Facebook & Instagram advertising: Choose the right objectives, get the right results

OK - so you’ve heard from us a lot this year, that you need to have an advertising budget for social media, if you want your maximise the potential of your content and campaigns.
Spending that budget wisely is the difference between a top and a flop result, so knowing what ad objectives to select will give you the right start.

An advertising ‘objective’ is what you want people to do when viewers see your ad. When you first go to setup an ad on Facebook or Instagram - here’s the first thing you’ll see.

When advertising on Facebook or Instagram, it can be difficult to know which advertising objectives to pick to reach your goal. It can be particularly hard to pick as your business grows, and objectives do change; you may go from trying to gain awareness of your brand, to simply driving sales.

There’s a lot of crossover in advertising between Instagram and Facebook (IG is owned by Facebook), they’re both set up in Facebook Ad Manager, however there’s a handful of unique objectives to each platform.

START HERE: Familiarise yourself with our guide below to help you understand and choose the right objectives for your next ad campaign.


Increasing brand awareness is about generating interest in your product or service.

There are two options when it comes to raising awareness:

  • Brand Awareness:
    Platforms: FacebookMessenger and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel & Slideshow
    Use: This objective is great for first-time advertisers, as it shows ads to people who may be interested in what you have to offer. It can be used effectively to promote upcoming products, where your main aim isn’t to drive sales, comments, or shares (and only want people to recall you or the product)
  • Reach:
    Platforms: FacebookMessenger and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel & Slideshow
    Use: This objective is designed to get your ad in front of as many people as possible, within your ad budget. This allows you to show your ad to as much of your target audience as possible. If your goal is to simply maximize your impressions above all else, then this could be the objective for you.


The goal that Facebook call ‘Consideration’ is about getting people to start thinking about your business, and looking for more information.

There are six campaign goals that fit into this category:

  • Traffic:
    Platforms: FacebookMessengerAudience Network and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel, Slideshow & Collections
    Use: If you want people to visit your website, whether to view products, event information, lead forms or any other landing page, use this objective. Traffic is perfect for showing your audience a your content to get them interested; the goal here is to get clicks
  • Engagement:
    Platforms: Facebook and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video & Slideshow
    Use: With this objective, Facebook will show your ads to people who are the most likely to like, share, and comment on your post. This goal is great for giving an ad ‘social proof’; your target audience will likely pay more attention to an ad with heaps of comments and shares.
  • App Installs:
    PlatformsFacebookMessengerAudience Network, and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel & Slideshow
    Use: As the name suggests, this objective is useful when you want your audience to download your app, as it directs people straight to the download page.
  • Video Views:
    Platforms: FacebookAudience Network, and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Video, Carousel & Slideshow
    Use: This objective is for businesses that have a story to tell or products to show through video. This objective isn’t going pushing conversions, so if you want people to click-through after watching the video, use the traffic or a conversion objective instead. When using this objective, you can track how much of your video people are watching, so can be a good way to work out what content is working for your target audience.
  • Lead Generation:
    Platforms: FacebookMessenger, and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel & Slideshow
    Use: If you want to get potential customers’ contact details, this is the objective for you. Instead of sending users to your website, a form pops up which allows you to collect information (names, emails, phone numbers, etc.) directly on Facebook.
  • Messages:
    PlatformsFacebookMessenger, and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel & Slideshow
    Use: Messages is optimised to get your audience to start a conversation with your Facebook page. This works particularly well for service-based businesses or for ads promoting high value items. If your customers need to make a large financial investment, they’re likely to have questions that need answering first – Facebook Messenger is a great place to do that.


The ‘Conversion’ goal is about encouraging people that are interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.

There are three objectives in this category:

  • Conversions:
    PlatformsFacebookMessengerAudience Network, and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel, Slideshow & Collection
    Use: Conversions is Facebook’s most popular campaign objective. What a conversion is to you depends on your business: Leads, Add to Cart, View Content, Purchases, are all options, but most people want leads and purchases.

To use this objective effectively, you need to install the Facebook pixel on your website. The pixel is a piece of code that tracks people’s actions on your site, which enables you & Facebook to understand your audience better & improve your campaigns.

  • Catalogue Sales:
    PlatformsFacebookMessengerAudience Network, and Instagram
    Supported ad formats: Image & Carousel
    Use: The Catalogue Sales objective is designed for e-commerce businesses that sell a large variety of products, and regularly update their product listings. This objective can also come in handy when creating remarketing campaigns targeting your online store visitors.
  • Store Visits:
    Supported ad formats: Image, Video, Carousel, Slideshow & Collection
    Use: Store Visits shows delivers ads to customers based on their current location, so it is useful when you have a physical location that you want to drive foot traffic to. This objective is great if you have multiple locations, as you can push out ads that are locally relevant to each store.

ROUNDING IT OUT: Make sure to consider your end goal carefully, and keep this in mind when choosing your objective. To measure whether your campaign has been successful or not, it’s worth setting some KPIs (key performance indicators), such as a Click-Through Rate, Response Rate, or Audience Growth target at the start too.

It’s important to remember that choosing the right objective is just the start! For getting the most out of your ad campaign, check out these other tips from Facebook on how to make sure your ad campaigns are successful.

REMEMBER: If you’re new to advertising on FB & IG, it’s best to start with a small budget. Test your initial results, then scale up from there. Good luck!

If you don't have the time, or the patience to take on FB advertising yourself and would love our help... Scroll down to Contact Us and we'll get in touch to discuss your campaign goals!