Finding a lead source that fits your budget, doesn’t require serious marketing acrobatics and generates qualified contacts within your local area sounds like a tall order. Luckily, you can spend just a little time mastering Facebook ads to develop a solution that does all of that and more. Here’s what you need to know to generate steady leads with targeted local ads on the social network.
Determine Your Target Audience
Facebook makes it easy to target ads to people who are likely to need or use your services, so you don’t end up paying for marketing that displays to individuals outside of your service area. While you don’t need a degree in marketing or analysis experience to set Facebook ad targeting (the social media giant thoughtfully provides a user-friendly wizard for this purpose), you do need an idea of who your audience is.
Residential HVAC service companies might target people in a specific geographic location who own their own homes, for example, while commercial plumbers will want to target landlords and business owners.
Since Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive to run, you can test various ad configurations to see which ones generate the best leads. Ads can be targeted by a variety of factors, including age, gender, income, location, job status and interests.
Create Native Ad Copy (or Pay Someone to Do It for You)
Ads that appear as informative, helpful or enticing content in user timelines tend to perform best, so you’ll want to create what is known as native ad copy. Native ads present themselves like normal content on the page, which means you create a post that looks a lot like the posts that come from friends and family.
It’s not that you’re trying to sneak your content into a news feed. It’s going to be labeled clearly as an ad, and you’ll likely have marketing language such as a call to action that directs the customer to contact you or click on your link. But you are trying to interact with consumers in a way that’s comfortable and familiar with them.
Example of ad copy that wouldn’t fit in a native ad:
- BEST PLUMBER! End the life of leaks by calling us. We’ll respond 24 hours a day to stop the water works in your house or get clean H2O flowing.
Example of native ad copy you might use on Facebook:
- The heat index hit over 100 degrees for Lafayette this week. Who’s been sweating the small stuff this summer? Our staff is drinking plenty of water and taking rest breaks to avoid heat stroke as they service your AC units, and we hope everyone else is staying safe. If your HVAC isn’t keeping up with these high temperatures, give us a call and we’ll get on the job.
The native ad reads more like a Facebook post, but it still offers a problem and solution. It should also include a link or number so people can take the brand up on that offer.
Couple the Text With a Compelling Image
Always include an image in your Facebook ad. Studies tracking how users engage with on-page content note that people tend to pay more attention to information that comes in visual format, and social posts have performed better with photos and images attached for years now.
While you can use stock photos and clip art, remember that organic is almost always better. If you have photos of your team in action or pictures of local interest, find ways to incorporate them into your advertising.
Use Local Awareness Ads
Facebook offers local awareness ads that let you reach people on both Facebook and Instagram when they’re near your home business location. While the functionality is designed with companies such as restaurants and retail stores in mind, you can leverage local awareness to target homeowners in your area if your business location is also in the area.
You can start running Facebook ads with as little as $5 and a few minutes of your time. Don’t let perfection get in your way: start small with a few tests and build from there. Within a few weeks, you’ll have a steady stream of qualified local leads.