Looking over the advice we’ve shared so far on Facebook™ advertising, we focused mostly on creating a sales funnel and driving traffic to your website. This choice was based on the fact that a large proportion of businesses are online these days and their owners operate them strictly through a website and an online store.
However, local businesses are still thriving—as they should be. Restaurants, hair salons, small grocery stores—these kinds of businesses are needed in every local community, because we cannot and should not do everything online and give up direct human contact. So today our attention will be focused on these businesses and the ways in which they can use Facebook™ ads to promote their products and services.
Going Local on the Largest Social Media Network
It is a staggering number, but for you, as a local business owner, it all boils down to these two questions:
- How many of these users are from my local area?
- How do I reach them with ads and convince them to enter my shop and buy my products?
The first question has a very simple answer, because you can filter Facebook™ users by location when you create your audience for Facebook™ ads. For the second question we have prepared a list of helpful tips to create meaningful ads and achieve your goals and return on investment:
- Include the Name of the Location in Your Ad
Nothing draws our attention more than seeing the name of our local neighbourhood in print. If someone wrote something connected to the place where we live, we want to know about it, because we are directly interested.
Adding the name of the suburb, town or neighbourhood in your ad title will certainly make people pause scrolling and take a look at your ad. In this way you will achieve the first step in the process of bringing people to your business: attracting their attention.
- Use Facebook™ Ads to Share Coupons or Special Offers
You can opt either for a third-party coupon app or for Facebook™ Offers to share your coupons. All local businesses rely on this sort of discount to bring people to their store. Do not spend all your advertising budget on mailing your coupons or printing them in the local paper, but instead, set aside an amount for Facebook™ ads.
This covers the second step on the customer’s digital journey to your store: making them interested in what you have to offer.
- Make Use of Local Awareness Ads
Facebook™ rolled out this specific type of ad 3 years ago, but few local businesses actually use it efficiently. Local awareness ads are specifically designed to get people to walk in your store or give you a call.
In truth, this is what you should be looking for, among all the metrics you can choose for your Facebook™ ad campaigns. Impressions and clicks are immaterial, but a customer walking in your store and making a purchase as a result of a Local Awareness Ads is the real deal.
- Share a Freebie that Makes You the Local Go-To Expert
As much as it seems to contradict the item above, this tip is also important: not all your ads must be focused on a sale. How so? Imagine that a water pipe in your house has burst. Who are you going to call? A random plumber? Or that local company that invited you to download a PDF document teaching you how to protect water pipes from freezing during the winter?
That’s right, you will choose the company that taught you something for free and demonstrated that they are experts in water pipes.
- Go In-Depth with Targeting by Interests
How does Facebook™ know what people’s interests are? They make a guess based on pages they liked and groups they joined. But this is not very relevant per se. For instance, someone doing research on weight loss may like several weight loss pages, but they do it solely for the purpose of collecting information. They are not interested in actually losing weight, so they won’t respond to your ad offering them a discount at your local gym.
You must cross-check interests by adding as many related topics as possible. Taking the example above, you should not stop at targeting people who are interested in weight loss, but who are also interested in gym, fitness, etc. Why is this targeting so important? The better you target you ad audience, the less money you spend and the more actual customers you gain.