5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

Do you own a local business?

Are you struggling with any of the following?

  • Foot traffic
  • local sales
  • consultations
  • leads
  • events

If the answer is yes, then Facebook Ads can be a god send.

Facebook represents a huge opportunity for the local business owner. Facebook Ads are like having your own billboard in your own neighborhood.

Here are some updated Facebook stats to show you the reach of this powerful network.

  • There are now 1.79 billion active users on Facebook
  • 16 million local business pages
  • The average American spends over 40 minutes a day on Facebook.

If you are a local business owner that needs more foot traffic, local sales, local consultations, or you want to promote an event then you need to be using Facebook. If you follow the strategies outlined in the rest of this post your chances of succeeding will increase.

Here are 5 steps to success with local Facebook Ads.

Step #1 Create an Irresistible and Superior Offer

For local businesses, the most important factor with Facebook Ads is the offer. It’s about making an irresistible and superior offer. What makes an offer irresistible?

  • Proof of value (this can come in a dollar amount when it comes to local business)
  • Scarcity: Time-based and quantity
  • Risk Reversal (creative guarantee): make it easy for them to buy

Some examples that I have seen work well with local businesses are:

  • free trials
  • free memberships
  • free consultations
  • discounts
  • vouchers
  • coupons

If your product/service requires more education than this type of offers wouldn’t be as effective with cold traffic.

Your marketplace’s sophistication level will determine what offer will work best. For example, if your business is a barbershop people won’t need to watch a webinar to sign up for a discounted haircut.

If you are selling a service with a high ticket item your prospect will need more education. A webinar and a local seminar will work best here.

Here are several examples of Facebook Ads and their offers that have worked well. This one is from ad agency Loud Rumor. They shared a case study with digital marketer

5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

A few things to note about this:

  • The body of the Facebook calls out their target audience
  • Real pictures of the gym are used
  • The offer is the headline of the Ad
  • Call to action is sign up

#2 Create scarcity with your offer with a deadline

Your offer has to have a deadline to be effective. You have to make sure that you provide a reason why you have a deadline or else your prospect will be skeptical.


A voucher has the added benefit of being scarce. You can create the perception of being scarce by only limiting the offer to a select number of people.

Unlike other advertising channels, people will get bored of your ad after a certain amount of time. This is called ad fatigue. You have to continually change your ad and your offer to keep things fresh.

#3 Call out your target market in the ad copy

Call out your target market in your ad copy. You can do this at several different locations. Some advertisers do it in the ad copy while others do it in the headline. Test to see what works best for your business.

If you look at this image you see the target is addressed in the body of the copy:

5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

#4 Use real images of your business

Stock images are not effective. Make sure you to use an image of your customers in your business using your product/service. If you are selling a product you should an image in of the product in the ad. People want to see the product before they buy.

Another example of a local ad for national gym franchise Planet Fitness:

5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

Some things to note about this include:

  • The offer is made in the body of the ad.
  • The offer is repeated on the bottom of the ad.
  • The headline uses gym slang
  • No CTA was used (in some cases this increases the CTR)
  • The image was used inside the gym

In this case, Planet Fitness has a reputation has everyday man’s gym. They have a niche audience and seem to be doing well with this messaging.

If possible showcase before/after images in your ad

Before/after images are effective. They work well because they tell a story and showcase the benefits of your product/service with an image. Before/after images have been used in the weight loss space for decades because they work.

Unfortunately, Facebook is strict when it comes to showcasing before/after images of people’s body. From their perspective, these images create a negative user experience.

However, there are some businesses that can get away with a before/after image. Here are a few examples.

This ad comes from Redmaster Designers. It immediately showcases the benefits of their service with the before/after image. I don’t have exact numbers for this campaign but I am confident this ad was effective.

5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

Some things to note from this ad:

  • The headline is their phone number
  • There is no CTA
  • A link to the landing page is in the ad copy
  • Powerful image showcasing the benefits of their service

Here’s another ad from Sterling Plumbing that showcases a before/image in their ad

5 Steps to Local Business Success with Facebook Ads

#5 Make sure your audience is large enough

Your target audience should have at least 40,000 people. If your audience is too small then not enough of the right people will see your ads and this will cap your conversions.

Local campaigns are often more expensive than national campaigns because they have a smaller target.


Facebook Ads are a powerful strategy for local businesses. It’s a cheap and effective way to get in front of your local audience. Some factors to consider with Facebook Ads are the behavior of the people on Facebook and the level of education your prospects need before they make a purchase decision.

If your product/service requires multiple conversations then getting your prospects on the phone is the quickest way to convert these leads.

If you follow the examples laid out in this post you’ll see success with Facebook Ads.

About the Author

My name is Mauricio and I'm the founder The Cardenal Group. I write about online marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

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