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Which Facebook Ad Objective should I choose?

One of the most common questions I get asked is "which is the best Ad objective to choose?". And with 11 different options in Ads Manager, it's a pretty valid question!

So I thought it might be helpful to share a little summary of the different objectives you can use and when you might want to choose them.

When you delve into Ads Manager, you’ll find there are 3 different types of Facebook Ads objectives; Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. Let’s have a look at each one.


Awareness Objectives: these objectives use the part of the algorithm that optimises for impressions, which essentially means you’re asking Facebook to show your ad to as many people as possible.

There are 2 options to choose from:

  • Brand Awareness: this objective is more suited to big brands who are well known and who would use it as part of a longer term marketing funnel. It’s unlikely that you’ll need this objective - unless you’re competing with the John Lewis’s out there!

  • Reach: this objective will show your ad to anyone in your target market who is on Facebook. This objective can work well on small audiences at the bottom of a sales funnel, where the audience is already warm.

It’s important to note that because these ads are optimising for impressions only, you’re unlikely to see any engagement or actions being taken as a result of people being shown your ads. If you’re looking for people to take a specific action, keep on reading!


Consideration objectives: these objectives use the part of the algorithm that do optimise for action, which means you’re asking Facebook to find people who are most likely to take the required action when they view your ad.

There are 6 options to choose from:

  • Traffic: If you would like to encourage more people to visit your website, you should choose the Traffic objective. This will allow you to drive traffic to a specific website page or URL and Facebook will search your audience and show your ads to people who are most likely to click a link.

  • Engagement: If you would like more engagement on your posts (e.g. likes, comments, shares and video views), you should choose the Engagement objective. For this objective to work you need to ensure your ad encourages engagement. If you wouldn’t expect engagement on your post if it was on your page then you are unlikely to get it just because you have put money behind it. This objective is also good for creating social proof.

  • App Installs: Choose this objective if you want people to install an app. Unless you’re a developer, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to use this objective.

  • Video Views: Video can be very powerful on social media and it can work in ads just as well. This objective can work well if you’re aiming to warm up an audience before retargeting them with other content. For the best chance of having good results from a video views campaign, you need to have great video content that captures people’s attention and gets your message across really fast - I’m talking within the first 3-5 seconds! Don’t make them longer than a minute or so and don’t forget to add captions for the majority of people who will be watching without sound.

  • Lead Generation: If you’re aiming to grow your e-mail list, this objective can work really well. With lead generation ads, you’re asking Facebook to find people who are most likely to complete a form or download a lead magnet in return for their contact information. Because you’re asking people to hand over their personal information, these campaigns tend to be more expensive than say a traffic campaign, because you’re asking Facebook to find people who are likely to take the action to become a lead.

  • Messages: This is relatively straight-forward but by choosing this objective, you’re asking Facebook to find people who are likely to send you a message using Facebook messenger. These ads can work really well but a word of warning - for it to work, you need to be able to reply to people who do message you within 15 minutes, otherwise you risk those leads going cold.


Conversion Objectives: these objectives also use the part of the algorithm that optimises for action, however they tend to be more expensive than Consideration objectives because you’re asking Facebook to find people with greater intent. To use a consideration objective, you need to have the Facebook pixel installed on your website.

There are 3 options to choose from:

  • Conversions: If you want to increase sales, this objective can work well because you can optimise for various different actions depending on your business needs. With this objective, you’re asking Facebook to find people within your audience who are likely to take an action such as adding a product to their cart or completing a purchase. This isn’t to say you won’t get purchases from using other campaign objective, but with Conversions, your ads will be shown to the people with the greatest intent to buy. To get results from Conversions you do need to be willing to spend a bit more as they are more expensive then Engagement or Traffic campaigns.

  • Catalogue Sales: If you have an e-comm business, you may want to consider choosing this objective, otherwise known as DPA (dynamic product ads). Facebook will use information collected from your Pixel together with your product catalogue to show your audience products that they have been looking at on your website and encourage them to buy them. You can also retarget people by reminding them of products that they may have left in their cart for example.

  • Store Visits: Unless you’re the owner of a big national brand, this objective is unlikely to work for you but this can be a great option for well-known brands with local stores who are looking to encourage people to visit.


So, which Facebook Ad objective should you use?

As with most things Ads related, there isn’t always one right answer. Instead it will come down to testing to see which objective gives you the best results, however by understanding what each objective does, you should hopefully be able to choose the one that is most likely to achieve your goals, whether that is to increase engagement on your social accounts, drive traffic to your website or increase sales.

The most important thing to remember is that whichever objective you choose, it will influence who sees your ads, so it’s worth giving it plenty of thought before you start delving into the design of your ads.

If you’re still feeling a little confused, or would like some advice on which objective to choose for your ad campaign, why not book in for a power hour with me? I’d love to help you!


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