The Facebook Ad platform is an ever-changing beast and not unlike many online marketing platforms they make it rather easy to get started, but then once you get in the weeds it can become much more complicated. Every client that we run Facebook Ads for has a bit of a different need so choosing the right ad type is as important as choosing an offer in order for the campaign to become a success. As a Facebook Ads Agency, we have thousands of hours of training, implementing and optimizing these ads. So in order to do this justice, let’s start at the highest level, choosing the right type of Ad for your marketing objective.

Facebook Ads How to Choose the Right Ad

High-Level Facebook Ad Objectives

At the highest level, Facebook breaks down the ad platform into three different objectives, awareness, consideration, and conversion. While this seems pretty straightforward it can be a bit misleading at times. For instance, the “Lead Ads” fall under the label of consideration, where in my mind they would go in the conversion category. That said, these high-level objectives are simply meant to steer you in the right direction and we will break these down a bit more below.

Facebook Ads: Awareness

Starting with awareness ads is probably the easiest as currently there are only two options here. Though these options seem to be pretty much the same, there are some minor differences within them.

Brand Awareness Objective

The brand awareness objective is meant to do just that, create more awareness of your brand. This ad type optimizes ads to reach people that are more likely interested in your brand. If you are planning to run a highly branded campaign, simply for awareness, this could be the right option for you. Our focus is mostly lead generation and sales, so, to be honest, we rarely use the ad type.

Reach Objective

Similar to brand awareness is the reach objective. This simply is meant to get the most impressions possible for your ad spend. Again, this is one that we rarely use, but if you want to take the shotgun approach, which I generally don’t recommend, this may be the best Facebook Ad type for you.

Facebook Ads: Consideration

The consideration category is the category that has the most ad types of all and many of these ad types we use every day as an agency to get results for clients. Don’t be fooled though, as these are very different ad types to be used in very specific situations, so again choosing the right Facebook Ad type will make or break you meeting your marketing objectives.

Traffic Objective

This may be the most straightforward of all the Facebook Ad types. This is the objective to use if you just want targeted traffic to your website. These ads have evolved over the years and often times people using this ad type are selling ads on their websites as a revenue stream and simply are just trying to get as much traffic to their website as possible as that is the revenue stream for their business model.

Engagement Objective

This is an ad type meant to get the highest engagement possible for your ad, meaning likes, shares, and all that good stuff. If you are trying to gain more social proof for a brand or product this could be a good option for you. A side note: people engaging with content on Facebook can also help SEO efforts that you may have in place as well.

App Installs Objective

App Installs is pretty straightforward. If you have an app that you are promoting and you want people to install said app, use this ad type.

Video Views Objective

Facebook has been vying for some of that Youtube market share for years now and that is exactly why generally running video views on Facebook vs Youtube will be cheaper. The video views ads can be used for brand awareness, lead generation, direct response, or pretty much anything else you can think to do with the video. If you want max reach for your video ad this is the ad type for you. Also, Facebook allows for creating custom audiences based on engagement with video view ads, so if that means anything to you, setting up those audiences in tandem with running these ads is a great strategy!

Lead Generation Objective

As a Facebook Advertising agency, the bulk of our clients are most interested in lead generation for their business. These lead generation ads can be great for this objective. Facebook allows you to customize forms and offers to get in contact with the people you want to speak with regarding your business's offerings. If it leads you are looking for this is likely the best place to get started.

Messages Objective

If you use Facebook a fair amount you have probably seen these. These messenger ads can be great if you are set up and staffed to handle any responses you might get. Just bear in mind that for all the ad types you may need to consider your bandwidth and processes the most when using this particular ad type.

Facebook Ads: Conversion

Conversion ads can be used in a variety of different ways and a conversion means something different to many different business types. IF you want someone to buy a product online or fill out a form or take some other conversion action, these are likely the best ads for that type of need, with some exceptions.

Conversions Objective

The conversions objective could be an entire article (or small book) on its own so let’s keep it simple for this exercise. If you are looking for conversions on a landing page or other property outside of Facebook this is the best ad type for you most likely. That said, this particular ad type probably takes the most know-how of almost all of them.

Catalog Sales Objective

Again, like the App Installs this is pretty straightforward if you are looking to create catalog sales via Facebook this is the place to start.

Store Visits Objective

The store visits objective only applies to brick and mortar businesses. If you have a bar or restaurant or some type of business that people actually come and visit this could be a good option for you. These ads are geared to be served to people that are active in a close geographical position to your business to get them to come on in the door.

Wrapping it up: Which Facebook Ad type should you choose?

Hopefully, this brief outline will help to decide which types of Facebook Ads may be best for your business, but a cautionary tale that this is important, but just the tip of the iceberg. It may also be important for your business to consider utilizing retargeting or maybe video ads would be helpful to your goals. A truly successful campaign is likely running many different ads types and testing many different things like ad copy, ad images, CTAs, and targeting. That said, this is a great place to start and choosing the right ad type is the first step to creating a successful campaign!