Facebook Marketing Objectives
A Guide to Choosing the Objective that Will Make You Most Successful Online
The first decision you must make when starting a Facebook Ad is your Marketing Objective. There are eleven options in three categories and the choice you make largely determines not only the success of your campaign but also many of the choices you must make while designing the rest of your ad. Choosing the right objective is critical so I have prepared this guide to help you make the best choice.
Three Categories of Options
Facebook currently (as of April 2017) offers three different categories of objectives: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.
Awareness objectives focus on reaching new customers and building your brand. Facebook shows your ad to as many people as possible so that your name becomes recognizable to them. These objectives are meant to introduce you to people who have not previously heard of you.
Consideration objectives move customers to the next level in the sales process. These objectives focus on driving traffic to your website, creating engagements with your page/posts, driving app installations, getting your videos viewed and having lead forms filled out. These objectives are most successful after a user is somewhat familiar with your brand.
Conversion objectives are often the most confusing but are focused on the customers taking action. The word conversion is one that is used in the digital marketing world to describe an action taking place on a social site or your website. A customer buying a product or filling out a form are both examples of conversions.
Using Facebook’s methodology, a customer would first become aware of your brand, then consider your brand through an engagement and finally convert with a purchase or registration. If you understand this process, you understand the three categories of marketing objectives.
The first of the Awareness objectives in “Brand Awareness.” It is one that I use quite often. According to Facebook, this objective will increase awareness of your brand by showing your ad to people who are most likely to be interested in it. You start by targeting your ads, then optimizing them based on whether you want Facebook to connect your ad with the people who they believe would be most interested or show your ad to as many users as possible. If you know your customer and have worked on creating a customer avatar, this objective is a great way to start your ad campaigns.
The next Awareness objective is “Local Awareness.” Unlike all the other objectives, you have very little targeting choice with Local Awareness. This objective is meant to connect you with people who are in the area of your business. They don’t have to live there, they just have to take action online close to your business. This objective is extremely useful for local retail business like restaurants.
The final Awareness objective is “Reach.” This is one of the newest objectives that places your ad in front of as many unique people as possible. If you are trying to reach a large audience, this is an extremely useful addition to the marketing objectives. One of the cool aspects of this objective is the frequency cap that you can set for your ads. You can choose a number (7 is currently the default) that is the limit of times the ad will be seen by the same person. So after a single person sees that ad 7 times, they will no longer be shown that ad. The lower you set this number, the higher the number of unique individuals you will reach.
The Consideration objectives are more simple than the Awareness and Conversion objectives. They are meant to begin and nurture an online relationship between the advertiser and Facebook user.
The Traffic objective is one of the simplest. It is meant to drive traffic or visits to online destinations either on or off Facebook. When building Traffic ads, you can send users to either a specific part of your Facebook page (like the posts section) or to a specific website.
The Engagement objective, simply put, is meant to build page or post likes, comments or shares, event responses or offer claims. After choosing this objective, you must designate which of these goals you would like to achieve. The goal that you choose will determine what your ad looks like. An add to build page likes is going to look much different than ads meant to boost event responses.
The App Installs objective is exactly what it says. If you are marketing an app built on the Facebook, Android or iOS platforms, this objective will connect you with people who are most likely to download or install apps like yours. Combined with your targeting parameters, this is a very powerful way to launch (or grow) an app.
The Video Views objective is also very self-explanatory. Video is very important to Facebook’s growth strategy. They often show video posts more often than photo or plain text posts. They are investing greatly in live video. It is natural that they have also incorporated video into their advertising platform. If you want users to see your videos on Facebook or Instagram, the Video Views objective will help you accomplish that task. Just be sure to adhere to the video standards that Facebook requires.
The last of the Consideration Objective is Lead Generation. A very commonly overlooked feature of Facebook Business pages are lead generation/capture forms. If you have built forms for your page and are working to get more leads to fill out those forms, this objective is the best choice.
Once users are familiar with your brand and have had some sort of engagement with you, Facebook assumes you would like to move to a sale or registration. That is done through the conversion objectives. These objectives are very powerful but are among the most difficult to setup because you often have to work with both your website and the ad platform to setup.
The Conversions Objective was created to “drive valuable actions on your website or app.” What does this mean? If you are trying to get people to fill out a form, purchase a product, register for a webinar or something similar, the conversion objective will connect your ads with people who are most likely to engage with these types of actions. Creating a conversions ad requires you to install the Facebook pixel and then define the actions that you would like the users to perform. These ads produce great results but are quite difficult to setup and often require someone who understands a little bit about web/app design as well as the Facebook advertising platform.
The Product Catalog Sales Objective “create ads that automatically show products from your product catalog based on your target audience.” This objective requires that you have a product catalog created and active with Facebook. If you sell products and have them in some sort of database, you can setup a connection with Facebook for either a single upload or a regular update. It will then show ads for your products to people who may be interested in purchasing them.
The last objective is Store Visits. Contrary to what you may believe, this objective is meant to get more people nearby to visit your brick-and-mortar locations. In order to accomplish this, you must have a database of locations that is imported into the Facebook Business Manager. This is most often used for corporation or franchises that have many locations and an easily recognizable brand presence.
I believe the most complicated part of designing a Facebook advertising campaign is choosing the objective that will produce the best results for your business (or your client’s business). Once you understand the different marketing objectives, you will be able to quickly create ads that achieve the goals that you have set. In my experience, not understanding these objectives is the biggest mistake advertisers make within Facebook. I have tried to make these objectives as easy as possible to understand, but if you have questions, let me know and I will be happy to help you through your campaign.