Whatever niche you are in, it is impossible to outrun your competitors if you fail to deliver information about your brand to the right people. It can be expensive to advertise your company’s services to everyone on the Internet, so it is important to accurately identify your target audience and work deliberately to reach it.
Large companies do not grow their multi-million customer audiences in a single day. Most aspiring ventures start with a small store and a limited number of clients living nearby. Gradually, they expand their coverage, attract a broader pool of customers, and offer shipping or delivery services.
This pattern is a tried and true model for growing your business and using your money wisely. As your brand grows, its budget will grow as well. An expanding company can enlist expensive advertising tools to reach a larger number of people. But if you launch a large-scale campaign too early, before your business is ready, you risk going bankrupt in the blink of an eye.
It is best to begin by reaching out to customers near your store, and geofencing Facebook ads provide the perfect tool. People who live or work near your outlet are more likely to stop in and make a purchase than customers living across town. Narrowing your advertising focus will save you from squandering money in the earliest and most important stages of your venture’s life cycle.
Geo-targeted Facebook ads are easy to use. In this article, the Clever team explains how to implement them, and highlights the key features and benefits of this approach.
How Does Geofencing Work?
If you want to enclose a specific piece of property, like your backyard, you build a fence. To target local traffic for advertising, you can build a virtual fence that delineates the farthest reaches of your local target audience. On the Internet, this can be done by setting special parameters in popular search engines and social media platforms like Google, Instagram, and Facebook.
In most cases, companies who want to send geo-targeted messages to local clients are asked to provide GPS coordinates for their location and specify a radius of distance from their geographic location. In essence, you create a circular fence that encompasses everyone living or working inside that circle, and that becomes your geo-targeted audience. They will receive notifications about your company’s products, services and special offers. If the area you want to cover is not circular in shape, you can detail your geofence to create a more precise border.
Data about your prescribed zone is then entered into a mobile app’s code. Users will have to activate the application to have your messages pop up on their screens. If a user’s mobile Internet is turned off and there is no available Wi-Fi, geofencing through Facebook will not work.
The Best Tactics for Geotargeting on Facebook
How do you select the exact zone to target, to make the most of geotargeting tools? There are many approaches, and each of them has its benefits. Let’s consider the most effective options.
Zone Around Your Store
This is the most obvious way to set a virtual boundary. Let’s say you draw a circle with a 1-mile radius around your outlet. Everyone within this circle will be able to receive notifications.
The cost of ads varies, depending on how many similar companies use the same zone. If you have many competitors in your area, the cost-per-click will be higher.
Zone Around Your Competitor’s Store
Do not be afraid to wage war on your rival’s territory. They will not expect your attack. Some people enter the first store they come across, unaware that there are other options nearby.
Give them an alternative by convincing them to venture slightly further to get a better deal. People will gladly go a bit out of their way for lower prices, discounts, bonuses, or products of higher quality.
By building a virtual fence around your competitors, you can effectively neutralize them and poach their customers. This tactic may seem a bit cutthroat, but if your services are better than those of your competitors, notifying your target audience about it will be doing them a favor.
Zone Around a Venue
If you know that your target audience is likely to frequent a certain place, make sure to include it in your area of influence. Let’s say an international conference is being held in a nearby convention center. If you own a hotel, visitors from other cities will be happy to find an available room near the conference venue. Even if your hotel is not the closest one, visitors unfamiliar with the area will be pleased to find suitable accommodations.
Places Frequented by High-End Clients
There is no such thing as an unimportant client, and everyone who visits your store should be served politely and with respect. However, some customers will spend more than others, increasing your profits, so it makes sense to tailor your promotional campaign to a higher sales demographic. By going for quality of customers over quantity, you will need to make fewer efforts to reach your sales goals.
Analyze your target area to pinpoint locations frequented by wealthier clientele. These can be business centers, entertainment venues, resorts, luxury restaurants, prestigious shopping districts or areas with high-end real estate.
Step by Step Guide to Set Facebook Location Targeting
Once you have determined the most influential zone, add geotargeting to your standard advertising campaign. This can be done in Facebook’s “Audiences” section. Facebook offers a number of parameters for launching customized geotargeting. Let’s look at each one in detail.
For location targeting, everything is fairly simple: you pinpoint a spot on the map and draw a circle around it. In the screenshot below, we have pinned Manhattan’s Upper East Side and set a 1-mile radius.
Within this zone, 1,7 million prospective customers will see our ad. If an advertising campaign of this magnitude is out of your budget’s reach, you can narrow down your target audience by setting demographic criteria.
This tool is used when capturing a zone but excluding a certain fragment. Let’s say you are looking for high-value clients but want to exclude a high school from your area because children are unlikely to buy real estate, cars, and other expensive things.
As in the screenshot below, choose the “Exclude” feature. The easiest way to omit a certain area is by ZIP-code.
Exclude as many areas as you need to get an optimal target area.
Keep in mind that a too-narrow zone is unlikely to yield impressive results. You will save money on ads, but your revenue will be lower as well.
Most businesses need some geotargeting experience to find a happy medium without going to extremes. Research your potential clientele and their habits, and you will soon arrive at the ideal zone of influence.
Facebook will support you with its helpful tips, as in the screenshot below.
Additional Targeting Parameters
It is often necessary to go beyond geographic boundaries and set demographic criteria. Let’s return to our example of the high school. Instead of excluding a school from your influence zone, you can specify the age range of your potential clients, for example, 18-65 years. Then parents and school staff will receive your messages while students are excluded.
This is only one example. You can customize almost anything. Here are some key demographic parameters:
- Gender, age, marital status, education, workplace, language, and other demographics.
- Interests. There is no point in advertising BBQ restaurants to people whose Facebook profiles identify them as vegan.
- Lifestyle and financial position. By using this parameter, a travel agency can find customers who like to travel and are able to pay for trips.
- Behavior. You can select users who have recently taken a certain action. For example, customers who regularly attend a gym.
- Life events. An HR agency can target customers who have recently graduated from college or gotten married.
- Connections. You can target friends of your Facebook followers.
- Retargeting. Ads can be sent to customers who have previously visited your website or clicked on ads.
Facebook has multiple targeting approaches. It can focus on customers who live in a chosen zone, recently visited it, or are currently within the zone. Also, data on customers’ locations may be based on signals received from phones, manual check-ins, and addresses indicated in Facebook profiles.
Configure your ideal data collection pattern to make sure your ads are always timely and appropriate, and deliver value to recipients.
To Wrap It Up
Geotargeting is an effective customization tool that can help your advertising campaign bring in the greatest profits for the least investment. It will help you establish contact with local customers who need your services and are ready to pay for them.
Leveraging geotargeting tools is not difficult. You just define your target area and then set appropriate parameters on Facebook.
If you have any unanswered questions about geotargeting, do not hesitate to contact the Clever team. Our experts will be happy to consult with you.