Just when you thought The Big Blue lifted all prospects out of its ad targeting world, Facebook officially launched its new ‘Local Awareness Ads’ to help advertisers create ads targeting a hyper-local audience “at the lowest possible cost.”
Local Awareness ads are rolling out to US Facebook advertisers “over the coming weeks” and worldwide “in the coming months.” In addition to enabling marketers to target users physically present nearby, it will allow SMBs to find new customers by displaying ads to groups of people in the locality.
In a post on Facebook for Business page, the company adds users’ privacy is protected, and locations can only be selected by brands, not specific individuals, and users only get to see ads based on their locations if they have enabled ‘location services’ on their mobile devices. These ads can serve as a basis to let businesses take nearby audience on a transformative journey that results in transactions.
“Local awareness ads are built to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper while offering more precise targeting and greater reach,” Facebook explains. “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.”
How to create a Local Awareness Ad
Launch the Ads Create tool, choose ‘Local Awareness’, and select the business page you want to promote. ‘Advanced advertisers’ will be able to access the feature in the API, though there is no word on when all advertisers will be given access.
The tool will then ask for the business address if it’s not already there on your business page; it will be filled in automatically if listed. The tool will then ask the radius around which you want to advertise, and then display a map of the area covered by your ad; the radius can be adjusted according to the advertiser’s preferences.
Facebook is going to use this information to find an audience based on people walking by, living nearby, or were recently present near your business location.
Next, you are prompted to select the age and gender of your audience and select a budget and duration for your ad, just like as you do when creating normal Facebook ads. Facebook then gives you a number of people the ads will reach each day and how much it is going to cost.
Lastly, you are required to enter an image and text line for the ad; and there is an option to add a call-to-action button before the ad is sent to Facebook for approval, such as a ‘like page’ or ‘get directions.’
Who is going to benefit?
Users control location services on their mobile devices, so if Android phone users switch off location services for Facebook, they won’t be seeing these ads. That said, it would be great for Facebook users to discover local businesses and take advantage of offers, promotions, price cuts, new product launches, etc.
These ads will also be used by third-parties for creating and managing ad campaigns on behalf of Facebook. And these intermediaries will tremendously benefit when it comes to profit.
Geographic location based on GPS signals in devices have already been introduced by Google advertisements, but Facebook adding mobile location data will drive the social giant towards the goal that many companies have been trying to reach – the delivery of contextually relevant ads.
The bottom line? By reaching people within a few meters of a business, advertisers and marketers may be able to drive foot traffic that leads to actual conversions.
What are your thoughts on Local Awareness Ads? Feel free to leave comments.