How to promote your business locally with self-serve ads

Local advertising has always helped small businesses thrive. Now, it's easier than ever to launch a high-quality marketing campaign online.

Picture this: A fast food chain is having a nationwide sale on their classic double cheeseburger. You make a mental note to go to the drive-thru the next time you're hungry—maybe you'll make it, maybe you won't.

Now, let's say that a brand new, family-owned burger joint is having a grand opening in your neighborhood tomorrow. Free fries until 10 p.m.? Yes, please! Call your friends, make it an event! You've forgotten all about the double cheeseburger. This is a piece of history, after all.

Local advertising is particularly adept at creating that sense of excitement—and the idea of supporting a local business often motivates us more. That's why targeted, local ads are a powerful tool for small businesses looking to level up. And with Spotify Ad Studio, it's easier than ever to broaden your local reach online.

What is local advertising?

Local advertising involves marketing campaigns that are geotargeted to reach audiences in certain areas. It could be a particular district, city, county, state, or cluster of states. Only listeners in the targeted areas will hear these local ads or see them in their social media feeds.

Strategically targeted ads have the potential to outperform broader campaigns that run anywhere. In general, a whopping 71% of customers prefer advertisements with a personal touch, and 44% of customers prefer advertisements with a personal touch—such as a reference to their hometown.1 In other words, products and services that only serve a specific area should target—you guessed it—local audiences.

As an example, a farm equipment outlet in Iowa probably shouldn't run a national ad. What are listeners in New York City going to do with a seed drill that's 1,000 miles away? Instead, these ads should target a few rural towns near the company's location. Maybe this target area could expand in the lead-up to the Iowa State Fair, when loads of Illinoisans and Nebraskans come to town. But still, it wouldn't make sense to spend precious marketing budget on a full-fledged national ad campaign.

With its advanced geotargeting capabilities, Spotify Ad Studio can help local businesses reach their target audience as they stream music and podcasts. Audio advertising isn't just a big brand's game anymore—businesses of all sizes and budgets can manage audio campaigns across a variety of engaging media formats, with different goals in mind. And better yet, Ad Studio can give you access to voiceover artists, background music, and a Spotify team who can help you get started for as little as $250.

How to advertise your business locally: 6 stellar tips

If you're looking to wow your community with a local ad campaign, these tips can help you get off the ground.

1. Target engaged audiences with a clear context. When it comes to advertising a local product or service, the right context is critical. Listeners should know right away why your company matters to them—if you're a retail outlet hosting a sale on the exact product they've been trying to find, for instance. Listeners should also know that they're listening to a local ad. Why? Almost three-quarters of surveyed consumers say that buying local is a priority.2

Local ads also have the potential to pull on people's heartstrings. Tell your company story, drop in some local references like town names or seasonal events, or even opt to include locals in your voiceover talent.

2. Zero in on an exact audience with self-serve ads. Beyond the usual suspects like social media ad campaigns, consider formats that allow you to speak to precise and geotargeted audience segments—like digital audio ads on Spotify.

Case in point: French e-commerce platform WETHENEW wanted to target potential customers in specific European markets. They hoped to reach a young, urban audience in France. Using Ad Studio's turnkey services, the brand launched a seasonal (holiday) multi-format ad campaign with the theme of "unboxing the gift of your dreams." The ads surpassed expectations, with a 98% completion rate on audio ads and a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 0.98% on the horizontal video ads.

In addition to finding people in the right geographic locations, Ad Studio lets businesses of all sizes create, target, and measure their audio ad campaigns. This makes it simpler to zero in on the right demographic, audience behaviors, and audio environment for your brand or small business's needs.

3. Boost brand recall. Naturally, small business advertising is about making sales—but a customer can't buy your product if they don't know it exists. That's where brand recall comes in. Familiarizing listeners with your company via local advertising encourages potential customers to keep an eye out for your products and services, which in turn can boost revenue.

In order for those customers to show their support for local businesses, they first need to know what your company offers. Then, when they walk by your business on Main Street or happen across your products online, your ad messaging is already in the back of their mind.

Digital audio ads can be one way to get your message out to audiences—provided you've got attention-grabbing creative. Our research shows that 93% of content engagement on Spotify is transferred to the ad break.3

4. Deliver a timely message. One way to bring customers in the door or get coveted clicks online is to advertise limited-time promotions, sales, offers, or loyalty programs. Collaborate with local events so you can tap into a share of their audience. Be sure the advertising formats you opt for take the timeliness of these campaigns into consideration—local newspaper or magazine ads, for instance, often take a longer time to produce and go to print than a digital campaign might.

Don't just "set it and forget it," too—make sure that you pause or stop running ads when a promotion has run its course.

5. Study your competition. If you have local competitors, get familiar with their marketing creative. Check out the ads they're running on social media and other digital platforms. Perhaps you think they're focusing too much on written content versus short-form video ads. Maybe they aren't engaging with email marketing at all. Test out your theories about what might work on your own business ads. Remember: your business is not in a vacuum—its position in the landscape should be strategic.

Take some time to analyze the competition to identify any potential gaps in their strategy. This could be a lack of focus on certain demographics, the fact that they're underutilizing certain platforms, or something "off" about the timing and frequency of their local advertising campaigns. By understanding their marketing mix, you can strategically position your ads where they aren't—or amplify your efforts where they are.

6. Partner up. It's often easier to find like-minded potential business partners or customer advocates when you're an active member of the local community. Maybe you run a garden nursery, and your pal Sandra runs a boutique clothing outlet. By sharing resources, you can run a spectacular ad campaign cross-promoting your businesses—buy a shirt, get a small succulent on the house, for example—all over social media platforms. Or, you can become a local celebrity by sponsoring school sports teams and local events.

Just because your business is small, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on top-tier marketing. Sign up for Ad Studio today to start getting the word out about your local business.


  1. "What Is Targeted Advertising?" AdRoll. May 2023
  2. "Buying Local Statistics for 2021: Survey Finds 70% of Americans Shop Small," Intuit. June 2022
  3. Sonic Science, Neuro-Insight + Spotify, June 2021

This is an updated version of a story that was originally published in February 2022—we aim to keep our content as fresh as possible, to help advertisers make the most informed decisions about how they spend their ad budget.

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