Unleash the Power of Geotargeting for Your Facebook Ads

Opinion: Increase the ROI of your social campaigns by thinking local

Your costs can be lower when you stay away from national campaigns
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From sponsored content on Facebook and Instagram to curated Stories on Snapchat, social media advertising is growing and infiltrating almost every virtual corner of smart devices.

According to Invesp, total social ad revenue is expected to reach $15 billion this year, and more than one-half of that total involves mobile social media advertising, with geotargeting fueling its growth.

Facebook understands the revenue opportunity of its platform and gives marketers a wealth of insights into their current and potential customers.

Roy Morejon, president and co-founder of Enventys Partners, a vertically integrated product-development, crowdfunding and digital marketing agency, suggests using these insights and Facebook ads to build audiences that look exactly like your current customers. This approach leverages your marketing budget and creates more meaningful reach.

Today, more companies, brands and platforms are recognizing the value of integrating geotargeting into social media advertising campaigns. According to Lathan Fritz, local sales expert, big data geomarketing thought leader and founder of sales funnel agency Amerisales, there are numerous benefits to adding geotargeting to your Facebook ad campaigns. By specifically targeting a demographic based on location, companies experience increased returns on their social media advertising investments. This success comes from more precise targeting of an ad’s intended audience—something that is made even easier thanks to the ability to add geotargeting to previous Facebook posts.

No need for national campaigns

Your costs can be lower when you stay away from national campaigns that take a more shotgun approach to your social media advertising efforts. Instead, geotargeting will enable you to conduct regional-, state- and city-level campaigns that will improve your results. That’s because this approach helps to tighten your campaign’s boundaries around your company’s physical location.

For example, say you have a clinic in Des Moines, Iowa. Someone looking at your social media advertising in California isn’t likely to come to your clinic. A geotargeted campaign would help you find social media users that need your clinic and live in your area. And if you have multiple locations, you can run geotargeted social media ads in each area where you want to increase your customer base.

Get in the right neighborhood

Beyond the city level, your geotargeting on Facebook can further narrow your targeted customers to within miles. For example, a fairly standard radius is 10 miles and closer when you’re targeting a specific product or service in a particular vicinity. If you’re in a more rural setting, you can expand that radius to 20 or 25 miles. Urban areas like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York are targeted within one mile.

The result of these geotargeting efforts is your best advertising spend and the most targeted leads possible.

Knowing where your ads hit home

In creating targeted social ad campaigns, getting to the right location is part of it. Geotargeting clearly does that. However, geotargeting also provides a better understanding of how the people within those areas actually respond.

For example, it’s important to look at the response based on urban, suburban or rural locations. Someone living in northern Indiana may consider driving 25 miles to your store to be no big deal. Most customers or prospects could make the drive in less than half an hour and, therefore, they will visit your store. However, if the prospects live in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, they aren’t going to want to go to your store in Wrigleyville because that’s going to take 50 minutes.

You want to make sure you aren’t even advertising to those users, because it’s irrelevant to the return on investment you want to achieve from your Facebook ad campaign.

By combining geotargeting with other types of user data (e.g., age, gender, languages, interests, connections), you’ll be able to hone in on the exact persona that would buy your product or service.

Greater overall engagement

We’ve seen what geotargeted ads can do for marketers, but consider the benefits users receive from geotargeted Facebook ads in their News Feeds.

Because these ads are relevant to their geographic area and interests, they are getting information about products and services they really want, which increases the likelihood of them paying attention to ads in general. If only all marketers geotargeted.

Furthermore, when these users travel to other parts of the country or world, geotargeting allows them to receive updated Facebook ads, making ads a convenience, rather than a nuisance.

Catherine Howell, founder and CEO of Eight Loop Social, explained that traditional geotargeting can now be used with Facebook ads to target areas beyond a store’s geographical radius, which gives marketers a lot more flexibility in attracting visitors and allows users to learn about brands they might not have otherwise heard of—brands that they will be excited to hear about because they will be not only interest-relevant, but location-relevant.