Advertising Facebook Video Marketing

Facebook Campaign Objectives: Choosing the Right Objective for Video Ads

Facebook video ads work differently than Facebook image ads. With image ads, you might be able to get away with suboptimal Facebook campaign objectives. With video ads, choosing the right objective is the difference between amazing results and abysmal ad performance.

To prove this, we ran an experiment to first determine which objectives worked best with each type of Facebook campaign. Then we measured the results to see just how much impact using the correct objective has on ad performance. The results were astounding.

But, before you can match campaigns to campaign objectives, you need to understand how all the different Facebook ad campaigns fit together.

To sum it up loosely, the different campaign types form a funnel. This is what the funnel look likes.

Get to Know the Facebook Marketing Funnel

If you’ve poked around the Facebook Ads Manager, you may have felt overwhelmed. Facebook offers a whole bunch of campaign objectives, and it might seem at first that you need all of them at once.

To help you narrow your focus and choose the right objective for your campaign, Facebook segmented the campaign objectives into three categories that correspond with your overarching marketing funnel.

This funnel breaks down into three steps. Your overarching funnel may be labeled the same way: awareness, consideration, conversion.

For the best results, choose objectives from the category that best matches where your prospects are in your sales and marketing funnel. This helps the Facebook algorithm identify the people who will be most receptive to your ads.

Before we start crunching numbers on which objectives are best for each campaign type, let’s give the funnel a whirl and see exactly how it works and where each objective works best.

The Customer Journey Starts With a Single Step: Awareness

Before prospects can assess whether or not they want to buy from you, they need to be aware of what you’re offering. Pretty straightforward, right?

If you need to drum up interest and raise awareness of your brand, then your prospects are in the awareness stage of the funnel. In this first stage of the funnel, you’re simply trying to get people to watch your videos and interact with them.

Facebook has two metrics for awareness: video views and engagements—likes, comments, and shares. Which one is more valuable for your campaign depends on your specific objectives.

If you’re just trying to make more people aware of your brand by getting your video in front of as many eyeballs as possible, use the Brand Awareness objective, and keep an eye on your video views.

If you want a lot of people to watch your video more than once, use the Reach objective. This objective works well with content that uses a gentle call-to-action like asking people to like or comment. Pay attention to comments, likes, and shares.

If you’re trying to reach the most people at specific times during the day, use the Reach and Frequency objective. This is handy for companies that have an established brand, and want to raise awareness for time-specific events like sales and new releases.

No matter which objective suits your needs best, explaining the “why” of your brand should be the focus at the awareness stage. Let your brand story speak for itself.

Trying to grab sales from customers who are still in the awareness stage can seem pushy, and often doesn’t convert well. It’s better to save the hard sell approach for the consideration and conversion stages.

Helping Customers Make Decisions: Consideration

The name of the game in the consideration phase is identifying what problems your customers have and explaining how your offering solves those problems.

Typically, the goal of consideration ads is to drive traffic to your other content, outside of Facebook. The content could be as simple as a landing page, or it could be a blog, ebook, webinar, or something even more substantial.

In either case, you have two options: getting leads or driving traffic.

If you target leads, clicking on your ads will give users the opportunity to sign up for gated content without leaving Facebook. It’s a seamless experience where they input their information and return to scrolling.

If you’re driving traffic, clicking on your ads will take users to external content, like your blog or a landing page.

There’s also a middle-ground sort of option: Instant Experience Ads (these used to be called “Canvas Ads”). Instant Experience Ads enable you to create mini landing pages within Facebook, with more options for driving engagement than a lead generation form.

Regardless of what goal is, listening to your customers is uber important in the consideration stage. You need to know what questions they’re asking, what problems they’re having, and how you can help. This tells you what’s most relevant to them, so you can get their attention and stop their thumb.

Decision Time: Conversion

The conversion phase is where you actually ask prospects to make a conversion decision. So, the odds of getting a “yes” are much higher if prospects have developed a relationship and trust your brand. The first two stages of the funnel do those two things.

At the conversion stage, you have three options:

Conversions, where you prompt prospects to register for a free trial or give you their information so you can follow up.

Cart purchases, where they purchase something through an online storefront.

Offline conversions, where you ask customers to visit a physical store. Facebook uses GPS to track user locations in relation to when they saw your ad to determine if you’re getting store visits from your Facebook advertising.

Here’s a fun fact: your conversion campaigns will perform best when you show your conversion ads to people who have already seen your awareness and consideration ads. So, build the audiences for your conversion campaigns from the people who have seen and engaged with your awareness and consideration campaigns.

This will make it much easier to justify how much you pay for conversion ads, because you know they’re only being shown to people who are ready to buy.

Experiment: Which Objective is Best for Each Campaign Type?

As promised, these are the results of our experiment.

For the experiment, we created a video ad, and ran the same ad using different campaign objectives. Our hypothesis was that using a campaign objective which matched our desired outcome would generate the best results.

In short, our hypothesis was correct.

Here are the numbers:

Video Views Got People to Watch Our Video

WIth the video views objective, 84,092 people watched our video to completion.

With the leads objective, 4,621 people watched our video to completion.

With the traffic objective, 2,605 people watched our video to completion.

As you can see, if you want to expose the most people to your brand, video views will get you the most viewers.

Traffic Enticed People to Click on Our Ad

With the traffic objective, 1516 people clicked on our ad.

With the video views objective, 626 people clicked on our ad.

With the leads objective, 572 people clicked on our ad.

The data shows that traffic will get the clicks you’re after.

Leads Convinced People to Convert

With the leads objective, 220 people signed up for our list.

With the traffic objective, 12 people signed up for our list.

With the video views objective, 5 people signed up for our list.

There’s a sharp drop off here. So, if you need leads, tell Facebook you’re looking for leads.

We collected a lot more data from our experiment, too much to share it all here. If you want to read the full writeup, check it out in the Biteable Video Marketing Lab.

But, even with just the single data point, you can see how using an objective that’s not aligned with your goals can have a profound effect on your campaign performance.

So, when you’re creating a Facebook strategy, be sure to map out your funnel, and create campaigns with objectives that match your goals at each stage of the funnel.

About the author



Ken is a co-author of the Facebook Video Marketing Handbook and a social media scientist in the Biteable Lab. Out of the office, Ken likes collecting caps and hiking through the hills of Vancouver.