With the aim of making advertising easier for local businesses, Facebook introduced local awareness ads in the US in October 2014, and rolled them out to the UK and other territories last summer. Local Awareness is one of Facebook’s campaign objectives; it can target people when they are within a certain distance of a store if they have location services enabled on their device.
In a recent article from Facebook, they outlined eight reasons these ads can benefit businesses:
- Encourage consumers to shop in store
- Increase local brand awareness
- Help specific stores meet their sales targets
- Tell consumers about new store locations and grand openings
- Get the right individuals to your event
- Tell consumers in the area about current events
- Build buzz by rallying local communities
- Spread the word about local promotions
With mobile advertising becoming increasingly important, it is not surprising that Facebook is rolling out new features in this area. Since the launch of local awareness ads, Facebook has introduced new call-to-action options in addition to the ‘Get Directions’, ‘Learn More’ and ‘Like Page’ buttons originally available. These include a ‘Call Now’ button and a ‘Send Message’ button, enabling customers and businesses to connect immediately.
On the 6th November, Facebook announced two new developments: Multiple Store Locations and Local Insights.
Multiple Store Locations
This feature makes Local Awareness campaigns easier for businesses with numerous stores. Advertisers using the Locations for Pages tool to manage multiple store Pages will be able to target individuals who are near any one of their stores, and serve them with a location-specific ad.
There are three main benefits:
- Customers are shown highly relevant ads: based on the information from the store Pages, location-specific ad copy, links and call-to-action buttons can be inserted into the ad.
- Simpler ad targeting: businesses can choose which stores to show ads for using the addresses attached to their store Pages.
- Performance Analytics: Advertisers will also be able to analyse the performance of each store using location-specific ad reports.
In addition, Facebook augmenting the Page Insights section; a Local Insights tab will be coming out soon. This tool uses data from devices with location services enabled to show overall demographics and trends relating to users near a store. It allows businesses to find out:
- The area’s busiest times of day and days of the week
- Demographics of the people nearby (such as age, gender, tourists and local residents)
- The percentage of people nearby who have seen the ad
These trends will help advertisers form a balance between reaching a larger percentage of people nearby and accomplishing their goals by targeting the right people at the right time.
Facebook says: “Updates to Local Awareness Ads are now available globally through the API and will soon be available in Power Editor. Local insights are rolling out to Pages in the US starting today and over the coming weeks.”
The Multiple Store Locations feature as well as Local Insights will not only support businesses with local advertising, they support Facebook’s growing mobile advertising revenue which made up 78% of its total ad revenue in Q3 of 2015.
However, according to a recent survey by mobile location network Skyhook Wireless, nearly 40% of mobile users are hesitant to share their location data due to privacy concerns, not seeing the value in doing so, or battery drainage. As a result, 18% have location services turned off for all their apps and 20% disable location services to avoid ads. Only 25% of those surveyed keep location services turned on for notifications, despite 83% saying that they thought location services are important.
We don’t foresee deactivated location services being detrimental to campaign performance at the moment as advertisers are still reaching individuals with hyper targeted and relevant advertisements. This means while you may be reaching fewer consumers, the impact of these ads will be greater.