Mobile technology is changing the way people shop. And that doesn’t mean that people are just using mobile payments or completing purchases from their phones. Consumers also use their mobile devices to find physical retail locations where they can make purchases. And a new Facebook advertising feature aims to help businesses better target those mobile customers and even track the success of those campaigns.
Facebook Local Awareness Ads
Facebook’s local awareness ads essentially allow businesses to target the customers closest to them. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users can see a map of a business’s locations. So even if your business has several different locations, you can target customers using the specific location that is closest to them or allow them to select the location they want. Then you can provide them with relevant calls to action like the ability to call or get directions.
Those location awareness tools can certainly be helpful in targeting relevant customers, especially if you don’t have a mobile friendly store locator on your website or if your customers are more inclined to just stay on Facebook for that type of information. But how do you actually measure the results of such a feature? That’s been an issue not just for Facebook, but also for many different online platforms that offer marketing initiatives for local businesses looking to increase in-store sales.
That specific problem is what Facebook is looking to solve with this latest update. The platform just added store visits as a new metric within the Ads Reporting tool. So businesses that run local awareness ads can now access data about how many people come to your store after seeing a Facebook campaign. The metric is based on data from people who have location services enabled on their phones. So it’s not necessarily exact. But it can still offer advertisers a general idea of how mobile ads can impact local foot traffic.
This feature also gives you the opportunity to create different ads for people based on whether or not they’ve already visited your store so that you can better tailor your message to different types of consumers. Then you can even compare your results across different stores or regions if you have multiple locations.
Beyond that, you can also connect your business’s in-store or phone transactions to your Facebook ad campaigns using the Online Conversions API. This can help you measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns in terms of real dollars. You can also access some demographic insights about customers to better optimize future campaigns.
To activate this feature, you can work with Facebook’s partners such as IBM, Index, Marketo, Square and more to match transaction data from your point-of-sale system to Facebook’s Ads Reporting. You can also set this up with Facebook directly.
Overall, these new advertising features aim to make mobile advertising actually make sense for local businesses. Instead of just investing in those ads and hoping to see some general increase in sales over time, you have a way to actually measure the effectiveness and access the insights that can help you make future mobile ad campaigns even more effective. The systems may not offer the full picture of in-store visits and purchases. But it seems to be a step in the right direction for local businesses.