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Facebook Advertising Objectives: Which is Right For My Campaign?

Facebook Advertising offers brands a myriad of distinct ways to design an advertising campaign. But for a brand trying to find success in the Facebook Ad game, these seemingly endless options can be daunting. Facebook provides 13 Objectives, 5 Placements & 4 Formats to choose from for an advertising campaign, but the minimal description of what each does can lead to a lot of confusion. This post is the first in a series where we will discuss Facebook campaign management at a high level. If you’d like to get into brand specific details, please contact me to talk about social media campaign management.

What are Facebook Advertising Objectives?

Each Facebook Advertising Objective drives toward a goal. To start, we need to determine the goal of your specific campaign. Each of the Objectives has been grouped by the goal they accomplish most effectively. Many Objectives can accomplish multiple goals when built properly, but each has its own core strategy.

As your business grows, your campaign goals change. First, your campaigns may focus on building awareness and acquiring new customers, and, later, you may encourage people to make a purchase or sign up for an event. At each point, you’ll select a campaign Advertising Objective that matches each campaign goal – Facebook

GOAL: Brand Awareness, Reach & Engagement
Facebook Advertising Boosted Campaign - Pottery Barn

Facebook Advertising Boosted Campaign – Pottery Barn

Boost Your Posts

Boosting Facebook posts is a simple campaign that can be especially powerful. Here’s the basics: you select a post on your page and pay to increase the number of people that see it. Due to the Facebook algorithm limiting the number of people who organically see your posts, ‘pay to play’ has become standard to reach your fans. You can target these campaigns to  your fans, fans and their friends, or to a distinct audience you select through targeting options. This Objective is successful for two reasons: driving engagement on the posts and encouraging new fans.

One of the most important tricks here is you don’t have to actually boost a post that already exists. Once you get through the selection of the objective, targeting, and budget, you can create a new post that will only be used for the ad campaign. This is extremely powerful for running A/B testing of the same imagery and different copy as well as organic vs paid with the same content.

Get Video Views

Video view campaigns are used in the exact same way as a boosted post, just with video content instead of static imagery. Like boosted posts, you can create these campaigns to live in ads only but look like a native post. This means it looks like a post on your page even though it doesn’t actually exist there. And the person viewing the ad will only know that it is a ‘paid’ post because it says “sponsored” (like in the image of the Pottery Barn Ad). These campaigns are billed at a cost per view but still encourage engagement. This adds a secondary value to your results. Video campaigns are powerful, and with the right Call to Action (CTA) and content can also drive a significant amount of traffic to the website (extra bonus!).

Promote Your Page

Promotion of the page itself without a post or a website campaign tied to it accomplishes 1 goal: new fans (Reach). And while the number of people who have liked your page is a great marker, it has zero value without engagement. I find that the goal of this campaign objective can be better accomplished through a different objective: Boosted Posts. Using boosted posts to a target audience that isn’t already your fan encourages both engagement AND fans, which is a much stronger result.

Increase Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness campaigns have been available through Facebook Power Editor since last year. But for most brands using the ‘ad manager’, these are a new addition to the list.

From the Facebook Developer site – “Brand Awareness uses a combination of real-time proxy metrics, including both the reach and relative attention the users give to the campaign, to maximize ad recall lift. We introduced a new BRAND_AWARENESS objective and a new BRAND_AWARENESS optimization_goal, provided more control with REACH optimization_goal, and added a new reporting metric.”

Facebook Brand Awareness Campaigns
Simply put: This campaign is about brand RECALL. How well does someone remember your brand after they have seen your ad? And, with more control over the frequency of ad delivery, you can create a longer Facebook advertising campaign with more pieces to the puzzle. It’s definitely a powerful new option, but will take a unique strategy to get the most from it. One big recommendation: do not use these for web traffic. These are about branding and recognition; if you want website traffic, select an Objective specifically in that category.

Reach People Near Your Business

If your brand is a hyper-local business, carrying products/services that can be purchased by almost everyone, but desires to narrow targeting by age and gender, this is a place to start. However, I find that almost every other campaign option is more effective. Having only 2 options for targeting makes this campaign very one-dimensional so I rarely recommend these. 99% of the time, brands are better off using “Boost post” or “Promote Page” instead.

GOAL: Find Potential Customers
Facebook Advertising Website Clicks Dollar Shave Club

Facebook Advertising Website Clicks – Dollar Shave Club

Send People to Your Website

Website Traffic campaigns should run during the same time as campaigns that focus on either engagement or conversions. They are exceptional when you’re looking to build a database of potential customers and learn visitor behavior. These campaigns are most effective when you use a custom audience based on website traffic and targeting people who have viewed specific products or pages (also known as retargeting campaigns). Be aware of your classifications and audience segments as well as your frequency to avoid over-saturation in your target audience.

Collect Leads for Your Business
Facebook Advertising Event Attendance Burger Boss

Facebook Advertising Event Attendance – Burger Boss

Why would you use a Facebook lead generation campaign instead of your website lead generation form? Simplicity. Facebook lead generation campaigns feel cohesive to the users experience on Facebook. The form can auto populate with a users Facebook information and doesn’t direct them off the platform. By combining the form with a valuable offer or inside information, this is a perfect campaign for the top of the sales funnel at a significantly lower Cost per lead. And by adding in custom audiences, it can become a generator for qualified leads too.

Raise Attendance at Your Event

Event pages are successful when you allow the people who are interested in attending to take the lead in the conversation. Promotion of an event page is essential to drive awareness. It can also be used to create leads/sell tickets by integrating your website properly into the campaign. The best campaigns will have a social sharing component to encourage the organic reach of the event. Location-based targeting will be your best friend here.



GOAL: Drive Sales (Ecomm or Brick & Mortar)
Facebook Advertising Website Conversions - Beta Brand

Facebook Advertising Website Conversions – Beta Brand

Increase Conversions on Your Website
Facebook Advertising Offer Splendid

Facebook Advertising Offer – Splendid

If you’re using this campaign for a NEW customer, you could be looking at anywhere from $10-$100 to get a sale. Having a firm understanding of your cost per sale vs cost per acquisition is key. If your product price can’t support the CPS/CPA, you’ll spend more than you’ll ever get out of it. However, if you’re using this in combination with custom audiences and understand the long term value of building new customers, that cost becomes less important. These campaigns work well with the right offer and targeting. They should run at the same time as engagement and branding campaigns for maximum impact.

Get People to Claim Your Offer

Offers are designed to be used during a limited window of time or for a very specific product. To make an impact, you need to have a heavy discount or special gift with purchase and a limited supply. Facebook offer campaigns work great in both Ecomm or Brick & Mortar stores, but the long-term impact for a brick & mortar is significantly greater. Getting a customer to walk through your doors, even if it is for a discount, gives your brand the opportunity to create a customer for life. Be aware: once you create an offer, you can’t edit or delete it. So, triple check your wording, imagery, and details before you click publish.

Promote a Product Catalog

Until recently, Facebook dynamic ads were only available through the developer API or select partners. And they have been extremely powerful. Now, dynamic ads and product catalog campaigns have been opened up to all brands. However, these campaigns are not for beginners. The back-end work to build this out takes development expertise and ideally, a live feed from your existing product catalog that works with Facebook. If you want to know more about integrating a product catalog, Facebook has a great starting guide.

GOAL: App Installs & Engagement
Facebook Advertising App Install SaveHoney

Facebook Advertising App Install – SaveHoney

Get Installs of / Increase Engagement in Your App

Have an app you want people to use more often? This is where you want to go. You can link directly to the install page on Facebook or on any outside platform. Facebook apps are Pandora’s box, and I’d prefer not to open that here. If you do have an app and could use some help with these campaigns, we can discuss in the comments.



Next in the series, we will discuss selecting placements and formatting.

Which types of Facebook Advertising Objectives have you used in your campaigns?

All Facebook advertising examples were pulled from my newsfeed (brands targeting me) because I can’t share the ads I am running for clients (sorry!)

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