What do all successful Facebook ad campaigns have in common?

Is it the alluring ad copy, laser-focused target audience or irresistible value offer?

What do you think: out of these two Facebook ad campaigns by MailChimp and Litmus, which one performs better?

facebook ad comparison

Cast your vote: MailChimp vs. Litmus

Made your guess?

Whichever your answer, it’s incorrect. That’s because was set on false premises.

There’s really no way to tell which one of these ad campaigns (if any) was successful unless you know what the campaigns’ goals and results were.

This example illustrates a frequent problem of PPC advertising and marketing in general — dismissing the ultimate goal for vanity metrics and short-term gains.

The two types of Facebook ad goals

Facebook advertising metrics can be divided into two main categories: the nice-to-haves and the imperatives.

The nice-to-have ad metrics include:

  • Total impressions
  • Cost-per-click
  • Click-through rate
  • Cost per 1k impressions

These metrics can indicate which one of your A/B test versions is performing at a better rate compared to other variations.

But they won’t show the ROI of your Facebook ad campaigns.

The imperative ad metrics are:

  • Cost-per-conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-to-conversion rate

These must-track ad metrics show the true ROI of your Facebook ad campaigns in that they materialize in your sales results.

To illustrate the importance of tracking the right Facebook ad metrics, here’s an example:

If you look at the Campaigns A and B and compare their results in terms of CPC, it’s easy to conclude that Campaign A outperforms Campaign B by over 105%.

facebook ad goals

Campaign A looks like a sure winner

However, the tables turn when we compare the click-to-conversion rate. In this case, Campaign B has a significantly higher return on investment.

facebook ad goals

Campaign B has a higher ROI

When tracking wrong goals, you can easily end up creating Facebook ad campaigns that have loads of likes, clicks and website visits, but few conversions that contribute to sales.

A similar problem is apparent in Facebook ad A/B testing.

As marketers evaluate their ad variations based on the cost-per-click instead of cost-per-conversions, it may happen that the best-performing ads will be discharged in favour for the ones with the lowest CPC or CPM (Cost per mile).


Facebook ab test goals

Which one of these ads is more successful?

Always opt for Facebook A/B test variations with the highest conversion rate.

Low cost-per-click ≠ Low cost-per-conversion


Ad goals and Facebook campaign objectives

When creating Facebook ads, setting the right goal is ever more important as it will help to determine your campaign objective.

The campaign objective tells Facebook what’s the ultimate goal of your advertising campaign, and helps its algorithms optimize your ad delivery for best results.

As you can see, there are plenty of Facebook campaign objectives.

Facebook has 10+ campaign objectives

Facebook has 10+ campaign objectives

In order to pick the right objective, you’ll need to know your ad goals.

Depending on the objective you choose, Facebook will let you select between various ad types and bidding methods.

It is important that you select the right ad goal right at the beginning of the campaign creation process as it will determine your ads’ delivery and cost-per-result.

For example, if your real goal was to sell X pairs of sneakers, but you told Facebook that you want to raise brand awareness, chances are that you’ll see poorer ad results than if you had set the right goal in the first place.

Why selecting a wrong ad objective may result in low campaign ROI?

Because Facebook will optimize your ads to get you the results you asked for.

If you ask for maximum reach, Facebook will deliver the maximum share of ad impressions, not the maximum number of purchases.

How to choose the right Facebook ad goals

Determining your Facebook ad goals is a simple process.

Just ask yourself:

What do I want to get as a result of this campaign?

🏆 Your Facebook advertising goals could be:

  • Driving more sales
  • New leads
  • Increased brand awareness
  • New people in the sales funnel
  • Higher customer engagement

Your goal should have a direct impact on your company’s growth and success.

📍 Not to be confused with goals:

  • 100,000 ad impressions
  • Thousands of ad clicks from no matter whom
  • Many likes under your Facebook post

These ad metrics do not reflect on any tangible results and shouldn’t be perceived as Facebook advertising goals.

Make sure that you select the goals that actually increase your revenue, not just look nice in ad reports.

Quick wrap-up

As you complete reading this article, go over all your active Facebook campaigns and evaluate their performance based on the right foundations.

Whenever you discover a campaign with misguided goals, change the ad sets’ delivery optimization settings or pause the campaign and set up a new one.


Right advertising goals = More sales = Growth

Read more: 25 Facebook Ad Design Hacks to Make Every Single Ad Viewer Click

  • Nice reminder about focusing on the right metrics/goals. I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

    • Thanks Mony! 😌🙏

      Hope you’ll see great Facebook ad results!

  • Angelos Perlegkas

    While the article is absolutely spot on, there are some times (especially in really well performing campaigns), that optimizing for reach and impressions might yield even better results (example being a viral piece of article).

    If your audience is highly relevant, and your content/offer/creative particularly strong, optimising for an objective might result in the algorithm holding back on your potential reach.

    • Hey Angelos.

      Good point!
      Have you tried optimizing for reach vs. post engagement vs. clicks?

      As far as our A/B tests go, we’ve always seen better results when optimizing for engagement with blog articles (that’s the goal we want when sharing our articles) vs. reach.

      If your article reaches many people but non of them engage with the ad, it’s not very helpful. Even if the article has a potential of virality, I’d say it’s smart to optimize for the final goal – engagement or link clicks.

      • Angelos Perlegkas

        You are absolutely right concerning objective. I usually roll with small budgets, but there is some content spread across different mediums that generate true virality, which then gives back lots of feedback – data.

        At that point I find that there’s a sweet spot of virality where objective kind of holds you back. For example, if you promote a blog link with the link clicks objective, the algorithm will show this to part of your audience that tends to click more, which means that it will probably cut down on reach, or other engagement (likes for example).

        There are those unicorn posts or campaigns that go viral, and make the objective redundant, then you might need to optimise for reach, because more exposure will give you an excellent mix of everything. For example, a new blog trying to making it big with a viral piece of article will be able to maximize clicks, page likes (invites from likes), engagement, and awareness with a very low budget.

        This is probably true for that really small 1%, the one in 100 posts, but I ‘ve seen it happen a couple of times nonetheless, and it’s beautiful!

        • I see your point and I believe that it could work. I might even run a test the promoting the next blog post coming up on Wednesday 😉

          • Angelos Perlegkas

            Thank you. Keep up the good work. Just make sure you try it at a 10 + relevancy scored campaign.