Why Campaign Objectives Matter
Any campaign that you run on social (as well as other ad platforms like Google) must have an objective. Not just from you as a business, as in what you want to achieve, but as an actual setting for the campaign.
This has a big impact on not just who sees your ad, but your costs, your results, and what your ads will automatically optimise for.
Objectives are set at the campaign level. In your ad set, you can change what your ad optimises for in more detail, but it’s typically best to leave that as the default setting.
The best way that I can communicate this to you, is to walk through some of the campaign objectives, and what they actually do. Some of them aren’t particularly useful, so it’s important to understand what objectives you should be using, so you can get the desired outcome for your campaign.
Let’s use Facebook ads as an example:
So firstly you can see that the objectives are broken up into 3 different sections. Awareness, consideration, and conversion. At a top-down level, these effectively mean exactly what they sound like.
The idea of awareness campaigns is to effectively get you eyeballs, put you in front of users. Consideration, is to get them interested, to engage with you in some way. Conversion, is to get them to complete and action like a purchase or sign up.
Let’s go through each of these 1 by 1:
Brand Awareness – The idea of this objective is to effectively put your brand/offer in front of as many people as possible. The idea here is mass number of eyeballs, for as little amount of spend as possible. Which may sound great, however there isn’t much taken into account here in terms of the quality of those users, or how likely they are to actually engage with you or be interested in what you’re offering. However, they can be good for introducing new people to your brand, and pushing out content. Do not expect these campaigns to directly generate revenue for you.
If you’re looking to generate leads, website sales, appointments, anything direct response, you’re typically best just avoiding these types of campaigns.
For example. You’re a car leasing company running an ad about your new Range Rover Evoque offer, and want to generate enquires. This is not for you.
On the other hand, let’s say you’re Hellmans, and you’re releasing a new plant-based mayonnaise that’s going into stores next month and you want to make people aware of it, this is a highly cost-effective strategy that will in most instances get you more eyeballs than a TV ad could.
Reach – Same as above essentially but measured differently. Brand awareness has more of a focus on impressions (appearing on someone’s device) whereas Reach aims to ensure the user actually reads/watches what you’re putting delivering.
Traffic – Link Clicks – This will get you exactly what you’re asking for, clicks on your ads. They’re a bit of a trap in our opinion. Just because someone is willing to click your ad, doesn’t mean they’re willing to buy. Intent matters, and there are millions of FB users that will happily click ads, fill out enquiry forms, add things to their cart, but never buy.
Engagement – These used to be absolutely fantastic, but given the non-organic way things have gone on FB in particular, and somewhat on IG, they’re nowhere near as valuable anymore. Particularly as encouraging people to engage with your post, particularly for giveaways or offers, is now against FB’s ad policy. Avoid.
App Installs – What it says on the tin. If you’re looking to get new users for your app, this is what you’ll want to use. However, once you’ve gathered enough data, be mindful of what those users are doing. Your campaigns could be better off delivering for a specific event in your app such as a sign up or purchase, rather than just an install…
Video Views – Similar to reach in the sense that they’re great for getting content out, with the added benefit of FB prioritising users that it believes will watch the content in full. These can be quite good for build retargeting audiences. Step 1: Deliver video content to users (an educational piece, a testimonial piece, a press-related piece) Step 2: Create an audience of people that have watched at least one of those videos in full, and deliver your offers to them.
Lead Generation – Facebook’s infamous lead forms. Many agencies have never touched these, and many marketers that have used them would advise you against it. In most instances, we would too, however they can work exceptionally well for particular types of offers or services. High volume recruitment is an area that we’ve used these very effectively. They wouldn’t be suitable for something more tailored or high-ticket though, like legal services.
Messages – Messenger campaigns have definitely had their time on stage. They can still be used very effectively but it takes a lot more work, and in most instances you’re better off getting users to your own websites and systems rather than FB’s. Having someone engage with your FB page and engage with them there can be a great approach for some businesses, particularly smaller ones that deal with less volume and can dedicate their time to the messages (automation is very much an option but has it’s limitations). Big business will not want to flood their FB page with messages in most instances.
So these objectives would typically be used to build audiences, increase your following, and get your content out there. There’s also some smart strategies you can implement that can get you different results to a conversion campaign. They won’t always be better, but they can be sometimes. In our personal experience, these types of strategies haven’t been as effective in the last 12 months as they have been previously. The vast majority of the time when we’re building a campaign (outside of apps and brand pieces), it’s a conversion campaign.
Now, this is where the magic happens! Conversion campaigns are all based around what are called “conversion events” these are all the different tags that are tracked by the FB pixel.
So why are these types of campaign the best? Because you can build your ads, and your sales page, your funnel, around this objective and what you are trying to achieve. Facebook also has a clear understanding of what you’re asking it for, and can utilise the pixel data to optimise the ads based on what you’re asking.
Let me break this down further so it’s crystal clear.
If your campaign objection is post engagement, then Facebook will show your ads to people that it thinks are most likely to engage with your post. However, just because they like your post, or leave a comment, does that mean they’re a likely lead or customer? Of course not, there’s tonnes of people on FB that like content all the time, or share it, doesn’t mean they’re going to do business with you.
So if your objective is traffic, you’ll get people that are most likely to click your ad. But that’s it, not the people that are most likely to buy, or submit an application, or book an appointment. You get the idea?
If your campaign objective is leads, then Facebook will show your ads to people that it thinks are most likely to complete that action on your website, and become a lead. So you need to chose the objective that’s relevant to your campaign.
So, how does this work with the Facebook pixel? Well, to understand that, we need have a good understanding of what the facebook pixel is, and how it works..
The Facebook pixel is the cornerstone, the lynchpin, the holy grail of marketing on FB and IG, so you NEED to have it set up.
So the Facebook pixel works by tracking how FB users interact with your website (it’s also doing this on all websites that a pixel is installed on universally, gathering spectacular amounts of data and intelligence) What actions they take, what pages they go to, and when it comes to apps they track in-app purchases, opens, deletions, drop-off rate, everything.
We don’t need to get bogged down into the tech side of this, what we need to understand is that the Facebook pixel is our means of not just gathering data, but also optimising our campaigns, and ensuring our ad targeting is on point. So the more events you have set up on your website for your pixel, the better. If there are multiple steps in your customer journey, you’re going to want to have those tags in place, so that you’re getting pixel fires for leads, sign ups, purchases, repeat purchases, everything.
With Ecommerce you’re going to have add to cart, initiate checkout, purchase, value of purchase, everything that you need not just to assess your ads and track properly, but for FB to build an understanding of your customers, so that it can provide you with the best possible advertising experience.
On top of this, you can create your own custom conversions, and you can integrate the pixel with tonnes of third-party tools like Shopify, WordPress, Kajabi, Webinars, and all the event tags are handled automatically. Setting it up is a piece of cake but if you do get stuck, Google is your friend, and failing that just reach out to us and we will help!
Another amazing feature of the pixel is what it allows you to do with custom audiences, which is another post altogether (think targeting everyone that added to cart last month but didn’t purchase, i.e. retargeting) This is one of the biggest marketing tools to ever exist as far as we’re concerned and it is just flat out insane.
So, back to those campaign objectives. Typically, your objective should be what your goal is. Be cautious of bro-science and pretentions campaign structures, and people overcomplicating things so they can feel clever. Facebook is bloody smart, and it knows its ad platform better than anyone. As we’ve said before, if you have a good ad, and a good offer, FB will handle the most of the rest, trust us on that. Focus on delivering a good offer, and great experience, tell FB what your objective is, and let them do the heavy lifting.