You’re out running errands, scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, as the typical person does dozens of times a day.

Blending right into your feed is a promoted post for an auto repair center you haven’t heard of. Just a minute later, at a stoplight, you look up from your phone and, sure enough, you are right next to it.

Laser-Target Your Local Customers with Facebook

Coincidence, right? That might seem oddly convenient. Well, that’s because it is convenient, by design. Facebook’s hyper-local advertising features allows advertisers to target users within a specific radius. Through a drop-down menu, you can also choose to target people who live in the region, are visiting the region, or travelling to the region from over 100 miles away. Facebook’s new additions to location targeting also allow you to do the opposite, exclude addresses or regions from targeting.

Google Hyper-Local Targeting

Google also has location-targeting capabilities, including radius settings. These allow you to target entire cities, states, and countries, or even specific places of interest, like airports. Google Adwords can not only target based on physical location, but on locations of interest as well. If a user includes a specific location in their search, or looks at other locations on Google Maps, Adwords may display ads in those locations.

Advertisers can adjust their keyword bids based on locations within locations. That same auto repair shop may target the entire city of Austin, but will bid higher for Google searches done within a mile of the shop. Google will also show you the potential reach for each region you select, so you can make sure you are maximizing your ad spending. On top of location targeting, Google Adwords allows for language targeting too. Non-english speaking searchers can be targeted with non-English ads, appealing to a variety of regions and demographics.

Creative Possibilities

Kathleen Kusek, a contributor of Forbes, speculates on the multiple possibilities hyper-local advertising brings. A nearby Chipotle could create geo-located ads that say “Short lines at 2:00 pm,” ensuring nearby customers that their wait will be short and efficient. Not a bad incentive for people in a rush. Stores in malls can target the mall’s shoppers, already intending to spend money. Mall shoppers are in an opportune buying state, so why wouldn’t you target them directly? Geo-targeting is valuable to travelers in a new city who don’t know the local establishments. Have no idea where to eat, shop, or stay? Go on Facebook or Google and you’ll find a local restaurant, store, and hotel pretty quickly.

Enabling Your Advertising

Location-based targeting is yet another weapon in an advertiser’s arsenal. With this capability, you are able to make your ad seen by the people who really matter. These advancement in ad technology like this are causing conversions to go up and CPA’s to go down. With results like that, it’s hard to go back to expensive, inefficient broadcasting.

Chris Treadaway

Chris Treadaway is the CEO of Polygraph. He was previously Group Product Manager of Web Strategy at Microsoft and a Founder of Stratfor. He is the two-time author of Facebook Marketing An Hour a Day and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on data-driven marketing.