Facebook Ad Types: When to Use Each Objective

Facebook Ads can be confusing.  There are so many different options when you go beyond just Boosting Posts – which I really recommend to optimize your ads correctly.

Not only are they confusing when you first start with the Facebook Ads Manager, they are changing almost daily.

And different people see different things when you get to the Ad Objectives.  Some people might see this simpler set of choices such as this:


Facebook Ad Objectives choices


Others might see a more complex set of choices like this:


Facebook Ad Objectives


You can see some similarity in the language of the choices but in some cases the language is different.  For example, “Reach people near your business” is also known as “Local awareness”.

Here is a brief explanation of each type of ad

  • Boost Your Posts – Optimized for Likes, Comments, and Shares on that post. This type of ad is NOT recommended when you really would rather get traffic to your website.  Choose the “Traffic” option or “Send people to your website”.
  • Promote Your Page – Optimized for Page Likes (this option is under the “Engagement” selection for those that have that selection).
  • Reach People Near Your Business aka Local Awareness Ads – Your ads are shown to Local people you select based on zip code or city.  This also includes people who are traveling through that area based on their mobile phone location.  You also have different calls to action buttons such as “Get Directions” or “Call Now”.
  • Increase your Reach – Optimized for maximum impressions.
  • Brand Awareness Ads – Optimized for “Awareness”.  This is shown to people who are more likely to recall your brand after seeing an ad.
  • Send People to Your Website (or Traffic) – Optimized for clicks to the website.
  • Get Installs of Your App – Use only for Facebook Apps.
  • Raise Attendance at Your Event – Promoting a Facebook Event.
  • Get Video Views – Optimizes for higher views (can have videos in other types of ads).
  • Collect Leads For Your Business – Lead Generation Ads (leads are collected within Facebook).  Two taps optins that are geared for mobile users.
  • Increase Conversions on Your Website aka Conversions – The ad is shown to people who are more likely to purchase or opt in to your free offer on your website – You MUST use the Facebook Pixel to choose this option.
  • Increase Engagement in your App – Use only if you have a true Facebook App (such as a game played on Facebook).
  • Get People to Claim Your Offer – Create a Facebook Offer where the call to action is Claim the Offer (you do not get a list of who claims them).
  • Promote a Product Catalog – recommended for larger Ecommerce sites only – you must have uploaded a product catalog in the Business Manager.
  • Get people to visit your stores – If you have multiple stores and have set up a multi-location Page, you can use this objective.
  • Engagement – This is in the “simpler” selections but combines Page Likes, Boosted Posts, Offer Claims, and Event Responses into one selection – you then make a secondary selection to choose which objective you have.

Newer Engagement Ads have some secondary choices as shown:

Facebook Engagement Ads

So after all of that explanation, you may still feel like your choice is as clear as mud.  I have a video to explain my favorite choices and the differences here:



Here are a few more tips to help you make your choice:

Tip #1 – Your ad is optimized around the Facebook Ad Objective you select

When you select the fact that you want Video Views, your ad will be shown to people who like to watch videos on Facebook.  Remember that Facebook is tracking everything we do and they know who likes to click on links, Like Pages, opt in to Facebook Offers, etc.

The targeting you select for you ad also is in effect as well as the optimization.  So your ad is shown to your target audience but it’s really a “subset” of that audience based on the objective.

Always focus on what your true objective is – if you really want to get people over to your website, but you have a video as the creative, then make sure you select “Traffic” or the “Send people to a destination off Facebook” option (depending on which one is available to you).  You can then use a Video in the creative part of the ad.

Facebook video ad


Tip #2 – Sending people to your website  or using website Conversions allows for Retargeting later

I typically advise people to choose the Traffic or Conversions option as must as possible because when you have the Facebook Pixel installed, you can then retarget your ads to people who were interested enough to click over but may not have opted in or purchased.

Facebook Ads traffic and conversion

In order to make that strategy work, you do need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website.  And you do need to have a good landing page to send them to – one where they are going to opt in to your offer or purchase something on your site.

Once you have the Pixel installed, you do also need to have a Custom Audience created for retargeting.  And one caveat also is that you have to have enough traffic built up to that site to retarget – at least 1000 visitors.  So the strategy takes time.

Tip #3 – Choosing between Lead Generation, Facebook Offers, and Conversions

These three options can be confusing so let me break them down a little:

Lead Generation:

Benefits: Allows for a quick opt in to your offer with 2 clicks where the user never has to leave Facebook.  You don’t have to create a “landing page” for someone to opt in to but that also means you have to describe the benefits of what you are offering within a short amount of text.  People opt in using their Facebook information so you know that you are getting good data.

Drawbacks:  You get access to the leads in the back end of your Facebook Page and you have to manually download the names and emails or pay for a service that will connect it to your email system.

lead generation ads

Learn more about Lead Generation Ads

Facebook Offers:

Benefits:  People “Claim” an offer and get an email notification about how to claim it.  You can also automatically direct people to your website after clicking the “Get offer” button.  They will also get a reminder notification.  You can set up time limits and quantity limits on the offer.

Facebook Offer Ads

Drawbacks:  You don’t get any information on who has claimed your offer.  They are not automatically opted in if it’s something free, they still have to complete the 2nd step to actually optin.  If it’s something for sale, they may or may not complete the purchase.


This is the type of ad I would recommend most often between these 3 options.  I’ve tested them all and I most often get the best cost per conversion.  You do have to set up either a Standard Event pixel on the Thank You page or a Custom Conversion (see my post on Facebook Pixels) in order to use this type of ad but you can then track what the cost is to opt in or purchase your product.

Track Conversions with Facebook Ads


So I hope that helped clear a few things up about Facebook Ad Objectives. Facebook Ads are a fantastic place to reach your ideal customer, but if you aren’t optimizing them correctly, you could waste a lot of money!  And that’s why I created my course, Facebook Advertising Secrets.

Facebook Advertising Secrets Course

If you want to go farther with Facebook Ads, be sure to check out my full Facebook Advertising Secrets course which is amazing – 4 modules covering Facebook and Instagram advertising and a private Facebook Group to ask questions!  But the biggest benefit you get with the course is access to the Facebook Group where you can get all your Facebook Ad questions answered.  We give feedback on ads, troubleshoot reports, and give advice on how to make your Facebook ads shine!

If you really want to grow your business quickly, Facebook Ads is the best vehicle to do that on the internet right now. Join me at www.fbadvertisingsecrets.com

facebook advertising course