As a business, have you ever thought about how to get into contact with those people in the vicinity of your store? There are ways to put an ad in front of your neighbours through direct mailing, Google search ads and other means, but rarely has there been an ability to connect while they are actually in the vicinity of your store; until now. Just over a year ago, Facebook launched Local Awareness Ads to provide such ability. Now they have improved on this even more.
In a bid to provide “hyper-local” ads for businesses, in 2014 Facebook turned to a local awareness ad solution. Businesses could take advantage of consumers that had location aware devices within a certain radius of their physical locations, down to as small as a 1 mile radius. With the proximity feature Nearby Friends built into the platform, ads could be targeted to geo-aware devices including tablets, phones and browsers near the business.
Businesses within the “geo-fence” could target these consumers with ads that promote “dropping in” to the business, supported by giving directions to the business and a call to action button, providing a phone number. Businesses could further target their audience based on age and gender. It was one of the first times that social media integrated a geo-targeted ad for hyper-local use in order to drive foot traffic. Most other ad schemes were simply used in for online marketing.
With this ability Facebook could vault companies in front of consumers when they were in the area. Businesses could now get in front of buyers at the moment they were actually shopping or making choices.
As many companies first realized within the program, it was great, except for businesses with multiple locations. Too many issues plagued these businesses right from the start.
What if you had two locations within a 1 mile radius of each other like many chain coffee shops? Which store should show up on the ad? What if a consumer got 2 ads from the same chain, directing them to both locations? Also how could you manage multiple locations without having to design potentially hundreds of different ads, one to serve every location?
Recently, Facebook moved to improve their location awareness ads to help these businesses better serve consumers and reduce their work in relation to these ads. Most importantly, Facebook added dynamic copy to the ads making ad-making so much easier. Instead of creating ads for every location, you can now make one ad that will substitute the closest location within the ad. So if a consumer was closest to the Main street location, they would see that location listed in the ad and its directions button would also give directions to that location. Within these changes, Facebook is adding anonymized data about the neighbourhood as well including the stores busiest times, how many people nearby have seen the ad and their demographics.
With these improved location services, if you need hyper-local geo-targeted ads, Facebook’s Location Awareness ads may be your best choice for drawing in local foot traffic.