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Location-based advertising on Paid Social: A Complete Guide

Social ad impressions are up 20% year over year.

The data according to Statista makes it clear - more people are seeing ads every year. That is great news for paid social and performance marketers. So why is paid social hard to crack?

Since consumers are going to be looking at ads from similar brands on Facebook and Instagram, ad fatigue is a real problem.

Especially for the retail industry, it’s harder to get the consumer’s attention when there are so many brands vying for their attention.

And here’s where location-based advertising comes in.

People respond to location-based campaigns more because it’s relevant and targeted. And according to this article on Entrepreneur, it is 20x more effective than a generic ad.

Location-based ads on Facebook and Instagram are a win for both consumers and marketers.

What is location-based advertising?

Since we are going to be talking about location-based advertising, let’s define what it means on paid social.

Location-based advertising is not a novel concept.

Remember being handed out a flyer for a local store near you? Flyers were originally the medium through which location-based offers were distributed.

And now you have outdoor advertisements powered by location intelligence to serve targeted ads.

On paid social like Facebook and Instagram, location-based ads can be created for a particular locality, city, region or country. The dynamic creative and the messaging differ based on all these filters.

For retail, you do want to look at automating the process since it can be almost impossible setting this up manually and managing hundreds if not thousands of ads.

Who should use location-based advertising?

Traditional location-based advertising requires businesses to have a physical front. But this is not the case with paid social. If you are an e-retailer with a global audience, then location-based advertising is for you.

So, let’s break it down into two categories:

  1. Businesses with multiple brick-and-mortar stores
  2. Online businesses with a global audience

There is also a third category wherein businesses with physical storefronts are also using their website to sell directly to consumers.

Different types of LBA techniques

While we’ve briefly delved into location-based marketing and what kind of filters you can have, there are different techniques to implement Location-Based Advertising or LBA.

Hyperlocal targeting

Hyperlocal ads are generally designed to deliver personalized messages to a very small group of consumers. It can be used to drive purchases and increase conversion or share relevant messages to increase brand awareness.

To increase the impact of these ads, you can also design them to display only during relevant times of the day or week.

Location-based targeting

Location-based targeting or geo-aware targeting or geo-targeting uses location data and pushes relevant ads to smartphone users. You essentially create a virtual fence around a location and anyone inside that range can be targeted.

There are two types of geofencing - app-based or SMS-based notifications.

SMS-based location targeting sends these location-based ads to consumers’ text messages whereas app-based notifications are delivered as push notifications or in-app notifications.

Location-based targeting works slightly differently on Paid Social. You can target all kinds of devices - desktop, mobile or tablet.


A form of location targeting is geo-conquesting where instead of creating a virtual fence around your location, you set it up around a competitor’s store.

The technology is the exact same with the difference being in strategy. Your messaging has to acknowledge your competitor and lead your audience to your store instead.


While location-based targeting allows you to get local, if you want to serve extremely targeted content then you have to rely on beacon technology.


Say, a customer walks into your store and is browsing through the jeans aisle. Using beacons, you can send them an offer for 30% off jeans instead of a generic offer for the entire store.

This technique works if there is either a physical store or physical object since there is hardware involved.

5 Benefits of Location-based advertising

While we’ve briefly talked about how location data can help you serve better targeted ads, here is a summary of how location-based advertising can benefit your strategy.

1.Localized messaging in video ads

According to a Databox article, almost 60% of marketers surveyed report that video ads perform better on Facebook.

Add localization to your video ads through the use of local language or local data to speak local and you have a winning strategy on your hands.

2. Personalization at scale

Personalized ads work. According to Salesforce, consumers are almost twice as likely to view personalized offers as important. The problem, of course, is that there isn’t an easy way to personalize offers at scale. This is where location-based campaigns on paid social can change the game. Like Weather-based ads.

3.Capture multiple markets

Social advertising at any scale powered by location intelligence can equip you to win over multiple markets while maintaining your brand’s identity. Location-based campaigns allow you to reach users in their local language with the right offer at the right time and place.

With the right automation (that we will get into shortly), you can save a lot of time and effort while being globally relevant.

4.Increased customer engagement

Targeted and personalized ads can help customers deepen the relationship they have with your brand. Promote social, sell local.

It shows consumers that they are not being served a mass campaign but instead a tailored advertisement for things that they are interested in. Engage users to visit the closest store near them. Advanced formats can include product, location, map, and directions.

5.Beat bigger brands

If you’re trying to capture some market share in a red ocean, location-based advertising could be your ticket to beating bigger brands. People like to shop local and support smaller brands. 38% of American shoppers want to support local businesses and creators.

What are the best networks to streamline ad buying across markets?

Facebook and Instagram are easily the best networks to launch a localized ad given the collective reach of both platforms. Facebook has 2.6 billion monthly users whereas Instagram has a billion.

Thanks to the ease of setup, you can just use Facebook’s Ad Manager to set up ads for both Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook also serves ads throughout a wide network of apps and non-website media which means you can reach out to a lot more potential customers.

However, when it comes to localization and creating hundreds of different ads, you will inevitably find yourself struggling with Facebook’s ad limits.

One easy solution is to use Segment Asset Customization. Segment Asset Customization or SAC delivers customized ads to select groups of people based on the geo-location. So while you may have thousands of different versions of the same ad, Facebook considers it a single ad.

You would need to work with an official Facebook partner like Hunch to use SAC and it can help you derive better results faster.

Use appropriate dealership locations and serve relevant car offers to the right buyers

Another interesting feature is dynamic localization. This allows you to use multiple Facebook pages through one account and set up ads from your feed.

Automate at scale with Hunch

Hunch cares about your performance.

By now, you're already familiar with Apple's newest ATT update. The questions stand: how has advertising on various platforms been affected and what’s next for personalized ads?

Will Crocker Hay, VP of customers and partner marketing at Braze, said, “iOS 15 is certainly going to rock the boat for marketers across the world if they are unprepared.”

While Facebook and Google both allow you to bulk upload a list of locations to set up your location-based ad much faster, this only solves a small part of the problem.

The actual creative and messaging that needs to be delivered is impossible to do manually if you have 50+ retail outlets or 100s of products in your e-commerce store.

There’s got to be a better way!

And that’s us, Hunch.

With Hunch, you can not only automate the creation of dynamic ads but you can also manage your media spend while setting up location-based targeted ads.

It’s a simple 3 step process:

  1. Create a list of locations where you want to advertise your offer
  2. Design a dynamic template
  3. Launch your campaign in a fraction of the time

Since your feed data is connected to our advertising platform, you never have to worry about advertising something that is out of stock or not in season.

Discover a variety of amazing dynamic creative ad examples you can use for ad optimization that may just do the trick.

We’ve helped several brands like G Adventures, Fjuz, Komplet, Maxbet, AirSerbia conceptualize and build micro-targeted ads successfully.

3 location-based advertising success stories from brands that used Hunch

Here’s a quick rundown on how Hunch made it possible for these brands to roll out hundreds of different creatives and messaging and streamlined the ad buying process.

1. G Adventures

G Adventures, the largest Canadian adventure travel company and a world leader in adventure travel was grappling with a major obstacle - localization.

Combine location and product data

G Adventures caters to a massive number of travel destinations where location data is critical to run targeted ads.

This not only took up a lot of time but also resources coming up with all the different versions of the ad and the messaging and then setting them up.

G Adventures leveraged Hunch’s data management capability and creative production tools to segment their ads.

Hunch helped G Adventures generate aesthetic image and video ads at scale, reducing the time to set up the campaigns.

2. Air Serbia

Air Serbia, a legacy carrier and the best airline in Southeast Europe wanted to increase their online sales.

They wanted to make consumers aware of the entire portfolio of flights and this required a highly personalized approach.

At Hunch, we knew that this would require a gigantic number of individual creative assets for each destination. We collaborated with Agency Drive and using Hunch Creative Studio, we created high-impact video posts and story format ads.

Combine real world data, 3rd party data, or product performance data

Each of these ads created a unique experience for potential flyers that were exploring travel destinations.

Once a potential flyer visited the Air Serbia page, they were also retargeted on Facebook and Instagram with a personalized ad.

Hunch produced 1400 image ads and 120 video ads fully automated at scale. Using flight dynamic ads, Hunch automated a social media dynamic retargeting campaign for 73 flights around 54 destinations.

3. Noelle

Noelle, an established and growing personal care brand, wanted to drive more in-store sales at its retail locations in Germany and Austria.

Manually creating customized offers for hundreds of products to hundreds of locations meant at least 10,000 renditions which was almost impossible. Noelle also wanted to test different creatives for ads at scale.

Combine location and creative data for each store location

Partnering with Hunch, Noelle launched an Advanced Localized Facebook Advertising campaign. They set up a data feed for all their retail outlets and used it to create a location driven dynamic creative campaign that leveraged location data, product data and creative data to launch targeted offers at scale automatically.

Not only did we help Noelle target specific locations but we also helped them create ads with localized images and helped them create over 150 local ads.  

Noelle saved time and resources and doubled their sales offline while also influencing some online sales.

Want to make the leap to dynamic and creative paid social automation? Talk to us