Location-based marketing is not a new marketing strategy on the internet. Businesses have been using it for a long time using the users’ IP addresses to locate and offer them information & advertisements. Rising mobile phone, & tablet usage expanded location-based marketing strategies in businesses. Business found the need to address the geo-location technology accompanying these portable devices.
Effectively implementing location-based marketing strategies for your business can be a bit daunting, but worry not, we’ve got you covered! Our team of digital marketing experts will be glad to help you out.
What is Location-Based Marketing?
Location-based marketing is a marketing strategy that targets prospects using their mobile device’s location provided by GPS technology to pinpoint their exact location. This data will help businesses and marketers to provide them with an offer from a nearby business that they would be interested in.
Companies can target every single customer based on their personal information that they share while downloading particular mobile apps and their location at a particular moment. This data enables marketers to provide targeted consumers with relevant and personalized offers. Social media campaigns also use location data to reach the right audience. Businesses can use the location to reach consumers based on qualifiers like proximity to a store, events happening in their region, and more.
Why Use Location-Based Marketing?
A majority of internet users depend on their smartphones for browsing the internet. Now, people normally spend more time on the internet than on any other medium, say, television. This shift in the average time spent on different mediums influences marketing trends and strategies. From the marketing perspective, it is much easier for your business to grab the prospect’s attention by targeting a place where they’re looking the most. And that is why using location-based advertising to target smartphone users is a necessity while designing a marketing strategy for one’s business.
Types of Location-Based Marketing
1. IP Address Marketing
Every device that gets connected to the internet, be it a desktop, a smartphone, or a tablet, uses an IP (internet protocol) address. You can use the IP address to access the location information of people and then target them to market for your business.
2. GPS Marketing
Every smartphone uses GPS location technology. GPS locates the smartphone’s location based on distance measured from a network of global positioning satellites. Businesses and marketers can use this data to target promotions.
3. Geofencing Marketing
Geofencing marketing involves setting up a virtual location or radius so that you can market to people within that area. Since it deals with a boundary within a specific region, it can be used to target people who enter that boundary. People receive a notification whenever they cross this border. This means that they receive content, offers, or some other form of messaging from the brand after entering that space.
4. Proximity Marketing
Proximity marketing is related to Geofencing marketing. This allows marketers to target advertising and marketing campaigns to people who are within range of a geofence you have previously set up.
5. Beacon Marketing
Beacon marketing allows you to use physical devices called beacons which are connected devices that use Bluetooth or WIFI to connect with predetermined applications. And these work within the premises of a business to target people who are within range of that beacon. Beacons send a signal to the device, prompting the server to send content to the prospect’s device.
6. Blueprints Location-Based Marketing
Geographical boundaries can be set around points of interest and locations using Blueprints. This is an advanced form of marketing that combines both location and behavior data. Thus, allowing marketers to fine-tune audience targeting for better results.
Using the location data of prospects to divert them away from your competitor locations is geo-conquesting. You can do this by creating a boundary around the competitor’s place. And when the target consumer comes within that boundary, they will be sent an offer that encourages them to visit your business place.
Some Location-Based Marketing Ideas:
Optimize for Local SEO
Local SEO implies optimizing your online existence so that it can attract business from relevant local searches. These organic searches and traffic come from the business’s Google My Business listing. Location-based marketing can be effectively implemented by creating a Google My Business profile for your business. The local SEO considerably improves by creating location-specific content on your website, encouraging reviews from your customers, and optimizing your Google My Business listing. Also, inserting location-specific keywords in the website content will help get your website reach people searching for products or services (like the one you offer) in your area.
Use Tags in Blogs and Optimize Title & Meta Descriptions
Almost every business website has a blog section since such content has proved improving SEO and website traffic considerably. You can use this space to publish content specific to your local areas such as people, places, events, and restaurants. And you can use tags that demonstrate the locality of your business to optimize the post. Research for keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner to optimize the website for local search. This approach will benefit your local search strategy and help the page get indexed properly by search engines.
Also, include the keywords favoring local search in the title tag and meta description of the website. This will help Google better rank your website.
Use Location Tags & Optimize Social Media Pages
Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter encourage using tags since it helps them filter user-generated-content. You can make use of the location tag to inform people where you are located. This will help your post gain organic impressions when users search for more photos based on location as the mobile GPS to pinpoint where the image or post occurred.
Not just the location tag, hashtags are also a great way to link your business to your local area and get discovered by people who live there and those that visit your place.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Location-specific data and segmentation options have a massive potential to influence your PPC campaigns. Targeting your audience based on location makes it easier for you to filter the audience that has access to your PPC advertisements. A specific group can be geo-targeted, avoiding wasted clicks from people outside your targeted area.
Other approaches include encouraging reviews in social media pages and under GoogleMyBusiness listing, building links from related local businesses & local bloggers, frequently posting check-in locations in Facebook posts to get tagged under that location.
What Works Best with Location-Based Marketing?
Geotargeting campaigns work best for businesses based on real-world visits, rather than the ones that expect likes and follows on social media for their geo-targeted campaigns. Such business marketers can use this to reach the right audience at the right time and deliver relevant messages. Retail locations, food, and dining establishments, grocery stores, eCommerce companies are some businesses that can thrive using location-based marketing. Let’s look into a few more examples in detail.
Auto Dealers: Auto dealers can geo-conquest and reach their competitors’ customers to reach them during their final phase of visiting auto dealers.
Tourism Boards: Businesses that are a part of the tourism industry can better target their audience combinedly based on location and other demographics. A small business located at a popular tourist destination that sells a seasonal produce/specialty indigenous to their place can geofence and target the tourists who enter that boundary for marketing it.
Seasonal Local Businesses: The seasonal store that comes up in a locality every year like a Christmas market or a Halloween store can use location-based marketing. They can deliver ad campaigns to the people in that locality (i.e, to the same group) encouraging them to return & visit in the following years.
Another example is the professional and collegiate sports teams that use location-based targeting to reach the audiences that visit their venues each season to encourage future ticket purchases.
What Should be Avoided in Location-Based Marketing?
Almost all businesses can implement location-based marketing for achieving finer results. It’s certain approaches that need to be avoided while you’re carrying out location-based marketing. The limits in terms of the quality and quantity of data, as well as regulatory and compliance restraints, must be considered while targeting the audience.
Avoid Locations that Don’t Scale: Choosing a single location without abundant foot traffic to analyze, events that do not last long enough to capture the right audience, or smaller markets with limited data to begin with. These activities will not help you drive campaigns that cater to a meaningful audience (just because it lacks enough audience).
This could happen when businesses are clustered tightly together or on top of one another, like in malls or multi-use buildings. In such locations, it is difficult to identify and target between an actual shopper and the ones who live or work on the floors above or below the desired location.
Avoid Narrowing Down Audiences if the Products/Services are Available Everywhere: Suppose a business sells a high on-demand product that is not easily available to people in all locations. In that case, the business can run a location-based marketing campaign targeting the people of the area where the product is unavailable. But, running campaigns for products/services that are commonly available (bubble gum, soft drinks, pet food, etc) to people just wouldn’t work. In such cases, marketers need to use other targeting methods, such as demographics and purchase history, to reach their audience more effectively.
Take Care of Regulations While Dealing with Sensitive Data: Regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, applies to all organizations that do business with residents of the European Union ) does not allow companies to target users without explicit opt-in, and has strict guidelines regarding the use and storage of EU citizen data. Consider the local privacy laws before rolling out a location-based marketing program. It is ideal to consult with your legal team to get a better understanding of what can be pursued via your company’s marketing efforts.
Most digital marketing initiatives perform well with the strategies that are made considering the business’s geo-location. Location-based marketing strategy makes it easier to reach the right person, at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. Besides boosting businesses, location-based marketing strategy builds strong customer relationships. Since marketers tend to have a better understanding of what the customers need, they can deliver that to get better customer engagement and more response.
Be Active in Your Community. This is something that doesn’t require technology. You can grow your brand in a specific area through community activities and social awareness. You can try hosting a fundraiser for a local nonprofit organization or sponsor an event in your community for this.
Still haven’t included location-based marketing strategy into your business? Go ahead and start with us! We can assist you if this gets complicated, our team of digital marketing experts is here to help you!