In defining and implementing advertising campaigns on any communication channel (online and offline), the first fundamental step is to define the mainobjective that from such a campaign or campaigns the company wants to achieve.
In fact, the Brand Manager must answer the following question: ”What results do I want to get from this advertising campaign(s)?”
The goals can be quite varied, the two most typical being the following:
- Generateawareness around a brand or product.
- Persuade potential customers to purchase a product or service, pushing them to final purchase conversion.
Specifically, an advertising target must have certain basic characteristics such that efficient and effective campaigns can be created. Such is defined in the doctrine as a S.M.A.R.T. target. (intelligent), an acronym for:
- Specific= the defined goal should not be too vague or general, but specific and clear in relation to an outcome we want to achieve.
- Measurable = the goal must also be measurable from a quantitative point of view, so it makes analysis based on real numbers. Measurability is one of the main advantages of online advertising (social networks, search engines, native etc..), as tracking technologies are advanced.
- Achievable = the defined goal must be realistic and achievable for the enterprise based on the conditions in which it operates and the resources available to it.
- Relevant = the objective that drives an advertising strategy must have a high priority, a higher weight than other micro-objectives.
- Time-based = the defined goal must also have a well-defined time deadline, i.e., a time frame within which it must be achieved must be given.
Having defined the SMART objective of the advertising campaign, it will be the beacon for the strategic and operational setting of it. In this article, in particular, we will decline this topic by focusing on the choice of the advertising target within the Facebook Ads platform (as of today Meta), which we recall also incorporates within it the popular social Instagram.
Facebook Ads Targets
As we know Facebook (or Meta) offers a rather advanced advertising platform for advertisers of various kinds that allows them to sponsor their products or services within social Facebook, Instagram and partner sites, showing ads to a targeted audience and exploiting an increasingly accurate and advanced algorithm . This service offered by the Cupertino-based company accounts for the largest share of the billion-dollar turnovers made each year and represents an opportunity not to be overlooked for various types of business, especially ‘‘direct to consumer” (B2C) ones, since such socials are populated by potential physical consumers belonging to various age groups.
The moment we advertisers create a Facebook Ads campaign in the ”Manage Ads” tab, the first thing the platform asks us for is the objective of our campaign. This seems quite logical: before defining the target audience, campaign creative and other technical aspects Facebook wants to know from us advertisers exactly what results we want to get from it, so that the algorithm driving the platform can bring us the desired result at the lowest possible costs.
The stage of choosing a Facebook Ads target therefore is extremely important. A wrong choice at this stage will result in wasted budget and other resources in relation to the marketing goals to be achieved.
Within the platform it is possible to select eleven Facebook Ads targets, divided into three macro-categories: Notoriety, Consideration and Conversion.
The three macro-categories recall the classic marketing funnel: Awareness (Notoriety), Consideration and Conversion. It allows us to structure campaigns in such a way as to cover the entire conversion path of a user from the discovery phase of our offer to conversion and retention. If you want to learn more about the Facebook Ads Funnel, you can read this article of mine in which I describe how an e-commerce business can set up a proper Facebook campaign structure.
Let us now analyze the three macro-categories individually, with their related objectives, with the aim of understanding under what circumstances we can use them in creating and managing our Facebook Ads campaigns.
The Facebook Ads objective macro-category ‘‘Notoriety” encompasses within it objectives that aim to generate interest and awareness toward a brand or product/service. We can identify two campaign objectives:
- Brand awareness: the purpose of this objective is to show ads to as many people as possible, for the purpose of generating awareness around a brand and its offerings.
- Coverage: the coverage objective is similar to the previous one with the difference that it allows us to be able to control the daily viewing frequency (impressions) of our advertisements.
It is clear that such goals invoke the top end of a conversion funnel. If we choose these goals, we mainly want to make our brands, products, and services known to a wide audience of target users, without expecting high conversions and ROAS. For this reason they are recommended to new businesses that need to gain brand awareness and possibly have significant budgets available.
The Facebook Ads objective macro-category ‘‘Consideration” incorporates within it objectives that incentivize people to consider your solutions to their problems and needs by seeking more information about your business products, services and brands. Within it we identify the following six Facebook Ads campaign objectives:
- Traffic: the purpose of the Traffic objective is to drive users from Facebook to the desired destination, typically a landing page of a website by increasing visits and sessions within it. This is a widely used and often abused target because the intercepted audience is not likely to make a conversion. It therefore generates many poorly qualified visits, with poor conversion rates and high bounce rates.
- Interaction: the Interaction objective aims to drive users to interact with the ads and content on the brand page. By interactions Meta generally means likes, comments and shares, referred to in the jargon as ‘‘vanity metrics,” not closely related to tangible business results.
- App Installations: a goal with a rather explanatory name, its purpose is to direct users to an app store where they can download and install an app.
- Video views: if the ad creative is a video, this objective shows the ad to an audience more likely to watch them for the purpose of maximizing views of the video.
- Contact Generation: this is a lead generation objective through which the advertiser aims to get a contact from the user (email, cell phone etc…) without landing him on a landing page outside the platform. The main advantage is to make the process of granting contact easier for the user by increasing the quantity of them, yet compromising the quality of them. It can be considered, in some cases and not always, a viable and often less expensive alternative to the event-optimized ‘‘Contact (Lead)” conversion goal.
- Messaging: an objective aimed at incentivizing users to initiate conversations with Brands through messaging solutions offered by Meta (Messenger, Direct or WhatsApp). It can work with advanced Marketing Automation services (Manychat for example), taking advantage of the power of conversational marketing.
It is therefore a macro-category that invokes the middle part of the conversion funnel that involves an audience that is familiar with our brand, products and/or services but is not yet ready for the final conversion.
The Facebook Ads objective macro-category ‘‘Conversion” encompasses within it objectives that incentivize users to perform the desired conversion action, be it purchasing a product or service or granting a contact. We can identify three campaign goals in this macro-category:
- Conversions: the Conversions objective is perhaps the most important one within the platform since through it we advertisers ask the algorithm to show ads to those users most likely to perform the desired conversion action (e.g., buying a product or granting a contact). In order to take advantage of this goal, it is essential to have properly installed the Meta Pixel for event tracking on the website. A Pixel event indicates a specific and strategic action that we intend to track and measure (for example: the event Purchase tracks the purchase of a product or service, the Lead event tracks the contact left by a user in a lead generation campaign, the AddToCart event tracks the addition of a product to the shopping cart within an e-commerce etc.). Event setting becomes critical since campaigns with a Conversions goal must necessarily be optimized for a conversion event. For example, if our main goal is to get users to buy from our e-commerce we will go and create a Conversions campaign optimized for the Purchase event, or if we want to get a user to contact us we will go and create a Conversions campaign optimized for the Lead event.
- Catalog product sales: this is a very useful goal for e-commerce companies, which by having an uploadable product catalog within the platform can create the powerful and popular dynamic listings aimed at increasing sales. Two in particular stand out, both of which can be implemented by choosing the mentioned objective;
- Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs): these are advertisements through which the user views the same product with which they previously interacted within ‘e-commerce. Consider the following example: let us imagine that we have added to the shopping cart but not purchased a model of Nike shoes within the e-commerce of the American brand. With a DPA campaign, Nike will show us a dynamic ad in which the same and identical model of shoes we had previously added to the cart appears, incentivizing us to complete the purchase.
- Point-of-sale traffic: this is an implementable goal for businesses with a physical local store, aimed at promoting the store among people who are geolocated nearby.
The objectives of the Conversion macro-category thus invoke the low end of a conversion funnel, aimed at bringing concrete results in terms of sales of products and services (and thus sales) or contacts if we operate from a lead generation perspective in the latter case. However, they are also often used in Prospecting, especially DABA and Conversion campaigns optimized for events prior to the actual conversion(AddToCart).
In conclusion, when defining an advertising campaign on Facebook (or other channels), the stage of choosing the ”technical” objective of the campaign is a key step in maximizing results. The ‘campaign objective defined on Facebook depends very much on our main business objective, without having clearly defined the latter we cannot think of creating an advertising campaign on Facebook or any online channel, the underlying reasoning being similar.
If we manage a new and little-known brand which has primary need to make itself known and gain awareness among the target audience, the macro-categories Notoriety and Consideration can help us in this regard. If, on the other hand, we have a primary need to increase sales and maximize returns on investment, it makes more sense to launch campaigns with objectives in the Conversion macro-category.
Facebook offers an advertising platform full of opportunities for businesses of various types, however the complexity and dynamism of it makes this activity very hard, especially for those who are not very familiar with it.
The best solution in some cases is to delegate this process to those who deal with these activities on a daily basis. We at WebGas create numerous client campaigns pertaining to various types of businesses, managing even large budgets, and we do this on a daily basis.
If you are having difficulty achieving satisfactory results for your listings. Contact us for a strategy session. Together we will define the best Facebook advertising strategy (and beyond) for your business, eliminating annoying budget waste.