If you’ve ever ventured into Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll know that you’re faced with a multitude of decisions before you can unleash your ad on the world.
You have to choose your campaign objective, your audience, your ad format (image / video / carousel / slideshow), your headline, copy, creative and a call to action. It’s a lot!
But did you know that the first decision you make – choosing your objective – is THE most important one of all?
Why? Because if you set the wrong objective, you’re telling Facebook to show your ads to the wrong people – people who aren’t going to take the action you want them to take.
But don’t worry. Because once you know how to pick the right objective, you’ll soon be on the road to ad success.
What Is An Ad Objective?
To understand what an objective is, and which one to use, you first need to understand how Facebook works.
Every time you take an action on Facebook – whether that’s liking a post, commenting, joining a group or watching a video – the platform is building a picture of your behaviour.
It uses this information, along with data from other places you’ve visited on the web, to understand future actions you’re likely to take.
This is relevant because it’s how Facebook knows who is most likely to click on a certain link, watch a particular video or buy your product. And that’s why it’s super important to know what your goal is before you start.
Which Facebook Ad Objective Is Right For You?
A Reach ad will be shown to as many people as possible. These people aren’t likely to take any specific action on seeing your advert.
Think of it as old-school leafleting. You’re just telling lots and lots of people ‘Hey I’m here.’
It’s mostly used by big businesses with really big budgets – but Reach can sometimes be useful for a small business, such as a café or a beauty salon, just to let people in the local area know you are there.
A traffic campaign can be used to take people to your website or app.
You might use it to invite people to find out more about your business, read a blog or discover your services.
When you choose the Traffic objective you’re asking Facebook to show your ads to people in your audience who are most likely to click through to your site or app.
You can then retarget them in future ads to encourage them to buy, book or sign up!
Engagement ads are shown to people who like to get involved. This ad will be shown to Facebook users who are the most likely to like, comment or share your post.
The Engagement objective is particularly powerful for building what’s known as ‘social proof.’
In other words, your ad will seem more attractive to more people because it comes loaded with likes and comments. This can encourage people to connect more widely with your brand on Facebook and Instagram.
Video View ads will be shown to people who are most likely to watch a video. Viewers are unlikely to take any other action.
A Video Views campaign is a good way to build a ‘warm’ audience (an audience that’s already aware of you) before retargeting people who actively watched a certain percentage of your ad.
You’re probably getting the picture by now, but – unsurprisingly – the Messages objective will target Facebook users who are most likely to engage with you via Messenger.
This can be a great way to interact personally with potential customers, get more leads and answer customer questions.
This one is key. This is the objective to use if you want sales, or for someone to sign up to your email list.
You’ll pay a lot more per result than for the other objectives we’ve just discussed, as it’s asking much more of your audience.
Naturally enough, people will like a post or click a link more readily than they will buy a product.
You may want to run Conversions campaigns to ‘warm’ audiences who have already liked your posts or watched your videos, though you may get good results from ‘cold’ audiences too.
There is, of course, a range of other ad objectives to choose from – Brand awareness, App installs, Lead generation, Catalogue sales and Store traffic.
I hope that by understanding the importance of choosing the right objective from the outset, you feel more empowered with your ads.