How to grow a local business with Facebook Advertising.

Local businesses are suffering at the hands of large national chains that can afford to buy Radio, TV and Print to market their business. The time for that suffering to end has come. We’ve compiled this short guide to help you successfully run Ads on Facebook and start growing your local business.

Let’s start here. The facts you need to know.

  • Almost everyone is on Facebook nowadays, with over 2.2 billion active daily users globally. And over 24.1 million users  in South Africa, almost half our population! Of that 24.1M, 85% are millennials. Safe to assume that whoever your businesses is targeting is on Facebook.

Safe to assume that whoever your businesses is targeting is on Facebook.

  • You’re buying attention. It all about underpriced attention, and Facebook has the cheapest attention. But it not just about getting attention, it what you do with the attention that counts.

Most small businesses, if they ever happen to advertise on Facebook make the mistake of focusing more on getting the attention, and not on what to do with the attention once they have it. We’re going to help you focus on both and do it right.

  • Digital marketing is perfect for small businesses. It cost effective. You can measure it, unlike TV, Print, and Radio. And finally, the biggest deal about digital marketing, the ability to choose who you want to spend your money advertise to- Targeting by location, age, demographics, interests and behaviors.

Before we start building your local business growth campaign, it important that you understand that this is not a quick-fix, it a business grower. You’re not going to have people show up at your place of business a day or two after starting the campaign.

Your business aims at this point are:

To build brand awareness – You’re letting the right people in your town know who you are and what you do. You’re simply doing this so that the next time they need/want what your business offers, you’re the first one that comes to mind.

Social proof – you’re creating a buzz around your business, you’ll become a local favorite and appear to be trusted and proven within your community. 

Increase local reach – You reach the most people within your area and you’ll stay ahead of competition because most local businesses are not doing this.

Plant the seed – While most businesses still rely on strategies designed to hook passers-by to enter their stores, you will have already planted the seed that influences offline-decisions online.

Creating a Facebook Ad campaign for a local small business

Remember, you’re only buying attention from Facebook. Now that you have your ideal customer’s attention, you need to create a compelling Adverts that talks directly to them.

The following steps walk you through towards building an effective Facebook campaign.

1. Decide the Ad objective

Facebook allows you to choose from multiple marketing objectives upon starting with your Ad campaign. The objective you pick is determined by your marketing goal, in this case you want to drive growth by building awareness and positioning yourself as a local favorite, proven and trusted.

Under objectives you have to select engagements, not awareness, reach, traffic or store traffic.  The time for all this will come, later. For now you want to reach people in your area who will engage with your advert, like them, comment and share them.

When you have engagement selected, Facebook will show your Ad to people who are most likely to comment and share on them. This is exactly what you want if your goal is to grow locally. By selecting engagement you achieve the same results as when you have awareness or reach selected as objectives, but this comes with something extra, comments, like and shares- social proof.

People are more likely to walk into your store if they see that other people like you, and even go as far as commenting on and sharing your content.

2. Local audience targeting

For this specific campaign you want to target people in your city/town. You might be tempted to want to leave it at that- target your city and hope to reach each and every one close by your business.

Unless you’re a restaurant, salon, store or any other business with a broad appeal, targeting by location alone won’t work. You’ll need to further narrow your target by demographics, interests and behaviors.

You don’t want to waste money showing your Ad to people who have no interest or need for what you offer. They won’t pay attention to you.

To setup your targeting, start by selecting your location, and adjust your radius to include or exclude places around you

Continue and narrow your targeting. Do not randomly select interests and behaviors you think describe your customers. Select one-to-two interests and behaviors that best fit the people you’re reaching out.

3. Tailor design your ad content and copy for your audience

Now that you have your target location and have narrowed your audience, next you need to create a targeted Ad that’s compelling and speaks to your target market.

Do not be broad and try to appeal to everyone in one Ad, it will not work. Focus all your attention to your audience and their needs. Your target demographics, interests and behaviors will help you in building your Ad.

Your Ad needs:

  • To be eye catching and engaging
  • To be appropriate for your audience
  • To accurately describes your business (What you do, are you a millennial driven brand? are you fun? Etc.)

From the NOXU Ad example above it becomes clear they’re a modern interior design company that’s specialize in minimalist style home designs. You can tell they are elegant, contemporary and modern.

The next thing to consider is making sure that your Ad visual goes with your Ad copy. If they don’t, it will cause confusion and people won’t click on your Ad and your money will be wasted.

If your business has a website insert a “learn more” link, if you take bookings insert your number in there, make it easy for people to find out more or reach out to you if they’re interested in your business. 

This is a perfect example. Notice how the Ad copy, content and Ad headline emphasize earning extra money while driving!

Keep is short and simple

Don’t bore your audience with a long confusing copy. Keep it short, 3 sentences at most, and use simple language your target audience will understand. Be simple and social, this is a social platform after all, try to blend in.

Old mutual did a great job on this one, simple content design that easily blends with other social posts, and short simple copy to go with it.

4. Use landing pages

The process of converting Facebook users into paying customers goes beyond creating an Ad that speaks to their needs. A compelling Facebook Ad is just the beginning. Now that people have responded to your Ad, where are you taking them?

You should have landing pages for all of your paid Ads. If you’re advertising a service or product or special offer, you need to have a landing page to accept people who click through your Advert. Even if it just to build awareness for your business, you still need a landing page where you’ll take people to learn more about your business.

Some of the key things to note when creating your Facebook landing page

1. User experience

There needs to be a visual continuity between your Facebook Ad and your landing page ensuring a great user experience for your potential customer.

2. Must be mobile friendly

More than half of Facebook’s active daily users only access Facebook from their mobile devices. This means that more clicks from your Ad will come from mobile.

The above Old Mutual Ad example leads to this landing page which quickly helps you locate an adviser that’ll help you level up your finances.

5. Run multiple Ads

Reality is you’re not selling your product or service to a small number of people with the same interests and behaviors.  The problem is, if you create a Facebook advert that tries to accommodate all your customer’s needs and interests, it won’t work.

You have to segment your customers. Create multiple Adverts, with different visuals and copy, for different smaller target audiences. This way you get better engagement, conversions and better ROI (Return on investment).

It important to note that different people will buy your product/service or walk into your place of business for different reasons. This essentially means that your approach to selling to them needs to be different.

You need to speak to them differently and accommodate their different needs. You do that by running different Ads targeting different people within your area.

Multiple Ads will also help you see what approach works best for your business. Different visuals and Ad copy will get different results, some will perform better than others. This will help you decide where to optimize, tweak and invest more of your advertising money for even better results.

6. Invest more money and stay ahead

Local small businesses are not investing enough money on Facebook. A weebly survey on American small business owners indicated that 82% of them have spent less than $50 (R 835.00) advertising on Facebook. More than half of them have never spend money advertising on Facebook.

I can’t imagine South African having a better stat than the USA, come to think of it, rarely if not never, have I ever seen a local business advert on my Facebook feed. Most small business owners still rely on their Facebook page’s organic reach which does not result to anything since a single post reaches about 2% of your total followers.

Invest in your business’s growth and stay ahead of your competition.

Final word

Facebook advertising works, that why many businesses use it. The problem is the people who need to be taking advantage of the platform -local and small businesses, are not using it, if they are using it, they are not doing it right.

Advertising your local business on Facebook can change everything for you. You will gain loyal paying customers and reach more people at a cheaper price. On top of that you will stay ahead of your competition since they’re also not taking advantage of Facebook paid Ads.

Educate yourself on it, invest time and money into making it work. Develop a strategy, target the right audiences with the right messages and will start seeing positive business performance and growth.

Similar Posts