Which Facebook Ad Objective Should I Choose?

Posted on June 29, 2017 by

Facebook Ad Objectives

Have you ever been confused as to which Facebook Ad objective you should choose when setting up your Facebook Ad campaigns?

I see too many people stumbling at this very first hurdle when setting up their ads, so they revert to the easier method of just boosting their posts. But there is a better way — that has the potential to generate better results — if you just take the time to understand what each of the objectives means.

Facebook uses the data it obtains from people’s actions on Facebook to assist in deciding which people within the target audience you have chosen for your ad campaign should get priority in seeing your ads. You can assist Facebook in delivering your ads to those people who are most likely to take your desired action by choosing the right Facebook ad objective for your campaign.

An Array of Facebook Ad Objectives

Facebook breaks objectives up into three categories — Awareness, Consideration and Conversion — with various options under each.

Different Facebook Ad Objectives to choose from

Pick the category that works best with where people are in your sales funnel.

Awareness objectives are top of funnel objectives that aim to generate interest in what you have to offer.

Consideration objectives are more middle funnel. Consider using these to reach people who may have some interest in what you have to offer and are likely to want to engage or discover more information.

Conversion objectives are toward the bottom of your funnel and should be used when you want people to register, opt-in, download, purchase, or visit your store.

Within each of these options are specific objectives you can choose from. Select a Facebook ad objective that best aligns with the goal you have for your campaign, based on the desired action you wish your target audience to take. Each of these objectives have been described below, along with examples of when you might use each, as well as some potential exceptions that you should take into consideration.

Awareness Objectives

Here are the two choices you have when your objective is focused on awareness.

Brand Awareness

Use the Brand Awareness objective when you are looking to increase awareness for your brand and don’t necessarily want people to engage with your content, click through, opt-in, or purchase. This objective will assist you in reaching people who are more likely to pay attention to what you are promoting in your ad.

This objective may be of value to large companies, such as McDonald’s who are trying to put their brand front of mind with consumers and are not necessarily looking to generate web traffic, leads or sales. However, smaller businesses with limited advertising budgets might not find as much value in this type of objective when compared against some of the other options.

Reach

Use the Reach objective to get your ad seen by as many people as possible within your target audience and budget constraints.

This objective can helpful to target a small audience and your priority is to reach as many people within that audience as possible, even if you also want them to visit your website, watch your video, or convert on your website. You would choose Reach over those other objectives in this case as choosing one of the other objectives could limit your potential reach based on the likely actions of your target audience.

Consideration

When you want the audience to do more than ooh and ah, you should try one of these five objectives.

Traffic

Use the Traffic objective when your goal is to drive traffic outside of Facebook. This might be to read a blog post, listen to a podcast episode, visit your landing page, or discover your app. Facebook will show your ad to those people within your target audience that are most likely to click on your link, based on their past behaviors.

However, if you want people to visit your website to opt-in, register, or purchase and you have the ability to track that they have achieved that objective (i.e. they land on a specific “thank-you” page that indicates they have achieved your desired objective), then you would usually choose the Conversion objective rather than the Traffic objective. More on that shortly…

Engagement

Use the Engagement objective when you want more people to engage with your ad. Engagements on your ads include reactions, likes, comments, and shares. You can also use the Engagement objective when you wish to generate more Page Likes, Event Responses, or Offer Claims.

Facebook Ad Objective - Engagement

Optimizing your campaigns for Engagement means that Facebook will deliver your ads to those people who are most likely to engage with your ad. This can have the added bonus of generating additional reach, as people’s engagement with your content can generate additional stories and organic reach into news feeds beyond the initial audience you have paid to access.

Choosing the Engagement objective can also assist you in building your Facebook Page Engagement Audiences that you can use for retargeting purposes for future advertising campaigns.

App Installs

Use the App Installs objective if you have an app and wish to send people to the store where they can download your app.

Video Views

Use the Video Views objective when you are promoting a video and your primary objective is to get more people to view your video and your priority is not for them to click on your link or convert on whatever you are promoting.

Video Views is a great objective to choose when you wish to build up a video engagement audience that you can use for retargeting purposes for future advertising campaigns.

However, just because you are using video, doesn’t mean that you have to choose the Video Views objective. For example, if you are looking to get people to click through from your video, then you should use the Traffic objective and choose video as the format for your content.

Similarly, if you are wishing to get people to convert after they watch your video, then you should use Conversion as your objective and choose video as the format for your content.

Facebook Ad Objective - Video Format

Lead Generation

Use the Lead Generation objective when you want to generate leads on Facebook right within the ad and without driving traffic to your website. Facebook Lead Generation ads allow you to capture data such as name, email address, phone number, etc, auto-populating this information where this is already available.

For example, Facebook will auto-populate their name, email address and perhaps even phone number (if that is a field you have chosen and they have already provided that data to Facebook as part of their profile). This makes it really easy for people to complete you lead form and can often result in you obtaining their best data, as most people would use their best email address as the email they use to login to Facebook.

If you are using Lead Ads, you need to use a third party tool that integrates with Facebook and automatically takes those emails you are capturing via your Lead Ads and inputs them into the email marketing software or CRM you are using to deliver the offer you are promoting. You can do this within the Leads Setup section of your Publishing Tools on your Facebook Page. It is important that you do this, as most people will expect to receive what you are offering immediately after opting in.

Facebook Ad Objective - Lead Generation

If you don’t have this integration setup you will need to go into the Forms Library within the Publishing Tools section of your Facebook Page and download any captured leads and then manually deliver them what you have promised in your ad. This is not an ideal user experience.

One of the drawbacks in using the Lead Generation objective over other objectives is that you won’t be building your website traffic audience as a result of the lead capturing experience, as people don’t have to visit your website to opt-in. However, this does generate a Lead Ad Custom Audience that you can use for retargeting purposes in future.

Conversion

Use the Conversion objective when your goal is to get people to convert for a specific action, whether that be opt-in, register or purchase.

Facebook Ad Objective - Conversions

Conversions

To optimize for Conversions, you need to have a minimum of 15-25 conversions per week. This minimum number of conversions provides Facebook with sufficient data to be able to learn about those people that convert and make assumptions around those people who are most likely to convert within your target audience and then deliver your ads to more of those people. 15-25 conversions is a bare minimum. 50-100+ is ideal and the more conversions, the better as this provides more data for Facebook to work with.

If there is insufficient data available, then Facebook won’t be able to learn about the characteristics of those people who are converting and therefore Facebook won’t be able to accurately optimize the delivery of your ads for this objective. Where this is the case, delivery of that ad might be limited when using the Conversion objective.

With this in mind, if you have a very low traffic to conversion ratio (as might be the case with a high priced product or service) you may choose the Traffic objective over the Conversion objective, even if your primary objective is to get people to visit your website to opt-in, register or purchase. This is because while you want people to convert, choosing the Conversion objective may limit your reach due to insufficient data being captured as a result of the low conversion rate.

Assuming you have targeted your audience well, optimizing for Traffic may be good enough and a better option than Conversion, given the lack of available data for Facebook to work with.

Product Catalog Sales

Use the Product Catalog objective when you have an e-commerce store and would like to promote products from your product catalog. This requires you integrating your product catalog with Facebook and generating product feeds that you can choose from when creating your campaigns.

Facebook Ad Objective - Product Catalogue Sales

Store Visits

Use the Store Visits Facebook ad objective when you have multiple business locations and wish to promote your business to people who are nearby. You will need to setup your business locations in business manager before you will be able to use this objective.

This can be a great way to capture foot traffic to your business, delivering ads that are timely based on people’s current location.

Facebook Ad Objective - Store Visits

Optimizing for Ad Delivery

Choosing the appropriate objective based on your goal for each campaign will by default optimize your ads for delivery based on that objective. You can change this at the Ad Set level, however I would recommend that you go with the default option in most cases, which will allow the Facebook Ad’s algorithm to help you get the results you want for the lowest cost.

facebook dark post

Testing Your Next Facebook Ad Objective

Like always, you should be testing your objectives to see what is working best for you. I have some clients who get a much lower cost per link click and cost per conversion when they optimize for Engagement rather than Traffic or Conversion.

This seems counterintuitive, but it seems to work well for them, as they have a highly engaged audience and by optimizing for engagement they get a lot of additional organic reach as a result of people reacting, commenting, and sharing their content. This results in their ads being seen by people beyond their initial Facebook Ads audience targeting, which generates a lot of traffic to their opt-in and sales pages that they haven’t paid for and many of those people do convert.

I have tested optimizing campaigns for Engagement for other clients who have less engaged audiences and opt-ins and conversions have been much lower as a result.

The key thing here is that we never would’ve known this if we hadn’t tried, so I encourage you to try optimizing your campaigns for different objectives and start comparing your campaigns to discover what works best for your Facebook Ads.

Which Facebook ad objective do you use that generates the best results for your business? Let us know in the comments below so others can learn from your experiences.

Loren Bartley is as a social media strategist, speaker, trainer, consultant, Facebook Ads specialist, blogger and podcaster. As the founder of Impactiv8, Loren helps businesses leverage the power of social media and online marketing to generate more fans, leads, customers and sales. Loren is also the producer and co-host of #BusinessAddicts The Podcast.