You've made the leap into Facebook Ads, but as soon as you hit create, you're faced with a daunting question: What Campaign Objective should I choose?

There are three main Facebook Campaign types:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

On the surface, it may seem obvious. As a business owner, you'd prefer conversions over people being aware of your product, right? Unfortunately, that's an oversimplification, and Facebook really wants your money. In fact, Facebook hopes you oversimplify. Remember, your goal is to build your business. Facebook's goal is to build its business. Those two things don't always align.

Consider Your Sales Funnel

It's very rare for someone who doesn't know your product to impulse buy it by clicking an ad on social media. In fact, it typically takes eight, yes, eight, interactions before a person makes a purchase. This is where your traffic funnel can help guide you towards the proper Facebook Campaign Objective.

  • Awareness starts at the top of the funnel (TOFU)
  • Consideration is the middle of the funnel (MOFU)
  • Conversions are the bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

Click here or the image above to figure out which part of the traffic funnel you're working from →

Start with Awareness + Build

Here are two additional things to ask yourself when choosing your Campaign Objective:

  • Are you looking to get your product in front of people who are not aware of your brand (essentially TOFU)?
  • Do you have existing customers and/or potentially return website users who you'd like to stay top of mind with?

If you have a new brand or product, you can confidently say yes to the first question. If you're an established brand, you probably can say yes to both, especially if you've launched a new product. This is why starting with Awareness is typically the most economic decision, giving you the best ROI (return on investment) and lowest COA (cost of acquisition).

One tactic to use is to start with an Awareness campaign. Then follow it up with a Conversion Campaign. But, only choose a Conversion Campaign if you're able to re-target your website visitors who haven't been back in 3, 5, or 7 days or people who took specific actions on page, like add to cart, but did not convert. This kind of multi-level strategy can drive people from TOFU to BOFU.

Use + Understand Your Analytics

I'm a somewhat harsh critic of Facebook. This isn't news to anyone, but it's with good reason. I don't believe in putting your eggs in one basket and hoping that magic won't. Facebook wants you to believe in magic, which is why it's important that you verify your data.

Facebook themselves say:

"In some cases where conversions cannot be measured directly due to partial or missing data, statistical modeling may be used to account for some conversions. This metric is estimated."

You read that right. Facebook says, "[Their conversion] metric is estimated.” Unfortunately for business owners, we cannot go to the bank and deposit "statistical modeling" and hope it converts to cold hard cash. Nor can I pay down any business debts with "statistical modeling." See the problem? Someone needs to put money in the bank account for it to be there. Money, just like conversions, should not be an estimate.

Consider this: Under a Conversion Objective, Facebook will report a conversion when someone did the following:

Viewed your ad, but didn't click it > later went to your site > made a purchase.

In this instance, the person took the same action(s) they would under an Awareness Campaign Objective. The difference is that under an Awareness Campaign, you could pay $0.01. While under a Conversion Campaign, you could pay $1. Both have the same end results = a conversion. The cost is significantly different.

This is why it's important to check with other data like Google Analytics, and it's another reason why trusting Facebook to give you conversions might not be the best choice.

How to use google analytics to track facebook ads

To check your Facebook metrics go to Google Analytics, and select:

Acquisition > Social > Overview

Here, you will be able to see:

  • Social Network
  • Sessions
  • Pageviews
  • Session Duration
  • Conversions

With this information, Google Analytics will give you a wider view of what is happening with your conversions while Facebook only provides a very small window.

From here, you can go back to understand where people are coming from with the most promise of converting and again evaluate the success of the campaign objectives you've chosen.

Photos by Ashley Burns

Unfortunately, with data and advertising, there are no hard and fast rules. I actually prefer it that way. Algorithms are always changing, Ads interfaces are being updated, and people’s behaviors are changing too. But the most important thing is to start small. Even just $5/day will let you test some theories and ideas you come up with.

Need help building a Facebook marketing campaign? Shoot me an email or fill out the form below!

Gabrielle Nickas