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Ad localization on Paid Social: The complete how-to guide

For global brands going local on social, the answer is simple - ad localization. Contextual creatives targeted at audiences based on their location have yielded engaging ads that lower CAC, CPM, and better CTR.

In order to run a successful localization campaign, you’re faced with two basic challenges: how do you produce the required number of assets, and how do you actually get those ads into a campaign.

After helping some of the world’s best brands with their ad localization efforts, we’re sharing the exact steps you need to take to localize your ads.

How to localize ads on Facebook

On Facebook, there are two parts to localization. The first is choosing the locations you want to target, and the second is contextualizing creatives for each location.

Step 1: Target the right location

Facebook allows you to reach audiences based on location. You can choose a location status, enter locations, browse locations or enter a location radius.

Location Status: This lets you choose people living in a location, traveling in a location, or recently in that location.

If you’re a local store advertising in your neighborhood, you should choose people living in your location. In contrast, a car rental service would benefit from selecting people traveling in a location.

Enter a location: You can enter the names of countries, cities, and regions. If you need to target multiple locations, bulk upload the list on Facebook.

You can search for:

  • 25 countries
  • States
  • Provinces
  • 250 cities
  • Congressional districts
  • 50,000 ZIP or postcodes

Browse locations: When you’re unsure of the places you want to target, browse countries on Facebook and it will suggest high-population cities for the best results.

Location radius: Instead of selecting a location, you can choose a radius and create location-based targeting campaign. The radius varies from location to location and doesn’t allow you to extend a radius into other countries.

Step 2: Create, design, and launch

The second step is to create the right set of creatives to engage your audience and deliver a positive ROI on your campaign.

Manual: Recommend for a few locations

If you’re running a campaign targeting only a few locations, create contextualized copy and creatives and then deliver those ads through Facebook.

Automation: Recommended for multiple locations

Dynamic Creative: Facebook’s dynamic creative lets you upload ad elements that the platform combines in various combinations to deliver the best performing ads to the right audience. This drives up engagement and mitigates ad fatigue.

Aldi ad example
Attenzione! Achtung! L'attention!

But for this to work at scale, you will need to use dynamic creative for each ad per location. So while the platform can combine ad elements, you will still need to create a lot of creatives.

Language localization

Facebook allows you to run your ad in multiple languages. You can add your headline and primary text for additional languages or choose the automatic translation if it’s available. So now your ad will be displayed to people in the language that they speak.

The problem with ad localization on Facebook

When running multiple location campaigns on Paid Social, two main problems arise:

  • Creating deliveries for all the ad sets
  • Contextualizing creatives for each location

Both these tasks are time and resource-intensive. For example, if you want to contextualize your ads for the locations you’re targeting, you need to design creatives manually and painstakingly replace each element to localize it.

That’s a whole lot of design and copy work. Your time to production and launch is high. The more products you have and the more locations you want to target, your time and cost investments rise.

This effectively prevents you from running a time-sensitive campaign. As a result, it’s hard to make changes to your existing campaigns. For instance, if you’re using weather data in your campaign to engage your audience, the constant changes require approval from Facebook before you can deliver them.

And that’s not all. Given the iOS 14 privacy updates, the best way to increase your ROAS is to cycle creatives, but you can’t effectively do that given how long it takes to localize creatives.

The solution: creative automation

The answer to these problems is to marry creative automation and ad localization. Creative automation platforms like Hunch can drastically reduce your production and launch time and manage your ad strategy all in one platform.

Hunch has a 4 step framework - Connect, Design, Launch and Optimize.

1. Connect your feed

The first step is to connect your data feed with custom fields. Think product catalogs, flight data, car availability, audience, or locations. You can connect your Google Feed, CRM, or upload a CSV or XML, or third-party data.

Note: Feed items can be modified either dynamically or manually.

2. Design your ads

Hunch’s powerful platform lets you create smart and scalable templates both for images and videos. You can either have single or multiple templates.

Items in the data feed are associated with an image based on the conditions you set. So instead of creating each ad manually, the platform combines individual ad elements to produce contextualized creatives instantly.

3. Launch your campaign

With your designs in place, ad campaigns are automatically created based on your feed. Based on your goals for the campaign, ad operations are carried out to produce thousands of personalized offers. You can also automate language localization for all your ads. Write a copy for one ad and let Hunch handle the rest.

4. Optimize your campaign

Make data-driven decisions to control your campaign’s performance to optimize ROAS, stop poor ads, control CPAs, rotate creatives, and boost cross-channel growth. Strategies are automated, combining human and machine workflows.

Live example from a Hunch customer

Let’s look at how ad localization is achieved using an example from a brand using Hunch to automate their localization needs.

Goal: Target 114 locations and 844 zip codes with contextualized creatives.

1. Connect the Google Sheet

Their data feed is a Google Sheet. It contains all the assets, the ad sets, 844 zip codes, and ad copy for all the locations.

This centralized sheet is all they need as a source of input for the ad’s creative production.

Hunch feed localization

Can they do this manually? Yes. But creating 114 ad sets on Facebook and then assigning zip codes to those ad sets would take a lot of time rendering the process inefficient and ultimately ineffective.

2. Creating the ad templates

The platform creates an automated catalog for the campaign. This contains all the 114 locations for which the brand creates dynamic templates for both images and videos.

Hunch platform

Based on the feed data, the copy and creative changes for each location. The same is possible for video. The brand runs an influencer campaign and combines it with contextualized copy based on the location.

Video editor localization

Instead of creating individual images, the brand creates a few templates and lets the data feed populate it saving them a lot of time.

3. Create a master ad set

The templates are not the only dynamic thing; the campaign is too. Instead of creating 114 ad sets for the locations, a master ad set is created that picks data from the feed.

Localization ad set

For example, the brand wants to use different budgets for different locations. They can use the feed to autofill that info for them.

Localization setting campagin

You only see a few variations of the ad sets on the Hunch platform. However, once you sync your ads account, you see all the 114 individual ad sets and individual ads under each of them.

Localization ads accounts

Ad localization results from Hunch customers

The brand’s example you just read about saw a 150% reduction in CPM, and they lowered their CPC.

Delivery ad example
Targeting different audiences based on their city locations.

Genero, a global creative platform for marketers, runs 700 Facebook ads for one of their clients and has reduced CPL by 82% and CAC by 62% using Hunch.

Two campaigns. 230 ad groups. 700 ads. That's a monstrous structure to manage if you do it manually. We scaled spending, improved results, and reduced our workload by using Hunch to automate campaign and ad delivery,” shares Heiman Safeen, the Senior Growth Marketer at Genero.

Automated ad localization: Why brands need it + Benefits

There’s no doubt that localized ads works. Fjuz, an advertising agency and a Hunch customer, has experienced that first-hand. Jørgen Simensen, Head of Technology and Performance at Fjuz, shares, “Local ads perform better than global ads. Hunch automated ads solution helped us to deliver localized experiences to hundreds of stores, while saving us tons of time.”

But without automation, localization is not an easy feat.

Simensen explains:

Let’s say you have 50 or 100 stores/locations. It wouldn’t be feasible to create one campaign/ad set manually for each location without automated ads. If you want to make a text/image change, you are stuck changing 50/100 variants manually. You can change texts and images in minutes with automated ads, no matter how many stores/locations you manage. The stores/locations could also have different products they want to promote, which are easy to manage through spreadsheets.

At Hunch, creative automation is accompanied by workflow optimization. Fjuz’s client, C-optikk, has seen much better results since they allocated the budget based on the geolocation and store turnover.

Brands using Hunch experience automation efficiency, increased ROAS, and optimized workflows. But the best part? With Hunch, you’re not limited to just Paid Social. You can automate creative production for programmatic channels and design custom solutions for feed delivery.

Want to put your localization on auto-pilot? Talk to one of our Paid Social experts today!