The latest boon to the online marketing
world is Facebook’s targeting update, which enables advertisers to target their ads based on zip codes. Previously, the platform’s geographical targeting capabilities were limited to cities, states and countries. This means that marketers who may have only needed to target a small community or neighborhood had no other choice but to target an entire city. They were pretty much forced to pay for clicks that weren’t as relevant as they could be. Thanks to the update, advertisers can now aim their efforts at users in up to 2,500 zip codes.
With the ability to make ads more focused, Facebook’s updated advertising platform is obviously a good thing for local businesses, who until now have been at a disadvantage in comparison to larger brands with a national focus. Back in 2009, Facebook launched the private beta version of its Ads API, which allowed developers to create tools that enable the purchasing, creation and management of advertising campaigns. Unfortunately, this luxury was only available to a handful of developers, who in turn only worked with big brands whose advertising needs were too complex for the self serve tool via third party providers.
Facebook has leveled the playing field by not only officially releasing its Ads API to all eligible developers, but launching the zip code targeting feature and making it available to all advertisers in the U.S. According to a company representative, the new feature can be accessed directly from the self serve interface through the Power Editor and Ads Manager tools. Upon creating an advertising campaign, users will find the zip code option under the location targeting section. From there, one or multiple zip codes can be selected to target users residing in the areas specified by the advertiser.
This service is still new and unproven, but we can see the Facebook zip code targeting feature being useful in a broad range of applications. For example, a local restaurant or sports bar could use it to advertise food and drink specials to Facebook users within driving distance of their establishment. Companies marketing high-end products could use it to target consumers in affluent, wealthier neighborhoods. There has even been talk of political candidates using it to refine their social media
campaign efforts come election time. Long story short, this feature has a lot of potential.