dwindle.

With higher frequency it’s a case of Facebook feeding the ad out and people seeing the ad quite a bit. If they're not clicking through and engaging or opting in, Facebook says, hey, we don't see this as a really good quality ad so we’re going to start putting up the CPMs. And that's when the ad performance starts to go down and cost per leads increase.

At the top of funnel you want to keep the ads fresh and in front of new eyeballs all the time. For top of funnel ads the frequency is an important metric to keep an eye on and make sure it stays in a low range. 

However, if you've got a frequency of three or four and you’re still getting a great cost per lead, don't mess with it, keep those ads running. Even though the frequency may be getting high and you might think, ‘oh my gosh, the frequency is at four so I need to turn these ads off’. Don’t panic, if they're still working and bringing in great cost per acquisition, that is, great cost per lead, keep them running. It's only a problem when you see the costs starting to climb up.

What does frequency tell you in the middle and bottom of funnel?

The middle of funnel and bottom of funnel audiences have shorter timeframes. So you might just retarget the middle of funnel for seven days and get in front of those people who have visited a landing page and didn’t opt in. You would retarget them for seven days with another hook to get them to come over and opt in. In this case, the frequency can be higher because it's a short window. 

With top of funnel campaigns you’d ideally like them going for weeks and months if the performance metrics are going well.  Whereas, with the shorter windows for middle of funnel and bottom of funnel, where people have opted in for something, like watched a webinar and then visited the sales page, you’re retargeting them to come back and do that last conversion action. Whether that’s closing the sale or booking a call within a seven day window.

In this case, I think a high frequency is fine because it's just a short window. You want people to see and notice the ads a few times because quite often they may see it once or twice, and not even really pay attention to it with everything else that's going on in their newsfeed.

The middle and bottom of funnel have shorter windows and you want to be in front of people as often as possible because they might see the ad and think ‘Oh yeah, I'll come back to that’, ‘Oh, I wanna click on that’, ‘Oh, it's just not the right time, I'll do that later’. 

Here, a high frequency is fine but you want to balance that with what the data is telling you in other performance metrics. For example, has the performance decreased if the frequency is higher? Typically though, when you’ve got ads running in the middle and bottom of funnel and it's such a short window, a high frequency is quite okay.

This is true especially if you're doing a launch, like a live launch. There’s a tight timeframe, so you’ll probably see a high frequency as well. 

So when do you need to worry about frequency getting high? 

The only time you need to worry about high frequency with ads is at the top of funnel. You don’t need to be terribly concerned with high frequency in the middle or funnel or bottom of funnel.

That's pretty much it, worry about high frequency at the top of funnel and especially if there is a decline in the ad performance like the ad cost is going up.  If the frequency is high, but the cost per lead or cost per acquisition is still great, let it ride. You don't need to stop it just because the textbook says you should worry and turn the ad off if the frequency goes over two.

If you're getting results, ride that wave. 

I'd love to know what you think? Have you been concerned about the frequency metric in ads before? Let me know if this has helped you make sense of what the frequency metric means.

Send me an email at [email protected]. I'd love to hear your thoughts. That's it for today's episode. 

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