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Facebook Ads for Local Businesses – A Framework for More Revenue


When developing a Facebook ad strategy for a local business, most people completely go about it the wrong way. And in times like these, every single dollar counts. So, I want to make sure that by the end of this article, you have a profitable Facebook ad strategy for your local business in place.

I’ve been working with local businesses and local marketers for the last 10 years to help them profitably market their business. That led me to create a system and a framework that is called the AB3 method. That is for three different ad levels that every business owner needs to include in their Facebook advertising. And if you implement this, you should be able to see the exact same results which is $1 in and more dollars out. And if you stick around to the end, I’m actually going to share some really helpful tips on planning the strategy before you ever enter ads manager to ensure that all of these are set up properly. Because level one tends to be the most confusing for people, and because ultimately, it’s at the top of the funnel, meaning these are the ads that are going to reach the largest variety of people, we really need to focus on it a bit more, but I promise you, we’re going to get to level two and level three really soon, and they’re going to make a lot more sense once you understand this concept.

Level one focuses on education, an audience building as well as engagement. It’s one of the most important yet often overlooked. If you are in a local market, you have a finite group of people that you can serve. Some of those people are going to be looking for a business just like yours but most of them will not be. In any given market, there’s usually about 3% of the population that is ready to buy what you have.

However, there’s usually about another 15% that needs what you have, they’re open to buying it, but they simply don’t know it yet or they’re not ready to pull the trigger. Because of that, most business owners are focusing only on that 3%. However, that other 15% is very critical to your business and they’re typically being ignored because they’re not being excited engaged, or nurtured long-term. That’s what level one was created to do. In our level one ad campaigns, we want to focus primarily on educating the audience, not only on our industry, or our products and services, or our business, but also the topics that relate directly to our business. For instance, I was recently talking with a karate school owner. He’s been running ads strictly about an offer. For a long time, he’d get great results right off the bat but they would always dry up within about a month or two, because   their child up for karate. And essentially, those leads were the low hanging fruit. But what wasn’t happening, was creating demand for this karate school. The best way to do that is by identifying first, who are the different avatars that your business serves?

The karate business is marketing to parents, but all parents are not alike. They also have children of different ages and that’s going to impact what really connects with them. The next thing you’re going to think about is what’s the primary driver for people to sign their child up for karate. Well, you’re going to have one group of people, they already know that karate is something they want to try. You also have another group of parents that know their child needs an activity or a sport. They’re not necessarily thinking about karate, but they would be willing to sign their child up if they saw the value of karate itself. Then you’re going to have another group of parents that maybe aren’t necessarily thinking about sports and activities but they do have a child and they care about their wellbeing their mindset, their physical activity levels. It’s not something that karate is just on their mind.

The question is how do you attract those three different groups of people that ultimately would buy from you for completely different reasons? In those three groups, there’s actually a large variety of subsets, such as parents of girls as opposed to parents of boys, parents of toddlers as opposed to parents of older children. Sometimes they can respond to a similar message, but most of the time it’s simply not going to work.

The level one ad campaigns are designed to eliminate the one-size-fits-all strategy. It’s also designed to engage with the community that you serve and build brand awareness. Even for the people who are not yet thinking of you, they could think of you one day. Maybe there’s a couple that is seeing your content.

They don’t even have a child yet but a few years down the road they will. And at that point they already know about your business, they know about the unique selling proposition and they feel that you’re dedicated to your craft because you go out of your way to educate people and support your community. So, the question is how do we achieve all that with our level one ad campaigns?

There are three different types of content that you can use at level one. That’s going to to be video, blog content, or engaging social posts. The reason that I suggest a video first and foremost, it’s the least expensive, but it’s the most effective. People are willing to watch a video longer than they’ll typically read, but you can also say more verbally in a short period of time than you could with some written post. These ads are not designed to directly generate leads. So, we don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money, but we do want to get maximum impact.

Second to that, we can create specific audiences based on the videos that someone watches and how long they’re watching them. Those three groups of parents that I just mentioned, they may not all respond to the same video. The parents that are focused on wellbeing of their child, but are not about karate, they may end up watching a video talking about how to boost your child’s physical activity and mental health. If they’re watching that video, they do care about their child’s wellbeing.

Now I’ve also made them aware that wellbeing, mental and physical is tied directly to karate. The parents that are thinking about signing their child up for some sort of activity but karate is not really on the line, focus that video on why karate is the ideal sport for children, why it helps improve their discipline, and helps give them mental clarity. Those are people who may have not had karate on their radar, but now they do. Then you’re going to have the group that already knows about karate. It’s best to differentiate your processes and what you do as a business to really get them to want to work with you specifically.

In local communities, a lot of times, a very close proximity to the location is important. But if you can really build a strong base of followers, people who are engaging, people who are grateful for the content you provide, they will be willing to drive farther which is ultimately going to increase your potential pool of prospects which is so important in especially small areas. You could also use blog content in the same way. Blog content can actually be used to identify specifically which blogs someone has clicked on. You would do that by creating a custom website audience. The unfortunate part about blogs is number one, the cost per click is going to be significantly higher than the cost of someone to watch your video.

However, there are groups of people out there that would much prefer to read. So, giving them that option as a secondary way to consume is a great idea. You are going to spend a bit more money. However, the simple act of them clicking on that blog shows you that they have an interest in that topic.

The third type of level one content is going to be that engaging post. These types of posts really need to be building an engagement base. Likes, comments, shares, make sure they understand exactly what you do and what makes you great. This could be a before and after. Another style of post could be, which would you prefer, this or that? It’s very simple, but people will comment. And as long as it’s tied directly to what you do, you’re still building that brand awareness. So, three options at level one, typically video view, ad objectives, are going to be for your videos. Traffic objectives will be for your blogs, and engagement objectives will be for your social posts. You’re going to be looking at cost per Thru play for your video, cost per click for your blog, cost per engagement for those social posts.

If you want to move on to level two, you’re going to have to have those audiences set up. Level two is based on your Facebook pixel, otherwise this isn’t going to work the way it should. So, level two is all about your offer. It’s the way that your products and services are packaged and presented to get someone to engage, opt in, get them to convert. For this specific karate school, he’s going to give people a first month for free. They get this amazing karate uniform. It is all that he needs to really engage these potential prospects. The types of objectives that we’d be using at this level, could be the lead generation objective for Facebook lead forms. It could be conversions. It could be traffic. It could also be messages, if you’re using messenger lead generation. What you want to do here is focus on nothing but conversions, cost per lead, cost per event, such as someone’s scheduling their intro class for that karate school, or maybe scheduling a call, scheduling an appointment.

The types of ads that you present at this level really should be dependent on what happens in level one. The wellness and wellbeing type of parent. They’ve consumed content about that. We know that that’s something that matters to them. We need to present this offer to them in a way that connects the dots. We’re going to use messaging and verbiage that will talk about their child’s wellbeing.

As we’re presenting the offer, we may use an image or a video that has that vibe and that feel to it. We already know that’s what they’re interested in. So, this type of ad is going to be what better converts them. For those parents that are focused on an activity, but not necessarily karate, we could do some type of comparison between the different sports. We could show one child in karate versus one child in another sport and all the benefits this other child is getting.

For the people who are already interested in karate, truthfully presenting the offer directly could be exactly what you need to do. It’s just not going to work for everyone. So, you really need to think about this one-to-many marketing mentality. When we get to level three, that’s focusing on retargeting. Retargeting is essentially taking people who’ve gone to your website, People who’ve engaged with you on Facebook or Instagram. You can take those people, and based on the actions that they’ve taken, you can engage them this final time. It is designed to try and scoop up any of those leads that were potentially missed along the way. So, the best thing that we can do is circle back around and say, hey, it looks like you forgot to finish signing up for your free month of karate school for your child. The messaging focus is going to be sense of urgency, exclusivity, validation, and reassurance that this is going to be a good move for them.

As promised, I’m going to share with you a really easy way that you can plan out these different ads and these different ad levels before you ever dive into ads manager. I would encourage you to just pop into a spreadsheet, label it level one, education. Level two, offer. Level three, retargeting. Decide what your avatars will be for your level one. Decide on a video, what blog topic that works well for them. Level two, already have your offer in place, this is very important because your educational content needs to tie into your offer. For a level three, I would identify which actions someone needs to take in order to see these ads. I would also make a list of the assets that you have in terms of customer testimonials before and after images. Anything that really drives your point home to that audience. Go ahead and establish the same as level two which destinations they’ll be going to. And that’s going to determine your objectives as well. Once you have those things laid out, you’re going to establish a budget and then you’re going to create them in ads manager. But I’d highly recommend having a plan before you start setting up your ads so that you can ensure that everything flows together perfectly. Like I mentioned before, you have to focus on being positive in terms of return on investment. And one of the most important steps for that is budgeting.



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