What Your Business Can Do About Creatives and Audience Burnout

If you use 1-2 banners in your advertising campaign, and each of them has been shown many times to potential candidates, they can get boring. The number of clicks decreases, and the campaign shows poor results. What to do? You need to change the ad, making it as captivating as banners at 22Bet. It’s possible that creative burnout has begun.

Or, say, you show ads in a narrow location – for example, in a small town. Over time, users are so tired of seeing the same ad that they simply stop responding to it. This happens because the number of audience users is limited. The platform through which the ads are shown also has limitations. So either way, any audience will burn out at some point. “Re-assemble” the audience or gather a new one (look-alike) and try to attract users’ attention again with fresh creatives.

Some experts believe that “burnout” is a standard excuse of incompetent marketers or Internet marketing specialists in case of ineffective advertising. Unfortunately, there is a problem, and it’s quite serious – a lack of response to burnout can derail any advertising campaign.

More Creatives

Audience burnout isn’t a quick process. Let’s think of an advertising campaign as a big iceberg. At first contact with the audience and in the first month and a half (rarely more), the creative gathers all the “cream” – all the maximum possible reactions – the above-water part of the iceberg is involved. Then the ads start showing to users who have already seen these creatives. They react worse to them, and the effectiveness of the campaign drops dramatically. This means mastering the part that remains “under water”.

Burnout is most pronounced in targeting ads, where the audience remains more or less static and limited: for example, if we take the broadest possible targeting – by geo and socio-demographic characteristics (gender and age), then this is essentially our entire target audience.

The number of users in it will still be finite, but there are several micro-segments within the total audience, varying in terms of their loyalty to the offer. At the start of the campaign the system automatically shows ads to the most loyal users, then to less loyal ones, and so on.

If we showed one ad format with one type of creative and complained about low CTR (clickability rate) – it doesn’t mean that the audience or the creative is burned out. It means that we only managed to reach a couple or three loyal segments of the total audience.

And how do you reach the rest? To use various types and formats of creatives as much as possible, to show each user exactly the creatives that will catch on. It’s important for the message to contain the trigger that will be relevant to the user.

If the audience is initially small – a narrow location or niche – you need to change your approach: better study the audience and work as thoroughly as possible with targeting.

For example, there are probably some specific points that are characteristic of this particular location and the candidates who live there, which means that you will be able to hook them with your creativity.

Signs of Burnout

It’s impossible to miss the burnout: you recognize the problem when the price of the lead increases, the quality of the target audience decreases, the CTR goes down, and most importantly – when you have covered the entire capacity of the audience by social and demographic characteristics 3-4 times, i.e. have exhausted the audience.

Analyze the indicators of analytics. Noticed a decline in the total frequency of clicks – then, the audience is less and less interacted with the ads, it means the effectiveness of the ad is reduced. Don’t waste time, immediately change the strategy and replace the creatives – then the burnout effect can be leveled before the advertising campaign sags completely.

But the period when the creatives start to burn out is different for each project: for one it may be 1-2 weeks, for another – a month and a half. Closely monitor the performance of your advertising campaigns, analyze their progress, and very soon you’ll notice the cyclicality. This will help you get ahead of the curve – you’ll immediately use pre-prepared creatives with new triggers.

Are Creatives Always to Blame?

Before you can be sure that the problem is with burnout creatives, you need to rule out the other causes of low CTR:

  • Ad doesn’t match the user’s request – here you have to work with semantics to eliminate the possibility of showing ads for irrelevant requests.
  • Headline and text of the ad – the headline should catch the attention, represent the essence of the offer, focus on the pain of the audience, call to action if the CTA is not spelled out in the main text. If your text doesn’t work, you’re hitting the “milk.”
  • Adjust targeting. Check to see if ad impressions are turned off for under 18s. If your offer is relevant to candidates from the London region, it makes no sense to show ads to London residents, while the opposite situation is just possible.
  • Time of display of ads. Consider the experience of past ad campaigns: sometimes ads shown late in the evening or at night work better than during traditional business hours. Take into account holidays, as well as various events that can so capture the attention of your target audience that they may miss your ad (sports or political events, news, incidents, etc.).
  • Poor elaboration of key phrases – this problem is solved by spot elaboration of minus-words. Use special operators, which will allow you to fine-tune the display of creatives for the right search queries.
  • Ad doesn’t stand up to competition with others. Analyze your proposal and those of your competitors using a SWOT analysis matrix, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal, its advantages. Add to your offer everything that can make candidates decide in your favor.

How to Reassemble Your Audience and Refresh Your Ad Campaign

It’s important to distinguish between “reassembling” and gathering a new audience. Let’s say you’ve assembled an audience based on certain criteria – for example, candidates who are thinking about changing jobs. In 2 months, this audience will be renewed, as a significant part of it may switch to a new format – someone will already change jobs. Accordingly, gathering the base by the same criteria, you actually rebuild the audience, giving the old base an influx of “fresh blood”.

The new audience is gathered according to the “similarity” principle: you upload the information about your former audience to the advertising cabinet. The system will automatically identify common criteria (interests, geo, socio-demographic characteristics, etc.) and make a selection of users who have not yet seen your advertising, but similar to your potential candidates. Such audiences tend to respond well to targeted ads.

Refresh your audience – now you can get creative. You can change the picture, change the color of the banner, change the background or repaint some details, graphic elements – logo, buttons, etc. You can change the combination and order of elements – for example, swap text and pictures, or focus on the image, and the text to edit and reduce.

Try to find new points of contact with candidates – to do this, work out your target audience in detail, identify their pains and needs. Think about what triggers influence decision-making. Change the lead form, test different communication approaches. If you’ve led candidates to a landing page before, try analyzing the landing page (Visor service – heat map clicks, refusals – exits from the page, etc.) and change the message and triggers on the page.

What triggers can trigger a decision: fear of losing something if the user won’t accept your offer, exclusive offers, ownership of something big, important and prestigious, guarantees, gratitude, intrigue, social proof, controversy, expertise, etc.

Triggers will not only help hook and excite your audience, but also reach segments of users where your initial creatives didn’t work. Using triggers will give additional engagement in ads and activity in comments or user behavior – likes, sharers, reposts.

Look for and test new combinations of creatives and sites, images and text, CTAs (calls to action), expand your audience – change geo, gender, age, interests, find other criteria. Bundle, once tested on a “warm” audience and showed good results, can also work well on the “cold”. Or it may not work – then you need to change your version and keep looking.

Effective, well-functioning ties should always be sought: even if you are satisfied with the performance of the advertising campaign, you can find methods that will make it even more effective. Allocate a small budget for a couple of test campaigns – in some cases, you can reduce the cost of advertising by 1.5-2 times just through tests. Finally, make good quality creatives and test them before launching with focus groups of your peers.


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