Every business is a prospective Facebook advertiser and multi-location businesses are no exception. However, special care needs to be taken in the Facebook Ads campaign setup to both prevent location overlap and location overreach. In this post, we will go through the campaign setup process for an advertiser targeting a local marketplace with multiple locations. Note that we are not going to talk through every possible campaign setting here. Facebook campaigns can get wonderfully complex and advanced campaign setup is beyond the scope of this article.
When entering the Facebook Ads UI, an advertiser is faced with quite a few campaign setup choices. People in charge of a Multi-Location Facebook Ads Setup should chose 1 of these 4 marketing paths.
1. “Reach” Ads will show the ads to as many people as possible within the given budget. This should be the default choice for less-experienced Facebook Advertisers.
2. If it is a priority to get people to the website instead of having the visitor act within the Facebook Universe, “Traffic” would be the choice to make.
3. “Engagement” will sacrifice some reach for commentary and feedback on the ad itself. If your business is comfortable with engaging potential customers (as well as some trolls) on Facebook, then this might be a good choice as well since if your ads do generate more than expected Facebook Engagement, their frequency in the auction will increase.
4. “Brand Awareness” will sacrifice some reach to target people that Facebook thinks have an enhanced interest in what you are advertising.
Start small and realize that you are going to need to create a separate campaign for each of your locations. Once you set your budget, you will then be asked to choose a “Campaign Bid Strategy” and we recommend “Lowest Cost” which is the optimal choice for most people reading this article.
Every location that you plan to advertise separately needs its own Facebook Page. No exceptions. If for some reason, you have not created a Facebook Page for each business location that you plan to market, please do so ASAP. Each Campaign created will be for one unique location (though it is perfectly OK to have nearly identical campaigns for each location you are marketing).
You should already know roughly how far your customers will travel to visit each business location. Is it 3 Miles? 10 Miles? 50 Miles? For some businesses, putting the location in the center of a circle and choosing a radius for the circle is all that you would need to do for location targeting.
However, with multiple locations, what can easily happen is that the circles will overlap, and you will have multiple locations serving ads to the same people which both wastes money and might cause consumer confusion. Instead of doing radius circles, it might be more efficient to target your locations at the Zip Code, City, or Metro Area level.
Adding some extremely basic demographic targeting will help narrow the size of your target audience and increase your ad’s relevance to it.
What does your business sell or offer? Take those terms and drop them into the detailed targeting box to see what matches Facebook comes up with. Add those as part of your Detailed Targeting to increase the relevance of your targeted audience and decrease the amount of money you spend on people that likely have no interest in your business.
Custom Audiences / Lookalike Audiences
Here is one targeting wrinkle which could be extremely effective for you. Have you developed an in-house email list for your business? If yes, you can target those email addresses that are tied to Facebook Accounts, either in conjunction with your geographical targeting or on its own. Even better, Facebook will allow you to create a “Lookalike Audience” from your in-house email list which will allow you to target people who are demographically like the people on your in-house list. Facebook Lookalike Audiences are exceptionally large and will allow you to target 1-10% of the country population. For our purposes here, you should stick to 1% but that will still leave you a massive list. However, when, you then apply your geographic and demographic overlays to the Similar Audience, you’re going to be left with a significant number of people who should be interested in your business that also reside in your local area and who you don’t know about. We have found that companies who have developed comprehensive in-house email lists have done exceptionally well in Facebook Ads because Similar Audiences are so powerful for their marketing efforts.
Facebook Campaign Ads consist of images and text. Sure, we could use videos or immersive screen experiences but if you are running multi-location brick and mortar businesses, investing in these sorts of assets does not make sense. For each location, upload a representative high-quality image for use in your Facebook Ads and that is quite adequate.
For your ad text, these are the 3 fields that you need to focus on. The “Primary Text” appears above the ad image and is what people will focus on when they see your ad in the feed. Here is where you let people know what service your business performs and why somebody should consider stopping by. Be succinct in what you write here. A few sentences are fine but keep them short and snappy.
The Headline is “Optional”, but you should not treat it that way. Put your Business CTA here or alternatively, mentioned your Business Name again (since it will also appear at the top of the ad).
The Description is “Optional”, but you should use this space to share salient information such as hours open or a promotion that you might be running.
You can also add a Call to Action button to your ad and we recommend strongly that you do that. “Learn More” or “Contact Us” are the two choices that make the most sense for multi-location businesses.
Make sure your webmaster has properly implemented the Facebook Pixel on your website(s). It will not only give you unbelievably valuable information about the people who have visited your website, but it will allow you to retarget these people in the future.
The Facebook Ads UI can be very intimidating for somebody who has never seen it before and who does not have any experience with Paid Advertising. However, for the uninitiated, the following general advice should help you adjust to this new process.
1) Start Small. Keep your budgets low while you are learning. It is perfectly OK to spend just $5-$10 a day until you develop a better understanding of the process.
2) Start Nearby. Facebook will almost always spend the entire budget you are giving it. So, when you are starting out, focus on the audience that is closest to each location. Perhaps some people will drive 30 minutes to your place of business. Most will not, however. Generate your learnings with people close to your location.
3) Start Simple. Your first Facebook Campaign is not where you launch a multi-step, multimedia ad experience. Plenty of advertisers do well with a single sentence message, a simple CTA and a singular image. Stick to that until you have become comfortable with the platform and are comfortable with the results from your ad investment.