Determining The Right Facebook Ads Objectives For Your Marketing Campaign

Determining The Right Facebook Ads Objectives For Your Marketing Campaign

Mark Wong
By Mark Wong

With 2.7 billion users every month, there’s a reason why so many businesses use Facebook to attract new customers, build a following and drive up sales. If you want to run a successful ad campaign, it’s essential to know the why behind your ads. Your objective is one of the first things you’ll be asked to define when setting up a campaign – and it’s what Facebook uses to determine who your ads will be shown to.

In this guide to objectives for Facebook Ads, we’ll walk you through the 11 Facebook Ads objectives, when to use them and why it matters.

If you’re new to Facebook Ads, also check out our guide How to Run Facebook Ads for more information.


What is an objective in Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads Objectives

When creating a Facebook Ads campaign, you need to choose the appropriate objective settings based on what you want your ads to achieve. An objective essentially tells Facebook what you want users to do when they encounter your ad. Facebook uses this information and machine learning to serve your ads to the people who are most likely to take the desired action.

For example, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness, your objective might be to get lots of people to view your ad or recall your brand. If you’re looking to get more traffic to your website, your objective might be to get maximum clicks on your ad. If your focus is conversions, your ad objective might be to maximise sales, sign ups or app downloads.

Why does it matter?

Why Does It Matter

If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your ads, you won’t be able to optimise your ads to maximise performance. 

The specific audience you target, the ad copy and creatives you use and the frequency your ad shows up – all of these factors can change depending on what your objective is. The Facebook algorithm optimises your ad according to your objective – the who, when, where, and how often can all change if you’re attracting a new audience versus trying to convert repeat customers.

There’s another reason objectives for Facebook ads matter. Without a clear objective, you won’t be able to properly measure your success or figure out if the ad campaign was worth the investment.

In the worst case, picking the wrong campaign objective might lead the advertising platform to show your ads to the wrong people at the wrong time.

Picking the right objective is like setting your sights on a single purpose. Your ad doesn’t have to attract a new audience, encourage brand engagement and drive up sales all at the same time. When you focus on a particular objective, you can target the right audience better, collect data points that really matter to you and grow your business at every point of the sales funnel.

11 Facebook Ads Objectives – and When to Use Them

11 Facebook Ads Objectives

Below we break down the different objectives Facebook Ads offers – and when to choose each one.

Awareness objectives

If you’re wanting to generate interest and excitement about your brand or new product, awareness objectives might be the way to go. Awareness objectives help you maximise the amount of people in your target audience who see your ad.

Awareness objectives optimise where and when your ads show up for impressions. This means engagement with likes, clicks and messages might be low. If you want to drive traffic to your website or maximise conversions, these objectives aren’t the best choice for you. 

1. Brand awareness

The brand awareness objective helps you reach a new audience and increase awareness about your brand, products and services. It does so by using ad recall data to show your ads to Facebook users who are most likely to remember your brand. 

To get the most accurate recall data and maximise your results with brand awareness, it’s helpful to run a brand-lift study. That’s why bigger brands with bigger budgets tend to get better results with this objective.

When to use the Brand Awareness objective: when you want to introduce your brand to a wider audience or increase awareness about your products and services.

2. Reach

The reach objective helps show your ads to the most people in your target audience as possible. It optimises your ad for impressions – total number of times your ad is viewed, including repeat views by the same person.

To avoid showing your ad to the same person too many times, you can adjust the frequency settings. You can also adjust your targeting settings to make your ads more relevant, for example targeting a certain location if you provide services in a particular area.

Keep in mind, maximising the number of people that see your ads often means engagement will be lower. In Reach campaigns, not everyone who sees your ad will be interested or pay attention. If you’re wanting more engagement from your target audience, try a consideration objective instead.

When to use the Reach objective: when you want to maximise the number of people your ad reaches within your budget.

Consideration objectives

Consideration Objectives

Consideration objectives get people to take interest in your brand and take action to engage with your brand or find out more information. Consideration objectives are the best option if you’re looking to get more traffic on your website, more engagement on your Facebook page, more app downloads or more leads.

Keep in mind that the type of actions these objectives optimise for are low-intent actions. In other words, Facebook users who take these actions might not necessarily be ready to buy your products or sign up for your services. 

If you’re wanting to see a surge in sales or conversions, optimising for low-intent actions could lead to low-quality leads. In that case, it might be better to opt for a conversion objective.z

3. Traffic

Traffic is the objective to choose if your aim is to drive more traffic to your website. Optimise your ads for link clicks or landing page views and Facebook will show your ad to people who are most likely to click on your link.

When to use the Traffic objective: when your main goal is to get people onto your website to read a blog, browse your services or look at your menu.

4. Engagement

The engagement objective is ideal if you want to maximise engagement on your ad. You can specify to Facebook what type of engagement you want to optimise for. 

  • Post engagement – this optimises your ads for more likes, comments, reactions, shares, video views and all clicks.
  • Event responses – use this to increase the number of people that respond to your event. (If your goal is to increase ticket sales or sign ups for an event, a conversion objective might get you better results).
  • Page likes – this is ideal if your aim is to get more page likes on your Facebook page.

Choosing the engagement objective allows you to create Engagement Audiences which you can use for retargeting purposes in the future.

The engagement objective can also help you gather social proof on your Facebook page which can drive up your brand reputation and may even lead to more organic reach.

Keep in mind that high engagement on an ad won’t necessarily lead to more sales or leads. If your goal is to convert customers, try a conversion objective instead.

When to use the Engagement objective: when you want to improve your brand’s credibility and trust through social proof.

5. App Installs

If you’ve got an app, running an ad with the App Installs objective will help show your ad to people who are more likely to download your app based on their past activities. When they click on your ad, it will take them to the app store where they can download your app directly.

When to use App Installs: when you want to increase the number of downloads of your app.

6. Video Views

Choose the video views objective and Facebook will show your ads to the people in your audience who are most likely to watch your video. You can also use this objective to retarget people who have previously watched your video, reminding them of your brand or products.

When to use Video Views: when you want to engage your target audience through video or remarket your brand to interested people.

7. Lead Generation

You can use the lead generation objective to collect leads on the Facebook platform, without sending users to your website. Users submit information about themselves in exchange for something you’re offering, such as a newsletter or download.

The benefit of lead generation campaigns is that Facebook users don’t have to leave Facebook to submit their information – it’s quick and easy for them. Plus, you can use the data to create a Lead Ad Custom Audience for remarketing efforts you take in the future.

However, lead generation campaigns don’t send people to your website. So if you’re looking to drive up web traffic, it’s not the best option.

When to use Lead Generation: when you want to collect leads in a user friendly way and you’ve got an enticing offer for your target audience.

8. Messages

The Messages objective encourages Facebook users to message you directly using Facebook Messenger. This can help you make a personal touch with your audience, build brand loyalty and collect leads.

Keep in mind, for this type of ad to perform well, you have to be ready to respond quickly and efficiently to the messages you receive. Many users expect a response within 10 minutes to stay interested and engaged, so it requires an active approach from your team.

When to use the Messages objective: when you want your audience to contact you directly and you’ve got the means to respond quickly when they do.

Conversion objectives

Conversion Objectives

Conversion objectives encourage your target audience to buy your products or use your services. These objectives optimise your ads for higher intent actions such as purchases and sign ups.

9. Conversions

If you want people to take a specific action on your website – such as putting an item in the cart, calling you or filling out a contact form – then the conversions objective is a good option.

At the ad set level, you can choose the type of conversion that most aligns with your goals.

To use the conversions objective, you’ll need to set up Facebook Pixel and install the conversion API on your website.

When to use the Conversions objective: when your goal is to send people to your site to buy a product, sign up for a service or submit their details with you.

10. Catalog Sales

If your business sells products, you can create a catalogue on Facebook and then use the catalog sales objective to show your products to people who are likely to make a purchase.

To use this objective, you’ll need to connect your e-commerce store with your Facebook Ads account. Facebook uses machine learning to choose which products from your catalogue are most likely to result in a sale.

You can choose to show your ads to new customers, retarget people who have previously seen your ads or remarket to people who have previously bought products from you.

When to use the Catalog Sales objective: when you have an e-commerce store and want to show your products to a target audience based on Facebook’s machine learning.

11. Store Traffic

If you’ve got multiple physical stores and want to bring more foot traffic through your doors, the store traffic objective might be a good choice.

To get started, you’ll need to add all of your store locations, opening hours and other key information to your Facebook account. Facebook will use this information to show your ads to people within a specific radius of your stores. You can set this radius manually, or leave it automatic.

This objective tends to perform best for businesses with multiple locations. If you’ve only got one physical store, you might be better off using the reach objective to attract your target audience.

When to use the Store Traffic objective: when you’ve got multiple brick-and-mortar stores and want to increase foot traffic through your doors.

Choosing the right objective is crucial

Choosing The Right Objective

Choosing the right objective is crucial when setting up a Facebook Ads campaign. For your ads to be successful, there are a number of other factors you need to get right too – compelling ad creatives, engaging copy, effective targeting settings and the correct campaign type, just to name a few.

If you need help creating or optimising your ad campaigns, the team at Dilate is ready to help. We’re a Facebook Ads agency that can help you grow your business, nail your objectives and maximise results. Call us on to see how we can help.

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