Why you’re missing a trick if you aren’t using Facebook ads for your local business

Many local businesses are intrigued by Facebook advertising but are put off by the potential for failure. Uncertainty about costs and profitability cause business owners to hesitate, but you don’t need a substantial marketing budget to make a success of Facebook ads.

How your local business can use Facebook to increase ROI

Facebook is without a doubt the most cost-effective paid-for marketing platform for your local business.

I’ve worked with budgets of less than £10 a day and generated sales worth 10-times as much by running a few targeted campaigns. Of course, smaller budgets have their limitations, so it’s worth doing your research to get an idea of what the average costs are for your industry (start with CPC and CPA). If in doubt, ask the experts – that’s what we’re here for after all.

Whether you provide local services such as hairdressing or dentistry, or you sell products that are typically bought locally (such as gas fires or furniture), over 40 million people in the UK use Facebook – that’s over 60% of the total UK population, which includes new-borns and centenarians!

It should come as no surprise then that millions of businesses use Facebook ads to drive more sales, leads and web traffic (to name a few). So how can your business take advantage of the platform to attract new customers and increase ROI?

Define your objectives

The first step to formulating any good paid social strategy is to firmly pin-point its purpose; what are you aiming to achieve through running Facebook ads? Here are some common metrics we often base our KPIs on:

  • Revenue
  • ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)
  • Lead Volume
  • CPC
  • Reach
  • CPA
  • Video Views

If you want to generate local awareness, opt for a campaign with the Brand Awareness or Reach objective in Facebook Ads Manager. If driving web traffic is your main priority, a Traffic campaign will do just that for the lowest CPC. Want more sales or leads? Choose a Conversions campaign. Remember, you’re likely to have multiple objectives, so use multiple campaign types simultaneously for the most powerful social strategy.

Build your audiences

As an agency that prides itself on taking an audience-first approach to each and every one of our digital marketing strategies (from paid search to SEO and content marketing), we can’t emphasise enough how much your audiences will dictate the overall success of your Facebook campaign.

Thankfully, Facebook provides amazingly precise audience targeting, so as long as you have a good idea of who your typical customer is, or have a location in mind, the world is your oyster.

Important: If you have a website, remember to install a Facebook Pixel as soon as possible. This will enable you to not only track micro and macro conversions, such as landing page views, email sign ups, add to carts and purchases from your ads, it will also give you the opportunity to retarget people who have visited your website, and unlock more audience options, such as Lookalike Audiences based on website visitors.

3 simple audiences you can’t afford not to target as a local business:

  • Location, location, location

Target everyone within 1 or more miles of your business, or people who live in a whole town or city. Facebook even gives you the option to type in a postcode and drop a pin over a precise spot, which is perfect if you want to generate brand awareness in a local area.

  • Friends of page likes

We often have lots in common with our friends and family, so targeting friends of people who already like your page may be worth a try. This will work best if you already have at least 500 page likes currently. Since the average number of friends Facebook users have is 338, that’s around another 169,000 people you can advertise to who may be interested in your products or services.

If you’re just starting out on Facebook and don’t have many page likes, why not opt for a Page Likes campaign to grow your following first?

  • Competitors

Facebook allows you to target people who have shown an interest in your competitors with interest-based audiences. Unfortunately, it won’t recognise smaller businesses in your area, but there are other ways to get around this.

3. Expand your creative assets

In my experience, local businesses often struggle with producing high quality imagery and video for their social campaigns, either because they sell services that are difficult to capture visually, or because they depend on photographs of clients or customers (who can be unwilling).

If you’re determined to try Facebook advertising (which we wholeheartedly recommend you do) then investing some of your budget initially into expanding your creative assets will pay dividends in the long run for your social campaigns.

Familiarise yourself with the numerous Facebook ad formats here, keep in mind the devices you want to advertise on, and research the 20% text rule before you instruct any designers.

Considering Facebook advertising for your business?

Whilst you don’t need a substantial marketing budget to make a success of Facebook ads, it takes time and expertise to get it right from the get-go. Return’s paid social team have years of experience building and optimising campaigns for the best return on investment. And we’re a friendly bunch – let’s not forget that!

Give us a call today and start growing your business with Facebook ads.




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