Getting the most from Google and Facebook hyperlocal advertising

When it comes to navigating online advertising as a small business, it’s easy to get lost in the white noise that is Google and Facebook. Yet understanding how these global conglomerates collect and use data is invaluable when marketing your business.

Google and Facebook combined accounted for 85 per cent of all new online ad spending globally in 2016, according to the Internet Trends Report published by US venture capital fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The issue here is these main players dominant digital advertising and make it difficult for other businesses to achieve any cut-through. As digital is fast becoming the primary space for marketing, surpassing TV for the first time this year, it’s important that small businesses keep up or risk getting left behind.

Understanding the landscape in which you operate is the first and most fundamental step. Without knowledge of how these major players work, your marketing strategy and spend won’t be as effective.

Hyperlocal advertising is the new frontier form of online marketing that both Google and Facebook utilise. It essentially enables these companies to scale their advertising to both a global and geographically-targeted location.

Google is the master of this. When it first launched in the late 80s its search results delivered the same answers universally, regardless of your location.  Today, Google’s algorithms can identify exactly where you live, down to the street and suburb, and deliver results based on that. The same applies for advertising.

Going one step forward, Google now seeks information about ‘who you are’ from your search history, activity and location, to deliver highly targeted ads. This personalisation and unique identification of an individual’s wants and needs is the crux of hyperlocal advertising. For small businesses, utilising these tools for marketing purposes is invaluable.

More and more customers are seeking better customisation when it comes to search engine results. In fact, the search term “near me” has more than doubled in use in the last five years, increasing from three per cent to 100 according to Google Trends. So, how can small businesses get the most from hyperlocal advertising on Google?

To start with, you’ve got to nail the basics. If your digital presence is weak or your website isn’t optimised to rank, you’ve got no chance of being noticed. Make sure your My Google Business page is up-to-date and, wherever possible, encourage customers reviews.

Developing localised content, with key-words and terms applicable to your area, is another great way to drive local traffic to your business ads. But, Google isn’t the only avenue for hyperlocal advertising.

According to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report, there are over four million active advertisers on Facebook, 62 per cent of which are medium businesses. While those numbers might seem overwhelming, Facebook’s advertising is even more targeted as Google’s.

The biggest advantage to Facebook, especially for hyperlocal advertising, is the customer insights and analytics it provides. A business can narrow down the exact interests, location, age and occupation of their recipients in order to optimise their marketing spend.

At PoweredLocal we take it one step further, by connecting two tools called Facebook Pixel and Facebook Offline Conversions to our client’s Wi-Fi network. In doing so, our clients are able to immediately communicate the facebook profiles of their in-store customers to improve their Facebook advertising.

Regardless of your marketing KPIs, hyperlocal advertising is a highly effective way to drive growth and attract high value customers to your business. Harnessing these tools to your advantage will help your brand get the most from its advertising spend and cut through the Facebook/Google advertising noise online.

Michael Jankie, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, PoweredLocal