Geotargeted ads on Facebook: how it works

Facebook has been offering companies the Ads Manager advertising tool for many years. Among its many features, it provides you with the ability to promote local points of sale. This option has many advantages: affordable marketing campaigns, increased visits to stores, etc. Geotargeting ads on Facebook is proving to be a major asset in the development of a good e-commerce strategy.

Geotargeted ads on Facebook: how it works
Geotargeted ads on Facebook: how it works

What is Location Targeting on Facebook ?

While more and more businesses choose to sell exclusively online, others need, or choose, to have physical points of sale. And they can promote these outlets on Facebook, the most popular social network in the world with 2,91 billion users.


Ads Manager : a complete advertising tool

It all starts with Ads Manager. With this tool, Facebook (now Meta) enables advertisers to create highly targeted marketing campaigns on its platform. All you need to do is to enter geographic information, such as the address and the target location (country, region, city, etc), and specify demographic information, such as gender and age, in order to determine the target. The ads are then published according to these settings.

With Ads Manager, Facebook enables advertisers to develop brand awareness,site traffic and conversion goals. To do so, advertisers need to choose one ofthe advertising objectives offered by the platform that matches the result they’re looking for :

  • Awareness : brand awareness, impact
  • Traffic : traffic, interaction, app installation, video views, lead generation, messages
  • Conversions : catalogue sales, store traffic campaigns

Facebook also offers the option to run these ads on Instagram. As soon as a user visits the targeted area, the ads will appear in their news feed.  

With the Store traffic campaigns objective, Facebook offers more extensive local marketing campaigns for physical businesses. This objective makes it possible to generate ads aimed at considerably increasing store traffic. But how does this work in practice ?

Local advertising to boost store traffic and brand awareness

With Location Targeting, advertising campaigns are triggered on the news feed when a user is near a point of sale. In this way, advertisers can reach a targeted audience of people who are more likely to visit the store. This is a good way to limit ad waste while boosting store traffic.

It is important to emphasize that with the configuration of addresses, Facebook is able to geolocate the area to be covered very precisely. A map makes targeting even easier. In addition, Facebook automates the area according to the density of the population.  

This feature is particularly important for local shops or companies whose turnover depends directly on the arrival of customers, such as:

  • restaurants
  • businesses
  • supermarkets
  • professional service providers

This type of campaign also makes it possible to communicate on important events at a local level : the opening of a business, promotions, new products, private sales, etc. If advertisers want to increase their physical traffic, it is in their interest to look into geomarketing !  

Finally, companies can make them selves known to audiences that they would not have reached ordinarily. This feature is a considerable asset in developing brand awareness.

Why is it important to promote businesses at a local level ?

Geotargeting ads on Facebook offers many advantages.

Facebook geotargeting

An asset to boost local business marketing

The primary objective of advertisers is to attract customers to their points of sale. To do this, you need to improve local SEO. This means focussing your marketing strategy on local communication.

As Facebook is the number 1 social network in the world, creating geolocated campaigns is very relevant. It enables advertisers to gain visibility with local target audiences. Result : store traffic is boosted and turnover increased!

Some companies have more than one point of sale. Good news : Facebook has created an option that allows you to manage the local campaigns of different outlets on the same page.

Stronger links with customers

In general, Ads Manager allows advertisers to target specific age groups and gender. But the advantage of the ‘Store traffic campaigns’ objective is to promote the local aspect by simplifying the geographic configuration.

In other words, this feature enables you to establish a targeting strategy. This personalizes the message placed by advertisers. It is an effective way to attract selected local customers, but also to create a connection with a local audience.

An optimized marketing budget

Prioritizing store traffic campaigns is also a way to make cost savings. The cost per click is lower than for a classic campaign. In other words, these ads are a low-cost solution, as they generally target a well-defined and restricted geographic area. In fact, only local users are impacted by these ads, which significantly reduces the costs.

The budget depends on several factors, including the number of locations selected, the area chosen, the size of the business and the number of listings. However, Facebook Ads quickly becomes challenging when it comes to optimise campaign and change settings and assets in order increase the performance. This is where automated solutions for local marketing like DeepReach add value, as they enable you to allocate a budget based on campaign performance.

If your budget is particularly tight, there are a few tips for running low-cost campaigns. For example, excluding other distribution media (Instagram and Messenger) and/or certain devices (mobile and tablet) will significantly lower the cost. The choice of format can also have an impact on your budget.

How to create local campaigns

With Ads Manager, advertising locally is pretty simple, even for digital ads newbies.

Create a local campaign

In order to launch a local campaign, all you have to do is visit Facebook’s Ads Manager. Creating campaigns is quick and easy. Here are the five steps to follow:

1.    Define the campaign objective by choosing ‘Store traffic campaigns’.

2.    Determine the target audience : location of the establishment, age and gender of customers.

3.    Select the distribution media in the ‘Placement’box (Facebook, Instagram or Messenger) and the devices (mobile and/or computer).

4.    Define the budget and duration of the advertising campaign.

5.    Choose the format and design of the ads.


Now, all that’s left to do is place your order!

Focus on the advertising format

Working on point-of-sale marketing is essential in developing a solid digital strategy. It’s important to pay careful attention to the ads, and this involves, notably, choosing appropriate advertising formats : photo, video,story, message on Messenger, carousel, slideshow, collection.  

By selecting an attractive and appropriate visual, it will be easier to capture the attention of users. Likewise, a personalized and impactful message wil lgrab the attention of potential customers more effectively. It is therefore essential to adapt your tone to your target by choosing your vocabulary (notably keywords) carefully.

The call to action

Finally, Facebook offers you the option of including a call to action with a ‘Call now’ button or a ‘Get directions’ button. So, do you need to offer directions to users so that they can reach you more easily ? Or does it make more sense to encourage people to call ? It all depends on your type of business :

  • A restaurant will want to encourage customers to make a reservation by displaying its phone number.
  • A pharmacy, a car dealership or a food store will want to encourage potential customers to visit its point of sale by offering directions.
  • An real-estate agent or solicitor will favour directions to help clients find them.
Karine SECK - Customer Success Manager at DeepReach

" DeepReach takes full advantage of Facebook's location-based capabilities. Being directly integrated with Facebook, agencies and advertisers using DeepReach can easily delimit their targeting area and make very precise settings, which usually requires time-consuming and careful work, especially when working on large volumes of campaigns. The other advantage is that you can adjust the budget for each zone, which is very useful when you have to deal with several locations."

How to improve the performance of local campaigns

Once the local communication has been launched, it is important to follow its progress.

Monitoring and analysing campaigns

Ads Manager enables advertisers to view the statistics of the ads they place :

  • the number of users who have viewed the ad
  • the number of users who have clicked on it
  • the overall cost of the advertising.

The tool also provides demographic data. This shows the performance of advertisements according to profiles (age and gender). Next, the ‘Placement’ graph shows the effectiveness of ads on Facebook and Instagram. It also indicates the most efficient device type (computer or mobile).

Finally, Facebook provides statistics on the number of visits to points of sale. Note : to benefit from this information, the company needs to provide its full address.

Thanks to all this data, the advertiser has the information necessary to improve all its campaigns. It is therefore essential to take advantage of this gold mine, so that you can adapt your ads accordingly.

Creating attractive campaigns to generate engagement

Advertisers need to create compelling ads in order to appeal to users, who will then be more tempted to click on the ad, and therefore generate engagement. Here are some tips on how to do this:

  • organize a competition: a stimulating and challenging activity
  • highlight your values (ecology, professionalism, goodwill, etc.)
  • present your team to create a sense of community
  • highlight your customers, for example with a photo or an endorsement
  • present a new product or service.

Your strategy will vary depending on your target audience and your company’s business activity. For example, a solicitor is more likely to want to convey their values rather than to offer a competition. You therefore need to adapt!  

Optimize local campaigns with machine learning

Despite its power, Facebook does have some limitations, especially for those looking for a high level of performance, for example communication agencies and media traders.

This is where technologies such as DeepReach, which specializes in local digital communication, can able you to go even further in optimizing geolocated Facebook campaigns. Its campaigns are based on machine learning and geo balancing, where the budget is allocated according to the effectiveness of Facebook in each geographic microzone compared to other media (Google, programmatic display, Waze, etc.).

DeepReach complements Facebook’s features by enabling you to develop multi-local campaigns. Advertisements can thus be personalize daccording to targeted locations: message, image, etc. Advertisers also have th eoption of managing several campaigns simultaneously.

Finally, with its various tools, DeepReach can also optimize productivity. This is particularly important for agencies or advertisers who want to create many campaigns simultaneously, without having to spend too much time setting them up.

On its own, the social network remains a very powerful tool. Local-marketing experts complement its services.

Facebook or Google : which is best for local campaigns?

For a marketing campaign, is it better to use Facebook or Google? It all depends on your objective (brand awareness, traffic or conversions).

Bear in mind that the social network stimulates need. So, you can use it in a ‘push’ strategy, where you want to push the product towards the customer. On the other hand, with the search engine, the need already exists. You can therefore use it in a ‘pull’ strategy, where the objective is to attract the customer to the product.

Unlike Google, Facebook enables you to develop brand awareness on social networks while creating a community. This is in part thanks to the interactions generated by posts and announcements: shares, ‘likes’ ,comments, etc.

Although Google’s audience is generally more selective, Facebook enables you to gain visibility and to develop brand awareness. The search engine and the social network are therefore complementary.

In summary, Ads Manager is efficient and affordable for all advertisers. In addition, it offers geographic precision that allows you to reach an audience at lower costs. But for a successful local marketing campaign, geolocation alone is not enough. It is by pairing it with a quality ad that the results will be visible.

Other tools, such as Google Ads, allow you to create geotargeting ads directly on the search engine. Moreover, Google offers additional services such as Google My Business, to strengthen your online presence, and Display & Video 360, to help you manage ad campaigns. Finally, tools like Xandr enable small businesses to gain visibility on a variety of websites, in various displays.

When all is said and done, how it is essential to define your framework and your objectives before launching a campaign!

Arnaud LONGATTE - Director of the Digital Division - ELPEV gives us his testimony :

" We integrate the diffusion on the Facebook network in parallel with the display diffusion in order to generate engagement and especially visits on the advertiser's website. If advertising on media sites allows us to get the message across to many users in a catchment area, Facebook is a privileged channel to generate targeted visits. In essence, more ad impressions with display, and more clicks and visits with Facebook.

DeepReach brings value to several aspects of a location-based campaign: translate geo-targeting based on IRIS zones into effective geo-targeting on Facebook ; the ability to broadcast on 2 types of channels in parallel by reallocating budgets dynamically between Facebook and display & optimize the distribution of the campaign on Facebook in terms of coverage and clicks. "