How to Grow your Local Business with Facebook Ads

Congratulations on setting up your new business! Setting up your own business not only takes a lot of hard work, but it takes perseverance and incredible resilience to actually go through with it. However, while you deserve a lot of commendations for that, you must also remember that there’s still a long way to go. One of the first things that you need to keep in mind with your new business is the branding and marketing aspect. You may have the idea of the century and still fail to get any traction in the market if you don’t have a well-laid marketing plan to put into action.

To most people, loud and funky radio/TV ads, large billboards, vivid posters, flyers, and leaflets are the first things that pop into mind when they hear the word ‘marketing’. However, the game has changed and even the biggest brands in the market are now moving out of these traditional marketing strategies and going ‘digital’. While digital marketing is a new concept, I am sure you have heard of it if you are in the business world. ‘Digital Marketing’ is an umbrella term for a lot of marketing techniques- social media marketing is one of its most important wings. In the scope of this article, we are going to be talking about social media marketing- specifically through Facebook*.

With 196.5 million US citizens using Facebook in the year 2017; Facebook is the largest social media marketing channel not only in the US but in the world (Globally, 1.65 billion people use Facebook on a monthly basis)- making it one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. Regardless of which type of business you are in, whether you are a B2B or a B2C, which industry you are in, by promoting your local business with Facebook ads, you can make a difference. So folks, are you ready to grow your local business with Facebook Ads? Let’s get to it:

(1) You Need to Have a Page

Before you start to promote your local business with Facebook ads, you need to ensure that your business has a Facebook page. Opening up a Facebook page is super easy and you can do it within a few minutes. Having a page is mandatory while setting up ads because that’s where your advertisements are going to be sourced from.

(2) Create your First Ad

To get started with your first advertisement on Facebook and consequently, setting up your first ads manager account, you need to go to your home page, click on the drop-down button beside the ‘quick help’ button and click on ‘Create Adverts’ from the menu.

(3) Choosing Objectives

Once you have chosen that option, you will be redirected to a new window where you will be asked to choose the objectives for your new ad.

The first thing to notice and really grasp here is the fact that there are three main kinds of objectives for promoting your local business with Facebook ads. So let’s take a look at what these objectives are:

(1) Awareness: These objectives are here to generate an interest in your product or service.

- Brand Awareness: Opening a new store outlet for your business? Did you recently introduce a new line of products/services? If you did, this is the option for you. The brand awareness option is great for reaching out to hordes of people about your business and what it does.

- Reach: Want your ad to pop up to as many people as possible within your target demographic? If you do, this might be the option that you want.

(2) Consideration: As the name suggests, consideration is for people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.

- Traffic: Do you have a website that you would like more people to visit or an app that needs more downloads? Well, by setting traffic as your objective, you can do both!

- Engagement: Get more people to comment or like or share your advertisement (Or page post), or you can promote your page to increase the number of likes, you can also get people to claim an offer on your page or raise awareness about an event that you are hosting. Engagement is often noted to be a good strategy to grow any local business with Facebook ads by social media marketers.

- App Installs: Do you want to send people to an app store from which they can directly download your app? Well, through this option, you can do just that!

- Video Views: Do you have a video that speaks about your brand? Do you have a startup explainer video that you would like to promote? With this option, you can promote any and all videos that are acceptable on Facebook.

- Lead Generation: Are you a B2B? Do you want to collect lead information such as email addresses from people who are interested in your business? This option is just for you.

(3) Conversion: These entice people to become interested in your business to purchase or use your business’s product or the services that you are offering.

- Conversion: If you have a page with a lot of followers but a website with not so many visitors, you can use this option to make sure your page followers visit your website from time to time. Like the traffic option, you can use conversion to get more people to visit your website, Facebook app or mobile app.

- Product Catalog Sales: Show products from your product catalog based on your target audience base.

- Store Visits: If you have a store at a physical location that you would like more people to visit, this is what you need.

All these objectives may have different agendas, but when put together, these can help you grow your local business with Facebook ads.

(4) Setting Up Your Account

Once you have set your objective for the campaign, you will be required to set up your own account. For the sake of this article, the writer chose the campaign engagement, and the following information popped up:

Figure 1: Don’t fret if you chose different objectives, regardless of whichever objective you choose, you have to go through this process.

Once you proceed to create your own account, you will come across this option:

Set up your billing details accurately and continue.

(5) Targeting your Audience (The Basics)

Here’s the most important part of growing your local business with Facebook ads. Facebook ads are only a powerful marketing tool for your brand if you know how to set up your audience correctly. While Facebook has made it simple enough so that everyone can use it, this is also the part for which some big brands go over to marketing agencies.

The basic Facebook targeting section has the following options:

In this part, you will be required to set out where you want your ads to show and to whom, you can make your ads appear to people who live in a certain location, are traveling to a certain location, have recently been to a certain location or to everyone in a certain location.

Marking the location of where you want your ads to appear is very important when you are looking to grow your business with Facebook ads. Marking your locality on Facebook is very easy too. Just type in the name of the city you want your ad to appear to. For example, the writer here wanted his ads to show up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and thereby, typed that in and upon selecting the options Facebook set out, the location was marked.

Now suppose, you want to target a more specific set of audience for your ad, for instance, you want to target a specific region within the city, how do you do that? Real easy, so suppose, I wanted to set the ads in a specific region of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. So to set the location marker there, we just need to zoom in, select the region and mark the radius in kilometers inside which the ads will pop up.

You can also define the age group of your audience (The age group of the people you want to show your ads to), their gender and the languages they speak.

(6) Detailed Targeting

You will often hear that promoting your local business with Facebook ads can be a game changer and here’s one of the most important reasons for that. With Facebook ads, you can specify just who you want to target with your ads. You can categorize your target audience based on their job titles, interests, workplaces, schools, etc. So you can narrow down your targeting to the last bit. Going back to the example before, suppose I wanted to target out my ads to people who are CEOs, managers or executives of different companies and are interested in rare flowers.

This is what I would type in and set as a part of my detailed targeting process.

(7) Placements

One of the best parts of growing your local business with Facebook ads is the fact that you get to decide everything about the ads. Even to the extent of which device or platform (Android/iOS) they are going to be shown to.

Figure 2: The section marked placements is located right below the detailed targeting section.

If you mark the option with Automatic Placements, Facebook will use the best possible combination for your ad. However, if you choose the edit placements option, new sections will appear.

Figure 3: Click on the edit placements option to open this section.

For those of you who do not know, yes, you can display your Facebook ads on Instagram too! Consequently, you can control where on Facebook and Instagram you would like your ads to appear in.

You can also use advanced options to choose specific mobile devices and operating systems, you can even make sure that certain ads (Such as video ads) appear when they are connected to the Wifi.

If you think that your ads may be unsuitable for certain in-stream videos, you can opt those out as well.

(8) Budgeting and Scheduling

Another prolific part of growing your local business with Facebook ads is the fact that you get to budget and schedule your ads to perfection. With all the options that Facebook Ads manager gives you, you can really set the budget perfectly and make sure that it’s being scheduled to be shown right when you want it to be shown to your target audience base.

In the basic level, you can run ads continuously with a daily budget (Facebook will never spend more than the daily budget) and just turn off your ads when you want to. Or, you can set a start date and an end date for the ads by clicking on the other option.

(9) Selecting the Page & the Post

Can’t wait to start growing your own business with your Facebook Ads? Well, we are almost at the final stage here, proceeding from the previous section will open up a new window where you can choose the page from which you want to advertise out of, and select the post that you would like to boost.

You can also toggle between the previews to see how your ads are being shown on different devices.

If you are satisfied with the previews, you can set and place your order. You will be asked for your billing information, you can pay via Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex, Paypal, etc. Facebook will take its time to review the ads (Usually between 30–180minutes) and if they are all right as per Facebook Ads guidelines, they will be approved and you will receive a notification from Facebook.

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