The digital age has done a lot for marketing. It’s saved countless trees through reducing dependency on paper prints. It’s made it easier to track the competition and even your own customer base. However, it’s also made it much easier to deliver location-specific content.
Marketing is always about providing your customers with information that can help them. It doesn’t just mean finding out what they want; it also means finding out where they are.
This process, known as geotargeting, is very useful for bringing traffic to any business. Read on to learn about geotargeting, how to implement it, and the perks to doing so—especially for small businesses.
What is geotargeting and why does it matter to marketers?
WordStream defines geotargeting as “the practice of delivering different content to different consumers based on their geographic location.” It can also refer to the practice of detecting a site visitor’s location before deciding what content to show them.
Whether it’s delivering the content to users or bringing them to the content, geotargeting advertising has a few primary benefits that make it so popular with modern marketers. These benefits include:
- Relevancy: The more relevant a piece of content is to a user, the better. There are few things that can make an ad more impactful than being tailored to the reader’s location. It makes them feel more connected and gives them a greater sense of ease about reaching out and following the call to action.
- Efficiency: Local ads are more efficient at generating traffic. If you’re working for a business that is trying to reach more people, especially if the business is smaller in scale, your local market is likely the first place you want to look.
- Reliability: Geotargeted ads are tools marketers can count on. One of the main reasons for this is that it is so easy to use. Location tracking is more relevant than ever online. Maps and other location-specific tools already gather data about physical locations, and marketers can easily take advantage of this because there are also many tools developed to do so.
For instance, Campaign Monitor allows you to create geolocation segments. Email marketers know all about how to segment their audience by a variety of criteria, and social media marketers do this as well. Segmentation is so effective that it can increase revenue generation from campaigns by a staggering 760%. Geographically-based segments help you build vast audiences you can create content for, increasing the chance you’ll turn them into leads.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Geotargeting can be used in a variety of ways. It can help determine which ads work best in a certain area and it can be used to deliver specials to customers of a specific location. These strategies are just some of the ways geotargeted ads can generate foot traffic.
Examples of traffic resulting from geotargeted ads
There are many ways to bring in foot traffic with geotargeting. Consider the following specific scenarios that exemplify both the efficiency and versatility of this technique.
Imagine a company does research and finds out they’re one of the only providers of a certain product in their area. For the sake of this example, let’s say it’s a grille guard. Researchers could determine a perimeter where competition is scarce. Also, this technique of creating a virtual geographic boundary using GPS is known as geo-fencing.
The company could then create ads with one of the main points being that they’re the only provider of their product in that area. It could be something along the lines of: “Our Store is the ONLY Place You’ll Find Grille Guards for 100 Miles.”
If there are competitors in the area, the ad could focus on one of the benefits of the company in question. It could be the lowest prices in that area, the only place to find a certain brand name, etc.
You could also bring in traffic with targeted ads by offering ads specific to a given location. It is extremely useful in large regional chains that have stores in various towns. When a person sees an ad with their local store and a deal exclusive to that store, they may be more inclined to take advantage of it.
This is based on the simple principle that people don’t like to miss out on things. Even if it is a sale they may have passed on had it been available at all locations, the thought of it being exclusive to their own local store makes it more alluring.
To show how geotargeted advertising is a little more flexible, an ad of that type could even be targeted at the area around the specific location. People may be willing to travel an extra 30 minutes or hour to take advantage of the deal.
One final example involves a mainstay in marketing: incentives. Instead of simply putting a product on sale, your business could create things like coupons or special offers and send them out to customers within a certain range of your store.
How small business marketers can implement geotargeting
Whether through incentives, specials, or differentiation, there are plenty of ways marketers can use geotargeting. Small business marketers can make use of this technique to help them build audiences at the best starting point, which is their immediate vicinity.
One way marketers can use geotargeting is through subtle touches. You can utilize different aspects of marketing like language choice and even design schemes to reinforce the geographic element.
If you’re looking for strategies in terms of marketing techniques to try, PPC advertising works perfectly with targeted advertising. You can set your advertisements to specific locations, including changing all the relevant data, like languages and currencies.
PPC ads are costly in some cases, so small business marketers may have to use them scarcely. The good news is that the very nature of these ads means the budget is only consumed when users engage with the promotion.
While PPC could be considered a mid-tier level strategy for implementing geotargeting, in terms of complexity, there are also options that are more involved. One we’ll cover here is the technique of IP redirect.
If you have an in-house coder who knows their way around common tasks like server redirection, they may not find this one too outlandish. Doing it yourself without a coding background could prove challenging, however. The basics involve diverting traffic based on their location, which is another example of sending your users to the content rather than doing the inverse.
Source: Neil Patel
If you operate a digital business, your quest to get people through the door is either far back on your list of priorities or non-existent. However, those who are looking to gain foot traffic at their physical locations need to make sure they’re tailoring their content to audiences based off where those audience members are located.
You could also take a tip from Google’s Webmaster guidelines regarding country segmentation, through which you could develop subdomains and/or subfolders for different segments of your audience. A method like this may seem out of the ordinary for smaller businesses, but it isn’t unheard of.
Just because a business is small and developing doesn’t mean they can’t have more than one location. Even a company that has so few locations they could be counted on one hand may have them spread out across states, provinces, or even nations.
Whether through tools, coding, or targeted ads built around locations, there are plenty of ways to factor in your audience’s location. There are also plenty of benefits to doing so, especially if you’re in a growing business.
Building your audience is of the utmost importance when you’re a smaller business. Starting in your own state or your own town is a proven strategy for building up a relevant base you can depend on for regular engagement.
Advertisements are always better when they’re relevant, and there’s arguably nothing that hits closer to home than writing about a person’s home—or at least their home state or city.
When you’re creating advertisements, there are many ways you can go about making them geographically focused. The benefits are plentiful, and the techniques for making it happen are also in large supply. Keep the following in mind:
- Geotargeting is popular because it’s easy to do and it’s proven to work, just like all targeted marketing techniques.
- Geotargeting can facilitate foot traffic through exclusive deals, local limited-time offers, and campaigns focused on differentiation.
- Geotargeted ads can be created manually, via platforms like PPC, and through coding techniques like server redirects.
Targeted ads are nothing new. We often think of target demographics by their age, gender, or buying habits. However, there’s a lot of potential to targeting markets based on their location as well.
Want to see how targeted, personalized ads made for segments are changing email marketing? Click here to see why marketers are focused on particular demographics in their campaigns.