13 Facebook Ads Objectives – The Definitive List

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
Bruce Lee

I’d be lying if I told you that every Facebook ad campaign I ran was a success. 

That just isn’t possible. 

But it is possible to have a goal for every campaign you run. You can’t decide one minute you’re going to run an ad and just slap something together and hope it works. 

If only it were that simple.

Knowing your objective before launching your campaign serves two purposes. 

Firstly, you’ll be able to set proper expectations for the campaign. For example, if you know the goal of your campaign is to get exposure, then you’re not going to expect a lot of sales to come from it. You’ll be more concerned about how many people your ad reached. 

Secondly, defining your goal beforehand will help you determine the metrics you look at to gauge the success of that campaign.

If you’re not sure what numbers you should be looking at, then you’ll end up ingesting a bunch of needless data. There are a ton of numbers you can look at in the Ads Manager, but there’s only a handful that are actually important.  

Being able to figure that out will help you maintain laser focus.

Here's an in-depth Facebook Ads Guide to give you a general overview of the platform.

The Sales Funnel - Facebook Ads Objectives

facebook ads objective - sales funnel

In order to understand the different ad objectives, we must first be familiar with a concept called the sales funnel. 

The sales funnel represents the journey your target market takes from stranger to customer. You can think of it like a human relationship. You can’t just walk up to someone you never met and ask them to marry you. 

Most people would agree that’s creepy. But this is exactly what businessowners do when they try to shove their product down everyone’s throat. If the people you want to sell to don’t know you from a hole in a wall, then they won’t buy from you. 

There’s a process you need to take them that converts them from stranger to customer, and that is what the sales funnel does. 

Now that we’ve hammered that point home, let’s bring this back to Facebook. 

Each Facebook ad objective falls under one of 3 parts of the sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you have Awareness, which are ad objectives that help with gaining exposure. 

The second category is called Consideration, where your target audience begins to actively engage with you and starts to “consider” your business and/or product as a possible option among other ones. 

Finally, there’s Conversion, where your target market takes a desired action that leads towards generating business revenue in the long-term.

Awareness Facebook Ads Objectives

Awareness ad objectives are primarily concerned with gaining exposure. They are generally the cheapest ads to run and tend to reach the most people out of all the ad objectives. 

There are 2 Facebook Ad Objectives that fall in this category: 

  • Brand Awarenes
  • Reach

Brand Awareness

The brand awareness ad objective shows your ad to people who are most likely to remember them. To do this, they take two primary factors into account: attention and reach. 

After analyzing hundreds of brand campaigns, Facebook determined that people who spend more time on your ad are much more likely to remember them. This goes beyond just reaching a large number of people. You want to make an impact on the right people so they remember you if they see you again.

The primary metric for Brand Awareness campaigns is the Estimated Ad Recall Lift. This number shows the number of people that Facebook believes will remember your ad if asked about it in 2 days. Here's an article by Facebook about the Estimated Ad Recall Lift metric.


There may come a time when you need to get your message in front of as many people as possible. If you’re ever in that situation, then the reach ad objective is the perfect fit for you. 

Like the previous objective, you can use this to build brand awareness. However, you can also use it to change brand perception. 

In addition to reaching a lot of people, you can also control the frequency that people see your ads. For instance, if you’re running a limited-time promotion, you may want to show your ad more often to the same people than if it were an ongoing promotion. 

Consideration Facebook Ads Objectives

Consideration ad objectives deal with goals that lie in the “middle of the funnel.” At this stage, you’re looking for active engagement from your target audience. 

Facebook puts it another way by stating that you want to “get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.” They may not be sold yet on your product or service, but you have become part of the discussion. 

This section contains the most ad objectives of all the sections. There are 8 in total that falls under this category:

  • Traffic
  • App Installs
  • Video Views
  • Lead Generation
  • Post Engagement
  • Page Likes
  • Event Responses
  • Messages


Traffic is a term that advertisers use when referring to getting eyeballs on your website. At the end of the day, if you don’t have eyeballs on your website, then no one will know you exist.

But, what if you don’t have a website? In that case, if you have an app, then you can send people directly to your app using the Traffic objective. 

The standard unit for measuring Traffic to your website is link clicks. Generally speaking, the more clicks that you generate, the more exposure your website (or app) gets. 

Facebook also has a feature where you can optimize for Landing Page Views. Contrary to link clicks, landing page views only count when the person who clicked on the link had fully loaded the landing page on the other side of the ad. 

Landing Page Views tends to produce higher-quality traffic as opposed to link clicks, but it usually comes at a premium. 

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App Installs

The app install objective is best suited for people who have a mobile app. Using this objective will cause Facebook to show your ads to people who are most likely to install your app. You can also optimize for app events and attract your highest-value customers using value optimization. 

There are a few things you need in place in order to optimize for app installs. 

First, you must register your app with the “Facebook for Developer’s” site. 

Then, you must link your ad account to the app that you want to run ads for. 

Finally, you must integrate the Facebook SDK and add app events if you want to optimize for installs, app events, or values. The SDK is also necessary for measuring and tracking installs, app events, or value.

You don’t have to register your app or link your ad account to your app if you want to use the app install objective. In either case, you would have to optimize for link clicks instead of app installs.

Video Views

The video views objective optimizes your ads to get the most plays on your video. While other objectives are able to support video, they don’t necessarily optimize for video views. 

You have two options when it comes to optimizing for video views: ThruPlay and 2-Second Continuous Video Play. 

ThruPlay optimizes your ads for people who will watch at least 15 seconds of your video, or the entire video. It depends on what happens first. 

2-Second Continuous Video Play optimizes your ad for people who watched your video for 2 continuous seconds or more. In most cases, at least 50% of the video pixels will be in view. 

2-Second Continuous Video Plays are generally less expensive and have a much wider reach. However, the quality of the view will be much lower. ThruPlays are generally more expensive but you know that the viewer has consumed at least 15 seconds of your video. 

Lead Generation

The lead generation ad objective is specially designed to capture contact information from potential customers. You can collect, name, email address, phone number, and more. You can even ask custom questions that are relevant for your business. 

Here are a few ideas for using the lead generation objective: 

  • Find new customers for your business.
  • Get people to enroll into your program.
  • Get people to download a brochure. 

You can download your leads directly from Facebook or you can connect your leads to a CRM like Mailchimp or Salesforce for instant access as they optin.

Post Engagement

The post engagement ad objective targets people who are most likely to engage with your post. 

It’s similar to “boosting a post” on Facebook, except you have a bit more control over who sees it. Also, your post isn’t limited to just Facebook when you do it through the Ads Manager. 

Post Engagement includes reactions, comments, and video views. It’s a good idea to use this objective when you have a post that’s already performing well organically and you want to get it in front of more people. 

It’s also relatively cheap to run a  Post Engagement ad. You can get engagement for pennies on the dollar and reach dozens of new people.

Page Likes

Having a lot of page likes used to be a big deal back in the day. Now, only a fraction of your page likers see your organic posts. Still, there’s some value to be gained in getting page likes. 

At a basic level, it serves as social proof for your business. If someone comes across your page and sees a lot of page likes, they might assume that your page is pretty popular. People like to go where there’s already a crowd. 

When you optimize for likes, Facebook will show your page to people who might be interested in your content or business.

Event Responses

It’d be nice if you could create an event and tons of people RSVP automatically. Unless you already have an audience, that probably isn’t going to happen. 

The event response ad objective shows your ad to people who are likely to be interested in your event. 

Before you can use this ad objective, you must create your Facebook event beforehand. You cannot create it in the Ads Manager. 

Also, Facebook event response ads only show on Facebook. You cannot run them on Instagram or the Audience Network. 


The Messages ad objective was officially announced by Facebook in September 2017. It offered a new way for advertisers to connect with their customers by opening conversations with them. 

This is an objective worth considering because over 2 billion messages are already sent between businesses and people on Facebook. By using this objective, you can build campaigns that leverage the power of messaging. 

Messenger ads also have a variety of uses.

Some of them include: 

  • Generating leads
  • Answering questions
  • Drive transactions
  • Provide support

Conversion Facebook Ads Objectives

Conversion Facebook Ad Objective all focus on one thing: finding people who are willing to take the desired action. 

Generally speaking, these people are at the bottom of your funnel. They are either a customer, or they’re close to becoming one. 

Conversion-based objectives tend to be more expensive compared to objectives in the middle and the top of the funnel. But the cost can pay for itself if you run a profitable campaign. 

There are 3 Conversion ad objectives you can choose from:

  • Conversions
  • Catalog Sales
  • Store Traffic


In marketing, conversion refers to a specific action that a person took that you can measure. If you can wrap your head around that concept, then you’ll have an easy time understanding the conversion objective. 

When you use this objective, Facebook shows your ad to people who are likely to take a specific action. For example, you can optimize for purchases where Facebook shows your ad to people who are likely to make a purchase. 

This doesn’t take away the fact that you need a good ad. In fact, if your ad is good, you can expect even better results when using this objective.

In order to use this objective, you must have the Facebook pixel installed on your website. The pixel is what allows you to keep track of conversions on your website.

Catalog Sales

Catalog Sales is not for everyone. This is only for advertisers who have physical items that they wish to sell on Facebook, like an eCommerce store. 

Before you can use this objective, you must create a Catalog within Facebook. A catalog is a container that holds information about items in your inventory. It works in a similar way like the Google Merchant Center where you can also upload data about your products. 

To streamline the process, Facebook natively integrates with certain eCommerce platforms like Woocommerce, Shopify, 3dcart, and more. Other methods include adding items using a data feed, manual form, or Facebook pixel. 

After you’ve added your catalog to Facebook, you can create product sets using different items from your catalog. This helps control which items appear in your ads. 

At a minimum, each product set should contain a minimum of 4 items or your ad might not deliver.

Store Traffic

Is it possible to use Facebook Ads to drive offline actions?

The answer is yes. 

If you have multiple physical locations, you can use the store traffic ad objective to drive foot traffic into your stores and boost sales. 

A store can be any physical place of business such as a shop, restaurant, dealership, gym, etc. 

As a side note, if you have just 1 store, then Facebook recommends using the Reach objective instead. That way, you don’t have to setup multiple stores. 

You can geotarget your ads so that it shows to people within a given distance from your store. 

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