Own a local business? Then you likely have this problem.
As a digital marketer with over 8 years’ experience in Facebook advertising, SEO and affiliate marketing- I constantly hear the same problem. Whenever I speak with local companies the main problem is always, not enough new customers. This is especially true for restaurants or service-based businesses.
Finding new customers in their local market is a constant struggle. Their efforts usually leads to using high priced TV and radio spots, or coupon services like Groupon and Valpak in the hopes of landing a new customer.
Many companies use strategies like print ads, or paid services like Home Advisor. Yellowpages.com and Yelp to get some business is also common addition. All these strategies work somewhat, but most are frustrated and simply breaking even on their marketing strategies.
They all have a Facebook page and a website...but no sales?
So, I began researching what these local companies all had in common with their marketing practices. What I found was startling- None of them were using digital marketing correctly, if at all.
They all had Facebook & Instagram pages, up to date websites and reviews on Google and Yelp. Very few had an intentional strategy focused on digital marketing for the local market.
"Our customers are not on Facebook". Yes they are.
One business owner told me, “Our customers are not on Facebook.” Unfortunately, that is not true. According to Social Media Today, Facebook has 2.38 Billion users as of April 2019. Even if your target audience are Millennials and you think they’re only on Instagram, the truth is they’re on Facebook as well. Plus, Facebook owns Instagram and all Instagram ads run through the Facebook platform anyway.
One client I spoke with said, “I know Facebook is important, but I’m overwhelmed at how to run ads or even what agencies to trust. I don’t understand it enough nor do I have the resources to hire someone qualified.” I began to realize local businesses typically don’t have large budgets but, need strong results from their marketing efforts. The prospect of digital marketing is stressful and overwhelming- mainly because of a lack of understanding about digital marketing is the primary obstacle for local businesses.
“I don’t have the money for digital marketing”
Lets say your marketing budget is $1,000 a month. Let’s also assume your ROI is 10% return. In this model, you would make $1,100 back on your investment and a net positive of $100. You made $100 and picked up a few customers. On the whole, this would be considered a success.
However, what if you could achieve 6X ROI and still pick up new customers? You would essentially spend the same $1,000 and get $6,000 in return. This is the power of digital marketing, when done correctly. So a marketing budget is relative to your return.
Solving this problem led me to discover an inexpensive yet effective means of helping local companies dominate using Facebook. I discovered the Carpet Bomb Strategy created by the great Chris Colvard from Result Hawk Media. I’ve paraphrased Chris’s strategy below.
The Carpet Bomb Strategy
Wikipedia defines Carpet Bombing as a large area bombardment done in a progressive manner to inflict damage in every part of a selected area of land. That may be great for mass destruction in warfare, but we are looking for mass exposure to our ideal customer. When it comes to advertising for a local area, the key phrase is large area bombardment which, I would define as a local market saturation. I can promise you, your competition is not doing this, but it’s incredibly effective.
What is it exactly?
Carpet bombing refers to using Facebook ad campaigns and the primary medium to aim and reach as many people possible in a certain location. In other words, we GEO TARGET a local area for maximum exposure!
How does it work?
We use Facebook ads to create the carpet bomb strategy. For our example, let’s say you are a local promotional products company in Boise, Idaho looking to reach small business owners with your services. The ability to engage every business owner in the Boise area, while staying on budget would be a powerful dream come true. Instead of being frustrated about how to get the word out about your screen-printing and custom embroidered hats, now you have the carpet bomb method. It will separate you from your competition and can be accomplished in these simple steps.
- A great video – The key is to have a great video that promotes the brand and has a call to action at the end to capture any cold market prospects. Spending extra time on a quality video and proper messaging is key. A poor-quality video without a well thought out message would be disastrous. Here are the key guidelines:
- Video should be around 30 seconds long.
- Video resolution needs to be 1080 x 1080 or 1200 x 628 for Facebook Ads
- Brand-centric creating awareness.
- Explains your services or value proposition for the customer.
- Includes call to action at the end.
- Geo targeting – For our example we use Facebook ads to geo target people in the Boise area. We then show a compelling video to the audience about the importance of gift baskets as a way to retain customers. Getting the audience to view 75% of the video is crucial. We also target age and gender depending on our audience. In our example, business owners are our main target so the age demographic would be age 35+ and both males and females- as most business owners are above age 35 statistically.
- Building the local audience – Next, we create a Facebook custom audience of everyone who watched the video to at least 75% completion.
- The final offer ad – We send a call to action ad to our new 75% viewed audience. This can be any number of ad types– click to call, get coupon, obtain free estimate, etc. The final offer needs to be very specific and focused on meeting the needs of business owner’s target audience.
I have used this technique with great success for local markets, especially restaurants and service-based businesses. I have seen as high as 8X ROAS (return on ad spend), using this method. Although its been around a while, a working strategy is always worth mentioning. If you want more help on this strategy or details on the specifics, I would highly recommend reaching out to Chris Colvard on Facebook. He is the author and master of this technique.