No matter what sort of local business or establishment you operate, you need to have people coming through your door. You may think that you cannot compete with major firms when it comes to promotion and marketing, but you don’t need to. Social platforms allow you to advertise on a minimal budget; they give you freedom to turn the budget on and off and there is the social benefit of people talking about your brand. Word of mouth is hugely important for local businesses and you want to make sure that your name or brand is known by local people.
A great reason for local businesses to use Facebook advertising comes with the fact that you know where your audience is. This removes a lot of the targeting work you would have to do to reach your audience, because your audience is around you.
For many areas, Facebook even provides an objective based around local businesses. There is also the bonus of being able to put in a specific street address and then make changes to the radius of your reach from that address.
You can place your business location directly at the heart of your advertising campaign and there are options about the people you uncover with your campaign:
- You can target people who live in the location (according to their Facebook profile information)
- You can focus on people who have recently been in the area
- You can even focus on people who are travelling in your specified radius
This is good to have because some firms are looking for different people. It may be that you are focusing on the tourist market as opposed to local residents or your main customer base is people who work in the local area as opposed to people who live close to you. Being able to differentiate between these groups of people improves your chances of reaching the people you really want to reach.
Being able to split your audience even allows you to create different offers. You may want to target local residents with a bonus or campaign that encourages loyalty and return visits while your focus on visitors or tourists is just to get them in the door and get a good review from them.
Call out to your audience
Facebook can be a busy place and if you want people to stop and pay attention to what you say, it is best to give them a reason to stop; which means calling out to them. If your ad copy contains the name of their city, people are going to pay attention because the ad will be a lot more relevant to them.
If you are running an advert reaching out to a local audience, make sure you state the name of your town or city in your advert. You don’t get a lot of time to connect with people on Facebook so make sure that you give yourself the best chance of being found by the people you want to be found, and this means calling out your audience.
Boost posts that your audience will have an interest in
If you have a special offer or you sell products or provide services that you believe people will have an interest in, make sure you tell people about them. If you are a local bar or restaurant that has a happy hour, you need to make sure that people know about this offer. If you are a bakery and you serve cupcakes that have a local twist, make sure your audience is aware of what you offer.
There will be products or services that you sell that are at the heart of your business, and it is of benefit to let people know what you do. If you are a restaurant, post your menu. If you are a bar, let people see what beers you have on draught or what wine or sprits you sell. If you are a shoe store, let people see your stock of shoes.
You can also take reviews and testimonials from existing customers and share them with your audience. Boosting these posts into your local community will spread the word and it should provide you with feedback as to what your community thinks about your offerings.
Create An Event
If you are a local store with a local presence, you want people coming to your store, and a great way to achieve this is to create an event. Hosting a party or celebration is a fantastic way to get people to visit you, to talk about you and this can create a positive atmosphere around your store. This means you should set a date and time for your event and then start inviting people along. Once people start that they are coming along or that they are interested, this information shows up on their friends’ timelines which ensures that news of your business and your event spreads. When it comes to word of mouth, this is exactly what a local business should be looking for.
While the event is important, give people other reasons to come along rather than just the event itself. You may want to give away free food, drinks or even offer discounted prices. You may want to create a themed event that will appeal to certain people.
Running a free or discounted promotion alongside your event, perhaps using the event as the starting point for your promotion, is a fantastic way to increase awareness about what you do and to drive traffic to your store. If you are a company that can benefit from customer loyalty (such as a dentist practice or clothing store), it is often worth running a campaign that only breaks even, or even suffers a minimal loss, in the first run if it will help you gain customers or clients who will return to you time and time again.
You should ask yourself, am I willing to offer a discount or give away something for free in order to gain a customer who buys from me time and time again? Most firms will think this is a suitable approach if it helps them find customers who will use them over and over again.
Post content that is of value to your local audience
Offering content that is of interest to your local audience is a fantastic way to reach them and grab their attention. You will find that creating adverts that direct people to your content is a tremendous way of placing focus on your brand and increasing awareness of who you are and why they should buy from you. Promoting this style of content is less about selling in the here and now, it is more about positioning yourself as an expert in your field and a company that a firm should have a long term relationship.
If you are a Personal Trainer, you want your clients to be confident that the guidance and advice they receive from you is of a high standard. Linking towards your content allows people to learn about you and see what your thoughts on key topics are. No matter what role you have, you can showcase your credentials and indicate your passion for what you do. If you are a dog walker, talking about your love of dogs and your experiences of caring for them will have a more positive long term impact than just another advert.
So, Facebook advertising is a fantastic option for local businesses, and remember these key points:
- Use the name of your town or city in the post
- Give people a reason to take action or come and see you
- Always offer value with your posts
If you follow these tips, you should find that Facebook advertising is a brilliant way to inform people about what you do.