Facebook Targeting for Beginners: Radius-Based Ads


Facebook recently launched radius-based advertising. Now you can design campaigns that target users within a particular radius surrounding your geographic location. So far, this form of advertising is available only in the USA. But because of its potential, it may soon be widely available.

Targeted Advertising on Facebook

There are many ways to promote your business effectively via social media (check out our previous blog posts: 5 Ways to Promote Your Business on LinkedInGetting Started With Instagram). Unfortunately, there’s no universal recipe for creating a perfect ad campaign that brings fantastic results every single time. Different types of business activities require different advertising strategies.

One of the key factors of successful advertising is targeting. Is your ad targeted to the proper audience? And is the message conveyed in a comprehensive way? Even a huge budget will not generate satisfactory results if the recipients are not interested in the product or offer.

According to their official data, Facebook has 1.32 billion monthly active users as of June 30, 2014. The social networking website has collected a lot of information about the users. This data makes Facebook one of the most efficient tools for targeted advertising.

Targeting may sound complicated. But in fact it’s not. Facebook offers many parameters, allowing users to target their ads precisely to the perfect audience in no time.


Defining Your Target Audience

Facebook enables you to define the target group for each advertising activity. You can choose location, demographics (e.g. sex, age, date of birth), interests, place of work, education, language or connections (e.g. email marketing fans). In fact, you can use all the information provided by users at sign up.

With geographical parameters, you can target your ads to people who live in a particular country, state, city or ZIP code. Just choose a city and define a radius surrounding it; your ad will be delivered to the target city and nearby cities within range of the defined radius.

However, this solution is not for everybody. The vast majority of campaigns prepared this way are less effective for small businesses that sell their products or offer services mainly to the local community.

Radius-Based Ads

If you are not interested in a campaign covering the entire city, and you only want to target people close to your premises – this is the option for you.

Radius-based ads reduce your campaign budget by allowing you to create ads that target users in close proximity.

Who can use this functionality?

Radius-based ads might be particularly useful for business directing offers to local communities. Here are a few examples of businesses that might benefit from this form of advertising:

Radius-Based Ads

1. Bakery

For example, let’s look at an organic bakery that uses only the highest quality all-natural ingredients. The owner knows his customers very well (mostly people from the neighborhood). He likes to chat with them, collect their opinions, and adjust his offer to their preferences.

The bakery offers different products depending on the day and time. The owner changes his offer regularly, to match the preferences of different customers.

An ad campaign targeted to people living nearby might be more effective and less expensive than a campaign covering the entire city.

With a radius-based ad, the bakery owner might:

  • Inform his customers about special offers: sweet and salty pastries baked with seasonal ingredients, holiday specials (Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, Easter bread), gluten-free pastry, or any other promotional campaign
  • Announce that a particular holiday is coming and invite customers to place orders before the rush starts (to increase sales).

2. Food truck

All vendors on wheels have two common features: they constantly change their location and they promote on Facebook. Each day, they serve customers in a different location, and you never know when they will be around.

A food truck owner might prepare a morning campaign to promote the daily deal among the people nearby. It would help some people make a decision about their lunch destination.

Depending on the location, an ad campaign targeted to the audience within a one-mile radius might prove extremely efficient and generate high return on investment.

3. Flower Shop

Any day in the life of a local community might be an excellent occasion to give someone a bouquet of flowers. Birthday, anniversary and Mother’s Day are just a few occasions to use radius-based ads.

The flower shop owner will have a lot of opportunities to advertise his business and present his exceptional offer to people in the neighborhood.

To increase campaign effectiveness, he could also specify demographic parameters and, depending on the occasion, target ads to men or women.

A lot of marketers can’t wait to implement radius-based ads in their marketing strategy. How are you going to use the new feature to promote your business? Share your ideas in the comments below.