Facebook Local Awareness Ads Help Retailers Reach Nearby Customers

Face­book Local Aware­ness Ads let retail­ers tar­get con­sumers who are close to phys­i­cal store loca­tions, which helps brands con­nect with mobile shop­pers.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 0 comments

A new ad prod­uct from Face­book gives retail­ers anoth­er way to tar­get con­sumers who are close to phys­i­cal store loca­tions, which could help brands con­nect with mobile shop­pers look­ing for deals this hol­i­day sea­son.

Face­book has launched local aware­ness ads, a fea­ture that shows ads to users near busi­ness loca­tions, which Face­book says will make adver­tis­ing for local busi­ness­es eas­i­er and more effec­tive. These ads could also help attract con­sumers close to phys­i­cal stores, which, in turn, could help dri­ve sales this hol­i­day sea­son among shop­pers using their mobile devices to research prod­ucts and find the best deals. “We think they’re the best way for local busi­ness­es to reach peo­ple near them, and the best way for peo­ple who use Face­book to dis­cov­er more use­ful things in their area,” Face­book said in a blog post.

To cre­ate an ad, busi­ness­es select “Local Aware­ness” in Facebook’s Ads Cre­ate tool, choose the page of the busi­ness they want to pro­mote and enter the address and the radius around which they want to adver­tise. A map will dis­play the area cov­ered by the ad, Face­book said. “Our sys­tem uses all this infor­ma­tion to cre­ate an audi­ence for the ad that includes peo­ple who live near­by or were recent­ly near your busi­ness,” the plat­form added. Adver­tis­ers also choose the age and gen­der of their audi­ence and set a bud­get and dura­tion for the ad, as well as imagery and text. Based on the set­tings, Face­book will show how many peo­ple adver­tis­ers can expect to reach each day the ad runs.

Because adver­tis­ers select loca­tions instead of spe­cif­ic indi­vid­u­als, Face­book says it does not tell adver­tis­ers which spe­cif­ic users are in a giv­en audi­ence, which helps pro­tect user pri­va­cy. Accord­ing to Face­book, con­ver­sa­tions with adver­tis­ers have shown that when it comes to dri­ving in-store sales, an ad’s reach is more impor­tant than the engage­ment it receives, like clicks, com­ments or likes. “So we’ve designed local aware­ness ads to help busi­ness­es reach the most peo­ple pos­si­ble in an area,” the plat­form says. And this could come in handy this hol­i­day sea­son. Accord­ing to a recent whitepa­per from online adver­tis­ing man­age­ment plat­form Marin Soft­ware, The Retail­ers’ Last Minute Guide to Hol­i­day Adver­tis­ing on Face­book, retail­ers increased spend in the chan­nel by 67 per­cent over the 2013 hol­i­day sea­son ver­sus 2012, which Marin says is “a tes­ta­ment to the effi­ca­cy of Face­book to reach high­ly tar­get­ed, high­ly engaged audi­ences across all stages of the pur­chase cycle.” What’s more, Marin said, “Retail­ers are increas­ing­ly turn­ing to Face­book to engage with their cus­tomers, share pro­mo­tions, intro­duce new prod­ucts, dri­ve traf­fic to their web­sites, and encour­age shop­pers to vis­it their phys­i­cal store loca­tions.”

In addi­tion, pre­dic­tive mar­ket­ing soft­ware provider Ken­shoo recent­ly con­duct­ed a webi­nar with Bing Ads on hol­i­day tips in which Bing said 37 per­cent of hol­i­day shop­pers will use online coupons more this year and 27 per­cent said they will only buy gifts at stores where they have coupons. For her part, Kel­ly Wrather, senior man­ag­er of con­tent mar­ket­ing at Ken­shoosays she thinks Facebook’s local aware­ness ads will help dri­ve these hol­i­day shop­pers look­ing for dis­counts. Mobile share is grow­ing but the major­i­ty of rev­enue isn’t com­ing from these devices, she notes.

Many con­sumers on-the-go are look­ing for store or prod­uct infor­ma­tion and might not actu­al­ly com­plete a sale until once in-store,” Wrather said. “A sur­vey we con­duct­ed found that most mar­keters (73 per­cent) see mobile (search in this instance) most effec­tive as a mid-fun­nel dri­ver (research/browsing activ­i­ties). When asked about what types of activ­i­ties con­sumers might engage in while con­duct­ing shop­ping research in stores, 73 per­cent of mar­keters strong­ly felt that these in-store shop­pers used their mobile devices to research bet­ter prices.”

Face­book local aware­ness ads will roll out to U.S. adver­tis­ers in the com­ing weeks and glob­al­ly in the com­ing months.

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

Discover why brands and agencies choose Linkdex

  • Get started fast with easy onboarding & training
  • Import and connect data from other platforms
  • Scale with your business, websites and markets
  • Up-skill teams with training & accreditation
  • Build workflows with tasks, reporting and alerts

Get a free induction and experience of Linkdex.

Just fill out this form, and one of our team members will get in touch to arrange your own, personalized demo.