#138: Facebook Ad “Objectives”: What They Mean + How to Use Them

On today’s episode we’re talking all about Facebook ad “Objectives”.


  • What’s the difference between each ad Objective
  • Which one to choose
  • How to use them
  • What they mean in your Facebook ad campaign
  • And, some exceptions you might want to make when it comes to choosing your ad Objective.

I covered Facebook ad Objectives back on episode 110, but I still get a ton of questions every week about this topic AND the Objectives have changed and consolidated since then.

So we’re gonna dive head first into it all today…

New Facebook Ads Feature!

Facebook is gradually rolling out brand new feature and it’s very relevant to what we’re talking about on today’s episode, with better understanding Objectives.

You know how when you launch a Facebook ad campaign with the ‘Conversions’ Objective and you’ve selected the conversion you want to optimize for at the Ad Set level?

Well, if your Ad Set isn’t getting many conversions right after it starts running, delivery of that ad might be limited.

The reason for that is because your pixel isn’t getting enough data to learn who is converting on your ads.  Remember, when you’re Objective is conversions, the pixel needs 15-25 conversions per week — enough data to begin “learning” who is converting.

Now, with this new feature, you’re going to have the option to improve delivery.

You’ll be able to allow an Ad Set to temporarily “fall back” to optimizing for clicks (remember our Objective here is ‘Conversions’ and thus we’re optimizing for a specific conversion like opt-ins or registrations), IF Facebook doesn’t have enough conversion data to optimize for the conversion on the Facebook pixel that the Ad Set is being optimized for.

Delivery will then be boosted by optimizing for link clicks in the initial stages of the Ad Set IF the Ad Set is under-delivering.

With this new feature, you’ll have two options to choose from:


This option sets a strict end point for when Facebook will stop optimizing for link clicks — after 15-25 conversions, 1,000 link clicks or 7 days (whichever comes first).

From then on, the Facebook will only optimize for conversions – even if that means Facebook can’t find enough conversions for you and the Ad Set stops delivering before the budget is spent.



This option optimizes for link clicks and conversions until the Ad Set captures 15-25 conversions or the budget is spent.

If the Ad Set doesn’t capture 15-25 conversions, the full budget may be spent on many link clicks and few conversions.

Soooo, be on the lookout in your Power Editor and Ads Manager.

This is pretty cool stuff and I’m excited about this new feature!

Facebook Ad Objectives

As you can see from the above image, the Objectives are broken into 3 sections:

  • Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service.
  • Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.
  • Conversions: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.

These are the 3 phases of a sales funnel.

So what is each one do?  Let’s have a look…

Brand awareness:
Increase awareness for your brand by reaching people who are more likely to be interested in it. Facebook has this data from all the tons of brand campaigns that have been run, and they’ve analyzed that the longer someone spends with an ad, the more likely they are to remember it.

Show your ad to the maximum number of people in your audience.

When your goal is to get people to click on your ad and go to your landing page, website, app, etc…

Get more post engagements, Page likes, event responses or offer claims.

App installs:
Send people to an app store where they can download your app.

Video views:
Get more people to view your video content.  This is like awareness but using video.

Lead Generation:
This is Facebook’s Lead Ad — when you want to get leads from people interested in your brand or business.  NOTE: I highly recommend using a 3rd party tool like Zapier or SyncSumo to automatically bring the leads from Facebook into your email CRM.

When your goal is to get people to convert on your landing page (opt-in, sale, etc…)  NOTE: I wouldn’t use this for high-priced products/services.

Product Catalog Sales:
Create ads that automatically show products from your product catalog based on your target audience.

Store Visits:
Promote multiple brick-and-mortar business locations to people who are nearby.

When to Use Each Facebook Ad Objective

First and foremost, use the Objective that most aligns with your goal.

This is exactly why you need to do the upfront work of being crystal clear on WHY you’re running your Facebook ads — what’s your goal?

And unfortunately, as critical as this step is, this is the work that most people don’t want to do.  Back in episode 109, The Critical Work Needed for Successful Facebook Ads, I talk all about this.

When you’re clear on what the goal of your campaign is, you can select the Objective that aligns with it.

Here are some examples:

If your goal is to get people to opt-in for a free download or register for a webinar or event, I’d go with Conversions.

You could also test Lead Ads, but again, make sure you’re using a 3rd party tool to ensure those leads are automatically getting sent from FB into your email CRM.

If your goal is to send people to a piece of content so you can build an audience that you can then retarget to, your Objective in the initial campaign would be Traffic and then in the retargeting campaign, it would be Conversions.

If you’re running a video ad with the intention of building engagement audiences so you can retarget viewers of your video with an offer, I’d still recommend going with the Objective that aligns with wherever you’re sending traffic, like to an opt-in/registration (Conversions) or a piece of content (Traffic).

But you also might want to test Video Views as your Objective since your real intention is to build those engagement audiences so you can retarget.

Exceptions When Choosing Your Facebook Ad Objective

There are always exceptions and different things to test when it comes to choosing your Objective.

For example, if you’re a local business and you’re simply trying to reach as many people as possible in your small market, even though you might be trying to get people to download a coupon or special offer, you might want to try the “Reach” Objective because that sets you up to reach as many people as possible.

Or, if you’re retargeting a small yet targeted audience, you also might want to use Reach as your Objective for the same reason — you want to get your ad in front of as many of those people as possible.

Another exception might be where you’re sending traffic to a sales page and you’re selling a higher priced product or service.

Even though your goal IS to have people buy/convert, I’d recommend using traffic as your Objective.

This is because when you’re using the Conversions Objective, you need to tell Facebook what conversion you want to optimize for.

Remember that when we use the Conversions Objective, the Facebook pixel is used to track conversions. The pixel is optimizing (meaning, it’s learning and getting smarter) the more conversions you get so that it can find you more of those people who are converting.

If you’re sending people from your ad directly to a higher priced product or service, you’re likely not going to have a high percentage of those people converting.

Thus, go with Traffic as your Objective to simply drive people to your page.

How Your Facebook Ad Objective Affects Optimization & Delivery

At the Ad Set level you have the Optimization & Delivery section.

The default settings here are affected by the Objective that you choose.

For example, if your Objective is Conversions, you’ll notice that the Optimization for Ad Delivery field defaults to Conversions.

Likewise, when you’ve chosen Traffic as your Objective, the default will be link clicks (see the image above).

I recommend going with the default which is what we normally do in my business, like optimize for conversions.  

When you go with the default settings, you’re letting Facebook’s algorithm, which has gotten very advanced and much smarter, do the work for you.

It’s actually this optimization option, in conjunction with your Objective, that tells Facebook what to value when showing your ad to your target audience.

The bottom line is Facebook’s algorithm is set up to help you get the results you want for the lowest cost.  After all, when you have success, what are you going to do?  You’ll spend more money!

The key here is to always be testing to see where you get the best results.

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