Digital Insights

Reach More Customers with Facebook Local Awareness Ads

Published: December 15, 2014

True to its word, Facebook has delivered on its promise to support local business marketers by providing more effective advertising solutions: the Local Awareness ad option. The latest offering from Facebook will enable local business owners to create ads that target users within a designated radius of the businesses’ physical address.

For most local marketers, the bulk of their customers come from within a relatively short distance of the businesses’ location. Depending on the city, that primary marketing neighborhood could range in size from several miles to a few blocks. Affordable advertising options that can effectively target customers in these smaller market areas have typically been few and far between for many local marketers.

According to Facebook, “Local Awareness ads are built to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper while offering more precise targeting and greater reach. We think they’re the best way for local businesses to reach people near them, and the best way for people who use Facebook to discover more useful things in their area.”

How to Prepare a Local Awareness Ad

  • Select the Ads Create tool from your account dashboard, click “Local Awareness” as your advertising objective, and pick the current business page that you wish to advertise. Pages that already have a location specified will automatically populate; other location information can be entered manually if you wish.
  • The geo-targeted area of your ad’s reach can be set to a one to 50 mile radius of your store’s location. The tool will then display a map of the coverage area targeted by your ad.
  • Choose the age and gender preferences for your target audience.
  • Select your budget and set the duration of your ad campaign. The tool will then display the estimated size of the audience your ad will reach every day, along with the cost.
  • Upload an image and enter the text for your ad along with a call-to-action. If you don’t have a good photo, you can select a free one from the library of millions of high-resolution stock photos – just click the “Find Images” tab. A clickable “Get Directions” call-to-action button can be added to provide mobile device users with directions to your store.

Keep in mind that the idea behind the Local Awareness ad program is to drive foot traffic to your store by delivering relevant and actionable material to nearby Facebook users. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by presenting a compelling offer that is redeemable with an in-store visit. According to a Gannett G/O Digital study, this is the type of tactic most preferred by Facebook users.

Custom Audience: Another Effective Option for Targeting Local Customers
While Local Awareness ads offer an effective way to reach potential customers in your immediate market area, they simply aren’t going to reach everyone – they’re displayed only to visitors who use Facebook to check-in or tag your location. Not to worry – Facebook offers another great way to increase your reach and generate more traffic to your store with its Custom Audience targeting option.

Custom Audience allows you to add your own customer email lists to your Facebook account and target these matched users with ads for your Facebook Page, website, or even a mobile app. Your data is protected and your customer’s private information won’t be shared without their consent.