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Using Local Awareness Ads To Drive And Track In-Store Traffic

Facebook’s June 2016 update to Local Awareness Ads takes measuring the effectiveness of online advertising to the next level.

The addition of the Store Visits metric is one of the first ways advertisers have moved to address the age-old question How to measure the real impact of an ad campaign on store visits and sales?

Seeing statistics on how many people come into the store can tell you if your ad is having its intended effect. The new “Store Visits” metric within the Ad Reporting tool will be game-changing.

Keep on reading; we’ll examine this and other updates and show you how to set up a Local Awareness ad.

Advertisers follow an Advertising Cycle that determines how they use advertising techniques to optimize their campaigns and reach as many potential customers as possible.

Up until now, Local Awareness Ads had features that addressed the “Audience Targeting” and “Ad Distribution” elements of the cycle to get people to the store. These features include:

The newest update moves to the next step in the cycle. Once customers actually visit your store, you need a way to see what got them there and what appealed to them in-store. Then use that information to improve your ad campaign.

While these measurements and estimations won’t be 100% accurate as they can only use data from users with location enabled, it is a step in the right direction towards truly learning the impact of your Facebook advertisements.

Newest Updates That Can Get You New Customers And Make You More Money

Facebook’s latest features address the “Store Visits” element of the Advertising Cycle. They help increase visits as well as collect data to be used for further ad optimization.

“Store Visits” Metric

The new “Store Visits” metric within the Ad Reporting tool gives business owners estimates of how many actual store visits the ad is driving.

It has always been difficult to measure the real impact of advertising but with this new metric, advertisers can:

Facebook has been testing the feature with a few advertisers including French retailer E.Leclerc. E.Leclerc used local awareness ads to reach 1.5 million people within 10km of their store. They analyzed foot traffic data and saw that approximately 12% of clicks on their Ad were followed by a store visit within 7 days.

How Can You Use It?

Monitoring the correlation between ad views and store visits can help determine what actually works. You can see which ads are the most successful at bringing in customers and which appeal to what customer demographics.

Showing the most effective ads in the right location, age and gender groups can increase your store visits. This, in turn, will increase the data you can analyze, setting up a positive feedback loop.

Native Store Locator

The native store locator works to reduce friction by helping customers find and navigate to the nearest store location without ever leaving the ad itself.

A map of all nearby locations is shown, and customers can click to see information on these locations displayed in the Map Card as well as directions and travel time to the store.

How Can You Use It?

This feature is especially useful if you have multiple locations. It does away with the need to open a new Maps app to find all the store locations before the user can get directions to the closest one. Instead, by opening right in the ad, it reduces friction to bring more customers to the store.

Offline Conversions API

To measure how much money you’re really making from your ads, Facebook developed Offline Conversions API. This allows businesses to:

Argentinian appliance retail store Fravega used Offline Conversions API to determine that every dollar of advertising was bringing in an additional $2.20 of in-store revenue. They used this data to optimize their advertising investment and ramp up their advertisement campaign.

How Can You Use It?

You can use Offline Conversions API to see which customers purchased which products. Optimizing your ads to show these products to the target audience can directly increase revenue by advertising to those who already have your product and might come back for more. You can also target members of your audience similar to your regular customers as they will also likely be interested in your product.

How Does It Work?

While these updates are still in testing, here’s how you can get started getting used to using Local Awareness Ads so that you can jump right in with the new features when they are released.

Here’s how to set up a Local Awareness ad:

  1. The marketing objective of Local Awareness ads is to reach people near where your business is located that could actually visit your store.
  2. Your audience radius is set with your exact address as the center, and can be targeted for a specific age range and gender. This gives an approximate number of people you’ll reach.
  3. To provide a map for people to find your business, choose “Get Directions” as your Call-To-Action, and input your store address. This displays a map within the ad with Google Maps directions to your front door.
  4. Now that your ad is up, you can use the Store Visits metric to track how many people come to the store after seeing an ad campaign. You can even compare results across different store locations.

These features are easy to use but very powerful for businesses.

Changing The Advertising Game

Though these features are not publicly available yet, there is no doubt that they will have a huge impact.

The only downside of Local Awareness Ads is that other than location, you can still only target by gender and age. Having the ability to use demographic information from the “Store Visits” metric to further narrow down the target audience would make your local ads even more powerful. However, the inclusion of more sophisticated targeting is bound to happen soon as Facebook’s other ad campaign options have more detailed methods available.

This update provides a great tool to collect real data on how your ad campaign is directly bringing business to your front door. What do you think?