Paid social media is changing all the time, and you may have noticed that Facebook have been shaking things up in the last 12 months. A blitzkrieg of advertising has led to a paradigm shift for the traditional digital channel, and influenced recorded profit shares for ol’ Zuckerberg.

Brands that perfect their inbound lead generation strategy see falling marketing costs, better quality leads, greater client engagement and other benefits that outbound methods simply can’t provide. If you want to know more about inbound lead generation read our guide “Everything you need to know about Inbound lead generation”

We already know that lead gen cards are pretty awesome. However, Local Awareness Ads (LA ads) may have slipped under your radar until now. These were created with the SME market and mobile ROI in mind, and can be applied across various sectors.

With some innovative thinking and strong creative content, you can spread your message to local communities, literally making you the talk of the town.

So what are LA ads?

LA ads are just like normal FB ads – however, the targeting and CTA buttons are slightly different. First, you choose a radius of your storefront or location. Then you push ads out to applicable audiences within that radius. This doesn’t exactly sound like a revolution in the paid social media space, but the next part is where it becomes interesting.

You can choose from 4 CTA buttons:

  • Call Now – This calls the business
  • Learn More – This redirects to the company website
  • Get Directions – This generates a localised map showing how to find the shop front
  • Send Message – This sends a direct message to the company

The last two options are completely new, and create additional dimensions in regards to how your local customers can interact with your business. If your consumer has a niche query they can easily send you a direct message and start a personable interaction. If they’re looking for the best service within an area that they can walk to, the directional call to action is perfect for literally directing foot traffic to your shop.

What do LA ads mean for your paid social media campaign?

If you work in the centre of a city or large town, you know that there are likely to be direct market competitors within your area. LA ads therefore give you the opportunity to create hyper local content and differentiate yourself from the competition:

“Barburrito Sucks! Changos is the best place for fresh burritos – 5 mins from you”

“Sick of Starbucks? Come to Annie’s! Manchester’s Secret Coffee Palace”

 “Want a cat but have a small flat? Come to Cat Café – Directions here”

The beauty of hyper-local content is you can make it incredibly specific, and use in-jokes to connect with your consumers in a much more personable way. This allows you to attract a truly engaged audience and become an influence within your local business community. Even better, you can do all this while cutting your paid social media costs, as LA ads cost a fraction of what normal ad campaigns amount to.

Why is this relevant?

So by now, having read the article, I can hear you scream “Why are you talking about this? It was 2016! we already have [insert new form of programmatic fraud] now. This is bollocks!”.

The reason it has become relevant again is simple. Facebook recently added a new metric into the equation - store visits. Now, businesses that run local awareness ads can access data about how many people come into store after seeing a Facebook campaign.

The metric is based on data from people who have location services enabled on their phones. The result is much better analysis of how your paid social media campaign is working, and significantly increased visibility on ROI.

Once person takes the time to come into your store, they are susceptible to a whole host of emotional influencers, such as instant gratification and sales flattery. Shopping is more than consumerism. It may involve the opportunity to spend the afternoon with friends, to temporarily alter the way a person perceives themselves by changing their physical appearance, or to surround themselves with company they strive to keep.

Despite the popularity of buying online, these highly emotional aspects of shopping maintain the appeal of buying in person. If you can get people engaged online and visiting in store, then the likelihood of selling to them is higher (and their average order value is higher too!)

By building a strong local and grassroots presence, you can form strong foundations for future growth. Whether you are driving local sales or sharing knowledge within your local community, Facebook has just given you the tools to engage with consumers closest to you. Now you just need to inform them, delight them and analyse when they step foot on premise.

Lead Generation is a balancing act between Consumers, businesses and a whole host of other stakeholders. But don't panic our blog "Everything you need to know about lead generation (and some stuff you don't)" will give you an outline of how you can nail your lead generation.

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