To provide more ad options to local businesses, Facebook has recently introduced new ad formats, including carousel, video, store locator functionality for its Local Awareness ads.

What is a Local Awareness Ad?

Facebook Local Awareness ads were first introduced in October 2014 and allow businesses to reach people when they’re a few miles away or within walking distance of a business’s physical location. Ads are created just like any other ad on Facebook (choose a budget, photo, and engaging message) with the addition of choosing a mile radius you would like for the ad to show in. Local ads will only show to customers who are visiting your target radius and who have local services turned on. The ad will display your image, video, or carousel with a call-to-action to learn more, get directions, or call. It’s a cost-effective way for local businesses to  generate more awareness and bring new customers to their storefront.

Why Your Local Business Should be on Facebook?

Not only are Local Awareness ads hyper-local ads to target those physically near your business,  the social media giant recently introduced two new features aimed at local businesses back in Nov 2015 to help them better understand their foot traffic in the area and how they respond to these types of ads.

Page Insights 

Facebook’s Page Insights help businesses understand what groups of people are interacting with their business. This is a tool that is highly recommended not just for local businesses, but for every type of business wanting to learn more about their target audience and gain insight on new trends.

According to Facebook, retailers can view how many anonymous users are within 150 feet, 450 feet, and 1,500 feet of their stores. What’s more, retailers can see an aggregate of demographics, such as age and gender, for people nearby, including those who are residents or those visiting the area.

Facebook hopes that by understanding the local neighborhood, businesses will have a better idea of who they are targeting and whether or not their ad is reaching them. Advertisers will have the opportunity to see what percentage of people who view their ad, helping them better understand their ad reach.


Perhaps the best part of these Local Awareness ads is the second feature Facebook introduced – the ability to create Local Awareness ads for multiple store locations all at once. Facebook believes that this will simplify targeting, allowing businesses to select which store fronts they would like to include. Customers nearest to the storefront will be able to see that particular store’s address, along with a call-to-action button for directions and phone number.

With these two features, Facebook is allowing local businesses to better understand their foot traffic around their store(s) and allow them the ability to see how effective their ad campaigns to that foot traffic.

Local Awareness Ad Options

  • You have quite a few options when designing a local awareness ad.
  • Choose to use a single image, multiple images (in a carousel format), or video.
  • Select the destination of the ad, whether it’s your Facebook page or a page on your  website.
  • Add a call-to-action button for customers to access maps/directions, send a message or call.
  • Specify a target audience based on the where the user is physically present. This allows you to target not only the local residents but tourists as well.

Local Awareness Ad Data

While many local businesses owners and marketers will Facebook Insights incredibly useful, especially for their location-based Facebook ad campaigns, Gannet G/O Digital released a survey that found that 60% of users viewed the local business’s Facebook Page prior to visiting the physical location. Looking at Facebook reviews was also part of their process. A key takeaway for marketers is to make sure that their Facebook Page is fully optimized with information customers need to learn more about your business.

Another research study found that out of the 32% of customers visiting a store or making a purchase after viewing a location-based ad, 19% of those purchases were unplanned. This proves that local awareness ads are an ideal ad solution for marketers, especially retailers looking to attract customers during promotions, discount periods, or for finishing out quarterly or annual sales earnings.

Finally, Local Awareness ads are cost effective. No other type of marketing initiative gives you advanced targeting options in your area while allowing you to spend less money. This means local businesses can advertise more often and more effectively. We set up an ad in Oct 2015 for one of our clients, a pool service and retail company in the Dallas area. Over the course of 2 weeks, the ad campaign reached over 62,000 people at a CPM (cost per impression) of $0.01.