Understanding Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives

There is no doubt that Facebook ads are a great way to drive traffic and generate leads. After all, the platform has 2.5 billion monthly users, which makes it extremely attractive to advertisers – all 7 million of them. Unfortunately, advertising on Facebook isn’t as easy as just throwing $10 at a boosted post. To succeed and achieve maximum ROI, you need to understand all the Facebook ad campaign objectives and how each of them can benefit your business. 

After all, the objective is the first thing you’ll be asked when it’s time to create an ad.

Facebook campaign objectives – the action you want your audience to take when they see your ad – is just one of the ways the platform determines who to show your ad to.

Within the Ads Manager, there are 11 Facebook ad campaign objectives, which span the three overarching categories of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and conversions.

facebook ad campaign objectives

There are so many options when it comes to choosing Facebook ad campaign objectives that it’s easy to start feeling overwhelming. But don’t worry. We’ll break down all the different objectives to help you figure out which is going to be most useful to you.

Awareness Facebook Campaign Objectives

As it says on the tin, awareness objectives help generate awareness of or interest in your product or service.

1. Brand Awareness

As you probably could have guessed, awareness ads help to increase awareness of your business. If you’re looking to attract a brand new audience, these types of ads can be a good option. This is because Facebook will show these types of ads to the people in your audience who are most likely to pay attention and actually recall the ads.

Facebook predicts recall ability by polling audience members on whether or not they remember seeing the ad, as well as analysing their past interactions with ads. 

The sole focus of these ads is just to make people aware of your brand, so don’t expect any major engagement or click-through. They do, however, help to establish familiarity with your brand and pique the interest of your target audience. So you can use these ads to keep users aware of your brand, and highlight what it is that makes your business special.

When to use awareness ads. Choose the awareness objective to increase the chances of your target audience recalling and recognizing your brand and the features which make it stand out from competitors. 

2. Reach

Reach ads are shown to as many people within your target audience as possible while staying within budget. You can specify the location you’d like your audience to be in so that the ads only show to people near your business. You can also specify the frequency of reach ads – how many times a person will see the ad.

While this strategy does maximise the number of people who see your ad, Facebook doesn’t take into account the likelihood of those people paying attention. So as Facebook ad campaign objectives go, this one may not be the best. You might end up paying for your ad to be shown to people who are known to just scroll past your ad.

When to use reach ads. Make use of reach ads when you want to reach as many people as possible. This objective can work well for local businesses such as coffee shops who want to reach everyone in a target area.

Consideration Facebook Campaign Objectives

Similar to awareness, consideration Facebook ad campaign objectives encourage audience members to learn more and think about your business.

3. Traffic

The traffic objective is used to send people from their Facebook feed to a URL of your choosing – most often your homepage, landing page, storefront, app or event page. 

Facebook achieves this by showing ads to audience members who are most likely to click, based on their past behaviour. This is possible because Facebook knows a lot about its users. By bringing more users to your chosen destination, you can increase the chances of one of those users taking a favourable action on your landing page.

However, it’s worth noting that with the traffic objective, Facebook is only responsible for encouraging clicks. They do not measure any actions a user takes once they leave the platform. 

When to use traffic ads. Choose traffic ads when you want to direct users to a specific URL so that they can learn more about what you are promoting. 

4. Engagement

Again based on past behaviour, Facebook shows engagement ads to the users who they predict will engage with your ad in some form. This could be likes, comments, directions or shares. There are three types of engagement ads: post engagement, page likes or event responses.  

Page likes and post engagement will both boost engagement for your business page and ad respectively. Event response engagement ads, obviously, are a way to promote your event, get people excited and increase attendance. Engagement ads make use of social proof to determine whether an audience member will be more likely to pay attention to and be interested in ad ad after seeing other users interact with it. 

When people engage with your ads, their activity is then shared with their Facebook friends, thus reaching even more people. This validation can help your online word-of-mouth marketing.

When to use engagement ads. Use engagement ads to build brand credibility with shares, comments and likes, as well as increase audience interaction with your business on Facebook.

5. App Installs

The app install objective obviously has quite a narrow focus – driving mobile app installs by taking users directly to the App Store or Google Play store to download your app. Facebook will show these ads to users within your target audience who have previously downloaded apps from ads. This helps to increase your app installations.

When to use app install ads. Choose the app installs objective when you want to increase app downloads for your business.

6. Video Views

Facebook shows video view ads to your audience with the aim of achieving as many views as possible – obvious, right? These ads can be an extremely powerful way to show your service in a consumable and engaging way. According to a HubSpot report, over 50% of consumers want to see more video content from brands.

What makes video view ads so valuable is their ability to help you to retarget users who have already watched your video. You can retarget these users and remind them of your brand or your products and services, helping to boost both brand awareness and conversions. 

When to use video view ads. Video view ads are a good choice when you want to share information about your business and reach your target audience through an engaging medium. You can then retarget those who have already watched your video to boost chances of conversion.

7. Lead Generation

As should be becoming clear, most Facebook ad campaign objectives are fairly self-explanatory, and often rely on past behaviour.

Lead generation ads allow users to remain on Facebook, submitting their personal information through an on-page lead generation form. They are a great way to embed lead magnets within the Facebook feed.

The ability for a user to remain on Facebook is one of the advantages of this type of ad. Firstly, it makes it easy for users to provide their details, as they never stray too far from whatever they were originally on the platform for. This results in a seamless user experience which can increase the chances of conversions. Facebook can also pre-populate form fields by pulling the information directly from the user’s account details. This means that all they have to do is click submit. 

While this does increase overall conversion rates, it can mean that you get more tire-kickers. 

When to use lead generation ads. Make use of this type of ad when you want to collect leads for your business with an enticing offer. This often works best when the user is already within the consideration stage of their buying journey. This is when they are most likely to be willing to exchange their contact information.

8. Messages

When utilising the messages objective, users can directly message your business from the ad using Facebook Messenger. This can be an effective way to personally connect with your audience, generating interest in your business. When you engage with your audience through messenger, you’re able to actually connect with your audience rather than just talking to them.

You can leverage these conversations as an opportunity to answer any questions your users may have, offer customer support or just build rapport with your audience.. They are also a good opportunity to generate leads and drive sales. Utilising Messenger is a good way to show your audience that there’s actually a human on the other end, ready to offer them support.

With messaging ads, it’s important that you be ready to respond quickly and effectively once the messages start to roll in. Potential customers may lose interest quickly if you are not responsive. 

When to use messaging ads.  Use messaging ads to encourage users to contact your business through Facebook Messenger, but only if you’re prepared and able to respond in a timely manner.

Conversion Facebook Campaign Objectives

Of all the Facebook ad campaign objectives, conversion objectives are the best for driving sales and generating leads. They nudge audiences to buy or use your product or service.

9. Conversions

As should be fairly obvious, the goal of conversion ads is to encourage people to convert. In other words, to convince users to take valuable actions on your website or app. This could include filling in a lead form, registering for events, adding items to cart, or making a purchase.

These types of ads are most successful when they are delivered to people who are already familiar with your business. Those who have already gone through the awareness and consideration stages might just need an extra push toward conversion, and that’s what these ads provide. 

These ads require installing the Facebook pixel on your website, in order to correctly optimise your campaign. The pixel is a small piece of code for your site. It tracks each time a user takes action and converts through a Facebook ad. 

With each conversion, Facebook further learns who to target in these ads to maximize conversions.

When to use conversion ads. Make use of conversion ads to increase any type of conversion action on your site. These ads should ideally be targeted towards those who are already knowledgeable about your business. 

10. Catalogue Sales

Catalogue sales ads are made with a holistic view of ecommerce stores in mind. Rather than promoting a single product or service, ads with this objective will show relevant products from your store to any people who have demonstrated some kind of interest in them before. With the pixel mentioned before, Facebook is able to recognise this behavior based on its understanding of your offerings and the user.

Catalogue sales ads require you to integrate your product catalog with Facebook, which allows the platform to pull a selection from your store, adjusting it as needed for your target audience based on various factors. These factors can include things like your latest arrivals.

These ads are more specific than conversion ads, as the end goal is specifically to generate sales, whereas the goal of conversion ads can be anything from filling in a lead form or adding payment information.

When to use catalogue sales ads. Choose this type of ad if you prefer that Facebook use their machine learning predictions to select which products from your catalogue are most relevant for your audience, in order to increase sales.

11. Store Traffic

Of all the Facebook ad campaign objectives, this is the only objective that helps you to drive actual foot-traffic to your physical location. The goal of these ads is to remove the digital barrier, and get your audience into your brick-and-mortar store. 

The ads are delivered to people who are physically near your store, making them more likely to visit. Unfortunately, audience demographics are not considered with store traffic ads, and they are targeted based on location only.

Store traffic ads need two specific things to work. As the advertiser, you must ensure that all your business locations are properly entered in Business Manager. For the consumer, their location services must be enabled so Facebook knows when to show the ad.

With those stars aligned, you’ll be able to track your store visits at each location from the ad.

When to use store traffic ads. Choose this ad if your business has brick and mortar locations and you’re looking to increase store visits.

Now, when you log into Facebook Ads Manager, you should have a better idea what all the campaign objectives mean. If you’re ready to roll your sleeves up, we can help you step-by-step through the Facebook ad creation process.