Getting your campaign objective right is one of the most important steps in making sure your campaign is a success. Choose the wrong objective, and you'll show to the wrong people.
In this guide, we're going to go through each of the different objectives, and look at when you should use them.
When you're creating a campaign, you'll be given a list of campaign objectives from which you can choose:
Brand awareness is your go-to if you want people to remember your ad. Campaigns on a brand awareness objective will poll users on whether or not they can remember seeing your ad, and use the results from this (known as brand lift) to show your ads more to people likely to remember your ads.
Benefits: You'll get very low CPMs (cost per thousand impressions), often around $1.
When to Use: If you're launching a new brand, or want to drive awareness for a specific niche.
Reach campaigns will optimise themselves to reach the highest number of unique users within your budget. They'll give you options to cap reach over a certain time period, for example to ensure that nobody sees your ad more than twice per week. This can be an effective way of getting a message out quickly to a high number of people, while also avoiding the effects of ad fatigue (people not responding to your ad, due to seeing it too frequently).
Benefits: You'll get low CPMs, making it a cheap campaign objective, and you can cap frequencies to stop users tiring of your ads.
When to Use: If you have a particular message which you want to reach people with a predefined number of times. For example if you're having a flash sale, and you want as many people as possible to know.
Traffic campaigns will focus solely on getting as much traffic to your website as possible. It's important to note that they won't necessarily bring in high-quality traffic, as they'll only optimise towards people likely to click your ads. There are plenty of users on Facebook who click on ads, but don't convert, and traffic campaigns will bias spend towards these groups.
It's also good to note that within traffic campaigns, you have a variety of optimisation options. The two most popular options are to optimise for straight up clicks or, if you have a Facebook pixel installed on your site, to optimise for landing page views.
These two events may sound very similar, but often the number of people completing each can be very different. This is because plenty of users will click your ad, but not wait around for your landing page to load. This can be due to long load times, or simply because they clicked your ad by accident. For these reasons, we'd always recommend optimising to landing page views if you have a Facebook pixel installed.
Benefits: This will always be the best way to drive sessions on your site.
When to Use: If you don't have conversion tracking in place, or get so few conversions that you can't optimise towards them, but still want to send people to your site.
This is arguably one of the simplest campaign objectives. Engagement campaigns will show your ads to the people most likely to engage with your content. Engagement can count as commenting, reacting, or sharing.
Benefits: You'll of course get high engagement, meaning that you may get cheap CPMs (cost per thousand impressions), as Facebook's algorithms give preference to ads with good engagement.
When to Use: We'd stay away this for acquisition campaigns, but recommend it if you've got organic content that you want to go viral. For this, create ads for your existing organic content.
If you've got an app, this is the only campaign you'll want to look at. Your ads will be shown to people who are most likely to install your app. If you have the Facebook SDK (software developer kit), or any other in-app tracking solutions installed in your app, you'll also be able to optimise for in-app events. For instance if your app offers a premium service, you can optimise your ad delivery towards people likely to sign up for this.
Benefits: This is a great set-and-forget way to bring in app installs. Simply set a budget, or a target cost-per-install, and let it do its work. Most users browse Facebook on Mobile, so response is generally quite good.
When to Use: Plain and simple — if you're marketing an app!
If you're running video content, and the maximising the number of people who watch your videos is all you care about, then Video Views is for you. You can choose whether you want to optimise for people who watch a certain proportion of your video, or the full thing. You can even decide whether you pay for impressions, or for full views (Facebook call these Thruplays).
A good tip is to make sure that any ad sets within Video View campaigns have the in-stream video placement enabled. This will let your video show before and during organic videos that users watch on Facebook. Because users will want to keep watching their video, 85-90% of them will watch the entirety of your video.
Benefits: You'll get video views at an extremely cheap price, often as low as 1¢ per view.
When to Use: We'd generally only advise running video views if you:
Lead generation campaigns deserve a page in themselves. They allow you to run incredibly effective ads which open up to lead gen forms all while staying within Facebook. You can customise all elements of the ad as usual, and all the questions that get asked on the lead gen form. Once you've got your lead gen forms running you can either download your leads manually as a CSV or, if you have a third party connector like Zapier, have them pulled automatically into a database.
Benefits: The fact that the lead gen form is within Facebook means you'll get better results than if you send people to a lead gen landing page.
When to Use: Simple — if you want to bring in leads!
Message campaigns are one of the least utilised within Facebook. When done well though, then can be one of the most effective. These campaigns will attempt to drive people to message your page. Messages can be dealt with manually, but for best results you should look to set up a chatbot for them to interact with. Manychat is a good option for those looking to explore the idea of chatbots, and doesn't require a paid plan to get going.
Don't just use a chatbot for the sake of it though. Think about how you map out an engaging user flow, all the while selling your brand through the chatbot's replies. If your brand doesn't lend itself well to a chatbot, then don't force it.
Another benefit of message campaigns is that you get access to an additional placement, sponsored messages. These are messages that appear in a user's Messenger inbox, much like those from their friends. These often have very high open rates, so can be a great placement to have provided you've got a good chatbot for users to interact with.
Benefits: Messenger bots are still a novelty, and many people actually enjoy talking to them. This can lead to plenty of sales that you wouldn't have got otherwise.
When to Use: If your brand leads itself well to a chatbot, and you have the time and expertise to build one.
This is the bread and butter of most Facebook advertising accounts. Conversion campaigns will show your ads to the people who actually interact with/buy from ads that they see on Facebook. If you're trying to get users to complete any on-site interaction as a result of your ads, then conversion campaigns are the way to go.
Benefits: Conversion campaigns give you an entry into Facebook's most valuable audience; people who actually convert off of Facebook ads.
When to Use: If you want to drive any on-site action, like sales or sign ups, then conversion campaigns are the way to go.
Advertising a range of products, and want to go more granular than just optimising for outright sales? Catalogue sales campaigns are for you. With this campaign type, you can upload a catalogue (basically a list) of products, and base your campaigns off this. For instance, you can target:
Benefits: Catalogue Sales campaigns will help you advertise with granularity across a wide range of products. It takes data not just from your pixel, but also similar advertisers' pixels, to work out which products to show.
When to Use: If you're running ads for multiple products.
Despite the rise of online retail, only a minority of US retail purchases are actually made online. The large majority are still made in physical stores. Store traffic campaigns are perfect for encouraging people to visit your stores.
They allow you to upload all of your physical stores as business locations, and then run ads for people near these stores. By using GPS tracking on users' devices, Facebook can tell how many users actually visited your store as a result of seeing your ads. It can also tie together purchase data, to estimate how many purchases these people made.
Benefits: A creepily sophisticated way of tracking offline interactions from online ads.
When to Use: If your brand has any physical locations, and you want to drive traffic to them.