Imagine sitting on a bench and scrolling through your Facebook news feed. You come across an ad for “Matt’s Pizza Parlor”, and start wondering why that business sounds so familiar. You then look up from your phone and realize that Matt’s Pizza Parlor is right across the street. Your inability to turn down a delicious slice takes over, and you become a Matt’s Pizza Parlor customer for life. Was this ad on your news feed just a coincidence? Maybe in the past, but not anymore. Facebook is revolutionizing the paid media industry with their newest advertising tool, Local awareness ads.
Local awareness ads allow businesses to target nearby customers via their mobile devices. If a Facebook user has “Location Services” enabled on their mobile device, local awareness ads will use geotargeting to appear on a user’s news feed when they are within a certain radius of the business. This service will change the way that brick and mortar businesses advertise online. Rather than simply targeting Facebook users that live within a certain zip code, advertisers can reach individuals when they are on-the-go and physically within a 1 mile radius of the business.
Facebook has made their new tool easy to use, as it does not stray far from the process used to make a traditional news feed ad. Just submit the page or URL that you wish to advertise, type in the address of your business, select the radius in which you wish to target, choose other segmentation options such as age and gender, choose your budget, and start building your ad! There is even a map that visualizes the areas your ad will reach. The local awareness advertising tool was announced in early October and is currently live!
Another exciting feature that Facebook is introducing with local awareness ads is a new call-to-action feature. The new ads allow advertisers to include a “Get Directions” button as the call-to-action for their advertisement. For a brick and mortar store, a “Get Directions” call-to-action is the equivalent of “Buy Now” for an online shop. This feature will route users directly to the business location on their smartphone. It is hard to think of a better call-to-action to increase foot traffic for a brick and mortar store.
It’s easy to see that mobile matters, and any business that doesn’t take advantage of mobile marketing is missing out on an enormous market. Facebook had over 700 million daily active mobile-users in the last quarter alone. At this rate, the amount of users browsing Facebook on mobile devices will soon exceed those using desktops. Facebook’s reported earnings for last quarter reveal that mobile advertising now accounts for two-thirds of the company’s revenue.
Expect these current location-based mobile ads to become a trend in the digital marketing industry. Brick and mortar stores that have previously deemed online ads irrelevant to their niche, no longer have an excuse to ignore online channels. A qualified lead that is within walking distance to your store is too valuable to pass up. Facebook’s local awareness ads should be a huge success, and other paid media players will be eager to jump on board.