Facebook Local Awareness Ads 101: How to Improve Your Reach & Get More Customers Starting Today (6 Examples)

by Stephanie Mialki in Facebook Advertising

Advertising campaigns are just one of the many duties local business owners are faced with everyday, which is why Facebook built a feature to help lighten their load. Originally called Facebook Local Awareness Ads — and now Facebook Reach Ads — this unique ad format is designed to make advertising for local businesses easier and (ultimately) more effective.

What are Facebook Local Awareness Ads?

Local Awareness Ads are shown to Facebook and Instagram users when they’re physically near one of your locations. Still used for the same purpose, they were renamed Reach Ads in April 2017 because they maximize the number of people who see your ads and how often:

Facebook Local Awareness Ads campaign example

These campaigns are similar to Page Likes campaigns in that they both expand reach. However, with Local Awareness Ads vs. Page Likes Ads, the former is meant to increase foot traffic, while the latter is for increasing Facebook traffic and follower count.

With the name change, it also brought about:

  • Targeting around multiple addresses if you operate more than one business location
  • The ability to include/exclude people by location, demographics, interests, and behaviors
  • Targeting by languages and connections
  • Advanced scheduling and budget control
  • More formats
  • Additional CTA buttons

Since these ads raise awareness among people close to a business’ geographic location, they’re ideal for those who run a restaurant, cafe, store, bar, or any kind of brick-and-mortar business with a physical address.

You should know…

Local Awareness Ads were built with privacy in mind, which is why advertisers select locations for targeting with these ads, rather than specific individuals. Facebook doesn’t tell advertisers which specific people are in any audience, and people have complete control over the recent location information they share with Facebook. They only see ads based on their recent location if location services are enabled on their phone.

How to use Local Awareness Ads on Facebook

To raise awareness, you can choose to maximize your reach or impressions for the entire duration of the campaign, set frequency controls for how many times a person sees your ad, and control the minimum number of days between each ad impression.

However, Facebook found that when it comes to driving in-store sales, ad reach is far more impactful than engagement.

So as a result of increased awareness, Facebook Reach Ads also help boost foot traffic and sales by enabling businesses to:

  • Highlight promotions
    Tell people about an offer you have, like a flash sale, holiday giveaway, or happy hour special. Give locals an incentive to visit your physical business location.
  • Speak to locals
    Is your business somehow connected to your location? Make it known. Tell a story about your business’s roots and share about any localized products or services.
  • Make human connections
    Share your business’ backstory — or any of its unique qualities — to make it easy for people to connect with your mission and offerings.

In addition to these specific ways to advertise with Local Awareness Ads, there are some best practices to keep in mind.

7 Tips for Facebook Local Awareness Ads (with examples)

1. Start with relevant and powerful copywriting

Facebook ad copy should always be persuasive, exciting, and entertaining. It should also match your visual to increase relevance, response rate, and ROI. Anyone viewing your ad should have no question about what you’re offering and what action to take:

Facebook Local Awareness Ads copywriting example

Also, it should be precise and straightforward so it doesn’t confuse or complicate the message. Your copy’s purpose is to convince people to take action — not impress them with your vocabulary. So be sure to write in a way that your audience can easily understand the offer.

Note: Text on images should be avoided, or at least limited, because your ad may not reach its full audience if the proportion of text to image is too high.

2. Take advantage of Facebook retargeting

Facebook retargeting is one of the best ways to re-engage visitors who leave your site before converting by showing them a customized ad that convinces them to convert:

Facebook Local Awareness Ads retargeting

With these ads, you engage with people who have already had an interaction with your brand in the past, such as…

  • Previous website visitors
  • Previous customers
  • Current email subscribers

This is key because they’re already familiar with your brand and their potential to convert is much higher than those who haven’t interacted with you yet.

3. Leverage video

People are consuming more and more Facebook video content on a regular basis, so if you’re not using video with ads, you’re missing out.

Not only that but Facebook video ads can be even more effective than image ads by:

  • Starting strong — People usually leave within the first few seconds of a video if it doesn’t interest them, so capture their attention immediately. The first 10 seconds can either make or break your video.
  • Being authentic — Facebook is a place where people want to connect to people, so even as a brand, your video ads should still feel personal and approachable. Speak directly to your prospects and customers and deliver content that is real, genuine, and relatable.
  • Using vertical videos — Most people hold their phones vertically, so you’ll cover more of their screen by using a vertical or square aspect ratio.

4. Follow Facebook local awareness ads specs

  • Recommended image size: 1200 X 628
  • Image ratio: 1:9:1
  • Ad text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Description: 30 characters
  • Placement: Desktop newsfeed, mobile newsfeed, right column

5. Choose the best CTA

There are four CTA buttons available with Facebook Local Awareness Ads, and all of which can be very effective in generating foot traffic, gaining customers, and boosting sales:

Get Directions
This CTA is most ideal for driving foot traffic, since it helps prospects find the physical location of your store from their phone:

Facebook Local Awareness Ads CTA example

Call Now
The call now button allows you to speak directly to potential customers in your area by letting them call you with one tap (like a click-to-call button):

Facebook Local Awareness Ads call now example

Send Message
The send message CTA option helps you generate leads by enabling prospects to send private messages directly from your ad:

Learn More
When prospects click this CTA button, it sends them directly to your website or post-click landing page where they can learn more about your business or offer:

Facebook Local Awareness Ads learn more example

6. Track and measure campaign performance

After running a Facebook Reach Ad, be sure to track its performance and evaluate key metrics (reach and frequency) to understand how many people viewed your ads and how often.

The reach objective measures cost per 1,000 people reached to help you understand how much it costs to show people your ads. Plus, the frequency metric can help you decide whether people saw your ads often enough to have an impact.

Note: Consider how familiar your audience is with your brand or product. If they’re aware of your brand already, they don’t need to see your ads as frequently. If they’re unfamiliar with your brand, you may want to show ads more often.

7. Split test your ads

To run profitable Facebook ad campaigns, it’s important to A/B test before investing too much money into them. This allows you to discover what ads are performing well, and which ones are not.

Facebook supports this with their in-built split testing feature, and encourages advertisers to test the following elements:

  • Creative
  • Copy
  • Headline
  • Ad type
  • Target audience
  • CTA
  • Offer

Keep in mind, with each ad variation you split test, gives you more insight into ad messaging that resonates with your audience (and better campaign results). So, the more ad variations you test, the better.

Get more store traffic with Facebook Reach Ads

If you’re a local business owner needing more brand awareness, foot traffic, and sales, Reach ads are something to invest in. Reach users when they’re near one of your locations and get them in the doors by following the best practices listed above.

For help selecting additional ads, designing them, and earning the click, download the Instapage Ad Specs Guide. Inside is complete with all dimensions, file formats, sizes and everything else to create compelling ads across all platforms and devices.

Digital Advertising Ad Specs Guide from Instapage

Get Visual Examples of All Major Ad Formats on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More.

Review ad specs, learn best practices & see examples. All in one place.

Stephanie Mialki

by Stephanie Mialki

Stephanie Mialki is a digital marketing professional with expertise in ecommerce trends, landing pages, journalism, and mass communication.

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