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For the past few months Facebook has been testing a new campaign objective: Reach. It now looks like Reach is available to many advertiser accounts (thought not all, so hang tight if you don’t yet have access). Let’s dig into what we know about the Reach objective, and when you may want to use it.

What is the Reach Objective?

If Reach is turned on for your ad account, you’ll be able to select it as a campaign objective like you would any other.

Facebook tells us that selecting Reach will allow us to “show our campaign to the maximum number of people” and we should select it if we want to show our ad to “the largest audience for [our] ad budget”.

Why is Reach different?

But wait a second, you might ask: how is this any different than setting impressions as your campaign objective? That also shows your campaign to a wide audience. The answer is that Reach allows you to cap the frequency of your campaigns — in other words, you can limit the number of times each unique person will see your ad.

This was sort of possible with Impressions campaigns, but it required some workarounds and limited what you were capable of doing. By baking in frequency capping, Facebook is allowing you to spread your ad dollars over a larger number of people without compromising the quality or targeting of your campaign.

When Should You Use Reach Objectives

The most obvious use case for the Reach Objective is when you want to reach a small, highly targeted group of people and ensure every one of them sees your ad.

A perfect use of the Reach Objective would be advertising to people who have abandoned their carts on your website. They get to the checkout page and then for whatever reason don’t complete the purchase. You want to ensure that these people, the lowest hanging fruit of your market, return and finish that purchase.

Setting a Reach objective would let you show all of those people an ad asking them to come back (possibly offering them a discount), and frequency capping ensures you aren’t spamming their newsfeed.

When You Should Not Use Reach Objectives

The Reach objective is not going to be as effective as other objectives when targeting audiences who haven’t interacted with you in the past.

When dealing with cold audiences, there is no need to reach every single person in the group — you instead should set your objective as clicks or conversions, and let the Facebook algorithm sort out who is most likely to fulfill that goal. Trying to reach an entire cold audience would be a waste of money.

Some have suggested that Reach is a useful tool for brand-building. We aren’t so sure about this. There is a strong case for using Impressions objectives for brand and awareness campaigns, but these campaigns often will benefit from not capping frequency (which is the main benefit of the Reach objective).

How are you using Reach?

Leave a comment and let us know how you’re using Reach, or how you could benefit from it if you don’t yet have access.

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