Marketing results for ambitious businesses

Facebook ad objectives explained

Facebook makes advertising on its platform incredibly easy... until you move beyond simple 'boosting'. If you're going to invest time and money into Facebook then it's worth getting under the bonnet a little bit to explore possible ad objectives. 

Things to consider:

  • What’s your objective?
  • What ad format is best?
  • What audience do I want to reach?
  • What budget do I need to achieve my objective?

This post deals with the first question. Facebook neatly distills objectives into manageable categories which mostly work. I’ve listed the objectives alphabetically and am using Facebook’s own ‘dummy’ company to illustrate them. Most objectives allow for video to be used and all allow photos. Each objective has recommended sizes for artwork attached and rather than list them all here you will see them as you go to create your ads. I find it useful to create design templates sized so I can create artwork quickly.

App installsApp Installs

Get people to install your mobile app. The example (right) shows an example ad on the Mobile News Feed There are a limited number of ad formats/channels for this objective; you’ll find most objectives are deliverable within a greater number of formats than ‘app installs’

Brand Awareness

The first step to a successful business is to build brand awareness. Reach people who are more likely to pay attention to your ads with the brand awareness objective. There’s no call to action on this type of add but the Like button is prominent. Your website URL shows at the bottom of the ad. The example shows an ad on both Desktop and Mobile News Feeds


The objective is to drive traffic to a specific landing page or action on your website, such as signing up for a newsletter or buying a product. The example shows a Carousel advert, a fantastic way to showcase several product or services at the same time. Each pic on the carousel can have it’s own link, so this ad format acts as several ads in one. There are other formats to choose from such as Links, Canvas and Collection, which are explained in another post. To be able to track and measure conversions you’ll need to install a conversion-tracking pixel on your website. The ‘Shop Now’ call-to-action button works well on this objective taking people directly to specific products or pages on your site.


When you choose the Engagement Objective for a Page Post you'll reach more people. Engagement can include likes on your post, comments, shares and photo views. The example (below) shows a video ad but many other format options are possible for this Objective.


Lead Generation

Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect info from people interested in your business. These ads are brilliant at collecting hot leads from people interested in your services right now. The key to sales success from these leads is acting on them quickly and in a way that relates to the prospect’s Facebook enquiry. We find that downloading daily leads and putting them through an email automation program works very well in moving people along the sales funnel. Depending on your business and resources, you may prefer to simply hand over the leads straight to your sales team for follow-up. Facebook's lead ads make it easier for you to capture intent from every person interested in your business through a streamlined experience that's pre-filled with the information you need to contact them. The graphic below illustrates the (semi-optional) steps a user takes to submit their enquiry.

Lead Gen2


Create ads that reach people near your business. Use the Get Directions option on the call to action button. The audience targeting part of setting up a Reach advert defaults to a local audience; you can edit this. The example shows a Photo ad on Desktop and Mobile.

Store Visits

This Objective is for businesses with multiple bricks and mortar stores. It creates ads that dynamically localise messaging to each store location using a single creative template. This feature is available to if you have a locations structure set up on your Facebook Page.


Send people to important sections of your website. The example shows a Links ad on Facebook Desktop and Mobile News Feeds.


Video Views

Tell a story using a video in your ad. It’s possible to upload video that lasts hours but most people would agree short video is more effective on facebook, indeed marketers argue that you have a few seconds to capture attention and that attention tends to weaken after 30 seconds, no matter how good you think your video is. Ideas: videos that show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand. The majority of Facebook usage is on mobile so getting the technical requirements right is worth it. Facebook allows for a long list of video formats (see list). You can also make a video slideshow out of several flat images if you prefer.