There’s a lot of marketing advice out there for online businesses. Whether you’re a retail business trying to drive sales online, a SaaS company trying to get leads or anything in between, there are plenty of articles, webinars and videos to get you pointed in the right direction.
But if you’re running a local business? Well, you kind of get the short end of the stick.
A lot of the marketing advice you see online really works best for online businesses with a national or worldwide presence. Local businesses, on the other hand, have much more specific needs and challenges. If you happen to be running a local business, you know exactly what I mean. Marketing as a local business online can be rough.
Fortunately, there are some proven ways to market your local business online. One of the best ways to do this is using video ads on Facebook.
Now, if you’re trying to market a local business, video advertising might seem a bit overwhelming. You probably don’t have a massive budget to work with or a dedicated marketing team to script, film and edit videos for your business. But, even without all those things, you can still make Facebook video ads work for you…if you know the right way to approach things.
In this article, we’re going to talk about 4 types of Facebook video ads that are relatively affordable and easy to create. More importantly, they are the exact sort of content that will help put your local business on the map!
1. Brand Story Ads
Local businesses have an intimate, neighborly feeling that chains like Wal-Mart or Wendy’s simply cannot hope to replicate. People buy into that feeling, which comes with a sense of community and exclusivity (“this is our store/restaurant/plumber/etc”).
Local businesses thrive because they meet needs in the local community. As a result, they feel like a part of the community—supporting local businesses feels like supporting the community.
This is a great angle to use in your online marketing. Local love to hear about why and how people in their community started a business, so creating a brand story video ad is a great way to get people to engage with your business.
If you’re not sure what your local business’s brand story is, here are a few questions to get you thinking:
- Why did you decide to start your company?
- What are your goals and passions?
- How did you get started? What challenges did you overcome?
- Who has your business helped in the local community?
- What makes you different from the competition? Are your products hand-made? Do you offer a guarantee on your services that no one else can match? Do you have “behind-the-scenes” content that you can share?
With this sort of video, your goal isn’t so much to drive new customers to your door as it is to build awareness. If you do it right, people will come to check out your company, but even if they don’t show up in droves, you’re still making them aware of who you are and what you do.
For example, check out this brand awareness-building video.
22-year old Kristel de Groot wasn’t thinking about building a Superfood Empire when she started mixing superfoods back in 2013…but that’s exactly what she did.
Posted by Your Superfoods on Friday, May 24, 2019
As people become more familiar with your business (or if you’re already a household name), you can focus instead on content that makes people feel like you’re all on the same team.
As a quick example, here’s another video from the same business that focuses more on this angle.
We take care to know exactly where all of our ingredients come from and to work with independant farmers and local organisations so ensure whatever we do, we do some good at the source! Read more about our sourcing here:www.yoursuperfoods.us/ingredients
Posted by Your Superfoods on Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Unlike the first video, the appeal in this ad is more focused on logic than emotion. It helps explain why people should buy at their store—and not just because they’re local.
As a rule of thumb, brand story videos should be fairly short and to the point (30-60 seconds). Your goal is to build awareness and generate interest. You don’t have to explain every detail of your business or make every argument for why people should buy from you. If you build enough interest, they will come.
2. Testimonial Ads
What’s the best way to feel “local”? Feature local places, events and most importantly, people!
Testimonial ads are a particularly great choice for local business. Why? Because if you can get people in the community to review your business, it proves that you are actually a good, trustworthy business.
After all, unlike online reviews, testimonial ads for local businesses come from people in your community. If those people lie, they’ve got a lot more to lose than some random person on the internet.
Now, a good testimonial ad doesn’t have to be incredibly professional. In fact, because you’re a local business, sometimes lower production value can actually make your business seem more real and approachable.
In this video, the business does a great job of balancing professionalism with a feeling of authenticity.
In contrast to the brand story ad we mentioned earlier, though, testimonial ads aren’t a great way to build awareness for your business. They really only work if people already know about your business and need a little more convincing.
Combining a testimonial ad with a brand story ad can be a solid one-two punch combo, though. You start by running your brand story ad on Facebook and then create an audience based on people who have watched your ad for a certain amount of time. Then, you target those people with your testimonial ad.
Since they already know about your business, your testimonial will help your potential customers get even more interested in your business. All of a sudden, your company isn’t just a name anymore—it’s something they need to check out.
Testimonial ads are great, but they can get tiresome if you try to stuff too much content into one ad. In general, you want to keep them to 45-60 seconds. If you have more content than will fit in that time frame, create more ads.
3. FAQ Ads
One big challenge that chains often struggle with is a feeling of disconnectedness. No matter how important their question is, your average Joe can’t ask Jeff Bezos for help. The bigger the business, the more far off and aloof it seems.
Local businesses, on the other hand, feel very open and accessible. They might not be able to get the help they need from Amazon, but they can give your business a call and talk to a real person right away.
One easy way to help promote these sorts of feelings is to run FAQ ads. People always have questions, so answering those questions in a video ad makes your business seem in touch with and invested in its customers.
To make things even better, who asks questions? People who are thinking about making a purchase. If your video ad makes buying from you easy and comfortable, they’re probably going to choose you over a distant and disconnected competitor.
If you’re doing a good job of interacting with your customers, you should already have a fairly good idea of what questions to cover in this kind of video, but if you’re looking for ideas, you can often find them in the comments on your social media ads and posts.
How-to videos, FAQ videos and other video ads that help answer people’s questions are an ideal way to build trust with your potential customers. As with testimonial ads, these sorts of ads are best for customers who are already aware of your business and what it does. But, for those customers, this sort of ad can tip them from considering to buying very quickly.
4. Event Ads
Finally, another key advantage local businesses have over their global competitors is the ability to connect with the community through local events. Whether you sponsor an event yourself or participate in a larger event with other businesses, events are a great marketing opportunity—one that is particularly well-suited to Facebook video ads.
Before the event, you can piggyback off of announcing the event to talk about something relevant to your business (and your customers). During the event, you can snag a ton of footage that you can use after the event in ads showing how connected you are to the community.
For example, you might run an ad featuring a group of runners you sponsored at a local 5k that talks about how your business is committed to supporting the community (see the brand story ad above). Alternatively, you could include footage of your booth at a local event and talk about how your business has been an important part of the community for years.
In any case, a good event ad should be short, sweet and to the point (< 60 seconds). It’s not your job to get people to attend the event. Instead, the goal is to use people’s natural interest in local events to build awareness for your business and promote a sense of community.
While the big chains might have more resources than you do, they can’t connect with their customers the way a local business can. It feels good to support a local business—especially one that feels like a real part of the community.
As a local business, this is where you can really shine. Video advertising might seem intimidating, but you don’t have to match the production value of a big chain. Local customers don’t care about how polished their ad is. Instead, they want to feel like you’re a real, likeable, local business that they feel connected to.