IMPORTANT: How to choose the right Facebook Advertising Objective

When you first go to setup your Facebook Advertising Campaign, you’re faced with a critical decision – which objective do I use for my campaign? We break down the options and what makes most sense for your campaign.


The Background

When you’re first presented with these options, you might be inclined to think that Facebook is trying to control your results. But the reason Facebook asks you to select your object from those choices is, believe it or not, Facebook actually wants you to succeed.

Think about it, if you’re successful on Facebook and you get results then you’re more likely to come back and spend more money with them. It is in their best interest to provide the best results they possibly can for you.

The amount of data that Facebook has on its users and their behaviours, means they actually know which users are more likely to perform a certain action on Facebook. Depending which objective you set at the start of the campaign, will determine the type of people that Facebook find who are likely to complete those objectives.

Facebook have split their objectives into three main categories:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

Awareness Category

In the awareness category there are four types of objectives:

  • Boost your posts
  • Promote your page
  • Reach people near your business
  • Increase brand awareness.

Boost your posts

Firstly, I don’t usually suggest boosting your post. It doesn’t allow you to do some more advanced features and accurate testing that is available through setting up hidden posts.

Promote your page

This tactic drives likes on your page. Yes, likes are less relevant than they once were, but the right likes are still relevant. If you’re promoting your page to the right people and when they like your page, they’re still going to see your posts, particularly straight after once they like your page.

This is because Facebook rank all your posts on different factors and one of them is time and recency they’ve interacted with your page. So as long as you’re next post you publish after they like your page is high quality and a high probability of them engaging with it, then there is still a chance you will get some organic reach on future posts.  

Reach people near your business

This is for people that have a physical address and want to target people locally. It allows you to select a radius around your address and you just show the people that you’ve selected in your audience that are within that actual radius. Great to drive local awareness and trying to drive foot traffic and to get in front of as many local people as possible.

Increase brand awareness

This option is mainly for businesses that have a large budget and are looking to reach as many people as possible by getting basic impressions on their ads, as opposed to getting people to take action on your ad.

Consideration Category

In the consideration category there are five types of objectives:

  • Send people to your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Raise attendance at your event.
  • Get video views
  • Collect leads for your business.

Send people to your website

This is getting someone to click on an ad to go through to your website. It’s driving traffic, and this was a really popular one until they started improving their measurements for conversions and return on investment.

You could use it for instance to get people into their funnel and to start to build some trust and authority with them. They’re not as likely to go and buy something from your website, so it will probably get shown to more people, you’ll find your click-through rates higher because it’s not pushing a promotional offer and you’re not trying to sell to someone, you’re just trying to get someone to interact with your website. It’s a good starting objective.

Get installs of your app

If you’re an app developer or mobile app developer and you want to encourage downloads, then that’s the objective you would use.

Raise attendance at your event.

If you’re running a Facebook event you can drive it to your people that you think would be interested in attending. With the new Facebook Events, users can select if they’re ‘going’ or ‘interested’. So this objective can help reach an audience that may potentially attend your event.

Events also carry great social proof, so you will get some organic reach to attendees networks if they select they’re interested and the location is around a certain individual.

Get video views

With the rise of video, this can sometimes confuse some people that are using a video advertisement in their strategy. This objective is to drive views of a video and not necessarily to a conversion (if that’s the end goal you have) so use this wisely.

You can now re-target and make look-a-like audiences of people that have engaged with a certain amount of your video. This helps you gauge user’s interest based on whether they watch a certain amount – as opposed to only watching 2-3 seconds and keep scrolling. So you could use this objective to initially drive views, and then re-target to people that watched 50%, 75% or 95% of the video

Collect leads for your business

This isn’t as basic as it seems. Collecting leads with this objective is actually using Facebook Lead Advertisements. These are forms built within Facebook that automatically populate the information you want to collect from the user’s Facebook profile. They never actually leave Facebook so there is no loading time, limited data entry and less chance of them bouncing away from the ad because the user experience is so good.

The lead then comes directly to you which you can control manually or connect it with a 3rd party app that automatically delivers the lead to your email service provider for you to take whatever follow up action you would like.

Conversion Category

In the conversion category there are four types of objectives:

  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get people to claim your offer
  • Promote your product catalogue
  • Get people to visit your shops

Increase conversions on your website

We use this objective 9 out of 10 times because you want to drive conversions and get a return on your Facebook ads. Choosing this objective will allow Facebook to show your ad to people that are more likely to perform that action – in this case convert.

Conversions can be different things and don’t always have to be a monetary event. To help track them, you should set up ‘Custom Conversions’ that help you categorise the conversion. They have 9 preset options:

  • View content
  • Search
  • Add to basket
  • Add to wishlist
  • Initiate checkout
  • Add payment info
  • Purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete registration

When you select this objective you designate at the ad set level which conversion you would like to optimise for. So not only will Facebook find someone that is likely to convert, they will find someone that is likely to perform that specific conversion.

This also allows you to bring in people at a certain part of the sales funnel if the final step (purchase) is unlikely to happen on the first time that see your advertisement.

Increase engagement in your app

This is to existing users of your app to engage with content or get them perform an action you within your app

Get people to claim your offer

Facebook have improved their offer capabilities for people to be able to claim them, both in online stores and in physical stores as well.

They can now connect to some eCommerce stores to give unique offer codes so you can track the people that claim the offers.

Facebook offers used to be pretty clunky and people were claiming them but not necessarily using them. But if you’ve got a discount or a particular offer that you think is relevant then testing the option is a good idea.

Promote your product catalogue

This is mainly for eCommerce providers, although it can be adjusted to different businesses. It uses Facebook Product Ads to bring in an automatic feed of products. The feed takes some technical work to set up but some online store providers can now automate it for you.

You then set up ‘rules’ or ‘conditions’ to show a particular ad based on what behaviours they performed on your products within your website.

For example, if it’s a clothing store and they go and look at T shirts but don’t purchase, then the feed and the rules you set up show them the rest of the range of T shirts or different styles, colours and fits etc.

It is one of those ‘set and forget’ advertising objectives and it needs the least amount of manual work on because it happens automatically.

Because you’re retargeting to ‘warm’ leads that have shown an interest in particular products they are the highest converting ads by a long shot, so if you have an eCommerce store, you should definitely want to look into doing those.

Get people to visit your shops

This is for businesses that have multiple locations or franchises and want to deliver the same or similar advertisements to all the addresses, without having to manually go through and enter each address individually.

You need to have your business locations set up before using this option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run two objectives at the one time on the one campaign?

No. You can make them work congruently quite well though. For instance, if you wanted to use the send people to website objective to drive traffic then you could re-target to those browsers using increase conversions.

How do I track conversions that happen outside of my campaign?

Facebook have actually introduced ‘offline conversions’. This allows businesses to track the true value of conversions from a campaign which traditionally was more difficult to do if they converted as part of the campaign, but the conversion occurred in person or after a long period of time.

You can now upload a file of people that have purchased and Facebook will compare the data you label to users they have shown your advertising to. If the data is a match it will then count that as a conversion in your campaign.

It’s a much ‘truer’ measure of return on investment.

So, they’re your different Facebook ad objectives you can choose. Remember that while the objective drives the end goal, all the targeting, budget and placement details are set at the Ad Set level. Which Facebook advertising objective is most relevant to you? Tell us in the comments!