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Facebook has recently announced the coming addition of Local Awareness Ads. This new ad unit, to be rolled out to all users in the coming weeks, will allow SMBs to target ads to specific locations around their business. The first question that crossed my mind was – How is this different from using the location features in Facebook’s existing ad structure?
It’s quite different, and much smarter than running standard ads where you simply define a location range. Facebook Awareness Ads will take your business location from your page, or allow you to define your address, and you’ll choose a radius of miles in which to display your ad. Facebook’s algos take it from there and find the people in that location range to show the ad.
At present, the way one would serve a location-based campaign would be to pick a location from Facebook’s list based on city/zip code. How precise this targeting would be location-wise is far less exact than it will be with Awareness Ads. With the new ad unit, location will be the physical location of the user at the time the ad is served, based on location settings on their phone, provided they have them enabled. Additionally, a new “Get Directions” Call to Action is available. This should prove to be a valuable CTA given its immediacy and specific localization. So the difference between jerry-rigging old “location-based” ads and having the precision and CTAs of Awareness Ads is quite pronounced and creates a new host of advantages for localized SMB campaigns.
To me, the most exciting aspect of these ads will be using ad scheduling in conjunction with them. We don’t know yet if there will be a specific ad scheduling feature for awareness ads, but as it stands, Ad Scheduling through Power Editor should allow for targeting ads locally, as well as at specific times. For example, if you’re a local pizza place, you might choose to set your awareness ads at lunch and dinner time, without spending impressions at times not as prime for your business. Or, if you’re looking more for branding and fan acquisition, you can choose to use the “Like Page” call to action and run your ads continuously, gaining page fans and awareness of your location in the neighborhood.
This gives Facebook yet another in-road to territory previously occupied only Google. SMBs should see fewer wasted impressions and more effective ROI with Local Awareness Ads.
Will you be taking advantage of these new ad units when they roll out? Let us know your thoughts!