Shoppers today are demanding. They want to be able to get what they want when they want it. And where they want. So all they have to do is pick up their smart device, tap in a search and find out what’s near them that very minute.
This has had a huge impact on small businesses. To be in the game, you’ve got to show up in the right place at the right time. Today, small business owners have a wealth of geolocation data to use in order to better reach and serve their target audience, boost customer loyalty and drive sales.
But just how do you go about doing this? Here are your directions, targeted right to your needs.
What is geotargeting in marketing?
Also known as location-based marketing, geotargeted advertising is a marketing strategy in which companies use geographic data and analysis to serve more personalized ads to consumers based on their locations.
What are some examples of geotargeted marketing?
Ads based on location can be used in several different ways to attract new customers. Here, for example, is how one bike shop can use location-based targeted advertising:
- Location-based search ads – By using location-specific keywords in paid search ads, you’ll pop up at the top of the results anytime someone near you searches for a service you offer. For instance, the bike shop might want to let nearby customers know they do bike repairs as well as sell new bikes. They might take out Google ads with keywords like “bike flat tire Milwaukee” or “fix bike tire near me,” ensuring their shop appears just when people need it.
- Push notifications – Let’s say the bike shop is looking to offload some old inventory. They can send out a push notification to everyone within a three-mile radius on a sunny Sunday afternoon, offering anyone who comes in within two hours 15% off their purchase.
- Targeted ads with localization strategy – If the bike shop is already well established in the local outdoor cycling community and looking to attract new customers, it can use the analytics from geolocation data to target the right audience. For instance, maybe it sends Instagram targeted ads to everyone within 10 miles who has the Peloton app on their phone, letting those home cyclers know their shop sells gear like bike shorts or spin towels that work great for stationary bike workouts, too.
Why is location-based marketing more effective than traditional forms of advertising?
Through services like location-specific search ads, geolocation data helps reach consumers right when they need you, helping to boost both foot traffic and online conversion.
It can help you reach customers fast. For instance, let’s say you’re a sports bar, and business is a little slower than you’d like it to be during one night of the NBA finals. You can send out a push notification to everyone within a five-mile radius—maybe the little reminder there’s a great place to watch a close game nearby (or the promise of half-off pitchers!) will be the nudge they need to walk through your door.
There’s another huge benefit to geographic targeting—the data gives you way more information than simply a person’s physical location. Let’s say you’re a clothing boutique that specializes in business casual, and you want to attract new customers. You can send geotargeted Facebook ad to everyone in a 10-mile radius whose geographic data profile suggests they recently started heading back to the office.
How can I get started using location-based advertising for my business?
There are several online tools you can use to get started with geographic targeting today. You can look into free platforms like Facebook Ad Manager (which also works with Instagram), or work with mobile-marketing agencies that can help you get the most of the data and implement some of these campaigns for you. Either way, here are some of the ways you’ll use location data for targeted advertising:
- Paid search ads – When you take out ads on places like Google, use location-specific keywords in the ads, like “print documents East Village” or “weekday brunch menu Charlotte.”
- Geofencing – This allows you to send a push notification offer to people within a certain geographical distance from your store. This works best for businesses that offer a popular item most people appreciate while they’re on the go, like a free cookie to anyone who comes in and buys an espresso from your coffee shop, or 50% off umbrellas if the forecast has suddenly taken a turn.
- Social media geotagging – You don’t have to use social media advertising to get the most out of location-based marketing, but a robust social presence does help you leverage geographic data. Take geotagging—services like Yelp and Foursquare allow users to “check in” to your location on social media. If their followers click on that and see your latest Instagram story with pictures of your delicious daily special, they’ll be way more likely to head on over.
One last tip before you leverage location data to drive sales to your small business: Make sure your network is up to speed (literally). Right now, fiber is the one connection that can keep up with everything, from data insights to pushing out coupons to potential new customers. Not sure if you already have fiber, or if it’s available in your area? Check it out here.
Product features may have changed and are subject to change.