Facebook Ads for Local Business

Aug 2015

If you are a fledgling business with a brick and mortar location, social media marketing can be a great way to drive word of mouth and its accompanying foot traffic. The one caveat is that unless you are already well-connected to your local community, it can be difficult to reach customers that are actually within range of your business, making all the great content you’re sharing relatively useless. Fortunately, Facebook advertising offers the option to geographically target potential leads that fall within your demographic. So what does that look like, and how does one create an appealing, engaging ad? We’ve listed the steps to get you there.

Photo: @Erika_Backberg

First Things First: Create an Ad

Depending on your familiarity with Facebook Ads Manager, you may have experience creating and running advertising on this platform. In order to begin the process, Facebook shows you the same generic “Create an Ad” page, with a list of objectives designed to guide your choice of what type of ad you’d like to run. In this case, we are specifically trying to target local community members within our demographic. Therefore, we are going to select the “Reach people near your business” objective.

Establish Targeting Parameters

Once you’ve selected your objective, Facebook will give you the option of setting your parameters. These options include radius, age range, sex, budget, and schedule. Depending on who your target audience is, your potential reach can be anywhere from a few thousand to upwards of five million! While logic would reason that it makes sense to target the largest number possible, this is not the case when it comes to advertising for small business. We find it is more effective to target in the 18-25 thousand range, given that Facebook is more likely to repeatedly show your ad to those users (producing better results). These results are also influenced by the amount of money you choose to spend- the bigger the budget, the greater territory you can serve and still see the return. However, we suggest starting small, measuring efficacy, then scaling up.

Create Your Ad

This step requires the most creativity, and should be done with multiple proofreaders to ensure everything looks and reads the way you’d hope. The text portion of the ad is only 90 characters, so like any good advertisement, what you are promoting should be clear and concise. Think of this as your lead-in to your call to action: does it steer your viewers towards your ultimate goal?

The next phase is the visual portion: what image portrays the business, event, or special that you are advertising? Whether that’s an infographic, a photo, or even just your logo, make sure it reflects the purpose of the ad as a whole.

Track Your Results

Facebook ads manager provides analytics to measure the effectiveness of your ad, which can be incredibly helpful in understanding what works and what doesn’t when it comes to targeting, ad design, etc. While these metrics are extremely valuable, it should be noted that the simple process of manually tracking who darkens your doorsteps is the ultimate test, especially if you are running multiple ad campaigns through different platforms. This way, you can measure your return on investment and gain a better understanding of the best ways to reach your audience.

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