What objective should you run with Facebook and Instagram Ads?

There are 14 objectives. 14 Types of ads to run on Facebook. These are at Campaign Level. Lots of options to use with Facebook ads.
Yes, ads are getting complicated, but if you understand the objectives and what they mean, it can be very helpful to get your ads running on the right foot. 😉
Obviously, you can run video ads, graphic ads, stories ads, etc, but this post is focusing on marketing objectives.
What is the goal of the ad?
In this post, I will break down the 3 objectives: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.
In the below descriptions, I will give the exact explanation Facebook gives.
Then, I will also add my additional meaning (my opinion) to explain further and help you really understand which marketing objective you should be using.

#1: Awareness

Brand Awareness – Increase awareness for your brand by reaching people who are more likely to be interested in it.
My View
This is what it says – getting the word out about your company. I find using videos is the best way to reach the most people for the least cost when it comes to brand awareness.
Here is an example of one of my clients’ brand awareness video campaigns.
Reach – Show your ad to the maximum number of people.
My View
If you just want to reach the most people possible, this is your best bet. Once again, this could work well with video, so I would test that.

#2: Consideration

Traffic – Send more people to a destination on or off Facebook such as a website, app or Messenger conversation.
My View
Traffic is best for blog posts or if your goal is just traffic to website. (If you are list-building, using ecommerce or any type of conversion, it is suggested to use conversions – see below)
Engagement – Get more people to see and engage with your post or Page. Engagement can include comments, shares, likes, event responses and offer claims.
My View
This is if your focus is people clicking on your content, but not necessarily going to your website or filling in a lead form. It is similar to ‘brand awareness. ‘
App Installs – Send people to the app store where they can download your app.
My View
I have not had any clients that have used this to this point. However, I have downloaded a number of apps due to an ad in my feed. If you have an app that you want people to try out, get it in front of the right audience using this method.
Video Views – Promote videos that show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand.
My View
For brand awareness, videos are the best way to reach and engage the most audience for the least amount of money.
This objective specifically tracks video views. If that is your goal, it is a good one to choose. You could also run a video as engagement to test against video views. Sometimes that is more cost effective.
Lead Generation – Collect lead information from people interested in your business.
My View
I have used this objective numerous times to collect leads for businesses. This works great if you want to collect leads, but not create the whole funnel with landing page, thank-you page, etc. Once again, worth testing. See if it is working for your business. You do need to go find the leads inside ads manager and pay attention to the ad closely. Even better, is setting up a trigger with Zapier that texts or emails you every time a lead comes in. There is a low fee to use Zapier.
Messages – Get more people to have conversations with your business in Messenger to complete purchases, answer questions or offer support.
My View
Test this! If you are looking to start a conversation and for people to have the least hurdles reaching you, messenger is an effective way to do this.
Looking to get a deeper understanding of how to use ads for your business? Join my Ads ROI Summer Boot Camp!

#3: Conversion

Conversions – Get people to take valuable actions on your website, app or in Messenger, such as adding payment info or making a purchase. Use the Facebook pixel or app events to track and measure conversions.
My View
This is the one I use the most when it comes to lead generation, such as webinars, email list-building or purchases. This objective takes the pixel being set up and conversion pixels too.
Catalog Sales – Create ads that automatically show items from your catalog based on your target audience.
My View This is for Ecommerce. You will want to set up your catalog to link it to the merchandise in your store. Each platform, ie. Shopify, WooCommerce, is different in the setup of this. Once you have that in place you can not specifically track the ad performance in terms of sales of your Ecommerce store. This is a must for any Ecommerce using ads!
Store Traffic – Drive visits to your physical stores by showing ads to people who are nearby.
My View
This is a way to track leads directly from your ads if you are a business that people come to.
In summary, all objectives take testing. Your business will use numerous objectives when it comes to ads. Remember, there are 14 Types of ads to run on Facebook. Sometimes you may just want brand awareness and other times you may want specific conversions.
Each business is different and has different needs. Use this as a guide to figure out which objectives might work best for you and test them!


Janet E Johnson has more than 20 years of experience and millions of dollars earned for clients and her own business using online marketing strategies. Her career started on the internet selling on eBay in 1998. She runs a social media agency and training company. She specializes in Facebook and Instagram marketing and social media content marketing.

She is also the host of a popular marketing podcast, Business Growth Time.
In her career, Janet has worked with large brands, as well as local business and entrepreneurs.
She has been featured on National Institute of Social Media, Social Media Today, Social Media Pros, Social Media Strategies Summit, World Youth Forum, Entrepreneur, and a number of other top internet marketing publications.