Real time marketing is about reaching the right person at the right time—that is, a person most likely to engage with your business at the time they are most likely to engage with it. As the internet and social media evolve, the benefits of real time marketing are more attainable than ever before.
However, with this advancing technology, another form of marketing is on the rise and becoming more accessible to business owners: Location based marketing. Effective marketing is now no longer about the right person and the right time, but also the right place. In this post we’ll go over what location based marketing is, how it is used, and how location based marketing can benefit your small business.
What is Location Based Marketing?
Location based marketing is the practice of promoting your business to people through the context of their location. It is a local marketing strategy for small business that targets people near your business or in a particular location that is important to your business. Location based marketing takes into account the location a person is in, but also why they are in that location in the first place, where they might go next, and in which locations are they most likely to engage with your business.
Who Uses Location Based Marketing?
Location based marketing might sound too high tech for your business, or something only for mobile apps. While there are some more complex location based marketing strategies, such as push notifications, you don’t need an app to market your business based on location. In fact, location based marketing can apply to both online and offline marketing strategies.
Targeting people in a particular location is a marketing practice that has always been around. What is new is its effectiveness, specificity, and accessibility. Thanks to search engines, social media, and other applications, location based marketing can—and should— be performed by anyone, even small business owners like you!
Types of Location Based Marketing
Location based marketing takes many forms. If you are a local business with only one location, you would use location based marketing to attract customers from the surrounding area. If you have only one location but you serve a broader geographic area, such as by delivery, online, or phone services, you might use location based marketing to target specific locations. If your business has multiple locations, you can use different strategies such as having different social media profiles for each location.
Location Based Marketing Offline
Location based marketing can be applied to many of your offline marketing activities. Examples include:
- Simply hosting an event specific to your community.
- Attending or targeting an event at a specific location because you know it will attract your target audience.
- Sending out postcards to your surrounding area, or to specific neighborhoods in that area.
- Putting a bulletin board up in your store that showcases local customers using your custom hashtag (This is also a great way to integrate your online and offline marketing strategies.)
Location Based Marketing Online
As mentioned above, location based marketing has been around for a while, but has been on the rise due to the internet and social media. Here are various examples of using location based marketing in your online marketing activities.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you and your followers to use location tags in posts. As long as you have a Facebook business page, you can use location tags to inform people that your business is behind the post they are viewing, and to take them to your business profile to learn more.
Location hashtags and custom hashtags, such as on Instagram and Twitter are a great way to tie your business to your local area and get discovered by more people who live in or are visiting it.
By inserting location specific keywords into your website content, you can help your website get found by people searching for your product or service in your area.
Online advertising, such as with search engine marketing and Facebook ads, has reached new heights in audience filtering and targeting, earning it a spot in our 2017 Marketing Must Dos. With geotargeting, you can specify geographic areas where your ads appear, putting it front of the right people and maximizing your ad spend.
There are many others forms of location based marketing that occur both online and offline. It is important for small businesses to incorporate location into their marketing, to increase their prominence in their local area and to attract people outside of the area as well. Start taking advantage of effective and accessible technology today to grow your business!