Yes, you can advertise your local small business on Nextdoor and reach your neighbors for a very reasonable cost. There are two types of advertising now as it seems Nextdoor has dramatically changed their app in recent years. There used to be real estate specific advertising in the real estate section, but now that’s all gone. Real estate agencies can still advertise, but it’s along with all the other local business advertising.
There’s also a broader way of advertising on Nextdoor for brands and agencies who want to reach customers across multiple markets. This article isn’t about that type of advertising because our focus is local small businesses and local marketing strategies and there’s not much we can write about it anyway.
It’s not that easy to advertise on a large scale on Nextdoor as it’s focused on local markets for the most part. If you are a large brand, then you have to contact Nextdoor in order to even advertise in multiple markets.
So, for this article the focus is on creating the best ad you can for Nextdoor to get some visibility in your community and hopefully some customers too. Before this article gets into the actual setup of your ads on Nextdoor, there are a few things you need to do and think about first.
Before You Set Up Nextdoor Advertising
You can’t just jump into the actual setup of ads. If you don’t do these things first then your ads likely won’t be successful or in the case of setting up your business page, you can’t even advertise without doing that first!
So, be sure you go through each of these sections before the setup. That will give you the best chance possible when your ads go live. Always keep in mind that advertising is always a work in progress. Keep testing, trying different things, and give yourself a budget to work with.
If you don’t have a budget that you’re willing to spend in advance then you’re likely going to spend too much and then feel disappointed or worse, go broke!
First thing’s first, you have to set up your page.
Set Up Business Page
You have to set up your Nextdoor business page the right way first. Nextdoor won’t even let you advertise your business without setting up your page first, so this is actually a step you can’t avoid.
Just be sure you follow all the instructions in the article I linked above all the way through, so your business page looks good. It’s not good enough to just do the basics in order to get to your ads. Customers might seek your business out after seeing your ad, and you don’t want to look half-assed.
Make sure you fill in all the information, tell your story, have your phone number, email, website, and even pictures entirely complete. A complete business page will make you look together and professional.
After you set up your business page, you’ll also want to verify your business page. That will give you the opportunity to post two free messages from your business account on the Nextdoor feed. That’s a good way to introduce your business and ask for recommendations which brings us to the next section.
Get At Least One Recommendation
Before you venture into spending money on advertising, establish your business at least minimally on Nextdoor. Get that first recommendation to show you’re dedicated to the platform and the community.
It’s not hard to get your first recommendation, either. For Loclweb, we were able to get a recommendation just by posting one message from our business introducing ourselves, what we do, and asking for the recommendation. Our main area on Nextdoor is relatively small, too, so if you’re in a larger metro area then you shouldn’t have an issue.
It’s a good idea to read through this article that will help you get recommendations on Nextdoor. It also has links to some resources Nextdoor has created to help you get your first recommendations. And of course, more recommendations means more customers in the long run.
Once you get everything on your business page setup, it’s time to think about what you want to advertise.
Think About What To Advertise
Advertising is a tricky game. Just because you advertise and get in front of people doesn’t mean they’ll take action. In fact, without the right offer and ad the likelihood that people will take action is minimal.
People don’t just click on ads and buy without a good reason to do so. Your business being local isn’t enough, unfortunately. You’re going to have to offer something great or have a good deal that gets people to at least become a lead.
Make sure you spend a good amount of time formulating a deal that people can’t refuse. Ask some of your customers what they would jump at for an ad or even ask some family members.
Keep in mind that Nextdoor users skew older, relatively wealthy, and more are college graduates than not (surprisingly) according to Pew Research Center. Depending on your area, they could also be homeowners. They’re mostly consumers, but some are small business owners too.
We’ve found it’s not a good platform to advertise business services but home services seem to be great. An example of an ad that did good for me specifically was a great deal on a seasonal HVAC system tuneup. I was brought right to a signup page with a form and was able to schedule an appointment right on their website. That’s where something like appointment booking on your website is a huge plus.
They even upsold me on winter tuneup because the temperature was perfect to do both!
So, make sure your ad is easy to take action on, is a great deal, and make it match the audience you expect to see in your area and on Nextdoor as a whole.
Think About Your Ad Lead Landing Page
Your ad is important but even more important is the page people land on when they click (or tap) your ad. This doesn’t apply to a few of the Nextdoor ad types but for most, it does. It doesn’t apply to message ads and also certain calls to action for the promote a sale or discount goal.
But for the majority of ads, bringing visitors to your website will be the most effective and give you the most flexibility with your ad/promotion. That is if you bring visitors to the right landing page.
In order to have a good landing page you need a good website first. It’s even better if your website has the ability to book if your deal relies on people scheduling an appointment with you. Isn’t it better that they can book right on your website right there rather than having to contact you or fill something out and then fumbling through organizing an actual appointment?
If we build your website, then you can easily build a landing page (or have us do it for you!) specifically for your ad. A good landing page doesn’t have the distractions of navigation, header, footer, etc. It’s a simple page with information and one goal that funnels the user down it.
You can even build a custom form (or have us set up more forms for you) for the page that gathers information from your ad lead, so you don’t spend money for nothing. If you pay for someone’s eyes, then you definitely don’t want to waste that opportunity.
However you choose to set up your Nextdoor ad, be sure if visitors are directed to a website that you think about the simplicity and focus of that website. It needs to be mobile-friendly, load fast, have a singular focus, and match the intent of your ad.
Unless your homepage is built like a landing page, then you shouldn’t simply use your home page.
Now it’s time to set up your ad on Nextdoor.
How To Set Up Your Nextdoor Advertising
You have your business page completely set up even with a recommendation. Good job!
You also know exactly what you’re going to advertise. Now it’s time to jump into the process of setting up your ad. I’m going to cover all your options and give you some pointers on the way. So, follow the numbers in the images but keep in mind that some images don’t have numbers, but I will cover the importance of them in the overall process.
You’ll need an image for your ad so keep that in mind also. Everything else is just pointing people to a good page on your website, getting messages, or even getting phone calls.
Let’s get started!
You’ll first need to head over to your business page on Nextdoor. That will bring you to the following page where you can access the Ads (step 1) tab and then click on the Manage ads (step 2) button.
Now you have the ad introduction from Nextdoor and the important Self-Service Advertising Terms of Service. Make sure you read through those or perhaps skim it if that’s your think. There are some things you can and cannot do with your ads, so be sure you follow the terms of service.
When you’ve read through everything, click the Get started (step 3) button.
Now you’re getting into the actual ad setup. You’ll notice a line across the top of the screen just below the Nextdoor logo (with the arrow pointing to it). That’s actually a progress bar that you’ll see go all the way across the screen as you progress through the ad setup.
Step 1 – Set ad goal
There are three different options for ad goals (step 4). You’ll want to choose the right options for your ad goal. Here’s what each one is for.
The increase website visits goal will prioritize clicks to your website. It’s an image-based ad that lets you set up a short description, a nice big square image, a call to action message, and the link you want visitors to be brought to if they click your ad. Keep in mind that while you can select from a huge number of call to action buttons, they will all go to the website link of your choice. No phone calls, messages, or anything like that. That’s what the next option is for.
Promote a sale or discount is somewhat similar to the website visit goal in that you have a short description and an image (though slightly smaller) but you have different calls to action. The description should of course point out some sort of promotion or sale, but you can choose how your call to action works. Your choices are a website (shop now), message, call, or even email (don’t recommend that one!).
Get more messages is a more complex option. It’s a text-based ad that shows up with questions in the newsfeed. It lets users interact with the ad in order for you to get messages and talk with interested leads. You can choose up to 10 questions they provide, but only 3 random questions will show on the ad. It’s a good idea to create your own questions and the 3 specific ones you think will spark interest and get people clicking. Just be sure you monitor your Nextdoor message, so you see when new leads come in, and you can push the chat along to turn them into a lead.
Here are some examples of ads I saw in my local area newsfeed and the for sale/free section. If you don’t think through your ad type and what people will actually do then you’re throwing money away, literally.
For this example of how to create your Nextdoor ad, I’ve chosen the promote a sale or discount option of which the website visits are nearly identical. The messages option is also shown below, so you can get an idea of what it looks like if you choose that option.
Step 2 – Build ad
First things first, include a short and informative statement (step 5). This should be intriguing. If this statement doesn’t spark someone’s interest, then your ad will fall flat. You only have 70 characters to capture attention and lure in a new lead.
Now you need to upload the image (step 6) that I warned you about earlier. Nextdoor will ask you to crop the image even if it’s the right dimensions for your ad. I had an image for a website visit ad which is square but as you can see, I had to crop it for the promote a sale or discount goal image which is landscape orientation.
Nextdoor ad recommendations for ad images are a 1200px by 600px JPG or PNG that’s no larger than 1 MB for promoting a sale or discount and a 1200px by 1200px JPG or PNG that’s no larger than 1 MB for the website visit image.
There shouldn’t be any issue providing these images because they’re standard formats and 1 MB is plenty large. If your image isn’t quite the right dimension, then Nextdoor will give you the opportunity to crop the image to the proper dimension.
Also, be sure to choose the best call to action (step 7) for your ad. For website visits, all the calls to action let you put in a website. For promoting a sale or discount, the calls to action all do something different. Once you select your call to action, include whatever information is needed for it (step 8).
If your ad is a link to your website, make sure it’s something good. I don’t recommend just dropping visitors off on your home page with an add that says schedule an appointment, but the booking page isn’t on your home page. People aren’t going to click around or hunt once they click on your ad so make sure you lay it out for the least common denominator.
Your Website Is As Important As Your Ad
An ad that brings visitors to your website is likely one of the most effective. But, you need a well-designed professional website that works well on mobile and has the right information someone from an ad is looking for. People won’t hunt around so be sure the link you use is absolutely on point for your ad message.
These are all the calls to action available for both website visits and promoting a sale or discount.
Once you’ve completed all the fields, then the Preview button (step 9) becomes active. Make sure you click that to check that your ad looks good in all layouts.
For the get more messages goal type, you can select from several questions Nextdoor has available, or you can add a custom prompt. There’s also a Preview button that lets you see how the ad will look on Nextdoor.
Make sure you preview your ad and click the buttons below it to see both the desktop and mobile versions of your ad. Once you’re done previewing, you can click the X (step 10) to close the preview and go back to editing the ad.
You can also preview the messages ad and click the X when you want to go back to editing. It works the same way as the other two but looks very different and there’s no desktop and mobile version.
You can keep editing the ad and previewing it until you’re satisfied and ready to move forward by clicking on the Next link (step 11).
Step 3 – Choose audience
Now it’s time to select who you want to reach on Nextdoor. This is all specific to your audience and how far or close your customers are. For a local service area business, how far do you want to travel?
You can select from 3 miles all the way up to 32 miles away from your business location (step 12). You can see a real-time view of what neighborhoods your ads will be seen in and the approximate reach of your ad. It’s pretty dynamic!
Check out what it looks like as you expand an audience from 3 to 32 miles and reach anywhere from 23,900 people all the way up to 1,169,000!
If you live in a more urban area then you could potentially reach way more than that too.
Once you’ve selected the right reach, just click the Next link (step 13).
Step 4 – Set budget
Now for the budget. This will ultimately determine how many people your ad actually reaches. No matter how big of an area you select, if you only select a $4 per day budget then you’ll only reach a fraction of those people.
You can select a predetermined by Nextdoor budget, or you can customize your duration and budget (step 14). If you only want your ad to run for a certain timeframe, create your own (see below).
This is the custom budget. You can drag the bar up and down. If you want to customize the duration also, just deselect the duration option, and you’ll have another bar to drag for the ad timeframe.
There it is! You put a time limit on your ad, so you can test things out. Keep in mind that you can also pause your ad at any time, so you’re not stuck with it on. Nextdoor makes it really easy to pause and start again.
Once you’re done with all customizations, just click Next (step 15).
Step 5 – Review payment
On the final step, you can click the Ad summary box to expand it to perform more actions.
From the ad summary you can jump back to any of the sections to edit your settings. You can jump right to editing the ad, audience, or budget. Next up is to add a payment method (step 16).
You’ll have to enter credit card or debit card information and then click Save (step 17).
You’re getting close! Now you have a payment method and your ad is ready to publish. As soon as you click the publish button Nextdoor will charge you for the total for your ad duration or the first month. It’s not like other ad platforms that wait and then charge you a mystery amount (ahem Google and Yelp).
When you’re ready to get your ad rolling, just click Publish (step 18).
Your ad won’t be live yet! It takes Nextdoor a bit to review and approve your ad. In all the revisions I made it never took them longer than 24 hours to approve the initial ad or any update.
Each time you make an update, the ad will go into review and must be approved again.
Once your ad is approved then you’re set! Your ad will show to neighbors in their feed newsfeed, right-hand rail (on computers), and in the for sale & free section. You should start getting clicks within the first day or two.
Once you start getting impressions and clicks, it’s time to review your ad stats and see how it’s doing.
Reviewing Your Ad Stats
Now when you click on the Ads tab in Nextdoor and then the Manage ads button you won’t go directly to setting up a new ad anymore. You’ll be brought straight to the Nextdoor ad stats for all your ads. If you have multiple ads, the following screen will show all your combined ad stats, show your current ads in review, running, or paused. You can also add a new ad right from the ad stats screen.
Here’s what you can do from the ad stats screen in Nextdoor.
First, you can change how many days you see for your ad stats (item 1). This is nice to see a longer range of how well your ads are performing overall or zoom into the previous day even. You can also toggle back and forth between seeing the graph for impressions and clicks (item 2).
You can always go back to the main Nextdoor business page management screen by clicking the Back button.
Item 3 is the button you can use to add a new ad. It goes through the same setup process as any other ad, so you can have a few running at the same time using independent budgets. There are no shared budgets as of now.
And finally, below the ad stats section is a list with all your current ads. They’ll just keep stacking as you add more! You can also see how many clicks each ad has received and if the ad is under review, paused, or running.
Click on any of your ads (step 4) to get more details on that ad and also change the status of that ad.
The screen below is the stats and management for an individual ad. You can always go back to the main stats screen by clicking the back arrow. Or, you can even choose the duration of the graph with the drop-down labeled item 5. There are the same durations available as for other duration drop-downs.
You can also edit any part of your ad including the ad itself, audience, and budget by clicking on any of the edit buttons in item 6. Keep in mind that if you change the ad then your ad will go back into review and won’t run again until it has been reviewed by Nextdoor. That process usually takes less than 24 hours, though.
Changing the audience or budget won’t trigger a review of your ad.
You can also pause your own ad by clicking the toggle button. It will change from Live to Paused when you click it with no review needed from Nextdoor once it’s approved.
That’s it! You can click the back button to go back to the main ad stats and then the back button again to get back to your Nextdoor business management screen.
Nextdoor ads are available to large companies by invite only, but local small businesses can use self-service advertising. It’s a simple process to set up ads and reach neighbors around your business.
When setting up your Nextdoor ads you just have to be sure you do the initial setup and brainstorming to get the right offer. If you don’t have something interesting to offer neighbors, then your ad will fall flat. A failed ad isn’t always the fault of the platform, it’s often the fault of the ad or a poorly thought out advertising strategy.
If you’re going to venture into self-serve Nextdoor ads then make sure you put a strategy together. Otherwise, Nextdoor will let you spend unlimited amounts of money on ads that don’t work and don’t make your money back. It’s not up to them to manage your ad strategy.
Once you have a good strategy put together, start small and test it out by setting up your first ad with a small budget. Once you get a proof of concept and prove your ad, expand your budget and reach.
The number of recommendations your business has will also help your ad succeed. Make sure you get as many recommendations as you can for an organic reach on Nextdoor in addition to your ad reach. A good local marketing automation tool will make the process of acquiring recommendations easy and fully tracked, so be sure you use one for generating reviews on all platforms, not just Nextdoor.
Nextdoor ads and organic reach are complementary, not competing.
And as always, your entire ad success depends on a good website that looks professional and makes it easy for visitors to convert into leads.
Good luck with your Nextdoor ad campaign!