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The 6 Best PPC Advertising Techniques for Local Business

Open the doors, and they will come.

We're not sure who first coined this phrase, but that person probably never experienced the challenges of getting noticed in a global marketplace. Pre-industrialization and pre-internet, people had a limited number of options:

Want some fresh bread? Go the bakery on Main.

Need a new heel on your shoe? Head to the cobbler on 2nd.

Looking for a birthday gift? Try the department store in Town Center.

Without the existence of public transportation, it's safe to say "opening the doors" would be enough to make them come. People will only walk so far to get bread! But as you know, that's all changed.

Get More Local Business With PPC Advertising Techniques

Your local business is now competing with those halfway around the world (or, at least, as far as your regional Amazon warehouse). Which is why mastering PPC advertising is a vital component of the small business owner's marketing toolbox.

Whether you're a dog groomer, restaurant owner, or pool cleaner, you probably rely on word-of-mouth promotion to generate quite a bit of business. Assuming you're offering a quality, in-demand product, "word of mouth" works very well. But what if you're a new business with no customers? Or what if you're simply wanting to expand your current reach?

Why PPC Works

This is where PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising comes in. And if you're thinking PPC seems like the opposite of a referral-based strategy, you would be correct with ONE exception: Facebook.

An estimated 1 in 7 people on Earth are on the social network (that's a little over 1 billion). Since communicating preferences through "liking" and "sharing" is what Facebook is all about, it's kind of like "word-of-mouth" lead generation on steroids.

Essentially, Facebook combines what generates the best customers (referrals) with what reaches the best customers (targeted advertising).

Other Reasons It's Cool

The other wonderful thing about Facebook PPC? It's a bargain.

Compared to television and radio ads that easily cost thousands, you can start your first PPC advertising campaign for as little as fifty bucks. YOU set the budget, and YOU control the duration of the campaign.

The platform's targeting feature also makes it easy to get advertisements in front of HIGHLY SEGMENTED groups (i.e. 30-40-year-old, females, who live in Utah, and have shown interest in buying a car). Put simply, that level of segmentation isn't possible with other methods.

Unfortunately, checking off a few targeting options and throwing up any old ad is NOT enough! Once you've chosen the proper segmentation parameters for your target audience, you need a plan. For the remainder of this article, we'll walk you through some of our favorite PPC advertising techniques:

6 PPC Advertising Techniques for Facebook

1. Get The Right Location

Did you know Facebook recently created an entire objective for local businesses. It's called "The Local Awareness Objective." Select this setting and Facebook will automatically target individuals who meet your segmentation requirements in your area.

You can even specify a specific street address, before adjusting the advertising radius accordingly. Further, you can dictate whether you want to reach everyone in that location, people who actually live there or people who have recently visited! Pretty cool, huh?

How you use this feature will depend on your business objectives. If you're a massage clinic looking for repeat customers, you'll want to target people who live in the city. Conversely, if you're a gift shop, you'll wan to target both people who live in the area AND people who are passing through. You may even decide to segment a different offer for each demographic.

2. Offer A Discount

Discounts – the only thing people love more than free swag. One could even argue that with the prevalence of things like Groupon, Amazon Flash Sales, and Overstock.com, people have come to expect them.

Translation: If you're hemming and hawing, thinking people should be thrilled to pay full-price for your goods, it's time to reframe things. The key to making discounts work for YOU – the business owner – is combining them with strategies for customer acquisition.

How can you turn this person into a repeat customer? What are you willing to discount in order to acquire a new customer?

Be honest about your margins. But also think creatively about you can surprise and delight these people when they redeem their coupons!

3. Create Educational Content

Instead of posting a straight-up advertisement, why not create something that provides immediate value. If you've been practicing inbound marketing for awhile now, you understand the importance of crafting high-quality content for prospects at every stage of the Buyer's Journey.

Most likely, your Facebook advertisement will be targeting prospects in the "Awareness Stage." People who are just beginning to recognize a need, want, or desire. Your advertised content could be in the form of heartfelt post, an infographic, or even a video.

4. Write Awesome Headlines

Facebook users are accustomed to quickly scanning their newsfeeds. That means you have a VERY short window of time to catch their attention. Do this with a stand-out headline.

For example, say you run a dog training facility. You could advertise a post titled "The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Dogs The Coolest Tricks." Just make sure to use a compelling headline that invokes at least one of the four U's:

  • Urgency - cite a reason for your prospect to click the headline immediately
  • Uniqueness - reveal something that your prospect haven't read or heard somewhere else
  • Usefulness - explain how your prospect will benefit from your content
  • Ultra-Specific - reveal what exactly they are going to get in your content

5. Create An Event

Events are probably one of the easiest things to advertise on Facebook. If you don't already have a pre-planned event in mind, consider creating one for the purpose of drumming up business.

Admittedly, this will be easier for some small businesses than others. Restaurants, bars and clubs don't have to get too creative; advertising for any major holiday could work. Nonetheless, the strategy could work for many businesses with a little ingenuity:

Ex: A dog grooming facility throws a "puppy party" with free prizes and treats.

Ex. An insurance agency throws a "policy party" headlined by local musicians.

Ex. A technology repair shop hosts monthly "coding workshops."

5. Use the Boost Feature

Finally, by taking advantage of Facebook's "Boost" feature, you can get more eyeballs on the post of your choice, guaranteed.

For as little as $3, you can "boost" a post from your business page, making it appear higher up on your target audience's newsfeed. The fee will depend on how many people you want the post to reach, and the final amount due will depend on the number of impressions the post receives.

Unlike sponsored advertisements, boosted posts naturally blend into newsfeeds – making them much more inviting. Generally speaking, a post worth boosting satisfies one of the following:

  • It helps promote a product or service offered by your business
  • It encourages visits to your business’ website
  • It spreads awareness of a limited-time campaign your business is running
  • It sheds light on a new service or product people will be excited about

Go Get Some Business!

As you can see, acquiring new customers with PPC advertising isn't rocket science. But it does require that you:

a). REALLY know your target audience
b). Understand how to create compelling content
c). Take advantage of the right targeting features

Keep these three things in mind when developing your small business' next PPC campaign, and you may just surprise yourself with some pretty amazing results!

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Written by Ashley Gwilliam / March 9, 2017

Ashley is a content writer and brand developer. After graduating with a degree in print-journalism, Ashley’s storytelling skills took her from the bizarre world of on-camera acting to the practice courts of NBA basketball players to the virtual meetings of inbound marketers. Today she specializes in building memorable brand voices online, with a focus on the travel & tourism, e-commerce and tech industries.

Articles by Ashley Gwilliam