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Facebook Location Targeting: Choosing the Right Location and Radius for Facebook Ads

By Umbrella Staff on Jun 14, 2024

If you have small business clients, you already know that Facebook can be an effective and economical way for your clients to reach their ideal audiences. Facebook is renowned for enabling businesses to finely target their audiences by demographics and interests. You can also use Facebook location targeting, but it takes a little tweaking to optimize that targeting for best results. After all, location-based targeting can improve your conversions by 500%.

If you master the Facebook location options, you will be able to achieve better results with your clients’ advertising budgets. You need to decide what areas to target as well as the radius. You will need to look at multiple factors, because when it comes to location and radius, one size doesn’t fit all.

Know Your Client’s Target Audience

Before diving into the specifics of Facebook location targeting, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your client’s target audience. You will need to know where they live, their preferences and their interests to make informed decisions about the geographical scope of your clients’ ads.

Here are some key steps you will want to take:

Demographic Analysis: Analyze the demographics of your client’s existing customers. Look at age, gender, income level, and other relevant factors. Talk to your client about what information they have gathered. You may want to bolster their sales data with customer surveys and social media insights.

Customer Location: Identify where your client’s customers are located. If your client is a local bakery with only one shop, most of their customers are probably in their neighborhood. But if the bakery is downtown where workers from all over the city come and go, you may want to consider broadening your reach.

But perhaps your client manufactures widgets and doesn’t have a storefront. They might accept orders from a wide area, the nation or the world. You will want to look at the areas of primary need for their product, who are the current customers, who is visiting your client’s website and who is following your client on social media. Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to gather data on the geographical locations of your client’s website visitors and social media followers.

Market Research: Conduct market research to understand the potential demand for your products or services in different areas. This can involve analyzing industry reports, competitor activities, and local economic conditions. You may want to check out this article HubSpot published less than two months ago: 26 Tools & Resources for Conducting Market Research.

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Location Size

Once you have a solid understanding of your client’s target audience, you can start considering variables that will influence location targeting for their Facebook ads. Following are some key factors to keep in mind.

Business Objectives: Define your advertising goals for the particular ad. For example, do you primarily want to increase brand awareness, drive foot traffic to a physical store or boost online sales? Your objectives will influence the geographical scope of your campaigns. For example, if you want drive foot traffic to a brick and mortar storefront, focusing on a smaller, local area will be more effective.

Budget Constraints: Your advertising budget will play a significant role in determining the size of the location you target. A larger area requires a higher budget to ensure sufficient reach and frequency. Small businesses with limited budgets may benefit from targeting a smaller, more specific area to maximize the impact of their ads.

Competition: Consider the level of competition in different areas. In highly competitive regions, targeting a smaller, niche location can help you stand out and achieve better results. You can get some buzz going in that smaller area. Conversely, in areas with less competition, you may be able to target a broader audience without stretching your budget too thin.

Nature of Your Client’s Business: The nature of your products or services can also influence the size of the location you target. If your offerings are highly localized or cater to a specific community, focusing on a smaller area makes sense. On the other hand, if your products have broad appeal, you can consider targeting a larger region.

KEEP IN MIND that if you choose a larger geographical area to show your Facebook ad, it does NOT mean more people will see your ad. It means people over a broader area will see your ad, but not more people. So, if your client has a highly localized business that wants to drive foot traffic, you will want advertise or boost in a limited area so more people near your client’s business will see their ad rather than spreading views over a far flung area where many people may not be real prospects. Of course, this depends on the nature of the business and your campaign goals.

Strategies for Effective Location Targeting

Facebook enables a variety of methods for targeting locations. These include

  • Countries (up to 25)
  • States
  • Provinces
  • Cities (up to 250)
  • Congressional districts
  • Postcodes (up to 50,000)

Facebook also enables you to select even broader locations such as Worldwide and Asia, or geographical regions.

Based on what we have just discussed, here are some strategies to consider when placing your Facebook ad or boosting a post

Local Targeting: For small businesses with physical storefronts or local service areas, local targeting is often the most effective approach. Use Facebook’s location targeting options to define a specific radius around your client’s business address. This ensures that your ads are shown to people who are within a convenient distance to visit your client’s store (such as a bakery) or use their services (such as a plumber).

Neighborhood Targeting: If your client’s business serves multiple neighborhoods within a city, consider targeting specific neighborhoods separately. This allows you to tailor your ad content to resonate with the unique characteristics and preferences of each neighborhood.

A restaurant could promote different menu items based on the preferences of residents in each neighborhood. For example, they could run an ad about their early bird special in a neighborhood with a high number of retirees. They might run a different ad such as one for Burger and Beer night in an area populated primarily by a college crowd.

Regional Targeting: For businesses with a broader reach, regional targeting can be an effective strategy. This involves targeting a larger geographic area, such as a city, state, multiple states an entire country of region of the world. Regional targeting is suitable for businesses that offer online services or products that can be shipped to a wide area. When using regional targeting, it’s important to segment your audience based on their specific needs and preferences within the region.

About Location Radius: In some cases, you will be given the opportunity to choose a minimum and maximum radius. This is not available when using postcodes, states, regions or countries. In those cases, the radius would include an entire area. Also, a radius will not extend into another country.

The radius pin drop is a visual indicator below the location box. It shows you areas inside a larger geographic area and also enables you to broaden your area’s reach beyond its geographical boundary. To adjust the area, you can zoom in or select the drop-down from an area listed within the location box. Then you can just use the provided slider to adjust the distance.

Custom Audiences: But what about those people who maybe don’t live within an obvious geographical area but still do business with your client? For example, a local bakery might attract people who work in the area not just those who live in the area

You can leverage Facebook’s custom audience feature to target specific groups of people based on their behavior and interactions with your business within your chosen area. For example, you can create a custom audience of people who have visited your client’s website, engaged with their social media posts, or made a purchase. This allows you to retarget these high-intent users with more personalized ads, regardless of their location.

Test and Tweak

Track Your Campaigns for Facebook Location Targeting: Once your ads are live, it’s crucial to monitor their performance and make data-driven adjustments to optimize your location targeting and other factors. Here are some steps to ensure your campaigns are effective.

Track Key Metrics: Use Meta Ads Manager to track key performance metrics such as reach, engagement, click-through rates (CTR), and conversions. Analyzing these metrics will help you understand which locations are performing well and which ones need adjustment.

A/B Testing: Conduct A/B tests to compare the performance of ads targeting different locations and radiuses. This involves creating multiple ad sets with different location targeting parameters and comparing their results. A/B testing helps you identify the most effective location size for your campaigns.

Refine Targeting: Based on the insights gained from tracking and testing, refine your location targeting strategy. If certain areas are underperforming, consider narrowing your focus to more promising locations. Conversely, if you see success in specific areas, you might choose to allocate more budget to those regions.  It’s a temptation for new marketers to advertise to too broad of an area, when they would be better off trying to get more conversions geographically closer to the business or to concentrate on a specific region in order to create some buzz.

Adjust Budget Allocation: We can’t stress enough how important budget is when you are deciding in how wide of an area you want to advertise. Don’t overreach. Reallocate your advertising budget based on the performance of different locations. Shift more budget towards high-performing areas to maximize your ROI. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your budget allocation ensures that your campaigns will be cost-effective.

Need Help with Facebook Location Targeting?

Deciding on the right size of the location to target when running Facebook ads and boosting posts is a critical aspect of a successful advertising strategy for small businesses. If Facebook ads are not the focus of your agency, you can still confidently offer white label Facebook advertising services performed by experts.

To schedule a free consultation to discuss social media advertising, contact Umbrella through our website or call (866) 760-2638.

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