The marketing emails hit inboxes throughout the country this morning, as Facebook announces the launch of a Local Ad service. This is part of what the company is terming ‘the local awareness objective’. It is aimed specifically at those groups and organizations operating brick and mortar operations, and those providing services to a local audience. They are considering it the most effective manner of reaching out to a local niche online, arguing that the companies utilizing the service will have access to huge audiences for a very small budget. Furthermore, integration of a ‘get directions’ option allows the Facebook user to receive detailed instructions on how to get from his or her current location to the advertised company.
It appears to be very straightforward, providing a very smooth, user-friendly experience. Choose a budget, upload a photo, and write up a short, enticing message and you are on your way to great local advertising.
The aspect of this local approach to social advertising that we really appreciate is the fact that is focuses more on reach and less on clicks. Though the click through rate will remain an important metric for the vast majority of social marketing campaigns, in this case, the advertising is more about basic exposure. The more times a person within your local niche sees you ad, the more likely he or she is to recognize your brand when in need of a product or service that you have to offer. In the service description, Facebook representatives suggest:
99% of the people who saw a Facebook ad, and then bought the product in the store didn’t click on the ad
It makes sense. With Facebook placing so much emphasis on reach, as opposed to CTR, companies will have the opportunity to focus more attention on brand awareness, which is more important for those who are hoping to improve in-store sales with online advertising.