We talk a lot about how Facebook Ads are great because of their ability to target the exact audience you’d like to reach, but another key feature that makes Facebook Ads stand out for small businesses is its campaign objectives. Because you have to set a campaign objective at the jump, you’re automatically forced to think about the purpose of your ad, which can save you from wasting money on advertising that has no clear or measurable goal. 

If you’re familiar with the marketing funnel, you can align Facebook Ad objectives with each of the four stages of the marketing process…

Marketing Funnel Stages

Stage 1: Cold

In this stage of the marketing funnel, you’re introducing potential customers to your business. The target is people who are not yet familiar with your business, products, or services; they may not be shopping, but they’re in your target demographic. Your goal is to make a great first impression and convince your target audience to consider your services or products.

Stage 2: Consideration

The next step in the funnel is Consideration. These are potential customers that are actively researching your product or service, but they’re not necessarily ready to make a purchase quite yet. Now is the time to work for more engagement—promote free offers, drive clicks to a form or website, etc.

Stage 3: Hot

These are potential customers who are ready to buy right now. At this stage, you can be more aggressive with conversion, adding specific calls to action to your Facebook Ads.

Stage 4: Customers

Although some businesses may not have a need to continue marketing to previous customers, most can get a good ROI on ads that encourage a customer to return and make another purchase.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the Facebook Ad objectives and which funnel stages they align with…

Facebook Ad Objectives

Brand Awareness

Facebook’s Description: “Increase people’s awareness of your business, brand or service.”

Funnel Stage: Cold

Brand awareness can be good for a prelaunch, spreading word about a new local business, or sharing updates. We generally recommend brand awareness campaigns for businesses that have sufficient budget or for new businesses or locations.


Facebook’s Description: “Show your ad to as many people as possible in your target audience.”

Funnel Stage: Cold

“Reach” is a bit nebulous, since the goal of all Facebook Ads is to maximize reach within the target audience, but these campaigns are similar to those used for brand awareness. An example of a campaign that might have a reach objective is one advertising a local concert, festival, or event.


Facebook’s Description: “Send people from Facebook to any destination you choose, such as your website’s landing page, a blog post, app, phone call, etc.”

Funnel Stage: Cold, Consideration

Want people to read your latest blog update? Enter a contest you just posted on your website? This is the way to do it. These ads send people away from Facebook. If you have a small business with a limited advertising budget, we recommend advertising that’s more focused on conversions, but if you have news you want to share or want to get eyes on your website, this is the objective you’d set.


Facebook’s Description: “Reach people more likely to engage with your post. Engagement includes likes, comments and shares but can also include offers claimed from your page.”

Funnel Stage: Consideration

Social proof is important in digital advertising, and an engagement objective can be a good way to build that up and demonstrate an interest in what you have to offer. If you’re running a giveaway on Facebook, give it a boost by advertising it with the objective of engagement. You can choose between Post Engagement, Page Likes, and Event Responses as your goals here.

App Installs

Facebook’s Description: “Send people to the store where they can download your business’s app.”

Funnel Stage: Consideration, Hot

This really only applies to either app developers or businesses that have an app for their services. It’s pretty self-explanatory—if you have an app and you want people to install it on their devices, this is the objective you’ll choose.

Video Views

Facebook’s Description: “Share videos of your business with people on Facebook most likely to watch it.”

Funnel Stage: Cold, Consideration

This might just be digital advertising’s answer to the TV commercial—except even better because you can make sure you’re only paying for your target audience to see it. Keep in mind that most people aren’t going to stop scrolling to watch something that’s clearly an ad, so make sure it’s engaging, informative, and interesting so they have no choice but to pay attention.

Lead Generation

Facebook’s Description: “Collect leads for your business. Create ads that collect info from people interested in your product, such as sign-ups for newsletters, or have people give your business a call.”

Funnel Stage: Consideration, Hot, Customers

Lead generation is a great ad objective for small businesses because it’s the kind of clear, concrete goal that makes it easy to measure results. What’s your goal for advertising? Leads. What do you hope to get from those leads? Sales. Lead generation could be setting up appointments or phone calls, but it can also be used to build your email list.


Facebook’s Description: Connect with people on Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp. Communicate with potential or existing customers to encourage interest in your business.

Funnel Stage: Consideration, Hot

This is an often-overlooked objective that can actually work pretty well for a small business—but only if you have someone who’s monitoring your messages and can answer right away. If not, choose lead generation instead. Connecting via DMs can be a substitute for an old school sales call or consultation, allowing you to assess your customers’ needs and make recommendations.


Facebook’s Description: “Encourage people to take a specific action on your business’s site, such as having them add items to a cart, download your app, register for your site, call your business, or make a purchase.”

Funnel Stage: Consideration, Hot, Customers

This overlaps a little bit with some of the other objectives above, but it’s a solid choice for businesses that have consistent conversions for Facebook to optimize for.

Catalog Sales

Facebook’s Description: “Show products from your ecommerce store’s catalog to generate sales.”

Funnel Stage: Hot, Customers

We recommend this objective for e-commerce businesses that want to make sales online versus in a brick-and-mortar store.

Store Traffic

Facebook’s Description: “Promote your brick-and-mortar business locations to people that are nearby.”

Funnel Stage: Consideration, Hot, Customers

This type of advertising campaign is also known as geofencing, and it makes sense for some types of businesses, but not others. If you sell windows and have a window showroom, it’s very unlikely that someone walking down the street in front of your store will see a Facebook ad and feel compelled to immediately drop in and buy some windows. But if you own the restaurant next to the window showroom and that same person sees that you’re offering a free dessert with lunch, well, that’s a different story.

Need Help with Facebook Ads?

If you need help with Facebook Ads, click here to request a quote. As part of our Facebook Ads services, we’ll advise you on the best campaign objectives for your type of business.