When you begin creating an ad campaign with Meta Ads Manager, the first choice you need to make is the campaign objective. This is so that you can achieve the results you want for your business. For example, do you want to drive traffic to your website, or do you want to get leads through a lead form? Or, perhaps you’d like to drive sales of your products. Selecting the objective that aligns with your goals will focus the campaign and all applicable options on achieving that objective.

The choices for campaign objective are:

  • Awareness – Show your ads to people most likely to remember them.
  • Traffic – Send people to a destination, like your website, Facebook event, or app.
  • Engagement – Get more messages, video views, post engagement, Page likes, or event responses.
  • Leads – Collect leads for your business or brand.
  • App Promotion – Find new people to install your app and continue using it.
  • Sales – Find people likely to purchase your product or service.

These six options are part of a new and streamlined version of Ads Manager objectives called “ODAX” — short for “outcome-driven ad experiences model.” The old system had eleven objectives to choose from. Although ODAX reduced the options from eleven to six, the same functionality exists as before. The setup process is different, though, in that objectives are more generalized, and some specifics are now established in the ad set settings.

Note: At the time of this writing, ODAX has not been fully rolled out. Your Ads Manager account might still be showing the older, eleven objective version.

Conversion Location and Events

With ODAX, objectives now require that you choose a conversion location in the ad set creation process. The conversion location is the place where your desired outcome will occur. For example, if you create a campaign with the Leads objective, you can choose Website, Instant Forms, Messenger, or Phone or App as your conversion location. Once you’ve chosen the conversion location, you’ll then choose a conversion event. The conversion event you choose establishes the action you want your audience to take once they’ve landed at your conversion location.

Note: Some objective options don’t require a location choice because there isn’t more than one possible option. For example, if you choose Messenger as your conversion location, you won’t see any conversion event options. It’s assumed that you want to receive messages through Messenger.

Let’s assume the goal for your Leads campaign is to encourage people to contact your business through your website. You would choose Website as your conversion location and Contact as your conversion event. You’ll note that you also have Lead, Submit Application, and Schedule as alternative conversion event options. (For these configurations to be possible, you’ll need to have the Pixel installed on your website and the relevant conversion event configured in Events Manager.)

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Conversion location options by objective

After choosing your objective for a new campaign, you might be presented with options for the location where you want an action to take place. Not all objectives involve location options, though. For example, the Awareness objective is focused on ad visibility only – not further actions afterward.

Here is a list of the location options you’ll be presented with for each of the six campaign objectives:

Objective: Awareness – (No conversion location options are needed for Awareness campaigns)

Objective: Traffic — Conversion location options: Website, App, Messenger, WhatsApp, Calls

Objective: Engagement — Conversion location options: On your ad, Messaging Apps, Website, App. (If you choose website, you’ll then need to select your pixel and a conversion event.)

Objective: Leads — Conversion location options: Website, Instant Forms, Messenger, Calls, App. (If you choose website, you’ll then need to select your pixel and a conversion event.)

Objective: App Promotion — You’ll choose the app you want to promote

Objective: Sales — Conversion location options: Website, App, Website and App, Messenger. (If you choose website, you’ll then need to select your pixel and a conversion event.)

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Although the campaign objective you choose sets the strategy for your campaign and affects the setup options that are available, there is usually another level of specificity for describing your goals. This other level is chosen in the ad set settings under Optimization and Delivery. For example, if you choose Traffic as your campaign objective and Website as your conversion location, in the ad set Optimization and Delivery settings, you’ll choose between:

  • Landing Page Views (pixel-tracked loads of your landing page)
  • Link Clicks (clicks on links in your ad)
  • Daily Unique Reach (reaching as many people as possible per day)
  • Impressions (appearances of your ad)

Optimization is one of the hallmark strengths of Meta ads. For many years, their ad system has been designed to seek out the optimization results you specify, rather than just show your ads to the targeted audience. Meta’s accumulation of research and data can give you an advantage, but keep in mind that their optimization system is narrowly focused. If you specify Link Clicks as your optimization goal, the system will simply try to get you as many clicks as possible without considering the quality of those clicks. It will most likely show many of your impressions on the Audience Network platform, which is known to have more accidental clicks and click fraud. (Learn about Audience Network in my article about platforms and placements in Meta Ads.)

The optimization and delivery options available depend on your selected objective and conversion location.

In closing

The condensed ODAX system of campaign objectives in an improvement in my opinion. The old 11-option system felt too complicated. It’s more user-friendly to choose from six general objectives and then narrow down to more specificity from there– i.e., where an action should occur, and what exact action is preferable.

I hope this article was helpful to you in understanding Meta campaign objectives.