Video Marketing Lab by
Handbook Experiment

Facebook ad objectives: How much will the wrong one cost you?

Video objectives on Facebook are simple, right? You just pick one and let your campaign rip. But what happens when you use the wrong objective?

In this experiment we find that it can cost you up to 4,238% more.

First let’s consider why we’re doing this test and what we expected to find.

Our theory

We started by figuring out what we thought would happen.

Facebook lets you choose from a number of objectives when you make a campaign in Facebook Ads Manager. When we make a campaign, we choose the objective that matches our goal in the Facebook funnel.

The funnel has three levels. We normally use a certain objective for each level.

  • Awareness is the level at the top of the funnel. When you want people to become familiar with your brand, you run an awareness campaign. At this level, we use views as our objective.

  • Consideration sits in the middle of the funnel. You make consideration campaigns when you want people to engage with your brand. We use clicks as our objective at this level because we want to drive traffic to our blog.

  • Conversion campaigns sit at the bottom of the funnel. These are about getting people to buy. At this level, we choose leads as our objective.

In our experience, these are the most effective objectives for each level of the funnel. We figured that changing objectives would cost us a bunch of money and get us worse results.

Were we right? Let’s find out.

The test

We started with three campaigns and $2,600. Each campaign used exactly the same video and exactly the same audience, and we put $860 behind each campaign.

By using the same video and audience, the only factor that could influence the results would be the objective of each campaign.

To recap, these are the three objectives:

  • Leads
  • Traffic
  • Video views

Like the other experiments in this book, we created and ran these campaigns under the pseudonym VideoLab to remove any level of brand bias we might have attracted if we used our Biteable account.

We had a feeling our results would change drastically depending on the objectives we set for our trio of Facebook campaigns.

The video

This video ran in all three campaigns. It took about 5 minutes to make.

You can edit the same template we used to make this video at biteable.com.

What we found

Here are our results, broken down for easy digestion.

Video views got us watchers

We figured the video views objective should be the most cost-effective way to get maximum reach and impressions – after all, that’s exactly what it’s meant to do.

No surprise there, it was spot on. Our campaign with video views as the objective won on reach, impressions, CPM (cost per thousand impressions), 3-second views, average watch time, video watches at 50%, and video watches at 100%.

Of these, the three most telling variables are reach, CPM, and video watches at 100%. In combination, these tell us whether our video went out to more people, whether it was relatively cheap, and whether our video was watched.

  • Reach for the video view objective was 71,824. Traffic scored 44,638 views. And leads scored 23,382 views.

  • CPM for the video view objective was the cheapest at $7.29. The leads objective cost significantly more at $30 per 1,000 impressions, while the traffic objective cost $8.70 per 1,000 impressions.

  • Video watches at 100% were a whopping 8,409 when we used the video views objective. A mere 2,605 watched our video to the end for the traffic objective, and only 4,621 did so for the leads objective. That’s 311% less than the video views objective!

Video views won big for getting our video seen.

Traffic got us clickers

To recap, we use the traffic objective for consideration campaigns in the middle of our funnel. In theory, this objective should get us the most clicks at the cheapest cost.

We found this to be true.

Traffic got us the most clicks: 1,516 versus a mere 626 for video views and 572 for leads.

It also got us the cheapest clicks. Traffic cost $0.57 per click versus $1.38 for video views, and $1.52 for leads. That’s a 166% increase for the price of cost-per-click from selecting the wrong objective. So traffic won for getting people to click through to our content.

Leads got us conversions

Like we mentioned earlier, leads is the objective we choose when we want to make sales or sign people up to a list. We expect it to get us the most leads at the cheapest price.

Facebook delivered. The leads objective brought in 220 new leads, traffic brought in 12, and video views caught only 5.

Likewise, the cost per lead was far lower. The leads objective cost us $3.96 per lead. Traffic cost $72.18. And video views was the most expensive at $173.58 per lead – 4,283% higher!

ANALYSIS

Objectives have a massive effect on performance

Remember we used the same video for all three of these campaigns, had the same audience, and spent the same money. The only thing that changed was the objective. So what happened?

Depending on our objective, Facebook efficiently found users who were most likely to watch a video, click on a link, or become an actual lead. All this from the same audience.

Facebook’s algorithm is REALLY strong at finding what you need.

Our recommendations

Consider your objective carefully

When you’re creating campaigns, stop and consider what you want to achieve. Do you want people to watch your content, click through to another page, or buy/sign up?

Each of those goals has merit. It just needs to make sense in your marketing mix.

Once you’ve chosen your goal, Facebook will deliver, but a misaligned objective will never deliver the results you’re after.

Make content to match your objective

We used the same video for each of our campaigns. Despite this video being tailored more towards a conversion campaign, it still performed really well when paired with a different objective.

Imagine what we could have achieved if we’d tailored a video to each objective?

Try making videos for all your campaigns at biteable.com.

Takeaways

The algorithm works. Facebook is super-efficient at finding the right kind of people within an audience.

Objectives matter. Take the time to pick the right objectives for your campaign. It will definitely impact on your results.

Wrong objectives are expensive. A poorly chosen objective will cost you money – up to 4,238% more.