The Do’s and Don’ts of Local Awareness Ads

Facebook’s Local awareness ads, as the name suggests, offer small businesses and individual branches the opportunity to advertise to people in their immediate area.

They can be an especially powerful tool to create real life ROI from digital advertising: 32 percent of customers visited a store or made a purchase after viewing a location-based ad and 19 percent of those visits or purchases were unplanned.

All you need to do for a successful campaign is follow these simple do’s and don’ts.

DO run different ads for different locations. The most commonly used calls-to-action are “Get Directions” and “Call Now” and you want those to reflect the location closest to whoever is viewing the ad. Currently, Facebook doesn’t support setting up multiple ads at a time for different locations, so you’ll only be able to promote one location at a time.

Speaking of calls-to-action, DON’T be afraid to use Call Now. It’s often overlooked by marketers, but calls convert to revenue 10 times more than web leads.

DO use audience targeting. Depending on your goal, you can target existing customers in your area who have already shopped at your store and interacted with you on social or new customers who have done neither. Local awareness ads also allow you to add interest targeting to find the most relevant audience in your area and access demographic insights to make future ads even more targeted.

DON’T make the area too broad. The ideal range for an ad depends on the business, where it’s located and what your goal is, but it’s generally best to keep it on the small side. Think within walking distance or a short drive away. Target mobile phone users to reach people who don’t just live in the area, but are physically there at the time they’re served your ad for the most powerful results.

DO keep in mind that most local awareness campaigns are not built for direct conversions. They are optimized only to build awareness. Include positive reviews of your business in the ad creative and copy or run a remarketing campaign to people who click your ad to drive conversions.   

DO measure your results. In June 2016, Facebook added extensive new ways to track effectiveness of local awareness ads. Businesses can now access data about how many people come to your store after seeing the ad based on data from people who have location services enabled on their phones. While not exact, it still offers a general idea of how the ad influenced foot traffic. You can also connect your business’s in-store or phone transactions to measure the effectiveness in terms of dollars spent.

DON’T forget about your store’s hours of operation. After setting up a killer local awareness campaign, don’t waste all your hard work by letting your ad run when your store isn’t even open. You can set time parameters when creating the ad to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Written by: Kelsey Thompson