Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives Demystified

Published by Arleen on

Facebook Ad Campaign Objectives Demystified


Running Facebook ads can be awfully confusing. What you see depends on where you’re running your ad campaign from.

You have the choice to run your ads from the Facebook Ads Manager, or your page Ad Center or by simply clicking the “Boost Post” button on your posts. What you see in the Ad Center or “Boost Post” utility uses simplified language to help you choose the right campaign type.

In this article, I’m going to cover the campaign objectives in Ads Manager. Ads Manager provides some more advanced features for marketing professionals and those who want to really dial in their ad campaigns. Plus, it provides detailed reporting. If you haven’t tired Ads Manager yet, you can access it on the lower portion of the shortcuts menu on your  Facebook main screen.

Facebook Ads Campaign Objectives Screenshot

Facebook’s campaign objectives are categorized to follow the framework of the customer journey. The customer journey originated with Eugene Schwartz in his 1966 book – Breakthrough Advertising. Schwartz details 5 steps in the book, but each step can really be placed in one of Facebook’s three categories.

The first category is Awareness. People in this phase of the customer journey aren’t aware of your business and may not be aware of your industry, product or service.

The Consideration category is where people are aware of the product or service you offer, but they don’t really know or trust you yet.

As the name implies, the Conversion category is for people who know who you are, know what you offer and are ready to buy when the right deal comes along.


The first two campaign objectives fall under the Awareness category and are the simplest, and cheapest to run. This is what you typically do when you boost a post from your page. You should be running awareness campaigns all the time.

Brand Awareness – Run the brand awareness objective to people who may be interested in your industry but don’t know about your business. Brand Awareness campaigns are used to build trust in your business so you’re typically only offering free tips, links to blog posts and not asking for anything in return, not even an email address.

Reach – Use the reach objective when you want reach as many people as possible without taking into account their interests or demographics. Like the brand awareness objective, you’re not asking for anything but merely providing information. The difference being, these may be people who have no interest or knowledge of your industry so you’ll want to compose your ad copy accordingly.


The next set of objectives fall under the Consideration heading. These campaign types are used to deepen your relationship with your audience. You might run offers to build your email list, or get some foot traffic, but you’re not asking for any high-ticket commitments yet.

Traffic – With this objective, you’re sending people somewhere to get more information. It may be your latest blog post, or maybe you want to get some webinar registrations. Traffic is one of the most common, and generic, campaign objectives, so if you’re not sure you can always use it as your go-to.

Engagement – Use the Engagement objective when you’re trying to get more likes and comments on a post.

App Installs – As the name implies, the App Installs objective will show your ad to people most likely to install and app.

Video Views – Did you know you can create an audience from people who have watched one of your videos? Not only that, you can create different audiences based on where in your video they stopped watching – e.g. 10%, 25%, 50%, etc. Using the video views objective can tell you a lot about who your audience is and what they find most compelling so you can build interested audiences to show targeted ads to.

Lead Generation – Sending people to a specific destination to get them to give you their information.

Messages – The Messages objective encourages people to communicate directly with you through Messenger or Instagram DM.


The last category of objectives is Conversion. In the customer journey, you’re using these campaign types to ask for the sale.

Conversions – Similar to Lead Generation except you’re asking them to make a purchase.

Catalog Sales – This objective is for creating those ads where people can simply click and buy from your online store.

Store Traffic – This is actual foot traffic into your brick-and-mortar location.

When choosing your campaign objective always consider what it is you want your audience to do, and where they are in the customer journey. Keep in mind the higher the price of your offer, the more time you’ll have to spend building trust.

Running Awareness campaigns is cheap and you should be running them all the time. That way, when you run Consideration or Conversion campaigns people will be familiar with your brand and more likely convert.