Frequency in Advertising

Frequency in Advertising

When investing in paid content, like ads, the goal is to have it seen by as many people as possible. Ad frequency is a metric that can show you the success of your ad reach and indicate the number of times your target audience views your ad campaign. We will review everything there is to know about advertising frequency, including best practices to use when you are seeing low frequency.


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What is frequency in advertising?

Ad frequency shows how often your ad is shown to a unique user. Ad frequency is not to be confused with ad reach, which measures the total number of users who have the potential to see your advertisement based on how many users are present at a given session; however, not all of these individuals will see the ad. Ad frequency is how many times a specific individual is likely to be shown a singular ad during a given period. This figure can be assessed according to various periods, including hourly, daily, or monthly. It is essentially the relationship between ad impressions and ad reach.

By focusing on ad frequency in your digital marketing campaigns, you emphasize that the average number of times your audience is exposed to your ad increases. This differs from focusing on reach, where you are looking to use digital advertising to increase the overall number of people who get access to your advertising message. High frequency is a good target for brands with a niche audience and brands with a market of potential customers who are ready to purchase. Balancing the priorities of reach vs. frequency is contingent on campaign goals, brand awareness, and optimization that suits your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

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How to calculate frequency in advertising

Ad frequency is measured as a ratio of impressions to reach, representing how many times, on average, each unique user saw your ad. For example, if your ad frequency is 1.8, the average user saw your ad between 1 and 2 times.

Frequency in Advertising formula

Number of ad impressions / Number of ad reach

What is good frequency in advertising?

When working with Facebook ads, the optimal frequency is between 1.8 -4 to ensure that your target demographic sees your ads on social media while not spending your entire ad budget on repeated ads to the same customers who may experience ad fatigue. The idea is to keep the number as low as possible while still creating an effective frequency to maximize ROI.

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What is bad frequency in advertising?

Bad frequency would be anything below that 1.8 figure. Since it is a ratio, if the number is below 1, users do not see your ad more than once, indicating that you need a higher frequency to increase conversions.

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Frequency in Advertising KPI examples & templates

Add your ad metrics to these reports for a good view of all your online marketing strategy metrics and overall online performance.

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PPC report template PPC report template

Check your metrics from all your marketing channels and social media platforms from instagram ads, Facebook advertising, google search ads, bing ads, or Linkedin ads. You can also track this data alongside your business metrics and industry benchmark.

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Ecommerce report template Ecommerce report template

A report with all the most important metrics for your ecommerce site, like shopping cart abandonment, click-through rate, ad costs, and revenue.

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Executive report template Executive report template

This template is filled with business metrics perfect for small business owners and bigger companies executives. Showcase your revenue, new customers, churn rate, and more.

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Frequency in advertising best practices

If you are seeing low frequency, consider using these best practices to maximize the success of your digital advertising. 

Ad Impressions best practices

step 1 icon Frequency capping

This strategy caps the number of times a particular user sees an ad from one campaign. This helps avoid ad fatigue and excess spending on singular individuals who are not leading to any conversions and ultimately wasting ad spend.

step 2 icon Calculate your optimal frequency

Assess essential metrics to determine the target range you need to maximize ROI and brand recognition. Conducting tests and calculations will help you find this figure so that you can continuously tailor your approach until you are operating in the optimal zone.

step 3 icon Create custom audiences

Build out your target audience for each campaign to ensure you reach the most optimal demographics that will bring success to your campaign.

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