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Facebook offers a wide range of campaign objectives to help get users to engage with your ads in certain ways. Depending on your campaign goal, you might want to increase awareness or drive people to your site. These campaign goals are set at the campaign level and range from brand awareness to store traffic.
Facebook has set recommendations for picking the objective you want to set for your campaign, but I’m here to pitch using the “conversions” objective as a default. For transparency, if you have a campaign aimed at driving something specific like leads or app installs, this recommendation does not apply, since Facebook requires a certain objective to launch.
Disappointingly, you can’t switch campaign objectives after launching a campaign on Facebook, so a change in objective requires rebuilding and relaunching a campaign from scratch, losing all the original campaign learnings, and setting Facebook back to the learning phase. Therefore, one major benefit of using the conversion goal campaign from the start is that you can trick Facebook into optimizing for higher-level conversion events (e.g. clicks, view content) at the start and move to lower-funnel conversions after you see enough volume to switch without ever changing the campaign type.
Recently Facebook informed agencies that it is “crucial” to ensure you are seeing 50 or more of the conversion events you optimized for within your conversion window per week for the algorithm to run effectively. This information supports using conversion objective campaigns to start, since conversion objective campaigns allow you to move down-funnel at the ad set level to more granular conversions after you see enough volume come through per ad set per week.
Let’s walk through an example.
My client sells shoes online and, since they are new to market, they want to run campaigns geared toward increasing brand awareness. Facebook recommends running brand awareness or reach campaigns if your end goal is awareness, but I know that my client also has a goal of increasing site traffic and eventually prompting purchases. Given the background, I opt for a conversion objective campaign.
By setting my campaign up as a conversion objective campaign, I can choose what pixel the campaign optimizes towards at the ad set level, so to start I choose view content to encourage people to go to the site, and I choose the largest conversion window available to help increase volume in the early stages of the campaign launch.
Then I add an Asana task or calendar reminder to check in on the ad set every week to see how volume at the ad set level ramps up. As soon as I see 50+ add-to-cart conversions coming through per week using the same conversion window as what I set at the ad set level (7 days click or 1 day view in this example), I know I can now switch my ad set level optimization method from view content to add to cart. During holiday, I might see performance pick up enough to move down-funnel to purchase optimization, but I always want to keep an eye on the ad set to ensure that when performance drops below 50 conversions per ad set per week, I move back up-funnel to add to cart.
One of the best parts of conversion objective campaigns is that you can create the pixels you optimize toward, so if your client sees more than 50 view contents per ad set per week, but fewer than 50 add to carts, then you can create a custom conversion in Facebook that tracks product page views or newsletter sign-ups or a million other things to help move people further down the funnel.
As a mini case study, a client I manage that sells technology products online saw strong success when using conversion objective campaigns and moving down-funnel towards more purchase-oriented events as volume warranted. Back in August when we first tested this out, we moved a campaign targeting college-age students from the view content conversion at the ad set level to the add to cart conversion after we saw enough volume come through. After making the switch, we saw a 482% increase WoW in add to cart volume. Even with an increase in cost per add to carts, we were still below our targets, and the client was thrilled to see an uptick in volume from something so simple as switching conversion events.
To summarize, conversion objective campaigns allow flexibility within campaign goals and provide a way for awareness campaigns to increase website views, boost add-to-cart volume, and prompt purchases on-site while using the same campaign goal.