Ad Rotation enables you to rotate ads within an ad set automatically. Use this feature to reduce ad fatigue and serve your audience with fresh ads with less manual work.
Set up ad rotation
You can set up ad rotation under the Optimization tab when creating a new campaign or editing an existing campaign.
A rotation rule can be defined based on the number of days the ad has been running, by frequency, or by a performance metric such as CPA. Frequency refers to how many times an ad has been shown, on average, to each individual user. After all ads in the ad set have been rotated, you can select whether ad rotation starts a new rotation from the beginning, leaves the last ad running, or pauses all ads. You can also choose to use Smartly.io Creative Optimization.
Example 1: Ad rotation based on time
Let's say you have five creatives, and you wish to show only one of them at a time so that every two days, a new creative is activated. This makes each of the five creatives run for two days, and after Ad Rotation has gone through all of them, the rotation will start from the beginning.
You can also set the ads to rotate more frequently than once a day. To do this, set How many days active to 0, then click Show Advanced Options and set the Check interval to the frequency you'd like, e.g., every 3 hours.
Example 2: Ad rotation based on frequency
Let's say your design team gave you 20 creative variations, and you want the audience to see "fresh" ads for a longer time. Set up Ad Rotation based on Frequency to rotate ads when their average frequency reaches a certain limit. This way your audience might see the same ads multiple times in a row, but will be served fresh ads later.
Every time the feature runs, it checks the ad's average frequency (impressions / unique reach). If the frequency exceeds the limit you have set, the ad is paused, and the next ad is activated.
For example, to keep one ad running at a time, and to pause an ad when it exceeds the average frequency of 3, use these settings:
To handle ads after all the ads have been rotated, we recommend that you select the keep last ones running option. This ensures that the campaign doesn't stop when you have no more fresh ads to show.
By default, ads are checked every day at 23:45. You can change the activation time under Advanced options.
Example 3: Ad rotation based on performance
This example shows how to set up CPA-based ad rotation. Rotation based on other performance metrics is set up in a similar way. In this case, there would be 3 ad active at a time, and each ad is given at least 3 days of time to collect data. After that the CPA condition is checked every 3 hours, and if CPA for Purchases is over 30€ or there is 0 conversion and spend over 30€ the ad will be paused and replaced with a new ad.
The statistics timeframe for the CPA is last 5 days and the attribution window is account default but can be changed if you are using conversions.
If you are using custom metrics, you will see them in the conversion event selector.
Exclude ads from the rotation
You can exclude ads from rotation by changing their status. If you change the ad's status outside of Smartly.io, the ad will also be excluded from the rotation. You can also put ads back into the rotation.
⚠️You should not use Ad Rotation simultaneously with the Dayparting feature. Specifically, if you have the Dayparting schedule set to have ads paused over midnight when the Ad Rotation runs, then all ads will be excluded from the rotation, rendering the feature useless.
⚠️If you activate Ad Rotation on an existing campaign that includes paused ads, Ad Rotation can activate those paused ads once it starts running. However, if you manually pause ads in a campaign that already has Ad Rotation activated, the ads will be excluded from the rotation.
An excluded ad can be included again into rotation by pressing the green + button next to the rotation info text.
To include or exclude multiple ads, select one or more ads and use the Exclude from Ad rotation and Include in Ad rotation actions.
Manual running of ad rotation (currently not supported)
When using Ad Rotation, new ads are added in the campaigns as paused, waiting to be rotated in by the next rotations according to the configuration. (Smartly Creative Optimization prioritizes new ads over the ones that have been previously rotated.) If you don't want to wait until the next rotation, you can manually override the schedule by selecting Rotate ads manually now.