How to Choose the Right Campaign Objective for Your Facebook Ads

How to Choose the Right Campaign Objective for Your Facebook Ads

Trapica Content Team

Marketing Guides
4 min read
December 14, 2020

You don’t need to be new to the world of Facebook advertising to be confused by the many different campaign objectives. We’re told that setting the wrong campaign objective will affect performance, but how do we know when to choose Reach and when to choose Engagement? With a total of 11 different objectives, it's important to know what they mean and how they work if we’re to get the most from Facebook’s advanced advertising platform. 

In this guide, you’re going to learn the 11 different campaign objectives, what they’re designed to achieve, and when you should choose them. Hopefully, reading this will give you some confidence when creating your next campaign.

General Rules of Choosing a Campaign Objective 

For those who are completely new to Facebook advertising, when creating a campaign you need to first set an objective. Essentially, this describes what you’re trying to achieve with the campaign. With the wrong objective, the wrong people may see your ads. There’s a difference in the way that Facebook optimizes the delivery of your ad when generating exposure compared to generating leads and conversions. 

As a general rule, you need to consider what you want to achieve and then select the objective that’s closest to this goal. We could break the objectives down into three sections: 


This is for ads that generate exposure and interest in a product/service. Rather than generating sales, you simply want people to know that you exist. 


Here, people know about your product but are now starting to learn more and consider your service as a solution to their pain points. 


As the final stage, we need to find people interested in our products (or type of products) and get them to convert. 

The difficulty in choosing a campaign objective is that you’ll find multiple options within each category. Don’t worry, we’ve broken down each below. As you’ll see, each campaign objective has different optimization options to further control where your ad goes. 

The 11 Facebook Campaign Objectives 

1. Reach 

This is an objective that supports slideshow, image, video, and carousel ads. Depending on your goal, there are two optimization options in Reach and Impressions. The first option attempts to get your ads to the most people, while the second option delivers ads to your audience multiple times. 

With this in mind, it’s a strong option for businesses that want to reach a lot of people several times. For example, it could be that you have a sale on all products and want to tell as many people as possible. Alternatively, it’s a good option for remarketing campaigns. 

Please bear in mind that this objective is all about impressions as opposed to actions and clicks - it doesn’t care what happens after the impression is made. 

2. Brand Awareness 

Following a similar theme, this is an objective with the same four ad types available. This feature is designed for businesses that want the audience to learn more about the brand. It’s also ideal if you want to get people onto your website. The other brand optimization option is Ad Recall Lift, this ensures that the ad is delivered in a way that people remember.

3. Traffic 

With Traffic, we come across the first campaign objective that extends beyond Facebook and Instagram. You can implement this objective on Messenger and Audience Network. We can also use Collection ads in addition to image, video, slideshow, and carousel ads. With this topic, there are three different optimization options: 

  • Link Clicks - The name gives this one away, but it delivers ads to people who are likely to click through. 
  • Landing Page Views - After creating a special landing page, you don’t want to create a campaign that fails to get people there, right? This option sends the ad to people who will click through and load the website. 
  • Daily Unique Reach - This option is all about comments, likes, and shares on your post (and obtaining this engagement at a low cost!). 

At this stage, we’re still not particularly concerned by actions. The goal is to get people clicking to your website or to a blog that you want to share with the world. 

4. App Installs 

The App Installs objective supports single video, single image, slideshow, and carousel ads. Just as we saw with Traffic, there are a few different optimization options from which you’ll choose when creating the campaign: 

  • App Installs - Deliver to people who are likely to enjoy the sound of your app and hit the install button. 
  • App Events - Deliver to people who will take the desired action once or more. 
  • Retention - Deliver to people who will download and open the app on day two or day seven. 
  • Link Clicks - Deliver to people who will click on the link. 
  • Value - Deliver to people who will generate the largest ROAS (return on ad spend). 

If you want people to download your fantastic app, this is the way to go forward (a couple of the optimization options ensure long-term success rather than just one download). 

5. Engagement 

The word ‘engagement’ has grown to have many different meanings throughout the years, this is something Facebook recognizes. If you want to encourage engagement, you can choose an optimization option such as Impressions, Daily Unique Reach, Post Engagement, Page Likes, or even Event Responses. There’s a focus on earning this engagement at a low cost. Supported ad formats include slideshow, image, and video. 

6. Video Views 

This objective looks at a single video, slideshow, and carousel ads in an attempt to get people watching our videos. The first optimization option is ThruPlay, which gets your ad to people to watch full videos of under 15 seconds. If your video is longer, the ad will deliver to people who will watch at least 15 seconds of the video. 

7. Messages 

Now, we reach the newest of the campaign objectives and one that Facebook introduced to help businesses that want a conversation with their audience. We recommend choosing Messages to RSVP to events, make sales, increase awareness, and more. This feature supports slideshow, image, video, and carousel ads. In terms of optimization options, you have two: 

  • Replies - This will send ads to people who are likely to send a message to you and start a conversation. 
  • Leads - This will help to generate leads for a low cost. 

8. Lead Generation 

Lead Generation is a simple campaign objective with just one optimization option to help businesses generate leads. This capganin  is available on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. It supports carousel, slideshow, single image, and single video ads. This is best for businesses that have downloadable content that is used to collect contact details. The idea is to display a lead to your target audience and encourage them to provide contact details rather than sending them through to your website. 

9. Conversions 

You can choose between six different options with the Conversions objective. While some push for Conversions, others choose Landing Page Views, Value, Daily Unique Reach, Link Clicks, or Impressions. If you select an app or Messenger, you’ll also have the option to choose App Events or Replies. 

This is one of the most popular campaign objectives on the Facebook advertising platform since it delivers sales and leads. You should choose this one if you have a specific action in mind for your campaign such as sign-ups, sales, or something similar.

10. Store Visits 

Only available on Facebook, the Store Visits objective supports slideshow, image, video, collection, and carousel ads. This objective helps businesses with their physical store. If you want prospective customers nearby to visit the store, this is the objective for you. Facebook will deliver once a day to people likely to visit your store with the Daily Unique Reach optimization option. 

11. Catalog 

Lastly, eCommerce advertisers with various products should steer towards the catalog objective. You can optimize the campaign for Impressions, Link Clicks, or Conversions. This objective supports carousel, collection, and image ads. We recommend this objective to any business that either has a wide and varied catalog or constantly updates its catalog. Some businesses also target online store visitors with a remarketing campaign using this objective. 

Choose the Right Campaign Objective Today

With the information you now have, you can better understand all the campaign objectives available for a Facebook ad campaign. As long as you consider your overall goal for the campaign, it’s easy to match this to an objective using our guide above!

Marketing Guides
4 min read
December 14, 2020
Trapica Content Team

The Trapica Content Team aims to share relevant industry news, marketing tips, and company updates to make sure our readers have the best info about digital marketing.