Facebook Targets Local Businesses

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 08 Oct, 2014

Facebook is helping businesses better reach local audiences, thanks to the launch of a new advertisement option. 

The new ad option, dubbed local awareness ads, enables businesses to deliver targeted ads to groups of people who are within a certain proximity to the business's brick-and-mortar store. According to Facebook's announcement, these ads are more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper, as well as offer more precise targeting and a larger reach.

To leverage the new ad option, local businesses must select the "Local Awareness" campaign type within the Ads Create tool. Then, users must select the Page they want to promote, enter their business's address and the radius around the address where the advertisements will run (such as an area within one mile of a business). Once these steps are completed, a map will show users the area where the ad will run.

Advertisers are also required to select the age and gender of their audience, as well as set a budget and duration for their campaign. Facebook will then show advertisers how many people they can expect to reach each day their ad runs. Before the ads are published, however, advertisers must also include imagery and text for their campaign. Plus, they can add a call-to-action button to their ads, such as a "Get Directions" button.

"Our conversations with advertisers have shown that when it comes to driving in-store sales, an ad's reach is far more important than the engagement it receives (things such as clicks, comments or likes)," the Facebook announcement states. "So we've designed local awareness ads to help businesses reach the most people possible in an area."

According to the social network, the local awareness ad option will be rolling out to advertisers in the US in the coming weeks, and should be made available globally in the coming months.