Facebook has become a pay to play arena for businesses. Organic reach was good, but over the past couple years as more businesses crowd the platform and compete for attention it is less effective. But Facebook advertising offers a suitable and cost effective solution.

5 best ways to utilize Facebook Ads for a local business are ......

1. Targeting, Targeting, Targeting

You need to know or understand your target audience, if not, how can you target them? You can end up losing money.

Optimize your targeting based on what matters most to you and your business. Targeting based on interests, location, demographics, behaviors, etc.

Local businesses can refine their ads to run to an audience within a one-mile, 2 miles, 5 miles, etc radius of their exact address.

Depending on your business/product/service, targeting an audience close to your business will be more beneficial than trying to target a broad audience of millions. For example, if you’re a Baker with one location in Twickenham, it doesn’t make sense to advertise to people in Watford, because there is no ROI.

2. Run a “Likes” Campaign

This is a good first step if you’re a new business or new to FB ads. Likes are a vanity metric and it helps provide instant satisfaction, you can watch your Facebook fan numbers grow. The New Messenger Ads are much better. Check out Messenger Ads here. And you can contact your customers through their messenger App and follow up with offers. FanPage Service

3. Use Video in your Ads when appropriate

Posting native videos on Facebook is a must for current advertising climate. I stress native because you have to upload your video to Facebook itself to enable it to play within the newsfeed as opposed to linking to another platform (YouTube, Vimeo) or website – which Facebook frowns upon.

Facebook is competing with Youtube for video views. Facebook wants to keep their customers on their platform and not be sent to Youtube, Vimeo, etc. Keep videos as relevant and brief as possible while still ensuring you get your message across.

30 to 90 second video Ad is ideal to keep your audience’s attention without boring them.

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4. Create & Promote an Upcoming Event

If your business organizes celebrations, grand openings, gatherings, conferences, etc. Facebook will let you advertise and promote these events.

Events (demonstrations, show and tell, etc) on Facebook are easy to setup and target to your fans.

Local business events are a good opportunity to spread brand awareness through word of mouth. Offering prizes, coupons, gift cards, etc might bring in new casual fans. But don’t over do it.

You could also promote a public local event, like a Rugby match. Offer people going to the Twickenham Rugby stadium 15% Off their order on the day of the match. Most of the fans attending the match would not be locals and therefore, would not know the local area, and if your business’s Ad pops up on their Facebook Feed with a discount offer, there is a good chance a percentage of them will take up your discount offer.

5. Use the Carousel adverts to Stand Out

A highly effective and seldom seen in the news feed. Instead of looking just like other ads that display just one image, these type of ad could consist upto 10 different images. The images appear as a horizontal slider underneath the main text.

The carousel format allows you to display up to ten images or videos within a single advert, each with its unique link to different products. You can highlight different products, showcase specific details about one product or service.

Facebook advertising is growing with new features being unveiled on a near constant basis. It can make for an overwhelming learning curve if you’re a local business, but the good news is you can spend as little as £5-10 per day to get a better indication of what works and doesn’t work for your purposes.

Have you had success running Facebook ads for your business? Does your competitor advertise on Facebook???