Local Awareness is Traditional Marketing made Digital
By Alyssa McClusky
During a casual stroll down the street, you suddenly realize what time it is. It’s nearly noon, and you’re starting to get hungry. As you walk along, you notice a chalkboard outside of a local sandwich shop with a clever promotion about their daily special. It seems like a fun place, and the price is great, so you walk in.
For many local businesses, proximity is a major factor. Many local businesses attract customers who wander in off the street, interested in seeing the types of things the business can offer. In an effort to help meet these small businesses’ needs better, and to encourage more small businesses to use Facebook Ads as a marketing tool, Facebook introduced “Local Awareness ads,” allowing businesses to deliver their messages to people in a close enough distance that they will stop in.
According to Facebook’s Business page, “With local awareness ads, businesses can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to groups of people who are near that business’s neighborhood.” To use Local Awareness, marketers may choose the setting as an objective, enter the business’ physical address into the information, then select a specific range to include in the target area. Marketers may choose an area as small as 1 mile radius, and as large as a 50 mile radius. This allows local businesses to target a general population of individuals, rather than targeting by particular demographics or interests.
Creating a campaign using Local Awareness is structured like any other type of campaign in Facebook Ad Manager. Marketers and advertisers choose the size of the area around the business, establish the age range and gender of the group, customize the message that they wish to convey by choosing a photo and corresponding text, and create daily or lifetime budgets, which establish the total reach the ads will achieve on Facebook. One major difference is that Local Awareness ads optimize your campaign based on total Impressions, reporting the average amount of money spent for every 1,000 impressions. Essentially, running a Local Awareness ad will be similar to displaying a sign; a sign that doesn’t hang outside your business, but instead will appear on nearby people’s Facebook news feeds.
Traditional Marketing Strategies
Local Awareness has potential to help small businesses remain competitive using social media, allowing them to take their traditional marketing strategies to the digital world. The most effective use of Local Awareness ads will be to use timely, creative, tempting promotions that entice people walking along the sidewalk, sitting in the café down the street, or driving by in the car to stop and see what’s going on at your establishment. However, these ads will not be effective for all types of small businesses. Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and businesses that one could spontaneously visit will make the best use of Local Awareness ads. Other small businesses like builders, roofers, real estate agents, and plumbers, businesses that require some forethought before visiting, would not utilize this tool quite as well. With this in mind, small businesses should consider the type of products they are selling before jumping in to use Local Awareness ads.
(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)
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