Facebook Ad Frequency 101
January 3, 2019
January 3, 2019
Hey everybody, Adam Arkfeld with ParaCore. In today’s video, I’m going to talk to you about Facebook ad frequency, what it means, and how to analyze it. We’re also going to talk about what frequency’s too much, and how to look at how frequency varies between different time frames because some people don’t realize that frequency is actually a function of the time frame that you’ve selected. So let’s get into it.
Alright, so this is a Facebook ads manager and what you can see is just a campaign that we have running, or an account that we have running, and in columns I just selected performance, which is the default. And if you scroll over you see this column, frequency. So, frequency is the average number of times each person saw your ad, and it’s an estimated metric, it’s not an exact metric. Now what you’ll see here is we have a couple different types of campaigns, we have a first touch on our messenger campaign, we’ve got a retargeting campaign, first touch for lead generation, first touch for traffic, and then first touch for our webinar.
So, the traffic legion and messages are the objective that we’re running, and then first touch is kind of the style of the ads, so it’s first touch ad, and then here we have retargeting which is just traffic and then first touch, which is webinar, so this is for webinars that we’re running. Alright, so when you look over here, this month, December 21st through the 13th, our frequency is 1.84, 5.53 on the traffic campaign, 1.51, 3.30 and 2.17. So, what this means when you’re looking at it, what you’re describing it as, when you’re describing it to a client or someone, is that people on average have seen the ads in this campaign 1.84 times in the last 13 days, from December 1st to the 13th. This is 5.53, so at 5.53, let’s just say five, it means that over the course of 13 days they’ve seen an ad five times from Outdoor Adventure Marketing. And that’s, you know, five can seem like a high frequency sometimes, but it’s all relative. That’s a 13 day period so that’s basically, they’ve seen the ad once every other day or maybe a little bit more than that. Starts to get a little bit high, okay? Now, if you use this exact same, now if you looked at it over a longer period of time, like if this frequency was over 60 days, then they’re only seeing your ad, you know, maybe two times per month.
So here’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna start changing the time frames so that you can see how the frequencies change. So you can keep an eye on maybe that 5.53, I hate all the hover things, you can keep an eye on the 5.53, and then maybe the 1.84 or the 1.51 here, ’cause those have been running a while, so 5.53, 1.51. Now I’m going to do last 30 days. So now it’s 6.76, then 1.85 so it went up to 6.76, but over a longer period of time. So what that means is that it was probably being distributed more evenly in the first couple weeks, and then in the last few weeks, it’s probably getting more heavily served, because 6.76 over 30 days makes the frequency less often, it makes it less frequent because it’s approximately the once every five days or so. Whereas before we were at once every two or three days. So over the last 13 days, I’ve been seeing the ad a lot more, over the last 30 days they’ve only been seeing about once every five days. So that’s a very interesting pattern that we would want to look at. Here you see this is still 1.85, about the same, and these were kinda all roughly the same.
Now if I switch this over to, let’s say, yesterday, now we’re looking at, alright well, the frequency for all these is about one except for the first touch traffic. Like, why is that on average two people, or two times per day? That means on average, people are seeing the ad twice in once day, which is not exactly ideal. I mean that, that starts to be quite a bit. So what we like to look at is a seven day period, and we like to be in the neighborhood of somewhere between one and two. And, so what we see is like, first touch traffic being at 2.78, you know, let’s just say three, that means that they’ve seen the ad on average three times over the course of a week. If they’re at 1.34, then they’ve seen the ad on average 1.34 times. So two here, that’s pretty good. 3.52, that’s starting to get a little bit high. This is our retargeting audience, so that means that our audience list is a little bit too small for the size of budget we have based on the frequency we want to hit. Facebook is trying to spend the budget, the audience is of a certain size, and it’s basically saying, well, if you have this big budget with a small audience, we’re just going to keep hitting them and your frequency’s gonna be very, very high.
If you decrease the budget, then Facebook will moderate that and they will only then serve the ad the appropriate number of times for your budget. So, in this case, the 3.52, if I want to cut that in half I would roughly decrease the budgets on here by, and this is, see, I mean, it’s a small budget, $2 dollars per day because our audience size is, let’s say, I don’t what it is, maybe ten thousand? If I decrease this to $1 dollar per day, then their frequency would be even lower, but if you have a very small retargeting audience because it’s just our website traffic, then, you know, even ten thousand people in the world of digital marketing is just not a lot, I mean, you can hit those people really quickly. So, we could kick this down to $1 dollar per day, which I’ll just do right now, I mean, why the heck not, and now the frequency should start to decrease.
Now, the alternative to that is you can increase the audience size, if you’re using a saved audience, you can change the parameters, if you’re using a look-a-like, you change the percentage or change how you’re targeting geographically, so you have two different ways to adjust the frequency. The first one is through your budget, and the second one is through the audience size. And then this is how you analyze it. So you really don’t want to be much higher than, like, three per week I would say, on average. It starts to get a little bit high if you’re beyond that. But if you feel as though, maybe you’re being under served or if it’s just one, it just means that everyone that’s seeing your ad is just seeing it one time, which is fine. And if you have a very large audience then one is gonna be approximately what you have. When you have smaller audiences and when you’re trying to really blanket a small, narrow target, you don’t want to harass and you don’t want to be annoying. I hate seeing ads like, once or twice a day from the same company for weeks on end, I find it super annoying. So, that’s how frequency works. I actually changed the breakdown, so by day, and then it shows the frequency here so it’s actually showing how the frequency changes over time, which is awesome. So, if I look at the retargeting here, this is showing me that the retargeting frequency is 1.1, 1.6, 1.08, blah blah blah, and then over time, however, it’s 3.52. So, the frequency for one day is one, however, the audience is so small that it’s aggregating to 3.52 over the course of a week.
So this can be misleading, this can also be a little bit misleading. So, you need to know what frequency means. It means the number of times, the average number of times each person saw your ad in the time period that we are looking at. And in this case, this is the time period that we’re looking at, one single day. So, a couple of people are seeing the add twice in one day, that’s the .08, but most people are just seeing it once. Over the course of seven days, December 6th to the 12th, these are adding up in weird ways because different people are seeing them and it’s coming out to 3.52. So, with frequency, the time period is just insanely, incredibly important and understanding that is very important. So, you can look at the same things over here, you know, we’re seeing one’s and then here, on the first touch traffic, people are seeing it on average twice a day, but you can see it’s not aggregating the same way the other one did and new people are seeing it twice a day, right, or so like, over the course of the entire audience, over the span of the entire audience, you’re really seeing it twice a day and so that’s really, really important to take note of, alright.
So, that’s all I have for Facebook frequency. There’s a lot of questions around how it works and the timeframe is often something that’s overlooked. If you have any questions, please comment. If you liked the video, like it, subscribe to the channel. My name’s Adam, I own ParaCore, we do pay-per-click marketing, hit up Paracore.com if you have any questions and we’ll see you in the next video. Thanks for watching.
Previous VideoPrevious VideoHow to Organize Your Facebook Ads Campaign