30 May How to Choose the Right Facebook Ad Objective for Your Goal…
Facebook Ad objectives are the backbone of any Facebook campaign: the objective controls your bidding options, your ad unit options, and, the way your campaigns are optimized.
There are 13 campaign objectives to choose from but not much supporting content to help make that selection.
Because of this, getting started with Facebook can be a little bit overwhelming.
I remember back when I was setting up my first Facebook Ads account – I searched for tips or guides that would help me to determine which objective was the best fit for my use-case.
Unfortunately, I came up empty-handed. What I found was:
- Facebook’s own guide leaves a lot to be desired. It gives a short overview of each objective and loosely groups each objective into a single area of the funnel. If you’re a glutton for the type of punishment that requires you to try to extrapolate next steps from next-to-no-information, you can find their guide here. Suffice to say, it hasn’t been updated in a long time – at least not in a meaningful way.
- Any other guide that I found was just a repurposed version of Facebook’s guide. Sometimes with better graphic design but still not helpful.
Facebook groups their objectives into three parts of the funnel:
While they’re not wrong that the campaign objectives that they’ve grouped into each funnel stage could play a positive role in their respective sections, it’s also really oversimplified.
If you’ve run media before, it’s easy to overthink it – without much solid documentation, it’s hard to validate the decision.
If you’re here, you’re probably as I was – searching for more information about how to use each objective to your advantage without settling for what might seem most obvious.
It’s also really easy to under-think it. The conversion objective, from the accounts that I’ve audited and onboarded, appears to be the most popular by far.
It’s no surprise really – given that the objective is called “conversions” and that’s what we all want.
Don’t get me wrong – I love this objective – but using it in the wrong context can be a really expensive mistake.
A Guide to Each Facebook Ad Objective: When to Use Each & Your Bidding Options
1. Store Traffic Objective
The store traffic objective isn’t exactly as it sounds. This objective is really geared toward chains.
If you wanted to drive local awareness for multiple brick-and-mortar locations or to help people contact the right location, this objective could be a good option.
According to Facebook Ads Help Center:
“The store traffic objective is available to any business with multiple physical stores, restaurants, dealerships or other places of business. You can use this objective to reach people within a set distance of each of your locations and help them find or contact the location closest to them.”
With the store traffic objective, you can create customized ads for each of your locations and deliver them to people nearby to theoretically increase store visits and sales.
Right now, store visits reporting is in testing which means that not all advertisers that have access to the Store Traffic objective have access to store visits reporting and optimization.
Instead, most Store Traffic campaigns will optimize for daily unique reach by default, which is what makes the objective name a bit misleading.
For those that have access to store visits reporting and optimization, Facebook uses a combination of data points to report on store traffic, including:
- Information from people with location services enabled on their phone.
- Satellite imagery and mapping data from third parties.
Facebook attempts to filter out people that they believe are employees. It admits that its methodology isn’t perfect, so they use the information to extrapolate results and then they attempt to verify it through polls to validate the accuracy of their measurement and extrapolation.
All that said, because the results are estimates, the more data that Facebook has, the better. For smaller retailers, this data is more likely to be less accurate.
If you have just one store location and want to try to drive in-store visits, Facebook suggests using the daily unique reach objective (that’s the default optimization KPI for the Store Traffic objective anyway).
Another option could be to use offline events to track in-store purchases, which could lend itself to other campaign objectives.
2. Reach Objective
The reach objective is going to try to maximize the number of people that see your ads and the number of times that they will see your ads.
Plain and simple, the goal of this objective is to try to maximize exposure.
One of the benefits of this campaign type is that you can set frequency controls, which is often not the case with Facebook campaigns. You can control the frequency by defining X number of impressions per X number of days.
With the Reach objective, you can pay per impression (CPM) or per “Reach” (CPM but based upon your defined frequency controls).
The Reach objective is often thought of as being top of funnel. This could potentially be a cheap way to get a lot of exposure for your brand but, it can be a little difficult to quantify – especially if you have a sales cycle that is long enough that Facebook may not accurately track view-through conversions.
Even top-of-funnel, I prefer to have a metric to quantify (beyond impressions) to ensure that we’re beginning to get some high-level traction with prospects and, more importantly, to begin to build audiences to use lower in the funnel.
That said, I’ve had success in using the Reach objective for remarketing, as you can define frequency, you know it’s a low funnel audience, and it can be cheaper than the conversion objective.
3. Brand Awareness Objective
The Brand Awareness objective is geared toward driving ad recall.
With many of the objectives, you can choose different options for how you bid. With this objective, you don’t get to choose – Facebook is going to serve your ads to…