By Sreeram Sreenivasan

Facebook Advertising Platform provides tons of amazing ways for businesses to reach their target customers, engage with them meaningfully and build their brand online. Although big companies like Nike and Coca-Cola extensively use Facebook Ads to promote their businesses, what about the local businesses? Here are five actionable Facebook Ad tips that local businesses can use to get new customers and drive more revenues.

1. Define a Marketing Goal

Why do you want to advertise on Facebook? Is it to increase your brand awareness? Do you want more likes for your Facebook Page? Do you want to drive more traffic to your local business website? Is it to drive more conversions? Once you have a marketing goal in place, you can easily pick a marketing objective for your Facebook Ad campaign and design highly customized Ads around it. In fact, Facebook Ad Platform supports up to 11 different marketing objectives to help you create almost every kind of advertising campaign.

2. Know Your Customers

This is perhaps the most important part of your Facebook Ad campaign. Facebook provides a wide range of targeting options to precisely define the target audience for your Ads. You can target users based on location, age, gender, languages, behavior, interests, and more. Within location-based targeting, you can specify your target audience by countries, states, cities, regions, provinces, zips and even within a few miles of an address.

For example, a small deli can target college students interested in sandwiches, within a 5-mile radius, by specifying this criteria when creating an advertisement. You can even retarget your existing customers or people who have previously interacted with your business. So it is crucial to know your customers to be able to effectively target them with your Ads.

3. Go Mobile

Just because you are a local business doesn’t mean you can’t try mobile ad marketing. Facebook has recently reported that 84% of its total ad revenue is from mobile ads. In fact, a vegetarian falafel restaurant “Just Falafel” in UAE wanted to build brand awareness and identify interested franchisers in targeted locations. So they created Mobile App Ads featuring photos & videos of their restaurants, food & customers, while announcing the opening of new branches. Guess what happened! They received more than 2,300 franchising requests from more than 73 different countries all over the world, and grew their Facebook fan base by a staggering 140%.

4. Design Visual Ads

Over the years, Facebook has evolved to favor visual content over text. You must have noticed how images and videos occupy a lot more screen space on users’ news feeds, than plain text posts. However, since there are already so many image-based Facebook Ads out there, it’s essential to design visual ads that stand out.

An amazing example of how local businesses can design visually engaging ads is that of Stine Home + Yard, a Louisiana based home improvement store. Home Improvement is a product category that people don’t really search for, or buy online. They just go to the nearest local store to buy what they need. Like most local businesses, Stine had spent a lot on local print & TV ads, and was looking for a more cost effective way to promote seasonal events and deals, and boost in-store sales.

So Stine created Facebook Ads for the Labor Day Weekend, featuring photos of customers with sales signs, images from company’s coupon book and a few promotional videos. With these Ads, they targeted people living within a 50 mile radius of their Louisiana store.

And it worked!

Stine Home + Yard saw an amazing 24% increase in in-store sales from Facebook, during the Labor Day Weekend alone.

5. Use an Ad Management Service

If you’re new to Facebook Ads, it’s advisable to use a Facebook Ad Management tool like AdEspresso, Qwaya, HootSuite Ads, or Wishpond to be able to easily create and manage multiple Facebook Ads for your business. Ad managers enable you to test multiple ad creatives for multiple target audiences, and understand the impact of each Ad campaign. They also provide detailed analytics about your Facebook Ads as well as landing pages – from the number of ad views to conversion rates. This will enable you to measure and optimize your Ad Campaign ROI.

Hopefully, these Facebook Ad tips will help you create high impact Facebook Ads for your local business.