What is Facebook’s Reach Marketing Objective?

By Jeff Cracolici

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Marketing Manager & Digital Expert

From audience targeting to creative, there are a lot of variables that must be accounted for when advertising on Facebook. One of the most overlooked variables is the Marketing Objective, which is the first question asked during campaign setup. (ex. Brand Awareness, Reach Marketing)

The Marketing Objective is the ultimate goal of your campaign. In Facebook’s words, it is “what you want people to do when they see your ads.” Each Marketing Objective comes with various options and settings to help steer your campaign towards that goal, so the wrong selection can quickly send your campaign awry.

Last year, we went in-depth regarding Facebook’s Brand Awareness Marketing Objective. Closely related, the Reach Marketing Objective is a relatively straight-forward concept. At face value this seems like a no-brainer for most campaigns, but you’re ultimately sacrificing engagement.

What is Reach and Frequency in Facebook?

Before we dive into the objective, we first need to establish what “Reach” and Frequency is in the Facebook Marketing world.

As defined by Facebook, the metric Reach is the estimated number of unique individuals who “saw your ads at least once.” This differs from the marketing metric “Impressions,” which counts how many times your ads were served. For example, if John Smith saw your ad three times over the course of your campaign, he would be counted once in the Reach column and three times in the Impressions column.

Frequency tells you the average impressions per person. This is calculated by dividing the total number of impressions by the total number reached.

What is the Reach Marketing Objective?

Based on the definition of Reach, when you choose the Reach Marketing Objective you are asking Facebook to serve ads to as many unique individuals in your targeted audience as possible. Inherently, this means your campaign will have a lower Frequency.

At the center of this objective is a setting called the Reach Cap, which tells Facebook the maximum number of times you want each individual to see your ads over a specified time range. Once an individual meets this cap, Facebook focuses their technology on reaching someone else.

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When should I used the Reach Marketing Objective?

To determine if the Reach Marketing Objective is a good option for your campaign, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Will my campaign succeed if individuals see my ads only a small number of times?
  2. Am I willing to give Facebook more control over the bidding and ad placement process?
  3. Do my ads tell a full story on its own?

If you answer ‘yes’ to all these questions, the Reach Marketing Objective could be a viable option for you.

Can You Succeed With a Low Frequency?

For many businesses selling a product or service, it takes many impressions to get someone to take action. This is especially true if that someone has no awareness of your brand beforehand. If you are selecting the Reach Marketing Objective, you must be confident that those you are targeting will act despite the low number of times they are exposed to your campaign. In addition, do not be too surprised if engagement is down compared to campaigns with other Marketing Objectives.

Are You Comfortable With Automatic Bidding and Placements?

Some people are going to be harder to reach than others. This could be due to their activity level within Facebook / Instagram, or that there is heavy competition among advertisers to reach that individual. Giving Facebook more power to bid and place ads assure that you will be reaching the most folks, no matter the cost and where they spend their online time in the Facebook environment.

In order to give Facebook autonomy with bidding and placing ads, make sure to enable the Automatic Bidding and the Automatic Placement options during campaign setup.

Automatic Placements

Which Ads Perform Best Using the Reach Marketing Objective?

In short, ads that are easily digestible and can tell a full story on their own are the most successful under this Marketing Objective.

As mentioned already, the Reach Cap set during campaign setup will limit the amount of times users will see your ad. Expecting users to take a large action like clicking through to your website might be a tough sell with only a few impressions. The best performing ads for this Marketing Objective are promoted posts, company announcements, and any other short messages.

For even better results, target current customers or other segments that are aware of your brand. With so few impressions per person to spare, avoid using them to educate those about your brand or product.

About LiftEngine

Since 2005, LiftEngine's primary mission has been to help clients better understand and connect with their most responsive prospects and customers, online or offline. Our expertise is behind the marketing campaigns of 400+ clients.

Behind LiftEngine is LiftBase, our proprietary addressable consumer database. Comprised of 250 million US consumers, 140 million US households, and 1,000+ enhanced data elements, LiftBase powers our audience development services and industry-leading products, PortalLink and LaunchPad.

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Published on Aug. 09, 2019, Last Updated on Nov. 08, 2023