Most local businesses should advertise on Facebook. That’s what I believe, and the evidence backs me up. It’s cost-effective and, if you do it right, it can help your business to grow.
Easier said than done.
The issue is that while Facebook ads are effective, a lot of local business owners don’t know which objectives to choose for their ads. Choosing the wrong objective may lead to a low return on your investment and the feeling that you’ve wasted money.
With that in mind, here’s my rundown of Facebook ad objectives to help you understand which objective makes the most sense for your business.
What are the Available Ad Objectives on Facebook?
When you create an ad for your business on Facebook, you can choose from 11 objectives divided into three categories: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Let’s review them.
- Brand Awareness. These ads generally do not get a high click-through rate because their objective is to make people aware of your brand. They are best used as the first step in a campaign to attract new customers.
- Reach. If you want to get your ad in front of as many people in your target audience as possible, this is the objective to choose. Here again, you may not get a ton of engagement, but you will be sure that your ad appears in your target audience’s feed.
- Traffic. Traffic ads are designed to direct more traffic to the URL you choose, usually a link on your website. Facebook tracks only the number of people who click on your links, meaning that you’ll need to track conversions separately.
- Engagement. On Facebook, engagement means likes, comments, and shares. If you want to get more people to engage with your content, this is the ad objective you should choose.
- App Installs. This one’s self-explanatory. If you’ve got an app to sell or promote, chose App Installs as your objective.
- Video Views. Have a video to promote? Choose the Video Views objective to get more people to watch your video. This objective is ideal for product demo and explainer videos.
- Lead Generation. If you’ve got a great lead magnet to promote, the Lead Generation objective is ideal because it allows the people who see your ad to opt in and get your lead magnet without leaving Facebook.
- Messages. Message ads are designed to get more people in your target audience to message your business on Facebook. They can be useful if you want to initiate conversations, answer questions, and nurture leads.
- Conversions. If your goal is to get more people to take a specific action, such as adding an item to their cart, buying a product, or RSVPing to an event, this is the ad objective to choose on Facebook. It works best when targeted to people who are already familiar with your brand.
- Catalog Sales. Another ad objective that may be effective when targeted to people who already know your brand is the Catalog Sales objective. You can use it to connect Facebook with your product catalog and display individual products to your audience.
- Store Visits. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, this ad objective can help you entice more local customers to visit your store. To use it, you’ll need to make sure that your business location(s) are accurate in Business Manager.
You should think first about which objective you want to achieve. Then, choose the ad objective that will help you get there.
Which Facebook Ad Objective is Right for Your Business?
Now, let’s talk about which Facebook ad objectives make the most sense for local businesses. Some simply are not good choices if you’ve got a small audience to target.
Brand Awareness is a good objective, particularly if you feel like your competitors have more brand recognition than you do or if you haven’t been in business for long. You should make sure that the ad you create is a compelling representation of your brand, including your brand’s personality, voice, and ethics.
Unless you have a large audience, the Reach objective is probably not ideal. The goal for that objective is to reach as many people as possible. Most small, local businesses should steer clear of this objective.
Traffic can be a good objective for small businesses who want to get more people to visit their websites. However, you should make sure that you have a well-designed landing page before you spend any money on traffic. You need to give people a reason to stay on your website once they click the link.
I also really like the Store Visits ad objective for local businesses. It’s arguably the most highly focused ad objective available. The key if you decide to use it is to make sure your location information is up-to-date. You’ll also need to target the ad to people who live within a small radius of your store. There’s no point in spending money to reach people who aren’t within easy distance.
If you have an online store, then the Catalog Sales objective may be useful as well. It can help you show off your most popular products and get them in front of an audience. Again, targeting is going to be important. You should use this ad objective with an audience already familiar with your brand for the best results.
The Messages objective may be right for your company if you feel that you need one-on-one contact with customers to overcome their buying objections. However, you should only use this objective if you’re ready to monitor your messages and respond promptly when people write to you. A slow response time can undo any good you do with the ad itself. You may want to consider installing a chatbot in Facebook Messenger to send an immediate response.
Visiting your Facebook Ads Manager page will give you additional information and guidance as you create your ad. Remember, the ad objective you choose should be carefully selected to align with your business growth objectives for the best results.