Do National Social Campaigns Compete with Local Social Advertising?
We speak with brand marketers all the time who instantly see the value of Facebook at the partner level because it’s truly new audience acquisition. Yet only 2% of the organic Facebook posts your partners make are seen, and even then, they’re only served to people who already liked their Page. Inevitably, the question gets raised,
“If I offer social advertising to my partners, are their efforts going to compete with my brand-level campaigns where I end up paying more for my national social advertising?”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only does local social advertising not compete with your national campaigns, but local social advertising is highly complementary to the efforts you’re already doing. In fact, if you’re only running social advertising at the national level, you’re essentially using only half the Facebook platform’s power, exponentially decreasing your opportunity to activate sales in a competitive market.
National Campaigns Cannot Empower Consumers Fully
What we see time and time again in national campaigns is the marketer doing an excellent job focusing on and converting shoppers who only want to transact digitally. Consumers add the product to their online cart and do not need assistance or advice to complete their purchase.
However, for high-touch industries, most shoppers need some type of assistance. For example, a consumer who is new to the Southern suburbs of Chicago, experienced flooding in their basement this June because of the bad storms. Before moving into their new home, the consumer bought the basic home insurance plan from a top insurance provider after seeing a national advertisement. Unfortunately, the basic home insurance package did not cover the basement flooding. The consumer realized that to find a suitable plan they would need to talk with someone directly who had local knowledge and could tell them which plan would protect their home best. Local social campaigns can promote the brand’s local expertise, advertising for the needs of that neighborhood. Local ads build trust in your brand at the community level and direct consumers to a location near them so they can receive advice and complete transactions that align with their individual needs.
For all industries, local campaigns allow brands to gain access to where their products are sold with their channel partners as the conversion point. This enables brands to be locally relevant while also creating loyalty with their local channel partners.
Local Campaigns are Specifically Architected to Prevent Competition with National Efforts
National and local campaigns can be deployed to the same pool of Facebook and Instagram users, so competition will obviously arise, right? Actually, no. Facebook optimizes the two ads (national and local) based on who is most likely to take the desired action (click, view, submit a lead, etc) and the targeting parameters break up any competition for users between campaigns because the users who make up the national targeting are likely different from those who are being targeted locally.
Moreover, national campaigns have different goals than local campaigns. A national campaign could be focused on overall brand awareness objectives or even direct to consumer engagement, while localized campaigns serve as a direct response, focused and targeted to those who prefer to shop in store or through partner ecommerce sites. Local ads are like connective tissue, they bridge the gap between national campaigns and direct points of sale. With different objectives and different purchase paths, local campaigns can be complementary rather than competition to your national branding efforts.
Local campaigns allow your brand to focus on the micro markets that often get overlooked by national campaigns. Your brand can leverage what matters at a much more granular level, such as whom you want to target versus whom you don’t want to target. Targeted communication in micro-markets activates both increased and consistent engagement. That’s because Facebook is a community platform, and Facebook rewards ads that are relevant to the community with increased frequency and a discounted budget.
Local Campaigns Provide Better Consumer Data
Local social campaigns can offer your brand analytics and insights that national campaigns could never give you. For instance, your weekly report found that your national campaign got 100K impressions in the Chicagoland DMA. This is good information, but with local social advertising you can get more granular results: 30K impressions came from Oak Brook, 10K came from Joliet, 50K came from Downers Grove, 5K came from Hinsdale, and 5K came from La Grange. With these localized insights, you can understand where performance happens and control where you allocate your ad spend.
We can think about this another way. A researcher decides to gather data on the vehicles that drive on the road next to their university. Using two volunteers, the researcher assigns them different tasks, but with the same objective: what cars use this road. Volunteer One is told to count how many cars go by and how many trucks go by in a 10 minute period. Volunteer Two is told to write down the make and model of every vehicle that goes by in a 10 minute period. Who comes back with better data? Who comes back with data that can be used more effectively? Both will collect solid data, yet Volunteer Two will hold data that offers both a macro and micro view of the cars that use the road.
In a post-iOS world, without third party data cookies driving brand marketers’ insights and longitudinal and latitudinal messages being sent, the very best way for marketers to target audiences will be with micro-campaigns. Otherwise, they will not be able to rely solely on location data.