As an owner of a small business I’m sure you are aware of the importance of location-based advertising. Who wouldn’t want your potential customers to see news of your latest offers and products when they’re in a prime location to take advantage of those services? One of the newest and most exciting ways to use this basic idea is with Geo-Fence Advertising.
What Is Geo-Fence Advertising?
When thinking about how to use location-based services to reach out to customers, your first thought will probably be to use the location of your business as a starting point. The difference with geo-fencing is that you can set up a wider location, using longitudes and latitudes, and effectively “fence” off an area on a digital map. Once this area is specified, you are then able to target advertising at customers in various ways as they interact with it.
How Does It Work?
It uses mostly cellular data but also GPS and Wi-Fi. You create your specified areas using a mapping application and then set up certain trigger events which will let your system know what type of communication you want to send out. To help make your targeting more specific and therefore more effective you can also create custom audiences, just like many other forms of online marketing.
Each location should also have specific campaigns that are relevant to them. Trigger events will include things like a customer breaching your fence and entering an area or leaving that area. Then you can target certain people such as returning customers, those who haven’t visited for a while, people who have signed up to email lists or downloaded your app. Have a think about how you could reach each of these demographics most effectively and tailor your campaigns accordingly.
Making It Work for Your Business
What makes geo-fencing such a fantastic tool is that you can use it in so many different ways. All you need is a bit of creativity!
Currently the most used avenue is cellular data. It is possible to approach your operator and set up a system whereby customers receive a text message as they enter or leave a location. However, this has proven unpopular with consumers as it’s often not something they signed up for, so it is well worth investigating other methods.
The best way to ensure you are reaching people who are receptive is to include an option on your sign-up form to “opt in for location services.” It is important to remember that overloading consumers with constant ads demanding their attention is a pretty quick way to turn people away from your business. You don’t want to seem a nuisance.
Another crucial point to remember is that consumers do not like applications that are a huge drain on their battery. For this reason, it is best to have your app running in the background and staying away from needing the GPS on constantly.
A really effective way to think of how to target potential customers is to put yourself in their shoes. What ads would you like to see? What would grab your interest? What would annoy you? Rather than “in your face” advertising that can come across as irritating and make people think unfavorably of your business, try and think of ways you can be useful.
Blog posts can be a good way to get people visiting your site without it seeming too much like you’re promoting something. You could be an outdoors supply store who links people to a “10 Useful Camping Tips” blog post. Anything like this creates traffic to your site and interest in your brand.
Using incentives and rewards is also a great way to get people interested. Everyone loves a freebie! Even if someone leaves the area and hasn’t given you their custom, don’t be discouraged. Try and use that opportunity and turn it into something positive.
Good, honest feedback is crucial to the growth of any successful business. How can you rectify anything you’re doing wrong if you don’t know about it? Why not invite people to take part in a feedback survey? It’s a good way to see what is and isn’t working and if there is anything you can improve on. Offer people an incentive for completing the survey to make it more effective.
Using location-based services you are able to monitor the movements and behaviors of your customers which can help you with future marketing strategies. You can see when they enter your specified location, when they leave and how long they spend there.
Let’s Look at Some Examples
The best way to get a feel for just how effective this form of advertising can be is to think of it in terms of every day examples
- Imagine you run a small cafe business in a large city. Around lunchtime there are people walking around trying to find somewhere to grab a bite to eat. They receive a notification that you are running an offer of a free drink and slice of cake with each lunch order. Customers can then click through to find your location which is conveniently just around the corner. That’s lunch sorted. Maybe a past customer is in the area but hasn’t visited for a while. What better time than to hit them up with a message saying “Hey! We’ve missed you, come and grab a free coffee on us!”
- Take the example of a small clothing boutique. Christmas is coming and, as everyone knows, people are looking for that perfect party outfit. As people enter the mall where you are located they see a fantastic 40% off sale for party dresses. The eye-catching ad encourages them to click on your business page which shows your boutique is close by. You can even target people who may have visited nightclubs and bars in the last 6 months, knowing that they’re more likely to want to see your new line of glamorous gowns.
All of this is possible using geo-fencing as an advertising concept. You can interact with customers in real time in a way that makes your business seem convenient and useful to them. What could be better?
Why Use Geo-Fencing?
When deciding how to invest your marketing budget, it’s important to know what advantages certain methods have over others. Geo-Fence Advertising is an excellent way of boosting your brand and creating lasting and meaningful relationships with customers.
It is estimated that most people check their phones more than 80 times a day. Having a presence in that aspect of a person’s life, especially in real time as users go about their day to day business, is invaluable.
The cost of mobile advertising comparatively low when compared to other formats which is also a big plus. Geo-Fencing is still a relatively new concept so make sure you keep your business ahead of the competition by taking advantage of this great way to interact with your customers.