Here's where I am going to get real with you. Back in the day, about 7 years ago, when I first started running Facebook Ads, choosing the right Facebook Ad Objective was where I made my biggest mistakes.
This is where SO MANY marketers are making their first mistakes.
If you think “Facebook Ads don't work for me” – you are in the RIGHT place… because THIS is likely YOUR problem too!
Facebook can not read your mind (despite what you may believe based on the Ads they serve you – if you want to learn about THAT, read about the Facebook Pixel HERE). In order to Facebook Ads to WORK for you – you need to tell Facebook what you want your Ads to DO!
What can Facebook Ads do, exactly?
Oh, so many things!
Let's navigate over to Facebook's Ad Manager to explore Ad Objectives and get started with creating your Ad!
Previously, we've discussed that you should not be running any Ads (aka “Boosting Posts”) from your Facebook Business Page. While Facebook makes it easy peasy to do so, it's a very “light” interface and you'll have significantly better tools at your disposal when you create Ads through the Ads Manager – including the ability to choose from a variety of Ad Objectives.
Navigating to Facebook Ads Manager
From the main menu (that tiny little triangle pointing down, on the far right of the blue Facebook bar), click on “Create Ads” to be brought directly to the ad creation tool of Ads Manager.
On the next screen, if you have more than one Ad Account, you can select the Ad Account you want to use from the drop down in the upper left hand corner. If you only have one Ad Account, then this will be done for you by default.
(You may be prompted to choose between “Guided Creation” or “Quick Creation.” For this article we'll be going through “Guided Creation” which I believe to be the most user-friendly for beginners. That being said, I still prefer it from time-to-time myself!)
Three Levels of Ad Creation
There are 3-levels of Ad Creation: the Campaign, Ad Set, and Ad levels. You'll notice on the left that Facebook breaks down for you what elements of your Ad are controlled at each level. To summarize:
- Objective (What you want the Ad to do?)
- Audience (Who are you targeting?)
- Budget (How much do you want to spend?)
- Schedule (When will people see your ad?)
- Placements (Where do you want people to see your ad?)
- Copy (What does your ad say?)
- Creative (What does your ad look like?)
Now, let's dive into the Campaign-level, and specifically what objectives you have to choose from!
How to choose the right objective for your Ad
The objective that you choose, will tell Facebook what action to try to get you at the lowest cost possible.
Think about your current business goals. What is the most important thing for your business right now?
Now, look at the list of answers below – and find the one that most closely aligns to the results you want to see, and that will help you identify what objective you should choose. Remember, pick the option that is MOST important to you:
- I want as many people as possible to see my Ad. [Reach]
- I want to show my ad to the people who are most likely to remember seeing it. [Brand Awareness]
- I want people to go to my website through the link I will provide. [Traffic]
- I want people to engage with my content on Facebook. [Engagement] Once selected, this objective has 3 additional options to further refine your choice:
- Specifically, I want people to engage with my Page by LIKING the Page and becoming a “fan.” [Page Likes]
- Specifically, I want people to engage with one specific Post on my Page. [Post Engagement]
- Specifically, I want people to respond that they are interested/going to a Facebook event listing. [Event Responses]
- I want as many people as possible to install my mobile app on their smart phones. [App Installs]
- I want as many people as possible to watch my video. [Video Views]
- I want to generate leads for my business (names, emails, phone numbers, etc.). [Lead Generation]
- I want people to message my Facebook Page. [Messages]
- I want people to go to my website and then take another action – like adding a product to their cart, purchasing something, or submitting an interest form. [Conversions]
- I want to promote items from a product catalog (eCommerce). [Product Catalog]
- I want people to physically visit my brick-and-mortar location. [Store Visits]
When you run any ad, you may see a variety of results from that Ad, and that's great! But, the most important thing to remember is that what you select here, at the Campaign-level, is what you are telling Facebook matters most to you. It's what Facebook is going to actively try to get you the most of. So, if you boost a post (or run a Page Post Engagement Ad), Facebook will be trying to get you the most engagement on that post… but if you REALLY want to increase your website traffic, you're going to be disappointed.
Hint: Facebook scatters little tips for you throughout the platform. When you hover over any of these objectives a small circle with an “i” will appear towards the right. When you hover over that icon, you can find additional information about that option. Facebook scatters little tips for you throughout the platform, so if you see that i-icon give it a hover and learn a little more about that feature!
Last week we talked about Boosting Posts… if you boost from your Page, what you are running is a “Page Post Engagement Ad” – optimizing for engagement on a specific post. This will NOT help you drive traffic, generate leads, or increase sales. When people say that Facebook Ads don't work… it's most often because they are boosting posts and not seeing the results that they REALLY want. Because what they REALLY want is not engagement, but ACTION.
So, next time you go in to run a Facebook Ad, put some thought into what results are most important to you when you are choosing your Objective. It's the first step towards running a successful Facebook Ad.
Still have questions?
There is a LOT of content to cover on the topic of Facebook Ads. When you sign up for our weekly newsletter you'll stay in the loop! You can also join the Facebook Group and ask any of your questions there!
Meg Brunson has been marketing to moms for over 7 years. She is the founder and CEO of EIEIO Marketing, a digital marketing agency focused on Facebook Marketing for family-focused businesses.
Meg is also a former Facebook employee with a passion for helping bootstrapped businesses figure out Facebook so that they can promote like the pros! She left the 9-5 in 2017, so that she could be the mom she wanted to be to her 4 young daughters.
After helping her daughter launch her first business, Storytime With Kiki, at the age of 10, Meg began hosting the FamilyPreneur Podcast: an interview-style podcast for parent entrepreneurs, raising entrepreneurial children.