When your a small business with a tight budget, every advertising dollar must work hard for you. Geofencing combined with Geotargeting could be your answer to making your advertising perform like an Olympic champ.
What Is Geofencing?
Geofencing allows for targeting advertising/information to current and potential customers in specific locations. From a zip code down to a specific building, the tightness of your target area depends on the ad platform.
When a person enters a digitally drawn area with location tracking enabled , that platform makes advertising available to his or her mobile device. The advertising, depending on how set up will show on social media, web search, etc…
How About Geotargeting?
Geotargeting adds in the ability to narrow targeting by demographics, behavior patterns, etc.. of the people within a specific area (Catalyst Marketing).
Information Wise, What Can Small Businesses Send To Targeted Consumers?
Deliver ads, coupons, and messages through e-mail, social media platforms such as Facebook, search engines, web sites, and text messaging (Wikipedia).
How Is This Localized Targeting Possible?
This type of advertising sprung from the explosion of mobile devices and the apps incorporated in them. GPS (Global Positioning System) and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) allow location identification.
For example, Google Maps relies on GPS to provide directions from current location to a destination. If a consumer has location-based technology enabled on their mobile device then targeting is possible.
What Types Of Information Do Apps Gather?
The amounts and types of information that apps gather really varies by app and permissions that the user gives to the app. Some applications simply use current location information, while others store location history and track real-world behaviors.
How Does A Business Set Up Geofencing and Geotargeting?
Businesses set up geofencing and geotargeting in two ways. First comes DIY. You work directly with the ad scheduling platforms such as Google AdWords, Facebook and Instagram Ads to set up campaigns.
Second, you contract with an advertising agency or company that specializes in the art of all thing geo.
Which to choose depends on:
- Time -Can you set aside a decent amount of time to learn and experiment?
- Love of Learning-Do you enjoy exploring and mastering new things? Or would you rather pay someone who already has the expertise?
DIY can work if you truly learn the ins and outs of the ad platforms you choose. On the other hand, it wastes money if you half do it or stall out.
Some Marketing Examples?
Location-based ad spends already represent a multi-billion dollar chunk of ad spends.
- Sephora provides customers a mobile shopping companion when they enter a store. It offers them history of products purchased, special coupons, and product reviews.
- Attendees at a conference in a city’s civic center, receive social media ads to their mobile about a business’s booth to encourage visits (Propellant Media).
- As a customer leaves his or her hotel after a stay, a survey to capture feedback pops into to his or her text feed (Plot Project).
- I have personally used geofencing and geotargeting with great success in promoting a road race benefiting a nonprofit. I set up Facebook Ads to reach people who lived within a 45 mile area of the race location. Then, I narrowed criteria by those people who indicated interest in running. The results paid for my advertising spend many times over in the number of new registrations for the race.
Are Their Precautions To Consider When Geofencing and Geotargeting?
Due to the ability for some ad platforms to target customers down to individual households and movement and activity patterns, give careful thought to how you use geofencing and geotargeting. The last thing you want is your advertising viewed as creepy rather than helpful.
- A woman walks into a doctor’s office for a visit and is immediately served social media ads for prenatal vitamins. (Feels like big brother watching and too much assuming about her visit).
- Man checks in at an ER and sits down to look at Facebook while waiting. He starts seeing local malpractice lawyer ads. (Yes, some lawyers’ offices currently use this technique. Too much? Sorry, I believe so).
Always put yourself in your current or potential customer’s place when designing your campaign.
Used ethically and smartly, geofencing and geotargeting, offer real bang for your advertising buck.
For More Helpful Small Business Tools: