Have you ever wondered why some mobile apps are free? How are these companies making money without charging fees? The answer is usually mobile geofencing advertising. When you download a mobile app and agree to a prompt asking to access your location, it will know exactly where you are and if you are entering or exiting a specific area. Providing this information allows you to use their app for free.
Geofencing is a service that allows businesses to access the location of people in a specific area and send them a message. A geofence includes triggers or actions that take place when a customer enters or exits the specific area. Anybody who enters into a business’ pre-set area will see the current offer on any mobile app they are using (as long as it serves ads).
According to the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of adult Americans own a smartphone (85 percent for young adults). The increased adoption of smartphone usage makes mobile geofencing an ideal local advertising tactic. As CEO of Chatter Buzz, an agency for digital natives, I have learned a few ways to get the most out of mobile geofencing. They are as follows:
- Set your own parameters. Unlike other targeting schemes, you can be as precise as possible. So for example, if I am marketing the San Diego Zoo and I want to broadcast a current offer or discount to anyone in my 10-15-mile radius, then I will geofence within the actual location.
- Create hyper-local campaigns. Geofencing is best executed when you keep your geofence small and reach people who are currently within a five-minute drive of your store.
- Utilize A/B testing. Just like other ads, you can test more than one type of content to see which serves the best. You can test copy, color and the type of deal or coupon placed on the ad. You might find that an offer for a free drink drives more feet to your store than free chips. Don’t forget to test different locations, too.
- Develop a targeted audience. You can filter based on demographics and interests to reach a specific audience. For example, you can target your VIP or rewards card customers or people who visit your competitor’s store.
- Learn more about your customers. Leverage the data that emerges from geofencing to further understand your audience. Location gives you another lens to study the behaviors of your consumers, such as how many times they visit your store or the types of places they go to before arriving at your shop.
- Deliver relevant content. With so many messages being delivered to consumers every single minute, they might never see the pertinent ones. The floral company 1-800-Flowers created a campaign leading up to Valentine’s Day that offered 20 percent savings on bouquets. This timely holiday ad helped solve a common problem for many spouses and significant others. Make sure your marketing content is strong.
Different Types of Geofencing Techniques
With these tips in mind, keep in mind the different types of geofencing techniques you can implement:
- SMS geofencing. You can send out an automatic SMS to customers when they move within the geofence, urging them to take action — usually, it’s to encourage them to come into your store and take advantage of a sale or offer. I find this to be one of the most effective geofencing techniques.
- Display advertising. This is the most popular technique. Geofencing in display advertising is used most commonly by big brands. You incorporate specific IP addresses or mobile locations into your advertising campaign, which allows native ads to be released in a controlled way to specific people, based on location.
- Social media advertising. Social media advertising with geofencing uses location information when displaying social media ads. I find this to be especially useful for platforms like Twitter , where 80 percent of active users are mobile.
Take advantage of geofencing technology to target customers who may be one block away. If used effectively, you’ll receive conversions such as open rates, redemption rates, sales and greater brand loyalty to grow your business hyper-locally.