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June 18, 2018

How Long Should I Run My Mobile Ad Campaign?

3 key principles for optimizing campaign duration.

Mobile Ad Campaign Duration

What’s the optimal mobile ad campaign duration? The answer to that question depends on a lot of factors: the goal of your campaign, the audience you’re targeting, and the budget you want to spend, to name a few. However, there are three principles to keep in mind as you consider how long to run your campaign.

1. Don’t run the same ad so long that consumers get tired of seeing it.

If a consumer sees the same ad over and over again, he or she may start to tune the ad — or worse yet, your brand — out. Use the following best practices to avoid “ad fatigue.”

  • Ensure your campaign duration makes sense relative to your campaign goal, audience size, and budget. As we shared in How to Choose Mobile Ad Campaign Goals That Get Results, campaign goals map to the common marketing funnel. As a general rule, the further down the funnel, the more time it will take to see the desired result. That means you may want to run a “conversion” campaign longer than an “awareness” campaign, for example. As another rule of thumb, the smaller an audience and the larger a budget, the more your ad will be shown to the individuals within that audience, so opt for a shorter duration.
  • Keep an eye on performance. It’s a good idea to check in daily on a campaign’s performance. Pay close attention to “frequency,” which is the average number of times a consumer has seen the ad. The higher that number, the more likely your audience will get fatigued.
  • Switch up your creative. Using multi-image ad formats or running multiple versions of the ad with varying images, colors, or copy are ways to keep your ads fresh and attract more clicks. Plus, you’ll be able to see what creative works best to help inform future campaigns.

2. Run the ad long enough to optimize results and get meaningful insights.

When you launch a campaign to a social media platform like Facebook, the platform will likely put your campaign through a “learning phase” in which machine learning and algorithms “learn” about your ads, the audiences you’re targeting, and more. As the platform better understands what you are trying to achieve, it will make adjustments to enhance your results.

This learning doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important that you run your campaign long enough to give the social media platforms enough time for their algorithms to kick in and add more muscle to your campaign.

Once again, how long is long enough depends on your unique situation. Research has proven that 45 days is approximately how long it takes a consumer to retain and recall information, so that may be a good reference point. Keep in mind, just because you run a campaign for 45 days doesn’t mean you should use the same ad creative the whole time.

3. Test, test, test.

As with any marketing tactic, the best way to optimize your mobile ad campaign duration is to run multiple tests to see what performs best for your unique objective, audience, budget, and ad content. We recommend testing ads against each other for a week or two at a time, reviewing the results, and making adjustments.

Within Insights in the Denim platform, easy-to-understand analytics allow you to access real-time campaign data and share local insights with participating users in just two clicks. One of the best parts of advertising on mobile and social media is the ability to make adjustments on the fly, turn off campaigns that aren’t working the way you want them to, and quickly test something else.

Watch for exciting announcements in the weeks ahead related to campaign testing and optimization inside the Denim platform, and be sure to schedule a demo to learn more!

Get our latest ebook, Best Practices For Linking Brand and Local Advertising Campaigns