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#1 Defining Facebook Objectives and Goals for your Business

Objectives and Goals

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” –  Benjamin Franklin

Planning is an essential factor for success when it comes to Facebook marketing and that means you have to get your goals and objectives right. Your objectives are the end result you want to achieve with your Facebook campaign and this determines what ad format to use for the campaign.

While 90% of the time your end goal is going to focus on making a sale, it’s important to note that most successful Facebook ad campaigns are built from a series of smaller objectives.

Here’s another way to look at it, If you like a stranger you just met, what are the chance of you winning them over if you went up to them for the very 1st time and asked, would you marry me? I am guessing it’s going to be a resounding NO! Your potential customers aren’t very different either. You need to engage them, build trust and rapport before asking for the sale.

Facebook campaign objectives in ads manager

A view of setting Facebook campaign objectives

In Facebook marketing, the kind of objectives most commonly used includes traffic, engagement, video views, messages, catalogs, and conversions. Understanding these objectives will help you determine their purpose and use in introducing, enticing, building trust and closing the sale.

Traffic Objective – Driving Traffic from Facebook

Settings on Campaign setup page

Settings on Campaign setup page


Settings on Adset setup page

Settings on Adset setup page

This helps to send more people to a destination on or off Facebook, website, or messenger. It’s the most common form of ad objectives. This is because it can be used for a variety of purposes from introducing to closing a sale.

Engagement Objective – Creating Awareness

Settings on Campaign setup page

Settings on Campaign setup page

It involves getting more people to interact with your posts via comments, likes, and shares. Also, it is useful for testing ad messages and building trust and creating a buzz. It also ensures your ads are shared with people who are most likely to engage with your post. This objective is usually the cheapest of all objectives.

One effective strategy is to use the engagement objective to a post to help build trust and buzz. Then later on use a conversion objective to drive highly converting traffic to that post which has a high trust and buzz factor.

Video Views Objective – Video Ads in Facebook

Settings on Campaign setup page

Settings on Campaign setup page


Settings on Adset setup page

Settings on Adset setup page

This involves getting people to view your video content. Videos get higher attention simply because its a moving visual compared to still images and text. They are great to help grab eyes and explain complicated products or services. However, unlike engagement objectives this objective may not necessarily give you more likes, comments and shares.

One of the great things about video views is that that you can breakdown the users who watched a small portion of the video versus users who watched the whole video. This helps you identify the users who are the most interested in what you have to show.

Conversion Objective – Optimize Traffic for Specific Action

Settings on Campaign setup page

Settings on Campaign setup page


Settings on Adset setup page

Settings on Adset setup page

This objective is an advanced level objective which many e-commerce companies need to eventually add to their Facebook campaign to drive the end goal of making a sale. Conversions help you drive valuable actions to your website such as view content (content here specifically refers to product pages) , add to cart and purchases.

This objective requires a Facebook pixel which is a couple lines of code placed on your website to help Facebook learn about the actions their users are taking on you ecommerce website. Once there is enough data about the action you want to optimize, Facebook can then find and serve your ad to other users who they think will have a higher probability of taking that same action.

Example, let’s say you have about 100 users who purchased from your website, Facebook will look at these 100 users and try to understand who they are. Once Facebook profiles them, using the conversion objective it will only show the ads to users who are similar to those to made purchases on your website. I know it’s pretty amazing! This way you save a tonne of budget not showing your ads to people who are less likely to convert.

Catalog sales

Settings on Campaign setup page

Settings on Campaign setup page


Settings on Adset setup page

Settings on Adset setup page

This is another advanced level objective offered within Facebook’s ad manager. There are several ways to use this objective but the most common purpose for this objective is for retargeting people who browsed your product pages but didn’t make a purchase. It creates ads that dynamically changes the product images to your target audience based on what they have browsed on your website or you can use it to show your best selling products based on actual sales data from your store.

Window in Facebook Ads Manager to setup product catalog feed

Window in Facebook Ads Manager to setup product catalog feed

In order to use this feature you need to setup a product catalog feed from your ecommerce website to Facebook’s ad manager. This is how Facebook is able to learn about the products you offer and how it’s users are viewing them.

Messages Objective – 1 to 1 Conversations with Your Audience

Settings on Campaign setup page

Settings on Campaign setup page


Settings on Adset setup page

Settings on Adset setup page

This objective adds a message button as a call to action at the end of the ad.  You can use this to get users to have conversations with your business on messenger or WhatsApp. It’s a great way to help answer questions your customers may have before completing a purchase, or use it to offer post purchase support and increase the lifetime value of your customer.

Now that we have covered the essentials to understanding your objectives, let’s move on to see the kind of ad formats available for you to convey your message.

Types of Facebook Ads Format

There are several formats of Facebook ads, such as Single Image, Videos, Slides, Carousel, Canvas, and Collection.

The purpose of this section is to understand the different ad formats and  how a combination of objectives and ad formats can be used to tackle different challenges and purposes in marketing on Facebook. As we move along I will be sharing some of this tactical knowledge on how you can pair the objectives and ad formats for specific purposes such as retargeting or generating leads.

Slideshow – Quickly Create Video Content From Images

Sample & specifications of a Slideshow ad format in Facebook

Sample & specifications of a Slideshow ad format

Slideshows are great for engagement, traffic, video views, and conversion. The great thing about slideshows is that you can quickly take a series of images and make into a 15 sec video clip that is more engaging then a static image. Plus, Facebook has a library of music tracks that you can add to your slideshow inside the Facebook Ads manager. It cost less time and money.

A combination of slideshow and videoviews can be used to identify audiences that are more interested in your product. This is because you will be able to see data on the audience who watched only the 1st few seconds of your video versus those who watch up to the end of your video.

Carousel – Show More in One Ad

Sample & specifications of a Carousel ad format

Sample & specifications of a Carousel ad format

Carousels are interactive and involves breaking your visual into different pieces. Creative way of creating engagement as it promotes interaction. It also encourages users to flick left to view more content. 

Combining the carousel ad with the Catalog sales objective is a great way to do remarketing. Using this formula you can present multiple product options to your audience that change dynamically for each viewer base on the products they browsed your website.

The carousel ad format lets you add up to 10 pictures, videos and links in just one ad unit.

The specification of creating a Carousel ad format are:

Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 or 600 x 600, pixelsAd copy text: 90 characters
Headline: 25 characters
Link Description: 30 characters

Canvas – Your Mini Website within Facebook

Imagine if you can have your website built within the users Facebook feed? With the canvas ad format you can. It acts like a simpler version of your website landing page but design within the Facebook ad itself.

This way you can promote your product or service within the Facebook feed without having to take the user to your website until they are closer to make a purchase decision. Why would you do this? If you think about it, by reducing the number of actions the audience needs to take to view your content you are making it easier for user to consume your content. Ask yourself, is your objective to bring more traffic to your website or is it to make more sales?  If its the latter then this strategy can work in your favour.

The recommended specification for collection is:

Image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
Ad copy text: 90 characters
Headline: 45 characters

Collection – Promote and Encourage Purchases in One Ad

Collections is actually a spin off of the canvas ad but because it has a unique purpose it’s worth sharing more about this ad format.

With the collections ad format you can add videos and product shots in one post. You can use the video to grab attention and quickly showcase the products in the video. This is particularly great for products or services that have many variants, options or seasonal collections. Some examples include, fashion & accessories or restaurants looking to promote they variety of dishes.

The recommended specification for collection is:

Image Size: 1,200 x 628 pixels recommended
Image Ratio: 1.9:1
Your image may not include more than 20% text. Headline: 25 characters recommended

Facebook Marketing Goals and Key Metrics

Many Facebook ad campaigns fail because we fail to set goals and monitor the performance of our campaigns.

To track the success or identify issues with your Facebook objectives we need to look at the key metrics that are specific to each objective. It’s important for us to set goals or KPI’s to this objectives to make sure we are on track, on time and managing our resources such as ad budget correctly.

So what data or reports should we look at? Each campaign objectives has a set of data point for you to look at to evaluate how well it is doing.

Key Performance Metrics by Purpose

EngagementTrafficLeadsPurchaseDownloads
Reach
Link clicksLink clicksConversion rate
App Installs
ImpressionsButton clicksClick through ratesView Content
Cost per download
Engagement
Click through ratesCost per leadAdd to cart
Cost per engagementCost per clickPurchase
CPMCost per acquisition
Return on Ad Spend

For example, if you desire to drive traffic to an external website, tracking your link clicks, button clicks, click through rates (CTR) and cost per click from your Facebook ad is an important metric you should look at.

Conclusion notes

Customer journey

Successful ad campaigns are made out of several objectives that target your audience at every step of their journey to becoming a customer.

Follow the data

Understand that these are guidelines experience and testing will help you understand you ad formats perform so you know when to break the rules.

One step at a time

Rome wasn’t built in a day, selecting and creating ad objectives can be complex. Build as you go along and don’t try to build everything in one go.