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The 7 Top Digital Advertising Channels for Local or Regional Businesses

There's a lot of factors that go into determining what channels to use as part of a digital advertising campaign, including budgets, calls to action, and targeting. Some businesses only operate in or are only focused on advertising in certain zip codes, and as a result, their geographic targeting needs or requirements play into digital advertising channel selection. Businesses like these could include gas companies, internet providers, community colleges, or local food delivery services. If this sounds like your business, we’ve got some ideas and tips on what channels could be most effective as part of your next campaign.

1. Google Paid Search

Advertising on Google is extremely important if your product or service is something that users typical search for. For example, if you’re a local mechanic, you’ll want your website to show up when users search for things like “car inspection near me” or “collision repair services.” With paid search, you’re getting your advertisement in front of users who are already searching for your product and have a high intent to purchase, so it can be very cost-effective for local businesses. 

Quick Facts about Paid Search

  • Target by zip codes, county, DMA region, city, or radius
  • Can target based on search queries and demographic or interest data
  • Great for lead generation and direct sales
  • Important to understand the factors Google uses to determine ad quality and how that could impact your campaign's performance
  • Budget minimum can start around $300 to $5,000/month (varies greatly depending on industries, service areas and price point for the service)

If your product or service doesn’t have search intent because users are unaware that a business like yours even exists, then this might not be the right platform for you. Instead, you will need to rely on social media platforms to generate awareness for your business.

2. Facebook Advertising

Facebook is the top social platform for advertising to Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials due to its extensive interest, behavior and demographic targeting. With about 2.5 billion monthly active users, this is a great place to start to dip your toes in the water of digital advertising, as you know your ads will be seen by a large audience.

Quick Facts about Facebook Advertising

  • Target by zip codes, county, DMA region, city, or radius
  • Can target users by interests, behavior, demographics and customer lists
  • Can create lookalike audiences of users who have purchased from you, like your Facebook page, or otherwise shown interest in your company
  • Ideal for brand awareness, direct sales, event promotion and lead generation
  • Budget minimum: $500 to $2000/month depending on audience size

3. Instagram Advertising

Instagram skews younger than the audience on Facebook, making it the ideal channel to target Millennials and Generation Z for products and services. Instagram sees about 1 billion monthly active users, which is smaller than Facebook, but still large compared to other social networks. It’s also owned by Facebook, making it easy to run ads on both platforms at the same time. Due to this being an image and video heavy channel, ads on this platform need to be visually appealing to garner engagement and be successful.

Quick Facts about Instagram Advertising

  • Target by zip codes, county, DMA region, city, or radius
  • Can target users by interests, behavior, demographics, customer lists and lookalike audiences
  • Ideal for brand awareness, direct sales, event promotion and lead generation
  • Budget minimum: $500 to $2000/month depending on audience size

4. Snapchat Advertising

Snapchat may not be the first platform that comes to mind when you think about social advertising, but it can be successful for businesses when done correctly. A short video with someone in your target audience talking about your product or service or the experience they had as a customer do well on this channel, but brands have also been successful with more professional product videos and static images for brand awareness. With over 210 million monthly active users on the platform, this can be a home run for some local businesses.

Quick Facts about Snapchat Advertising

  • Target by radius around an address or city
  • Can target users by interests and behaviors on and off Snapchat, including data from Datalogix and Experian about household income, life events, education and more
  • Use to increase awareness and generate website traffic
  • Budget minimum: $500 to $1,000/month depending on audience size 

5. Spotify Advertising

Sure, radio may not be as popular as it used to be, but everyone is still listening to music on their smart phones in one way or another. The users who pay for Spotify don’t receive ads, but the free version still has over 150 million ad-supported listeners who tune-in while commuting, studying, working out or listening to podcasts. There are a few other platform options if you want to run audio ads, but Spotify is by far our favorite because of its easy-to-use self-serve ad manager and the ability to record audio ads directly through the platform for free! Plus, it allows you to target by zip codes while some of the other competitors don’t have the ability to do so.

Quick Facts about Spotify Advertising

  • Target by city or zip codes
  • Can target users by age, gender and interests based on music choices, podcast genres and more
  • Use to increase awareness, brand recall and generate website traffic
  • Minimum budget: $300 to $500/month depending on audience size

6. Pinterest Advertising

Millennials, Generation Z and Generation X love to use Pinterest to find ideas for home décor, fashion, crafts, celebrations, and recipes, but that doesn’t mean your local business can’t have a piece of the pie! This platform is sort of a mix between a search and social platform; on Pinterest, users search for certain content, which is different than typical social platforms where you scroll through a newsfeed filled with content from family, friends, and companies you like.

Quick Facts about Pinterest Advertising

  • Target regions, metros and postal codes
  • Can target by age, gender, and interests based on searches or topics they like
  • Great for brand awareness, increasing your website traffic, direct sales and lead generation
  • Minimum budget: $300 to $500/month depending on audience size

7. Nextdoor Advertising

Nextdoor might be the baby of the social networks with about 10 million members, but it has a very unique offering for small businesses, so we had to mention it in our list.  If you’ve never heard of Nextdoor, it's an app and community that you sign up for using your home address to exchange recommendations, read local news, support local businesses, borrow tools from neighbors and sell items like furniture. The audience on this app definitely skews older, but since it’s so localized, it’s perfect for regional businesses, especially those who can offer local deals or coupons in their ads.

Quick Facts about Nextdoor Advertising

  • Target neighborhoods or zip codes within 10 miles of your business address or nearby zip code
  • Ideal for increasing local visibility and in-store purchases
  • Minimum budget: $100/local deal (must include a coupon) or $100 - $1,000/mo. for a neighborhood sponsorship (only available for select industries like real estate agents, home renovation experts, rental properties, etc.)

We know it can be a little daunting when you see ads on these platforms from the big-shot advertisers like Amazon and Walmart, but don’t worry, there’s room or everyone! If you want to venture into paid advertising but aren’t sure where to start, give us a holler!

Learn more about how Liquid would approach building out your paid advertising strategy from Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Emily Massaro: