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  • Writer's pictureClickInsights

Lead Gen vs Engagement: Impact on Traffic

You've created a spiffy new website and are eager to get people to visit it. Facebook advertisements are valuable, but you're not sure what the best goal is. Is it better to optimize for engagement to increase likes and shares, or for leads to obtain those valuable email addresses? It's a common question for first-time advertisers, and you're wise to ponder it upfront.

In this article, we will compare the lead generation and engagement objectives to help you decide which is better for your goal of increasing new traffic. So, let's start with it!

Understanding Facebook Ad Objectives: Lead Gen Vs Engagement

Lead Generation

  • Attempts to convince visitors to do a specific action, like requesting a price, registering for a free trial, or providing their contact details.

  • Allows you to quickly gather Facebook leads and add them to your email list or CRM.

  • Typically has a lower cost per result compared to engagement campaigns.

  • However, works best once you already have an established presence and audience.


  • Seeks to get more users engaging with your posts through actions like clicks, shares, comments.

  • Helps increase brand awareness and grow your organic reach.

  • Useful for establishing initial interest and driving early traffic to a new website.

  • But engagement doesn't necessarily convert users into sales or email list signups.

For a new website with no existing following, an engagement-focused campaign can help introduce your brand and content to prospective customers. Globally, the average Facebook page engagement rate is 28.3%, while the average engagement rate per post is 3.22% and the average engagement on reach is 0.09%. Once you build up a base audience, shift the budget to lead-gen ads to convert website visitors into leads and sales. Testing a mix of both objectives is key to finding the right balance.

When to Use Lead Generation for Facebook Ads?

Engagement for Early Days

When starting out, you likely lack resources for heavy lead gen investment. Engagement campaigns instead expose your brand to more people through likes, shares and comments. Build awareness first through interesting visuals, videos and content. Once you grab attention, redirect visitors to join your community. Capture emails or incentivize returns later through retargeting.

Lead Gen for Established Presence

With sufficient site content and existing reach, lead gen campaigns then take priority. Transition focus toward building a subscriber base. Now, you need to convert visitors beyond mere site actions. Lead gen captures names and emails for future marketing like drip campaigns. But you still need engagement as the gateway for people to first discover your brand.

Maximizing Engagement as a Facebook Ad Objective

  • Set engagement as your objective when creating the campaign. This optimizes for post clicks, comments, shares and reactions rather than hard conversions. 87% of a Facebook Page's engagement happens on photo posts, so keep that in mind while setting your objective.

  • Target fans of your brand or similar ones so ads go to warm audiences already open to engaging. Layer in lookalike audiences too.

  • Feature intriguing content like behind-the-scenes images, fun facts, user-generated posts, etc. Spark their curiosity to click and explore.

  • Retarget engaged visitors like those who viewed key pages or spent time on site. Keep your brand top of mind.

  • Analyze metrics like CTR, time on page, repeat sessions. Are more visitors sticking around to dig deeper thanks to your ads?

Boosting engagement fuels brand interaction and gets visitors actively involved on your site. Once you establish an audience of hot leads through engagement campaigns, switch objectives to convert those high-quality prospects down the funnel with lead gen and conversion campaigns. Think engagement first, conversion second.

Lead Gen vs Engagement: Impact on Traffic

When you're setting up Facebook ads for a new website, you have two main objectives to choose from: lead generation and engagement. Both can drive traffic, but which one should you focus on? The best approach is a balance of the two.

Lead Generation Ads

  • Quickly generate leads and grow your email list

  • People sign up in exchange for an offer like a discount or content

  • Work well alongside engagement ads

Lead gen ads incentivize people to share their contact info with your brand. You get their permission to market to them later. This instantly grows your email subscriber list.

Engagement Ads

  • Get more people interacting with your page and content

  • Increase awareness, shares, and overall reach

  • Don't directly capture leads

Engagement ads boost likes, comments, shares and overall reach. This activity signals to Facebook you have compelling content. So they'll continue showing your ads to more users for less money.

Final Thoughts - Find the Right Mix

Aim for a balance of both objectives in your ad campaigns. Lead-gen ads quickly build an audience to market to. Engagement ads then get your content and offer in front of many potential customers.

Test a mix of ad types and tweak based on results. Over time, monitor which objective gives you more converted customers from the traffic driven to your site. Let the data guide you towards the best formula.


For anyone that wants any further guidance, Clickacademy Asia is here to help. Join our class in Singapore and enjoy up to 70% government funding. Our courses are also Skills Future Credit Claimable and UTAP, PSEA and SFEC approved. Find out more information and sign up here. (

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