4 Facebook Advertising Strategies For Local Businesses

Facebook Advertising is an ideal platform for local business owners because of its low cost and local targeting capabilities. Furthermore, Facebook friends tend to live and work near you. Therefore, for the most part, your Facebook newsfeed is a “main street” of sorts in your town’s digital world. Similar to putting up a billboard on a local highway, Facebook Advertising can allow a small business owner to quickly get his or her brand in front of a whole community.

But wait – what about investing in pay per click ads in which you can go after people already looking for your service? While Facebook can definitely target users a great deal, it is a different platform than a search engine. People go on Facebook to connect and share with their friends. As a result, people are spending more time on Facebook: currently, the national average is 40 minutes per day. Therefore, it’s completely possible that your ad could appear multiple times on an individual’s Facebook page, each of those times building your brand awareness in a similar fashion to that billboard you see every day on your way to work.

You may, in fact, be showing your ads to someone who already has a barber they go to, but then again… would that same person likely be looking for a barber in a search engine? With a compelling FB ad, you can get your brand in front of that potential customer who would not have found you otherwise.

After working with dozens of local small businesses as well as a few national brands, I’ve noticed what works for a national client doesn’t always work for the local ones. In order to create that compelling Facebook ad, I’ve compiled 4 strategies to help a local business owner.

  1. Take Advantage of Local Awareness Ads

Local Awareness Ads were really one of the first methods in which Facebook truly made it clear that they were an advertising platform for local small business owners. This ad objective – which is actually titled “reach people near your business” in Facebook Ads Manager – is definitely one worth taking advantage of if you are a local business.

The greatest advantage comes from the fact you can make your targeting hyper-local, targeting Facebook users as close as within 1 mile of your business. In contrast, traditional Facebook advertising location targeting only lets you get as granular as targeting a particular city.

This feature is great to capture individuals who may be dining near your business, working near you, or even traveling in the area. In the above ad, we call out the fact that the user is nearby. The user’s proximity to your business makes the ads automatically personalized to your user at that exact moment. G/O Digital surveyed users and found that 60% of users looked at a local business’ Facebook page before they visited that local business. This indicates there were quite a few users looking on Facebook prior to visiting a particular location.

One critique of local awareness ads is the lack of more robust targeting segmentation, which is often praised as one of the strengths of the Facebook Advertising platform overall. The lack of more robust targeting segmentation is in reference to the fact that, at this point, you are not able to specify beyond gender, age, and location whom your ads will show to for Local Awareness Ads. While it is true this targeting is missing, it stands to reason your audience size for an ad like this would be incredibly small.

Additionally, unlike the other Facebook ad objectives available, the ad objective for Local Awareness Ads is to go after people near your business. The local targeting is the main objective of the ad itself; therefore, it would be deviating from the point of the ad to include interest-based or behavior-based targeting.

Local Awareness Ads also allow you additional call-to-actions, namely “Get Directions” and “Call Now.” The reason the calls-to-action are a little different with this ad objective is because you are reaching customers who are nearby, oftentimes on a mobile device. In the example below, I included a “Call Now” button and indicated that the potential customer could call and book their service appointment within the ad text.

facebook local awareness ad example

 

  1. Use Images Of Your Storefront In Your Ads

When it comes to Facebook Advertising, images really are a crucial part of your ad. A lot of my clients obsess over what image they should be using in their ads. A few spend a great deal of money on graphic designers to bring to life what they think is the perfect image often times including a great deal of text. However, most of my local clients simply don’t have the resources to spend on creating a custom image.

One engaging image you can use without the help of a graphic designer – and one that most local businesses have – is a picture of your storefront. If you are targeting local customers, whether through a Local Awareness Ad or simply a city, chances are that the person has passed your business at some point. Seeing your storefront in the ad should immediately look familiar to them. Just as you scroll through Facebook and stop to look at a picture of your friend in front of a new car they just bought, you’ll immediately stop and look twice at an ad with a familiar place in the image.

This is one of those advantages that not all national brands can leverage and one that a local business owner should consider adding into their Facebook ad.

It’s also worth noting that Facebook actually has a 20% text rule for their ads. This means that if your image has over 20% text on it, it cannot be used in your ad. This rule exists because Facebook wants you to use engaging images not covered in text. They want this so much that they even provide stock photos within their ads platform. So don’t worry about all the text in your images – a high-quality photo is worth a 1,000 words.

  1. Provide Local Context In Your Ad Text

While you may be ditching text in your images, you can convey your message in your ad copy. In a Facebook ad, there are a few places to include ad copy, depending on which ad objective you choose.

What makes a local business unique is your proximity to your market. Leveraging this information in your ad copy is a no-brainer, but you don’t have to just take my word for it. A recent study found that 4 out of 5 consumers want ads customized to their immediate surroundings.

Consider including the name of the shopping center your business is situated in or even local landmarks near your business.

  1. Leverage Videos In Your Ads

Earlier this year Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg outlined the benefit in video ads specifically for small business owners. Sandberg spoke to the fact that video ads on Facebook present an opportunity for small business owners who might not have the resources to hire a film crew and buy a television ad. Sandberg has a point. Facebook, much like television, is a form of entertainment that has a large captive audience. Getting in front of that captive audience with a video that is engaging is a new ad format worth exploring.

But can a video ad on Facebook viewed on your mobile phone really compete with a television commercial on a 50-inch television? An interesting study, released this past June, actually examined the neuroscience behind viewing ads on a smartphone versus a television. The study found that people were more attentive and tended to feel more positive towards information presented on a mobile phone. I suspect part of the positive impact on those viewing the ads may simply be because the ads shown to users on Facebook may be more targeted to that specific user.

In order to begin introducing video ads to your local businesses’ Facebook advertising campaign, it’s good to go back to a point that Sandberg made reference to earlier: that you do not have to hire a film crew to put an ad on Facebook. Video ads can be completely unique to your business. A car dealership might highlight the inside of a vehicle in a video ad, whereas a bakery might show footage from the kitchen of a variety of pastries being made.

Keep in mind that this ad is showing up in someone’s newsfeed; therefore, you want engaging content that is going to catch a user’s eye. While you can include sound with your video, it’s important to note that 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile phones. So take a second to think about where your users might be if they are on their mobile phone, such as waiting in line at Starbucks or taking a break at their desk at work. The user may not be able to listen to audio. That being said, having a video that can convey your message without sound is incredibly important.

In Conclusion

Whether you employ all or just one of these local Facebook advertising strategies, you will help your local business build brand awareness in the populous digital highway that Facebook has become.

 

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The A-List and Other Tools of the Twitter Elite

  1. List building is great Twitter tool because you don’t have to actually follow someone to keep an eye on what they are tweeting. You can add them to a list so that you are able to put them into a feed to watch in programs such as TweetDeck. You can have your “A-List” companies you want to work with if you are a brand and you can engage with them on a regular basis so that you are able to attract their attention. Other lists could be industry-related influencers or news outlets that let you keep up on the changes in your field.

    Some of my very basic lists on my personal profile. Helps me to keep organized!

  2. I could talk all day on Twitter Chats and how they are the greatest thing out there. They let you engage with people who you share are common interest but would likely never interact with otherwise. How do they work? Basically at a specific hour once a week or once a month everyone follows a specific hashtag for that time and tweets answers to structured questions, asks questions, or simply just answers other people’s questions. Twitter Chats help you troubleshoot problems or find better ways around doing things. I’ve made plenty of twitter-friends in my industry through them and despite never having actually met theM, they are great to keep in touch with, especially since they are typically working in the same field as me. They have twitter chats for nearly every topic and if by chance you see one they don’t have out there, by all means start it yourself!

    Style Chat and Ask Forbes

    Two of my favorite chats-#stylechat & #askforbes

  3.  Sprout Social, if you aren’t on it you should get on it, especially if you are a brand. It gives you detailed reports, lets you do comprehensive brand monitoring, and the coolest feature-it lets you search conversations, twitter bios, or random tweets by location. The ability to search by location is very helpful and slightly creepy but it can do wonders for a brand looking to localize their messaging.

    sproutsocial

    Example of some Sprout Social Reporting Metrics.

Going from B2B to B2C

An excerpt from my latest blog post on Highly Relevant:

Social media is an extremely important customer acquisition tool for B2C companies, and its importance for B2B is not far behind. According to a recent study, 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer specifically through Facebook.

While all social networks are important, a few stand out: Facebook, on average, produces 30 times more customers to an ecommerce site than Twitter, and for B2B brands, LinkedIn accounts for 64% of all visits to corporate websites. The numbers speak to the fact that social media has given brands a viable platform to drive traffic to their sites, which brings up another key component of marketing today: ecommerce websites themselves.

B2C companies need a strong e-commerce site to succeed, and in recent years, B2B companies have begun to follow suit. In a global survey of 400 B2B companies, as many as 92% were already online. Due to the increase in activity in the online marketplace, these B2B brands are realizing the importance of search engine marketing and the optimization of their websites, especially for mobile devices.

Why it makes sense to invest in B2C as a B2B

If B2B companies are already investing in a strong web design, SEO, and perhaps even PPC, it makes sense to use those same channels to sell directly to the consumer as well. After all, every B2B customer is also a B2C customer (because businesses are people, too).

By selling directly to consumers and getting their feedback, B2B companies can learn the best strategies for marketing their products and, in turn, selling to large companies via ecommerce marketplaces. Everything from web design to shipping issues can be solved in the B2C space to better optimize the buyer experience in the B2B arena.

Another economic advantage that B2C for a B2B provides is the creation of brand loyalty among consumers through direct interaction. Once a brand has loyal followers, it’s easier to raise prices on the B2C side—something not as easily done on the B2B side. Therefore, there are potentially stronger profits to be made on the B2C side long-term after a strong following amongst consumers has been built.

Expanding to the B2C space is a natural progression for a B2B company that helps them learn the ecommerce space, develop brand loyalty, and create a supplemental revenue flow from a new consumer base.

Check out the full post on why B2B companies should go B2C: http://www.highlyrelevant.com/road-from-b2b-to-b